(“The problem lay buried, unspoken, for many years in the minds of American women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning that women suffered in the middle of the 20th century in the United States. Each suburban wife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries … she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question — ‘Is this all?'”)
For her 15th Smith College reunion, Betty Friedan interviewed her former classmates – most of them now housewives- and found that a shocking number of them (herself included) were sincerely unhappy with the choice they had made. This was 1957, a time where being a houswife was not only the norm, but ideal for women. The idea that housewives felt “trapped” in this life was unthinkable.
(Betty Friedan; the adorable activist, who wrote Mystique and co-founded the National Organization for Women)
It was because of this that, in 1963, Betty Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique; a book that would later become a major source text for second-wave women’s liberation. I could go into a long-winded recount of each chapter and the impact Mystique on women’s lib, but this video does a better job of all that, so I’ll just leave you too it.
(I like everything about this video except the use of Donna Reed and a particular episode The Donna Reed Show, which means that there is a bonus post about that in the future)
And now I will sleep,