The black feminine mystique is a collection of poetry that celebrates women of color. Feminists of the 1960s and 1970s would later say the feminine mystique was the book that started it all. Landmark, groundbreaking, classicthese adjectives barely do justice to the pioneering vision and lasting impact of the feminine mystique. Friedans book pulled the trigger on history, in the words of future shock author alvin toffler. A 50thanniversary edition of the trailblazing book that changed womens lives, with a new introduction by gail collins. The feminine mystique is the false notion that a womans role in society is to be a wife, mother, and housewife nothing else. Norton in 1957, friedan was asked to conduct a survey of her former smith college classmates for their 15th anniversary reunion. Betty friedans feminine mystique 50 years later the new york. The book s overall message that the only acceptable role of housewife and mother does not fulfill women reached over one million readers in 1964, a year after the book was published. Throughout the book, friedan compares many prewar and postwar statistics and examples to support her points. Yet as daniel horowitz persuasively demonstrates in this illuminating and provocative biography, the roots of friedans feminism run much deeper than she has led us to believe. Stephanie coontz teaches at the evergreen state college in olympia, washington, and serves as the director of research and public education at the council on contemporary families, a nonprofit, nonpartisan association of family researchers and practitioners based at the university of miami. In 1963 when the average woman married in her teens, friedan argued systemic sexism held women hostage in the home and refused to allow them to use.
Friedans theory was that women who stayed at home an increased number had been able to do so since improved economic conditions meant many more men could afford to support a wife were bored, miserable, and destructive. The feminine mystique, a landmark book by feminist betty friedan published in 1963 that described the pervasive dissatisfaction among women in mainstream american society in the postworld war ii period. The publication of betty friedans the feminine mystique, on february 17, 1963, is often cited as the founding moment of secondwave feminism. Although many of the movements only date back to the day of the womens strike for equality on august 26, 1970, and. World war ii was such a monumental event that it is commonly used as a cultural divider for the twentieth century.
Why the feminine mystique is still worth reading in 20. Friedan begins the feminine mystique with an introduction describing the problem that has no namethe widespread unhappiness of women. Landmark, groundbreaking, classicthese adjectives barely describe the earthshaking and longlasting effects of betty friedans the feminine mystique. The feminine mystique by betty friedan, 9780141192055, available at book. The feminine mystique and american women at the dawn of the 1960s. The 46yearold kennedy was shot while traveling in a motorcade in an opentop limousine as it passed the texas school book depository building in downtown dallas at. The feminine mystique half a century later brain pickings. The feminine mystique by betty friedan is an iconic book that relentlessly changed the way the american woman saw herself, until its first publication in 1963.
The feminine mystique and american women at the dawn of the 1960s stephanie coontz on. Jan 27, 20 the feminine mystique is a very specific cry of rage about the way intelligent, welleducated women were kept out of the mainstream of american professional life and regarded as little more. Ever since the 1963 publication of her landmark book, the feminine mystique, betty friedan has insisted that her commitment to womens rights grew out of her experiences as an alienated suburban housewife. Stephanie coontzs useful revisiting of friedans book, a strange stirring. The feminine mystique is a 1963 book by betty friedan which is widely credited with sparking the beginning of secondwave feminism in the united states. But women who work are much more likely to adopt feministinspired agendas and to reject traditional ideas about marriage. An analysis of betty friedans the feminine mystique. Feministic in a good way, without the morbid extravaganza other reads of that type hold, its relevant even now and if you dont choose to believe so, at least you can appreciate it as a historical document. The mystique is an artificial idea of femininity that says having a career andor fulfilling ones individual potential somehow go against womens preordained role. But women who work are much more likely to adopt feminist. It was and is important because it helped encourage so many women, during that.
Betty friedan and the making of the feminine mystique. Nov 10, 2008 its a book by betty friedan, written in 1963. A vastly significant book that has made a world of difference, much of it slowly acquired. The feminine mystique has been credited or blamed for destroying, singlehandedly and almost overnight, the 1950s consensus that womens place was in the home. Hundreds of women have testified that the book changed their lives, and historical accounts often credit it joanne meyerowitz is associate professor of history at the university of cincinnati.
In her book she draws on research into popular culture of the 40s, 50s, and 60s, and interviews with nearly 200 women who read the feminine mystique shortly after it was published. The feminine mystique by betty friedan, 9781423395669, available at. In 1957, friedan was asked to conduct a survey of her former smith college classmates for their 15th anniversary reunion. The feminine mystique project gutenberg selfpublishing. The feminine mystique is a book by betty friedan that is widely credited with sparking the beginning of secondwave feminism in the united states. The book highlighted friedans view of a coercive and pervasive postworld war ii ideology of female domesticity that stifled middleclass womens opportunities to be anything but homemakers. Betty friedan was a founder and first president of the national organization for women and convener of the national womens political caucus and the national abortion rights action league naral. Ive been wanting to read this book since about 2011 when i had the author as a professor in his final semester teaching. An excellent new social history of the impact of betty friedans landmark book on american women.
All content included on our site, such as text, images, digital downloads and other, is the property of its content suppliers and protected by us and international laws. According to the new york times obituary of friedan in 2006, it ignited the contemporary womens movement in 1963 and as a result permanently transformed the social fabric of the united states and countries. The feminine mystique and american women at the dawn of the 1960s basic. Her work propelled the stagnant womens rights movement into its second wave and helped women reclaim some equality.
The feminine mystique by betty friedan, published in 1963, is often seen as the beginning of the womens liberation movement. In it, he exposed a startling, weirdly littleknown truth about its. Daniel horowitz further complicated the book s legacy with his 1998 book betty friedan and the making of the feminine mystique. The feminine mystique is a 1963 book written by betty friedan which attacked the popular notion that women of that time could only find fulfillment through childbearing and homemaking. It is the most famous of betty friedans works, and it made her a household name. Jan 14, 2019 the feminine mystique by betty friedan, published in 1963, is often seen as the beginning of the womens liberation movement. Best known for starting the second wave of feminism through the writing of her book the feminine mystique an account of housewives lives in which they subordinated their own aspirations to the needs of men. Feministic in a good way, without the morbid extravaganza other reads of that type hold, its relevant even now and if you dont choose to believe so, at least you can appreciate it as a.
Its publication is often regarded as the beginning of the modern womens movement. The feminine mystique by betty friedan, 9780141192055, available at book depository with free delivery worldwide. Gaining huge popularity with her book the feminine mystique in 1963, she later goes on to become one of the founders of the national organization for women now in 1966. Friedan also cites world war ii as the main impetus for the development of the feminine mystique. This is the book that defined the problem that has no name, that launched the second wave of the feminist movement, and has been awakening women and men with. The video above is about betty friedan who led the second wave of womens liberation in the 1960s. The feminine mystique by betty friedan, 9780393934656, available at book depository with free delivery. The book explores the desire of many women in america in the 1950s and 1960s to become housewives and mothers rather than pursuing careers of their own.
The feminine mystique sold nearly 3 million copies in its first three years in print. This is the book that defined the problem that has no name, that launched the second wave of the feminist movement, and. A phenomenon becoming fuel to the fire that was the second wave of feminism, betty friedans the feminine mystique gave americas housewives. The feminine mystique was crucial for sharing feminist principles with a broad audience, and it is credited with igniting the womens movement of the 1960s, so i too celebrate the book s birthday. The feminine mystique is a very specific cry of rage about the way intelligent, welleducated women were kept out of the mainstream of american. Here are the finest feminist books to brush up on your fem literature. Using a practice that becomes common throughout the book, friedan offers several case studies of unhappy women from around the united states, and she wonders whether this unhappiness is related to the female role of. The book that changed the consciousness of a countryand the world. The feminine mystique by betty friedan in djvu, fb3, txt download e book. A sensation on publication selling over 3 million copies, it established friedan as one of the chief architects of the womens liberation movement. The feminine mystique is the term used by the author to describe the way the media and the experts were sublimating the role of women as housewives and mothers in order to force women back inside the homes, just when they were increasingly becoming more educated, and therefore could not be told they were inferior to men and couldnt work. Betty friedans book the feminine mystique is possibly the bestselling of all the titles analysed in the macat library, and arguably one of the most important.
Mar 04, 2010 friedans findings provided a cleareyed analysis of the issues that affected womens lives in the decades after the second world war, and became the basis to her book, the feminine mystique. He mentioned the book in the class which was amazing and ive wanted to read it, but i waited until i finally managed to read the feminine mystique which i would recommend. The feminine mystique by betty friedan, hardcover barnes. This norton critical edition of friedans phenomenal book traces its cultural and historical significance over its first fifty years. Publication of the feminine mystique by betty friedan. The past few days have generated buzz about betty friedans the feminine mystique, inspired by the fiftieth anniversary of the book s publication. She coined the term feminine mystique to describe the societal assumption that women could find fulfillment through housework, marriage, sexual passivity, and child rearing alone. Without historical knowledge we are doomed to repeat it, so here are the. That book and recent statements on television by feminists gloria steinem and marlo thomas sent me back to reread my copy of the feminine mystique, a book written in 1963 by betty friedan, one of the founding members of the national womens political caucus. The feminine mystique, a landmark book by feminist betty friedan published in 1963 that described the pervasive dissatisfaction among. She was author of the feminine mystique and the fountain of age. It is often credited with starting the secondwave feminism in the united states. Radcliffes schlesinger library commemorated the 50th anniversary of betty friedans the feminine mystique by hosting a discussion on the evolution of gender roles since the book s release and its relevance to contemporary american society. Betty friedan described the feminine mystique in her 1963 bestseller.
A phenomenon becoming fuel to the fire that was the second wave of feminism, betty friedans the feminine mystique gave americas housewives an answer to the problem that has no name. The feminine mystique, by betty friedan, ushered in a second wave of feminist thought and progress in the united states. In 1963 when the average woman married in her teens, friedan argued systemic sexism held women hostage in the home and refused to allow them to use their intellect. In the book, friedan conducts a number of interviews with classmates, and finds that many of them were unhappy with their lives as housewives. Yet it was the product of an apparently minor, meaningless assignment. With her book the feminine mystique 1963, betty friedan 19212006 broke new ground by exploring the idea of women finding personal fulfillment outside of their traditional roles. In the feminine mystique, betty friedan put a spotlight on the hidden, yet immense problems women faced during the 1950s. The feminine mystique is a book by betty friedan first published in 1963. The feminine mystique simple english wikipedia, the free. Four decades later, millions of individual transformations later, there is still so much to learn from this book. Alvin toffler, author of future shock one of those rare books we are endowed with only once in several decades. Using a practice that becomes common throughout the book, friedan offers several case studies of unhappy women from around the united states, and she wonders whether this unhappiness is related to the female. This month marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of the feminine mystique, betty friedans book that raised the consciousness of millions who read it and shared it in a 1960s kind of way. The feminine mystique, is considered partially responsible for ushering in second wave feminism, or a feminist movements which began midcentury and included a broad range of issues such as.292 1077 398 654 632 1482 1176 1284 192 807 900 876 378 816 537 303 434 12 1293 395 507 1214 843 847 173 91 904 969 1104 625 40 1106 550 1109 809 549 576 519 528 1057 976 1346