Feminine Mystique Betty Friedan Essay
The Feminine Mystique was a wakeup call to all women. The book introduced the readers to nature versus nurture debate and helped some women to identify what she referred to as "the problem that has no name," and the only way to prevent it was to work. Yet she wrote The Feminine Mystique in a way that suggested that she was not academic but rather a nonworking woman, writing about the miserable conditions of women.
Friedan also compared the life of a "happy housewife" living in suburbia, something that Friedan experienced herself in the 1950s, to life in a Nazi concentration camp. Friedan described in her book The Feminine Mystique that women could only work in the post World War II mystique.
She was one of the first American women writers to do so.
She wrote during at time when female issues were considered worthy only of a kitchen-table discussion over coffee.
Betty Naomi Goldstein was born in 1921 in Peoria, Illinois.
She graduated from Smith College in 1942, and then received a research fellowship to study psychology as a graduate student at the University of California Berkeley.
The book took already familiar ideas, made them easily accessible, and gave them a forceful immediacy.
It explored issues that others had articulated but failed to connect with women's experiences—the meaning of American history, the nature of alienated labor, the existence of the identity crisis, the threat of atomic warfare, the implications of Nazi anti-Semitism, the use of psychology as cultural criticism, and the dynamics of sexuality.
This event influenced Betty Friedan to write The Feminine Mystique in 1963, which would change the lives of women forever.
Friedan interviewed many women in the course of her research for The Feminine Mystique, why add yet another voice to the mix? Friedan's women respond to specific questions, while Paley's go about their business, offering readers brief glimpses into...
(The entire section is 2,160 words.) It has become commonplace to see the publication of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique in 1963 as a major turning point in the history of modern American feminism and, more generally, in the history of the postwar period.
(The entire section is 4,573 words.) Published in 1963, The Feminine Mystique is commonly regarded both as a feminist classic and as a book which acted as a catalyst to the western feminist movement, which began in the mid to late sixties.
In the canon of post-war feminist works it sits somewhat isolated, and somewhat incongruously, midway between The Second Sex and the outpouring of texts and tracts later on.