“The Feminine Mystique”, Betty Friedan (1963)
“It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning that women suffered”
After World War II millions of women lived their lives in the image of those pretty little pictures of the American housewife. Their only dream was to be the perfect housewife and mother, yet they were still not happy.
In “The Feminine Mystique” Friedan describes a women’s unhappiness with the problem that has no name. She associates the problem with the idealized image of femininity that she refers to as the feminine mystique. Friedman claimed that women were encouraged to enclose themselves to the narrow roles of mothers and housewives, giving up education and careers in the undertaking. Friedan proves that the feminine mystique denies women the opportunity to develop their own identities, which can ultimately lead to problems for women and their families.
The quote shows that women were not satisfied with their role in society anymore and wanted more in life. Women had a new life plan including not viewing housework as a career; not trying to find total fulfillment through marriage and motherhood alone; and finding meaningful work that uses the woman’s full mental capacity.