The Femine Mystique

Even though woman had the right to vote, it did little to increase political and economic freedom for women. According to Foner, Women were still treated as subordinates to men in the early 1960s, where their rights were second class compared to men and job opportunities limited to low wage clerical positions. Foner asserts that Betty Friedan’s book “The Feminine Mystique” published in 1963 revived the feminine consciousness and exposed the third class treatment women received. She even compared the Suburban home to a “comfortable concentration camp.”

I think the feminist movement of the 60’s had its root in the 1950’s since it was an Era when the Nation took a break from War and was able to concentrate on domestic issues. The economic prosperity of the 1950’s and technological innovation lended women more time to create woman’s groups and think about dealing with their rights. I have also posted pictures of Protests by 20,000 women on August 9, 1956 which eventually became known as National Women’s Day. Even though they were not protesting for women’s rights, it showed how organized women were and their willingness to fight for rights.






A Ford For Everyone

During the 1950s, “the standard consumer package” [Foner 878] consisted of a home, television set and a car. The new Ford automobile opened up a new way to enjoy the many freedoms that life had to offer. The Ford symbolized a individual’s freedom and private choice that allowed him or her to travel where ever they please. With the later development of interstate highways, car owners were able to travel long distances for vacations. By the 1960s roughly 80 percent of american families owned a car and 14 percent owned two or more. This soon meant people would be able to commute to and from work everyday, regardless of the distance between them. Songs and advertisements constantly reminded car owners of the many ways to enjoy freedom with the purchase of a car.

This brought about a huge change in the car manufacturing and oil industry. The increasing demand for cars gave jobs to tens of thousands of factory workers and both the oil and auto manufacturing companies boomed. Profits soared as each year brought about a new and more advanced car that would easily go out of style that same year. The video above is just one of the many advertisements that advocated the advancement of the new Ford model car and used the theme of freedom to sell in the consumer market.


Boom Boom Baby Boom!

During the 1950s many changes began to occur across the nation. The war was over, soldiers were coming home, and businesses started booming. As more skyscrapers were being built, residents were being pushed out to move into the suburbs causing a great rise in suburban communities. Not only was their a rise in the communities, but the average family began increasing and the baby boom occurred.

The average family had 4 children, as women began marrying younger to keep from pre-marital sex. The change in mentality from pre-war to post-war changed the way Americans lived. Feminism was no more and the technological advances such as the barcode and credit cards were invented.