Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Feminine Mystique

The Feminine Mystique, written by Betty Friedan, was a book that is more commonly associated with discussing the "problem that has no name." This "problem" as explained by my professor in my lecture, is that women are increasingly taught to believe that their existence and happiness is limited to being a housewife or doing things only a housewife would do. The message Friedan was trying to make was that women during that time period in which she wrote the book was a time when women felt dissatisfied with the way things were going at home and they wanted to do something to change it. The problem was not a sexual one, but more of a personal one. Women during this time period wanted to have careers, to have goals in the work force and not always be a housewife. World War II granted women this chance to work because women were needed while the men were off at war. The time the war was going on and until it ended allowed women to put their education to the test and do something that wasn't dealing with making dinner or changing a diaper on a baby. The sort of jobs were working in factories or working in businesses. While this was short-lived due to the return of the men fighting in the war and the necessity for the men to get back to work, it allowed women to feel that they don't always have to be a housewife, which I think is really powerful. In a way, this reminded me of the movie and book Revolutionary Road, where the wife wanted to get away from her boring life and get back to her dream of being an actress. While the movie and her (and her husband's for a short time) ambition to go to Paris is different with the whole "New Woman" movement, it is a similar aspect that women grew tired and bored of the same-old routine that women did before they started to work real jobs.

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