Friedan, Betty. 1963. "The Problem That Has No Name" (361-364) from The Feminine Mystique
"The problem lay buried, unspoken, for many years in the minds of American women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning [that is, a longing] that women suffered in the middle of the 20th century in the United States. Each suburban wife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries … she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question — 'Is this all?"
"I want something more than my husband, my children, and my home."
|"Betty Friedan (February 4, 1921 - February 4, 2006) was an American writer, activist, mother, and feminist.
A leading figure in the "Second Wave" of the U.S. Women's Movement, her 1963 book The Feminine Mystique is sometimes credited with sparking the "second wave" of feminism. Friedan co-founded National Organization for Women in 1966 which aimed to bring women "into the mainstream of American society now [in] fully equal partnership with men"." (Wikipedia)
Went to Smith and then studied at Berkeley under Erik Erikson.
- "Is that all?"
- Experts sold us a bill of goods about "femininity" as an end in itself. "Adjustment" to available life choices (362.1).
- Women withdrew from higher education in 1950s. Marriage age decreased.
- Younger marriage. Higher birthrates.
- Litany of insults — body image, house beautiful, etc. (362.7-363.3)
- Marriage and life in suburb as ultimate aspiration crowded out more serious pursuits. (363.5)
- Feminine Mystique = dream of suburban housewifery
- Total colonization of mind — talk was all about role as housewife, mother, wife (363.8)
- Language of male/female superiority/inferiority wasn't even on the table (363.9-364.1)
- If woman felt any unease, it must be because something was wrong with her. DJR: compare C. Wright Mills.
- Psychology mystified : clearly a lot of women, clearly not sexual….
- The problem is not loss of femininity, too much education, or the demands of running a home. It is simply a strong, unfulfilled desire to have something more than what was served up.
- DJR: compare Merton's anomie