Criticism In The Feminine Mystique By Betty Friedan

1987 Words 8 Pages
The Feminine Mystique is a novel written by Betty Friedan analyzing the sadness and depression many American women felt during the 1950’s. Friedan’s research describes the subservient conditions women experienced and labels their mutual disappointment as “the problem with no name.”1 Friedan defines feminine mystique as women’s limited potential through society’s idealized image of the housewife occupation. Linking the unhappiness and emptiness women felt to both social and internal conflict rooted in the feminine mystique. In order to influence her audience Friedan presents her research through a combination of reliable statistics, first-person narratives, and her own experience. Friedan consistently contextualizes her influence through vivid …show more content…
Friedan incorporated interviews conducted with women experiencing identical feelings of dissatisfaction. Women were told that “they had the starring roles, that their parts were just as important as, perhaps even more important as the parts of their husband.”8 A growing feeling of existential crises gripped housewives. In one of her interviews, an old women’s flat familiar tone describes her discontent, “I’m looking for something to satisfy me. I think it would be the most wonderful thing in the world to work, to be useful. But I don’t know how to do anything.”9 Another mother expresses her dissatisfaction by claiming she felt that she no longer relate to an identity. Friedan argues that the more a women is deprived of real function, or sense of ability, the more she will resent finishing her housework. With no real influence outside her home and family, the housewife was expected to be completely devoted to her work. These narratives humanize housewives ' grievances and potentially influence reader’s to reflect upon their own interactions with their …show more content…
Friedan’s influential movement founded multiple organizations supporting and advocating women’s rights. The persuasive techniques she incorporated appealed to the sympathetic qualities found within all humans. Friedan’s presentation of academic journals and criticisms create and define the idea of the feminine mystique. Her numerical data inspires critical reasoning within her audience. Periodically incorporating first person narrative, Friedan strengthens her personal relationship with the reader through detailed recollections of her encounters with the feminine mystique.
Friedan formed a podium for which to speak about feminine issues and progressively persuades her audience’s views to be more open minded. Friedan promotes education, a universal search of meaning, and the power to use intellect to avoid becoming imprisoned by the feminine mystique. She calls for a reconsideration of what outlines femininity, and redefined women’s choices as the construct for their roles in society. Friedan encourages women to negate the predominant culture gripping society and overcome the subservient conditions meant to keep them physically and intellectually

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