Betty Friedan Influence On Women

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Defining Feminism Feminism is a very touchy subject in the world today. Many people confuse feminism with man-hating or believe that this movement means that women believe they are superior to men. However, this is not the case. Feminism is a much needed movement that supports and pushes toward the idea of gender equality in places such as the workplace, the home, and even the streets. A woman should not be the one that feels ashamed after they are raped. A woman should not be expected to take a man’s last name in marriage. A woman should not be paid less than a man for the same exact job. While the world has come a long way with gender equality, it still has a lot of room for improvement. In The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan relays the …show more content…
However, in the fifties: “60 per cent (of women) dropped out of college to marry, or because they were afraid too much education would be a marriage bar” (2). No woman should be kept back from school because men don’t want females to be more successful than they are. Even if being a housewife was the norm in the fifties, women should have not been afraid to earn a college degree because of the opportunity of passing some of that knowledge on to their children. A woman could have even taken accounting classes to help her husband out with money, but often times men did not trust their wives with anything more than a weekly allowance. Many people felt that education was the problem: “…more and more women had education, which naturally made them unhappy in their role as housewives…There was much sympathy for the educated housewife” (10).While it was most likely education that made the woman feel trapped with being a simple housewife (because she knew she had so much more potential) people should have been grateful for her education, rather than sympathetic. It is a shame that people would rather have housewives only have a basic high school education (sometimes women didn’t even make it that far before getting married) and be oblivious to the world around them rather than having them get a college career and use their talented mind to better the world. So much of the world would be different today if …show more content…
Throughout years of telling the female gender this, it got to the point that young girls did not know that there were any opportunities outside of a husband and children. Women were expected to clean, sew, cook and “their only dream was to be perfect wives and mothers” (5). While this might sound nice for some people, many others have much bigger ambitions. A family and children are nice, and sometimes that is the best thing that can happen to a woman, but it is not their full identity. Men were basically stealing the women’s lives, not allowing them to have a say in major decisions, and making them oblivious to the outside world. It’s almost as if women were a plaything for men – a puppet that the man could control. The thing is, though, that the idea that women could have any life outside of the home was so suppressed that neither man nor woman realized that it was wrong. It was the norm for the time and it was accepted. Women were taught to pity other women that had a higher education or a career when it should have been the other way around. The women with careers knew that there was something out there for them other than being trapped in the house to be an unpaid maid to their family. Today, a woman can choose to be a stay at home mom or a working woman and no one gives much thought to it. This shows that the world has come a long

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