The Feminine Mystique: The Role Of Women In America

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The function of women in America has been ever-changing and progressive since the established institution of republican motherhood of the colonial period. Throughout history, many women have attempted to oppose the meek, and maternal cutout that was made for them by patriarchal societies. The fight for women’s rights has been long and strenuous with many victories along the way, leading up to the ultimate campaign for gender equality during the 1960s lead by influential, empowering women.
One of the earliest and most significant of the feminist victories was the ratification of the nineteenth amendment in 1920 which granted women the right to vote. Women continued to push barriers by challenging the republican motherhood ideal that a women’s
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One woman decided to challenge this long accepted truth that a woman’s place was in the home. Betty Friedan’s publication of her forward thinking book, The Feminine Mystique, sparked a revival of feminist culture that was once so passionate during the early 20th century campaigns for women’s suffrage. The book posed the famous question to women across America: “Is this all?” Readers of the book exposed themselves to the unnamed problems they faced and realized they could do something about. Feminist leaders of the 1960s, including Friedan, helped bring awareness to the inequality American women faced, and helped shape the second wave of feminism that would bring down the barrier between …show more content…
The ideas held within the pages of Friedan’s book were so radical for their time that they caused a divide between the American public. As Friedan’s survey suggested, many women resonated with the message of The Feminine Mystique. The book’s opening chapter, “The Problem That Has No Name”, was explicit in identifying the internalized misogyny that everyday Americans held to be true. Leading the opposition to supporters of Friedan’s book were many American men who believed that the domestic role of housewife that women had filled for so long should not be tainted or removed. Despite objections to the ideas of women’s liberation preached by Friedan in her book, the female readers felt comforted by the fact that they were not alone in their apathy in life. It is easy to see why The Feminine Mystique is credited as the driving force behind the revival of feminism and the catalyst for the second-wave feminist movement. Women began writing to Friedan in the form of letters, thanking her for the impact the book had on their

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