Essay about The American Dream By Betty Friedan

2129 Words Oct 19th, 2016 9 Pages
In the post-war age, the imagery of the American Dream started to shift into the cliché of the suburban family with the white picket fence. While many people belonging to marginalized groups found themselves feeling jaded towards the idea of American Dream and its level of attainability, white women of the middle and upper class were not among the skeptics. Rather, they felt a discontent with their lives that they found hard to articulate. Betty Friedan, the author of the book that sparked the second-wave feminist movement, The Feminine Mystique referred to this as “the problem with no name” (Friedan 57). The women affected by this “problem with no name” had the class status analogous to success in America but they lacked agency in it - they were part of the American Dream ideal men aspired towards. The “American Dream” for women was to have healthy children, a clean house, and a happy husband. With The Feminine Mystique, Friedan enlightened scores of women on the depression and hopelessness they were feeling. Friedan and other second-wave feminists fought for woman to have equal career opportunities and the ability to forge their own paths. The principles related to second-wave feminism line up with the ideals associated with the American Dream: having equal opportunities for success and achieving success through grit and hard work. However, second-wave feminism threatened the fabric of one of America’s cornerstones – the family. The battle between second-wave feminists…

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