The Feminine Mystique

Decent Essays
The two sources I will be evaluating are The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan and Home- Grown Radical or Home- Bound Housewife? Rethinking the Origins of the 1960s Feminism through the Life and Work of Betty Friedan by Lori E. Rotskoff. I will be evaluating these sources by looking at the origin, purpose, and content through the lenses of values and limitations. I am going to answer the question, to what extent did The Feminine Mystique lay the ideological foundations for second wave feminism? I will analyze these sources and conduct research to prove that The Feminine Mystique did pave the way for second wave feminism. The first source that will be evaluated is The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan, published on February 19, 1963. During …show more content…
Friedan was a married woman with three children who was interested in the dissatisfaction of suburban housewives in the 1950s and early 1960s. She conducted many interviews with women asking about their lives as wives and mothers, she concluded that a majority of the women were depressed. Friedan coined this as "the problem that has no name”, this problem was the boredom that women experienced as their lives as only mothers and wives. These ideas were society’s expectations for women reinforced by the media and consumer goods which portrayed the image of femininity as a domesticated housewife. Friedan’s expose opened the eyes of many people across the United States Due to her non-fiction account, women realized that they were not alone in feeling depressed. This non-fiction expose was extremely successful in reaching a broad audience of people and sparking second wave …show more content…
On every cover of Good Housekeeping was the image of a woman with ocean blue eyes, red lipstick expertly applied, and blonde hair perfectly styled. This “perfect woman” was holding a jug of lemonade and her daughter by her side. This was the ideal woman, a woman that everyone wanted to be. The media expertly brainwashed women into believing that being a housewife would fulfill lifetime happiness, however, it was far from the truth. Women were conditioned to believe that their only success in life was their children, “ and cultural emphasis on the key role of homemakers in ensuring their children’s happiness and, indeed, their own normality as women.”(Whittier) This enforced the idea that if a woman is making her husband and children happy then she is being a good woman, if not then there is something wrong with her. The media made it impossible for a woman to leave the house because they convinced people that a woman’s place was in the home not in the workplace. The Feminine Mystique explained to women that it was valid for them to have a career, to have a life outside of their family. This realization that women were allowed to have ambition and success just like their husbands was life-changing. Women no longer felt, “odd, unnatural, crazy” (Drzal) for wanting to be more than just a

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