The Feminine Mystique Captured The All So Common, Housewife Syndrome

1639 Words Nov 6th, 2015 7 Pages
While Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique captured the all-so-common “housewife syndrome” that plagued women like Friedan all across America, it failed to address the full range of problems that every other woman faced, not only in America but worldwide. And while expecting Friedan to address all groups of women and their individual struggles is impractical, she makes the assumption that the problems detailed in her book apply to all women. In reality, the “problem that has no name” is a problem to only women like Friedan herself: white, middle-class mothers and wives. Although the use of the word “feminine” in her title suggests that Friedan may be speaking about women as a whole, the way she presents her thesis is makes it very clear that she is identifying both a problem and a solution that will only apply to certain women—only to whom it may concern. From the very beginning, Friedan uses the pronoun “they” to refer to women. And although the pronoun itself is normally all-inclusive, Friedan’s idea of a woman is one that needed to “breastfeed children…bake bread… cook gourmet snails…pity the neurotic, unfeminine, unhappy women” (270). Therefore, the pronoun itself and the actual women who are being described are at odds because Friedan is discussing a specific type of woman under the guise that her woman is every woman. Unfortunately, not all women are able to have children, bake bread, purchase snails, and have enough time to pity other women who were unhappy. Some…

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