Uncertain as to what I would find when I started out, I was a bit astonished to find the ideas of this feminist hero a bit hyperbolic and too general to reach the conclusions that she does. Coontz devotes a chapter to exploring the lives of women in this era to highlight the oppressive weight of sexism on women’s lives. Chapter 13: Friedan refers to Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs. She points out that this was in direct contrast with magazines in the 1930s which featured independent and confident heroines who were involved in careers. She ends the text by promoting education and work that is meaningful as the ultimate method through which American women can combat the feminine mystique. With the great feminist movements from the women of the Victorian Era and the 1970’s the idea that women can only be housewives is a thing of the past, but not of the distant past. One, I know which I have asked myself. That we are the sum of our total daily actions. The “problem that has no name” stands in for the multifarious feelings of dissatisfaction that characterize the American housewife ’s daily life, which she cannot seem to attribute to any one root cause—precisely because the sources of her unhappiness are so deeply engrained in her materialist, patriarchal culture. This perpetuated the idea that women should feel naturally fulfilled in devoting their lives to the home. When do the media and mainstream society discover "the problem that has no name," and what kinds of suggestions do they offer to solve it? This mythology was part of a conscious attempt to drive women back into the home after the Second World War and forcibly repress any memory of the gains made by women activists and radicals in the first half of the twentieth century. The Feminine Mystique study guide contains a biography of Betty Friedan, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Mad Men gives modern audiences a taste of sexism in the period, but it barely scratches the surface. Unfortunately, in real life it was common to find that women were unhappy because their choices were … this section. This young mother is aware of her actions and seems to have struggled with the thought that if she is the sum of her total daily actions, she is a nobody and therefore, offers no significance or value to the world . The Feminine Mystique implicated women's magazines, other media, corporations, schools, and various institutions in U.S. society that were all guilty of relentlessly pressuring girls to marry young and fit into the fabricated feminine image. Click to copy Summary. The average age of marriage was dropping and the birthrate was increasing and yet there was a continuing trend in the unhappiness of women. She uses this to generally refer to the unhappiness of women in the 1950s and 1960s. According to Rita W. Kramer, author of “Peanut Butter On My Pillow”, “we let housewifery become a mediocre,monotonous task when we fail or refuse to see the nobility of it. Friedan, however, noted that many housewives were unsatisfied with their lives but had difficulty articulating their feelings. Not surprisingly, The Feminine Mystique failed to resonate with these women—primarily because they already worked outside the home by necessity and rarely worked in the types of jobs that provided the fulfillment that Friedan advocated. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy. That The Feminine Mystique was ranked theirty-seventh in a list of most important works of journalism by a panel of experts from New York University and seventh in a list of the ten most harmful books of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by the right-wing Human Events is a testament to its far-reaching and long-lasting influence. In fact, working-class women and women of color were far less likely to see marriage and family as incompatible with work and political activism. Chapter 5: Friedan spends the majority of this chapter criticizing Sigmund Freud. I can do it all, and I like it, but it doesn’t leave you anything to think about – any feelings of who you are. Women suffering from this problem that has no name … Really, if a mother is just a putter-on of pants, a server of food, and a bedmaker, then any CEO or manager is just a signer of documents and a filler of a chair in meetings. America’s birthrate during this time skyrocketed and college educated women made careers out of having children. Chapter 8: Friedan discusses the influence of World War II and the Cold War on American Culture. The Feminine Mystique implicated women’s magazines, other media, corporations, schools and various institutions in U. S. society that were all guilty of relentlessly pressuring girls to marry young and fit into the fabricated feminine image. The Feminine Mystique is credited as having started the second wave of feminism in America. Functionalism attempted to make the social sciences seem more credible by studying society as if it were part of a social body, similar to biology. The women who suffer this problem have a hunger that food cannot fill…. The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s, Hao Ren and Fan Gang interviewed by Dennis Kosuth, From "political revolution" to lesser-evilism. While the book and its legacy are often contested, Friedan’s seminal work The Feminine Mystique, which exposed the “problem with no name,” was widely read, and played a crucial role in giving expression to the suffering of millions of women held hostage by the … She discusses her own decision to conform to societal expectations as a housewife when she abandoned a promising career in psychology so that she could raise children. Chapter 7: Friedan continues to discuss sex directed education and points to the trend in women's education in which schools focused on non-challenging classes that focused mostly on marriage and family. According to Betty Friedan, how were women pressured into accepting the role of “housewife” in the post-World War II years? everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Feminine Mystique. Generally, the more education and ability a woman possessed, the more she suffered from the problem that has no name. the girl group Shirelles and the Supremes, gave voice to girls' changing attitudes towards sex, Mothers who worried about their daughters had their own set of frustrations, they were not much better than their daughters at articulating their discomfort and malaise it was 1963 when Betty friedan identifying herself as a suburban housewife did the job for them exposing the triviality and frustrations of a resurgent domesticity, some women found gratification for what she said and how she articulated their own dissatisfactions, other women objected and thought that women and mothers enjoyed a life that benefited fas and communities and they had freedom, pleasure and a sense of self worth, Lerner, someone who wrote to her said she liked that she might cause controversy because she thought causing controversy = creating solutions, she also was critical and said that she sees she's only including middle and upper class white women and it is unfair to not include working black women it is something they cant afford to do, when women were doing all their housework and taking care of their kids they couldn't help but wonder, devote their lives to find a husband and bear children, Average marriage age of women in America dropped to 20 and it was still dropping into the teens, there would be stats of unhappy marriages so they'd put MARRIAGE COUNSELORS in high school, women would usually have 2 kids and now had 4-6, wanted a career and now making a career out of having kids, women were dying of cancer because they weren't taking a certain medicine, would eat a chalk called Metrecal to lose weight and be like thin models, interior decorators would focus on kitchen because that was, fewer women would enter professional careers, had part time jobs to help husbands, sons, or with the mortgage, girl refused a science fellowship at John Hopkins to take a job in a real estate office, she said all she wants to do is get married, have 4 kids, and live a suburban life, she was the dream image of the young american women and the envy of women all over the world, freed by science and labor saving appliances from the drudgery, the dangers of childbirth, and the illnesses of her grandmother, women tried to fit the category of that perfect housewife, had to go kiss him when he was going to go to work and take the kids to school and have to happily clean the floors and bake the bread and sew their clothes, women all realized they're all unhappy but didn't understand why they were unhappy, because they don't understand it and don't get whats wrong, doctors didn't understand what was wrong either, said "I'm so ashamed, i don't know whats wrong with women today", a group of women met up and talked about "the problem", realized they all felt it and weren't alone. If you read this and you are not a mother, what does the position of mother seem to you? A woman who is married and sees to the affairs of her household or domicile is in a position of tremendous authority and influence, she directly impacts all of the individuals–husband, children, neighbors, etc. **Definitions of “Housewife”: a wife who manages a household while her husband earns the family income wordnetweb.