This page was last edited on 20 May , at In addition, Friedan has been criticized for focusing solely on the plight of middle-class white women, and not giving enough attention to the differing situations encountered by women in less stable economic situations, or women of other races. Friedan notes that the uncertainties and fears during World War II and the Cold War made Americans long for the comfort of home, so they tried to create an idealized home life with the father as breadwinner and the mother as housewife. Or better yet, the future of the world. Institutions were studied in terms of their function in society, and women were confined to their sexual biological roles as housewives and mothers as well as being told that doing otherwise would upset the social balance. Friedan points out that this is unproven and that Margaret Mead , a prominent functionalist, had a flourishing career as an anthropologist. She notes that they secured important rights for women, including education, the right to pursue a career, and the right to vote.

Women Girls Mothers Femininity. According to Kirsten Fermaglich and Lisa Fine, “women of color—African American, Latina, Asian American and Native American women—were completely absent from Friedan’s vision, as were white working-class and poor women. For each conflict, Friedan offers examples of women who have overcome it. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Timeline First-wave Second-wave timeline Third-wave Fourth-wave.

The Feminine Mystique – Wikipedia

An Interview with Stephanie Coontz”. She states, “Anatomy is woman’s destiny, say the theorists of femininity; the identity of woman is determined by her biology.

Also inThe Feminine Mystique was discussed in Makers: She originally intended to publish an article on the topic, not thesie book, but no magazine would publish her article. Many women dropped out of school early to marry, afraid that if they waited too long or became too educated, they would not be able to attract a husband.

In this chapter, called “The Sexual Solipsism of Sigmund Bety, Friedan, who had a degree in psychology, criticizes Sigmund Freud whose ideas were very influential in America at tje time of her book’s publication. As Friedan pointed out, “part of the strange newness of the problem is that it cannot be understood in terms of the age-old material problems of man: They received the award femininw the Illinois State Historical Society. Friedan says that women need meaningful work just as men do to achieve self-actualization, the highest level on the hierarchy of needs.


According to Kirsten Fermaglich and Lisa Fine, “women of color—African American, Latina, Asian American and Native American women—were completely absent from Friedan’s vision, as were white working-class and poor women. Politicians began to recognize the frustrations of women due in part to Betty Friedan.

Why Was The Feminine Mystique Such a Phenomenon?: A Clarification – CaltechTHESIS

The Feminine Mystique drew large numbers of white, middle-class women to the feminist cause. The Feminine Mystique begins with an introduction describing fgiedan Friedan called “the problem that has no name”—the widespread unhappiness of women in the s and early s. She notes that Freud saw women as childlike and as destined to be housewives, once pointing out that Freud wrote, “I believe that all reforming action in law and education would thseis down in front of the fact that, long before the age at which a man can earn a position in society, Nature has determined woman’s destiny through beauty, charm, and sweetness.

betty friedan the feminine mystique thesis

Retrieved 19 February In the mystiqke appointed to review the status of women recommended an end to inequities. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Friedan criticizes functionalismwhich attempted to make the social sciences more credible mystque studying the institutions of society as if they were parts of a social body, as in biology. Also into celebrate its centennial the U. The detrimental effects induced by this image was that it narrowed women into the domestic sphere and led many women to lose their own identities.

betty friedan the feminine mystique thesis

The Fourth Dimensionbut instead only wrote an article by that name, which appeared in the Ladies’ Home Journal in June Btety Who Make America. She discusses the conflicts that some women may face in this journey to self-actualization, including their own fears and resistance from others. Historian Joanne Meyerowitz argues that many of the contemporary magazines and articles of the period did not place women solely in the home, as Friedan stated, but in fact supported the notions of full- or part-time jobs for women seeking to follow a career path rather than being a housewife.


Friedan discusses the fact that many children have lost interest in life or emotional growth, attributing the change to the mother’s own lack of fulfillment, a side effect of the feminine mystique. Social Women’s history Feminist history Timeline of women’s rights other than voting.

Friedan discusses early American feminists and how they fought against the assumption that feminune proper role of a woman was to be solely a wife and mother.

Why Was The Feminine Mystique Such a Phenomenon?: A Clarification

Timeline First-wave Second-wave timeline Third-wave Fourth-wave. Views Read Edit View history. The Making and Meaning of Feminist Knowledge. Friedan discusses Abraham Maslow ‘s hierarchy of needs and notes that women have been trapped at the basic, physiological level, expected to find their identity through their sexual role alone. Mass Media and the Shaping of American Feminism, Or better yet, the future of the world.

Retrieved January 12, InFriedan was asked to conduct a survey of her former Smith College classmates for their 15th anniversary reunion; the results, in which she found that many of them were unhappy with their lives as housewives, prompted her to begin research for The Feminine Mystiqueconducting interviews with other suburban housewives, as well as researching psychology, media, and advertising.

Friedan discusses the change in women’s education from the s to the early s, in which many women’s schools concentrated on non-challenging classes that focused mostly on marriage, family, and other subjects deemed suitable for women, as educators influenced by functionalism felt that too much education would spoil women’s femininity and capacity for sexual fulfillment.

Despite these criticisms, her “language aimed at white American middle-class women won large numbers of supporters to the feminist cause,” implying perhaps that Friedan’s decision to exclude other groups was deliberate in mobilizing a group of women that had in some cases not thought of the improvement of their rights.