"The Feminine Mystique" Analysis Paper
By: Tess Taylor
Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique was first published in the United States in 1963 by W. W. Norton & Company. Friedan began writing this piece after she attended her fifteen-year college reunion at Smith, a woman's college. She prepared a questionaire for 200 of her classmates at this reunion. The results were as she expected; many American women were unhappy and did not know why. Many magazines did not want to post Friedan's results because it contradicted the original role of women and conventional assumptions about femininity. After this, Friedan spent five years researching and writing The Feminine Mystique. In this book, Friedan defines women's unhappiness as "The problem that has no name". She goes into detailed exploration of what she believes is the problem for these women. Friedan uses statistics, theories, and first-person accounts to show that the problem is the idealized image of women society has created, which she calls The Feminine Mystique. Women have been confined to the roles of a housewife and a mother, denying them education and career opportunitites. Friedan successfully proves that the feminine mystique denies women the opportunity to develop their own ideas by discussing women's educational process, effective look at media, and first-hand accounts with other women.
Friedan proves that feminine mystique denies women the opportunity to develop their own identity by women's educational process. Most women did not attend college during this time, but those who did would drop out early to get married and fulfill lifetime duty of a housewife.
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