Reading Response to "The Importance of Work"
"The Importance of Work" is an essay from The Feminine Mystique, by Betty Friedan. It states that women should hold jobs equivalent to men, since "women, like men, can only find their identity in work that uses their full capacities (578)."
Friedan wrote this to help inspire women to go into the work force and seek "self-realization, self-fulfillment, and identity (576)." She warns that if women do not put forth the effort to become all they can be, they will forfeit their own humanity (578)." The audience was all women in the 1960's but it still has significance today.
In "The Importance of Work", Friedan utilizes several arguments that come across as extremely persuasive. She points out that man no longer finds identity in the work defined as a paycheck job, thereby assuming that identity for man comes through creative work of his own that contributes to the human community (576). She extends this further by mentioning that "the core of the self becomes aware, becomes real, and grows through work that carries forward human society (576)." Friedan unleashes another powerful statement where she writes, "a woman today who has no goal, no purpose, no ambition patterning her days into the future, making her stretch and grow beyond that small score of years in which her body can fill its biological function, is committing a kind of suicide (578)." Friedan clearly wanted women to pay attention to what she had to say by using such potent diction throughout her book.
While I appreciated what this essay had to say, especially for its time, I can't help but think it would have meant just a little more if I was a girl. Regardless, I was inspired to go get a job.
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