Feminine Mystique

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Supplemental Reading for US History 2 "From Rosie to Lucy" Questions students must answer in a 500-word (minimum) essay: 1) Describe the post-WWII frustrations felt by women such as Betty Friedan. 2) During the era of “Rosie the Riveter”, what gains did women make in the workforce? How did these women feel about themselves and their contributions? What did society as a whole think? 3) What role did mass media play during the 1950s and 1960s in regard to supporting or undermining the “feminine mystique”? 4) Which television heroine -- Alice, Lucy, or Miss Brooks -- came the closest to TRULY overcoming the feminine mystique, and elaborate on that heroine’s situation and relationship to the men in her life. It was 1957. Betty …show more content…

Those women needed only to become better adjusted to who and what they were. Friedan, however, was no ordinary housewife. Before starting her family, she had worked as a newspaper reporter; even after her children came, she wrote regularly for the major women 's magazines. By 1957 she was fed up with the endless stories about breast-feeding, the preparation of gourmet chip dips, and similar domestic fare that was the staple of ‘Redbook‘, ‘McCall 's‘, and ‘Ladies ' Home Journal‘. She had noticed many women like herself who worked outside the home and felt guilty because their jobs threatened their husbands ' roles as providers or took time away from their children. Thus Friedan began to wonder not only about herself as a woman, a wife, and a mother, but also about the role society had shaped women to play. The results of the Smith questionnaire engaged Friedan 's reportorial instincts. She sensed she was onto a story bigger than anything she had ever written. But when she circulated an article describing the plight so many women were experiencing, the male editors at the women 's magazines turned it down flat. It couldn 't be true, they insisted; women could not possibly feel as guilty or discontented as Friedan claimed. The problem must be hers. "Betty has gone off her rocker," an editor at ‘Redbook’ told her agent. "She has always done a good job for us, but this time only the most neurotic housewife could

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