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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The most prevalent and popular stereotype of the post World war II era in America is one filled with women abandoning their wartimes jobs and retreating into the home to fulfill their womanly duties. In Joanne Meyerowitz’s Beyond the Feminine Mystique: A reassessment of Postwar Mass Culture, she shows how far women departed from this one dimensional image. While Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique is reflexive and focused on the mainstream, Meyerowitz’s analysis is a broader and more inclusive exploration of media, as she draws upon multiple sources. Although Friedan effectively unveiled the thought process and reasoning behind society's belief that the message of media was to make women think that their place was to be the happy housewife, Meyerowitz expanded her media archives and found a differing message in analyzing both female responses to media and exploring their stories.
In her essay “The Importance of Work,” from The Feminine Mystique published in 1963, Betty Friedan confronts American women’s search for identity. Throughout the novel, Betty Friedan broke new ground by seeking the idea of women discovering personal fulfillment away from their original roles. She ponders on the idea of the Feminine Mystique as the cause for the majority of women during that time period to feel confined by their occupations around the house, restricting them from discovering who they are as women. Friedan’s novel is well known for creating a different kind of feminism and rousing various women across the nation.
In her Feminine Mystique essay, “The Importance of Work”, writer Betty Friedan talks about how the identity crisis of American women beginning about a century ago. More and more of the work that was used by human abilities in which they could find self-realization that was taken from women. The identity crisis for women did not begin in America until the fire, strength, and ability of the pioneer women were no longer needed. Women today whom feel that they have no goal, purpose, or future will commit suicide. Betty Friedan attempts to explain the causes of women’s unhappiness as she tags it, “the problem that has no name”. (Friedan, pg.790, 1963) Friedan’s rhetoric in the essay is constructed and based upon three persuasive techniques, which are known as ethos, pathos, and logos. In her essay, her main goal was to bring about how successful her approach in determining the role of women in society. She did an excellent job at defending her argument with facts from history to back it up.
The old feminine mystique, before the wars end was a woman would have “strength in her hands, pride in her carriage and nobility in the lift of her chin.” This change was caused because the old Rosie figure changed. Her attitude and fashion sense changed to accommodate the more ideal woman for a man of the time period. Not only did this figure change, but the figures of TV shows changed as well. In the shows like ‘Father Knows Best’ and ‘The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet’, ‘Our Miss Brooks‘, ‘I Love Lucy‘, and ‘The Honeymooners’ the women being portrayed are stay at home moms that support the family or women that are independent but need and want a man in their lives. All these women at first reflected the ideal woman, but after a while it became the majority because when people saw it influenced their decisions greatly. In the end of the time period however, and in the later shows like ‘I Love Lucy‘, and ‘The Honeymooners’, the women roles started to show more dominant traits. This idea helped to change the feminine mystique again, changing for the good.
In this satirical article, Brady expresses the difference between the roles of women and men in the 1970’s by stating men’s point of view on women and women’s roles in society. Throughout her article, Brady emphasizes the roles of women. For example, women could now “work and...takes care of the children when they are sick”. Comparing the 1880’s to the 1970’s, there has been a big improvement. Many women had jobs outside their home, but still were responsible for most housework and childcare while their husband’s only responsibility in a marriage was to go to work and earn money to support the family. Society’s expectations allowed women to work outside the home to support college education for husbands; however,women had to know how to balance their time between their children and their jobs, making sure that their husbands “cannot miss classes at school.” During the 1970’s, women were still oppressed in many ways and had to follow society's expectations in order to live up to the men’s view of women’s roles in society. Even though society’s expectations of women had improved since The Awakening, most of women’s roles had stayed the same. In the article, Brady specifies how once a husband is “through with school and has a job, [he expects the] wife to quit working and remain at home so that [she] can more fully and completely take
First, during this time frame, the normal 50s family would be a hard-working father who supported the household while the mother took care of home economics, such as cleaning, cooking, and taking care of the family. Friedan personally felt women were being cheated from their true potential and purpose. Although her statement was a bit exaggerated, it was for that reason the book was a success or failure to some. Either way, more than 2 million copies were sold and she was able to pass the concept of new feminism.
The book describes how complex societal dictation dominated the lives of women and left no room for growth as a unique individual with a passion other than homemaking. It called upon women to take a stand against these so called norms and “seek new opportunities for themselves” (“Betty Friedan”). It instantly became sensation and “continues to be regarded as one of the most influential nonfiction books of the 20th century” (Michals). It struck a nerve with all women alike, leading to a “feminist explosion” (Kaplan) because of the recognition of themselves in Friedan’s work (Parry) and the familiarity shared between the women created a sense of community. It also brought public awareness to the glamorized domestication of
Friedan portrays the idea of helping women with the feminine mystique that has gone on for more than twenty years. This is not a small problem, but a national one that has effected the majority of the women in the United States. Friedan’s ideas range from helping women get back into college and re-educate themselves, getting out into the workforce. Therefore freeing themselves from the
The Feminine Mystique is a first person narrative about the struggles of feminism. It highlights the problems of women in the 1950s to the 1960s and challenges gender roles. The book includes several first person interviews and discusses the Second Wave of feminism. It introduces the idea of the sexulization of women being used in consumerism and the lack of sexual education in school during the time. The Feminine Mystique is a useful resource because it is considered the groundbreaking book about feminism and lists issues that women have had to deal with from the 1960s until now. The book could be used to argue the struggles that women have faced and continue to face.
In the book The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan brings attention to what she calls the feminine mystique, or “the problem that has no name”. Through the use of anecdotal narratives, her own personal experiences as a journalist, editor, mother, and the interviews of many women from different backgrounds in order to unveil the truth about the women of the 1950’s. The problem which sparked the second wave of feminism in the United States is one that focuses on the inequality between men and women and the undervaluing of women in both the social and private spheres. The women of the time gave up pursuing their passions, such as getting an education or careers in science or business in order to fit the image of the stereotypical stay-at-home mom whose main goal in life is to raise her children while providing a safe and comforting home for her husband. The Feminine Mystique, as she called it, was the idea of widespread unhappiness of women, despite the preconceived notion that women were happiest when they have a family. Throughout her work, she dives into many of the problems associated with the feminine mystique and builds a powerful concept of what would eventually be labeled feminism.
Betty Friedan believes that self-fulfillment and self-realization only occurs when a person is doing “a human purpose larger than themselves.” (3, 4) In the case of women, this purpose is not the role
During the war in the 1940s, an aggressive media campaign urged more than six million women into the workforce. It is astonishing seeing each year; there were better accomplishments that women were making. Many learned new techniques such as working in steel plants, shipyards, and lumber mills. Sports also became a new and admired era in this time. The famous “Rosie the Riveter”, “We Can Do It!” was a part of the governor campaign that brought women into the workplace during the war. Following the end of WWII, most of these jobs went back to the men, and women were encouraged to either return back home or find a “female” job. This reveals that women were used. They were only needed when most of the men were in the war. In
The society in which Friedan describes and the thoughts of Allen parallel each other: to be feminine is to mother children and to marry a man. Deviating from this neatly structured plan for a woman’s obligation is to become unfeminine.
Betty Friedan wrote that "the only way for a woman, as for a man, to find herself, to know herself as a person, is by creative work of her own." The message here is that women need more than just a husband, children, and a home to feel fulfilled; women need independence and creative outlets, unrestrained by the pressures of society. Throughout much of history, women have struggled with the limited roles society imposed on them. The belief that women were intellectually inferior, physically weaker, and overemotional has reinforced stereotypes throughout history. In the 1960s, however, women challenged their roles as "the happy little homemakers." Their story is the story of the Women's Liberation