Feminist Analysis : Betty Friedan

Decent Essays

Betty Friedan explores the troubles that women have faced and the reason behind these troubles in The Feminine Mystique. She defines the “feminine mystique” as a limitation set on women’s femininity across America in the 1950s and early 1960s. She explains how she believes it came to be so widely upheld due to magazines written by men and how it has had an effect on women in a negative way. According to Friedan, due to the feminine mystique developed from magazine stories, society forces women to abandon any career aspirations in order to devote their lives to being housewives and mothers, as well as be completely fulfilled with this life path. Friedan describes the feminine mystique as the pressures and limitations set on women’s femininity. She states, “ the feminine mystique says that the highest value and the only commitment for women is the fulfillment of their own femininity” (Friedan 35). Society has reverted back to the the image that women were thought to be before they had equal rights. The women before this time had fought so hard to be equals in society as men, yet the ideals a woman must uphold were the same. It was not acceptable for a woman to do anything of a male 's role or she would be undermining her femininity. Feminity at this time was only seen as cooking, cleaning, washing, and providing babies. To be any different than this was seen as masculine. Making money was manly. Being independent was manly. Leaving the house was manly. Friedan claims that

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