Summary Of 'The Feminine Mystique'

Decent Essays

In the “The Feminine Mystique,” by Betty Friedan, the author begins to question “the problem that has no name,” which is, “Why are American housewives so unhappy with their supposedly “perfect’ lives”? Friedan concludes that the reason American housewives are so depressed is that of, “the feminine mystique,” society’s idea that women’s sole purpose in life is to bring pleasure to a man, be a housewife and mother, but nothing more. In the 50’s and 60’s, all American women had been told their whole lives is that they shouldn’t get a job or follow their dreams, but find a well-off husband and start a family. Now that they have accomplished this, women want more in life than just waiting on their family, because of the feeling that they are “just going through the motions” of life. However, society does not allow women to grow to their full potential and brainwashes the mystique into women’s heads by painting the housewife image as an ideal in women’s magazines, ads, signs, etc. Furthermore, because the mystique is so influential, women not only damage themselves, but their husbands and children; Women begin to seek their fulfillment through too much sexual intercourse, which drives the husband away, and is so involved in their children’s lives, that they grow up to be whiny, mother-dependent adults. In the end, women finally begin to not only question the feminine mystique but act against it. Moreover, throughout the story, Friedan’s style uses conflict development and

Get Access