Second wave feminism started when women were forced out of the workplace after the end of World War II and focused on expanding women from their traditional roles. After World War II, writers began to question how women in society were perceived and the result of this perception. In her book The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan brings consciousness to women "the problem that has no name", the dissatisfaction and yearning that women are suffering from as a result of society’s encouraged fulfillment of femininity. In her book The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir investigates popular definitions, or rather “myths” of femininity and how these definitions have been used to suppress women. Both writers paved the work of second wave feminism to transform society and women's place in it.
Friedan and de Beauvoir understood that femininity is not inherent, but rather it is a construct that has been learned through socialization. Friedan explains this social construct through the idea of the "feminine mystique", society's perception that all women should have a mysterious and intangible quality of femininity. Once women entered their mystique, they would reach their fulfillment in life (Friedan, 1583). The common belief was that women should want to achieve this femininity through being wives, mothers, and housekeepers, but nothing more. de Beauvoir also explains this social construct through the "myth of the Woman", the societal definitions that classify the woman exclusively as the