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At 50, Does 'Feminine Mystique' Still Roar?

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At 50, Does 'Feminine Mystique' Still Roar?...

Leading supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment march in Washington on Sunday, July 9, 1978, urging Congress to extend the time for ratification of the ERA. From left: Gloria Steinem, Dick Gregory, Betty Friedan, Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman, D-N.Y., Rep. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., Rep. Margaret Heckler, R-Mass.

Leading supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment march in Washington on Sunday, July 9, 1978, urging Congress to extend the time for ratification of the ERA. From left: Gloria Steinem, Dick Gregory, Betty Friedan, Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman, D-N.Y., Rep. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., Rep. Margaret Heckler, R-Mass.

Dennis Cook/AP

In 1963, Betty Friedan called it "the problem that has no name" and then proceeded to name it — and the name stuck. The problem was "The Feminine Mystique," which was also the title of her groundbreaking book, published 50 years ago.

Since its first publication in 1963, millions of people have read The Feminine Mystique. These days, many people read it in college — often in women's studies classes. Even so, when we talked with some young women in downtown Washington, D.C., many knew little or nothing about it.

But today's young woman can be forgiven for not feeling the urgency to read The Feminine Mystique that their mothers might have felt. It's probably hard for them to understand the way things were when Friedan decided she had enough.

"There's very seldom that you get a book that is so of the moment," says New York Times columnist Gail Collins, who was a teenager when the book first came out.

It was post-World War II America. The suburbs were growing exponentially and the economy was booming. A lot of women had worked outside the home during the war, and a significant number of women had gotten a college education. Now, they were all being told to stay home and find their fulfillment in taking care of their husbands and children.

"The moment was so pregnant and ready for an explosion," Collins says, "that all you needed was somebody just sitting there and saying: Look at that ad. They think you are so stupid. They have contempt for you. They hate you. Take look at that again. That's all you needed."

When Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique she was both a suburban housewife and a freelance writer who worked mostly for women's magazines, which were run by men. The book, says Collins, was neither a sociological tract nor a political manifesto.

Betty Friedan, co-founder of National Organization for Women (NOW), speaks during the Women's Strike for Equality event in New York on Aug. 26, 1970, the 50th anniversary of women's suffrage.

AP

"It's totally personal," Collins says. "You know the great criticisms of the book over the years — all of which are certainly true — that it didn't take into account working women, that it didn't take into account minority women, those people are totally absent. Laws are totally absent, discrimination in the workplace, none of that stuff. It's all a very personal, white middle class, college educated woman's howl of misery and anger at the place where she has found herself."

Hanna Rosin, author of The End of Men, was in her 20s when she first read the book. She was surprised by how personal it was and by Friedan's anger as she systematically laid out the case against a male-dominated society that was determined to keep women in their place.

"We don't write with that kind of anger and rage anymore," Rosin says. "It's not exactly sociological. It takes on every element of society and explains who it colluded to create this set of expectations for woman which were fake. I mean you suddenly feel like ... you have been caught in a conspiracy. ... It came from the magazines, it came from the universities, it came from our fathers, it came from our mothers, it came from grade school. ... It came from every level that there was — this collusion to feed this message."

Neon Washable Paint

by on Feb. 10, 2013 at 8:38 PM
Replies (31-40):
NWP
by Guerilla Girl on Feb. 11, 2013 at 3:50 PM
1 mom liked this

You gave an accurate, although superficial, description of the sexual dysfunction.

And the previous discussion referred to women as subservient "good wives" or amoral promiscuous tramps, yes?

I am simply asking if this is how you define women in general, as a general truth? It is actually a simple question.....

Quoting Billiejeens:


How in the world, am I dodging the question?

I gave my other side of the coin regarding "pressure"  which I think was described as "collusion" in the article, you brought up the Mad/whore deal, not me, and I gave you my explanation of how it works real world, which is different that your presentation of the theory.


 

Quoting NWP:

This is a recognized psychological sexual dysfunction in men that can, and is, internalized by some women as well....

So I am asking, do you believe, as you presented yourself in the comments below, that women fall into these two categories? Whores (women being promiscuous tramps) and Madonnas (women being submissive to their husbands)?

I find it interesting that you seem to be dodging the question...

Quoting Billiejeens:


I like real world stuff - Imagine any couple that you know that can't keep their hands off of each other, I mean ever.

One day she has a  baby, and six months later they are getting a divorce because he longer sees her as the sex object that he saw before, now except for the rare date night he sees her as his childs mother.

Real world- happens all the time.

Quoting NWP:

My question was about your reference to the Madonna/Whore view of women. Do you believe this is a truthful view in general?

Quoting Billiejeens:

The other side of the coin involves the "pressure" brought about.

Roma is militant against any of religion's affect on society, which (currently at least) is oppositethat  of pop culture "pressure".

Clair picked the "submissive" issue - could have been anything, pro-abortion, pro SSM, ..................


Quoting NWP:

So you are saying that your "side of the coin" involves women being one or the other?

Because this ties into the subject of the original article.

Quoting Billiejeens:


I am.

I am also familiar with what started this converstion, as in Roma and Clairwill's hatred for religion's influence on society. Regardless of my personal ideas, the comments show the other side of the coin.

Quoting NWP:

What you describe is the Madonna/Whore view of women. Are you familiar with that?

Quoting Billiejeens:



Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting Billiejeens:
Quoting Clairwil:

There are people out there who think, for religious reasons, that ALL wives ought to be submissive to thier husbands.

And these people vote, report for newspapers, spend money to fund particular organisations, and in many other ways influence society towards their view.

 More, more than offset by the number of people who think that all women ought to be promiscuous tramps.

And these people vote, report for newspapers, spend their money to fund particular organizations, and in many other ways influence society towards their view.

How interesting that you see "women being submissive to their husbands" and "women being promiscuous tramps" as direct opposites.


 Almost as interesting as the fact that you don't.














Neon Washable Paint

Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Feb. 11, 2013 at 3:55 PM

 

No, that's a little too black and white.

Nothing is static either, one could go from one extreme at 16 to the other at 30.

Or remain somewhere in between.

Quoting NWP:

You gave an accurate, although superficial, description of the sexual dysfunction.

And the previous discussion referred to women as subservient "good wives" or amoral promiscuous tramps, yes?

I am simply asking if this is how you define women in general, as a general truth? It is actually a simple question.....

Quoting Billiejeens:

 

How in the world, am I dodging the question?

I gave my other side of the coin regarding "pressure"  which I think was described as "collusion" in the article, you brought up the Mad/whore deal, not me, and I gave you my explanation of how it works real world, which is different that your presentation of the theory.


 

Quoting NWP:

This is a recognized psychological sexual dysfunction in men that can, and is, internalized by some women as well....

So I am asking, do you believe, as you presented yourself in the comments below, that women fall into these two categories? Whores (women being promiscuous tramps) and Madonnas (women being submissive to their husbands)?

I find it interesting that you seem to be dodging the question...

Quoting Billiejeens:

 

I like real world stuff - Imagine any couple that you know that can't keep their hands off of each other, I mean ever.

One day she has a  baby, and six months later they are getting a divorce because he longer sees her as the sex object that he saw before, now except for the rare date night he sees her as his childs mother.

Real world- happens all the time.

Quoting NWP:

My question was about your reference to the Madonna/Whore view of women. Do you believe this is a truthful view in general?

Quoting Billiejeens:

The other side of the coin involves the "pressure" brought about.

Roma is militant against any of religion's affect on society, which (currently at least) is oppositethat  of pop culture "pressure".

Clair picked the "submissive" issue - could have been anything, pro-abortion, pro SSM, ..................

 

Quoting NWP:

So you are saying that your "side of the coin" involves women being one or the other?

Because this ties into the subject of the original article.

Quoting Billiejeens:

 

I am.

I am also familiar with what started this converstion, as in Roma and Clairwill's hatred for religion's influence on society. Regardless of my personal ideas, the comments show the other side of the coin.

Quoting NWP:

What you describe is the Madonna/Whore view of women. Are you familiar with that?

Quoting Billiejeens:

 

 

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting Billiejeens:
Quoting Clairwil:

There are people out there who think, for religious reasons, that ALL wives ought to be submissive to thier husbands.

And these people vote, report for newspapers, spend money to fund particular organisations, and in many other ways influence society towards their view.

 More, more than offset by the number of people who think that all women ought to be promiscuous tramps.

And these people vote, report for newspapers, spend their money to fund particular organizations, and in many other ways influence society towards their view.

How interesting that you see "women being submissive to their husbands" and "women being promiscuous tramps" as direct opposites.

 

 Almost as interesting as the fact that you don't.


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 



 

romalove
by SenseandSensibility on Feb. 11, 2013 at 3:57 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting Billiejeens:



Quoting romalove:


Quoting Billiejeens:

The other side of the coin involves the "pressure" brought about.

Roma is militant against any of religion's affect on society, which (currently at least) is oppositethat  of pop culture "pressure".

Clair picked the "submissive" issue - could have been anything, pro-abortion, pro SSM, ..................


Quoting NWP:

So you are saying that your "side of the coin" involves women being one or the other?

Because this ties into the subject of the original article.

Quoting Billiejeens:


I am.

I am also familiar with what started this converstion, as in Roma and Clairwill's hatred for religion's influence on society. Regardless of my personal ideas, the comments show the other side of the coin.

Quoting NWP:

What you describe is the Madonna/Whore view of women. Are you familiar with that?

Quoting Billiejeens:



Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting Billiejeens:
Quoting Clairwil:

There are people out there who think, for religious reasons, that ALL wives ought to be submissive to thier husbands.

And these people vote, report for newspapers, spend money to fund particular organisations, and in many other ways influence society towards their view.

 More, more than offset by the number of people who think that all women ought to be promiscuous tramps.

And these people vote, report for newspapers, spend their money to fund particular organizations, and in many other ways influence society towards their view.

How interesting that you see "women being submissive to their husbands" and "women being promiscuous tramps" as direct opposites.


 Almost as interesting as the fact that you don't.







You're full of it.  

I'm against NEGATIVE influences in society wherever I see them.

There are both positives and negatives to religion.

In this case, the truth is that religion is an influence.

Whether it is positive or negative depends on who's looking.

I didn't judge it, I just said this is what is so.


 The thread had absolutely nothing to do with relgion - yet in you crashed with your religious bias.

Where is the bias?

The thread is about why and where we are, women, at this point in time and as pertains to the women's movement.

If religion has an impact on that, then it is appropriate to bring it up.

If religion doesn't have an impact, then argue your points.


Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Feb. 11, 2013 at 4:01 PM

 


Quoting romalove:


Quoting Billiejeens:

 

 

Quoting romalove:


Quoting Billiejeens:

The other side of the coin involves the "pressure" brought about.

Roma is militant against any of religion's affect on society, which (currently at least) is oppositethat  of pop culture "pressure".

Clair picked the "submissive" issue - could have been anything, pro-abortion, pro SSM, ..................

 

Quoting NWP:

So you are saying that your "side of the coin" involves women being one or the other?

Because this ties into the subject of the original article.

Quoting Billiejeens:

 

I am.

I am also familiar with what started this converstion, as in Roma and Clairwill's hatred for religion's influence on society. Regardless of my personal ideas, the comments show the other side of the coin.

Quoting NWP:

What you describe is the Madonna/Whore view of women. Are you familiar with that?

Quoting Billiejeens:

 

 

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting Billiejeens:
Quoting Clairwil:

There are people out there who think, for religious reasons, that ALL wives ought to be submissive to thier husbands.

And these people vote, report for newspapers, spend money to fund particular organisations, and in many other ways influence society towards their view.

 More, more than offset by the number of people who think that all women ought to be promiscuous tramps.

And these people vote, report for newspapers, spend their money to fund particular organizations, and in many other ways influence society towards their view.

How interesting that you see "women being submissive to their husbands" and "women being promiscuous tramps" as direct opposites.

 

 Almost as interesting as the fact that you don't.


 

 


 

 

You're full of it.  

I'm against NEGATIVE influences in society wherever I see them.

There are both positives and negatives to religion.

In this case, the truth is that religion is an influence.

Whether it is positive or negative depends on who's looking.

I didn't judge it, I just said this is what is so.

 

 The thread had absolutely nothing to do with relgion - yet in you crashed with your religious bias.

Where is the bias?

The thread is about why and where we are, women, at this point in time and as pertains to the women's movement.

If religion has an impact on that, then it is appropriate to bring it up.

If religion doesn't have an impact, then argue your points.

 


 I believe that the entire movement was fueled by the desire for and acess to comfortable shoes.

Prove me wrong.

romalove
by SenseandSensibility on Feb. 11, 2013 at 4:04 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting Billiejeens:



Quoting romalove:


Quoting Billiejeens:



Quoting romalove:


Quoting Billiejeens:

The other side of the coin involves the "pressure" brought about.

Roma is militant against any of religion's affect on society, which (currently at least) is oppositethat  of pop culture "pressure".

Clair picked the "submissive" issue - could have been anything, pro-abortion, pro SSM, ..................


Quoting NWP:

So you are saying that your "side of the coin" involves women being one or the other?

Because this ties into the subject of the original article.

Quoting Billiejeens:


I am.

I am also familiar with what started this converstion, as in Roma and Clairwill's hatred for religion's influence on society. Regardless of my personal ideas, the comments show the other side of the coin.

Quoting NWP:

What you describe is the Madonna/Whore view of women. Are you familiar with that?

Quoting Billiejeens:



Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting Billiejeens:
Quoting Clairwil:

There are people out there who think, for religious reasons, that ALL wives ought to be submissive to thier husbands.

And these people vote, report for newspapers, spend money to fund particular organisations, and in many other ways influence society towards their view.

 More, more than offset by the number of people who think that all women ought to be promiscuous tramps.

And these people vote, report for newspapers, spend their money to fund particular organizations, and in many other ways influence society towards their view.

How interesting that you see "women being submissive to their husbands" and "women being promiscuous tramps" as direct opposites.


 Almost as interesting as the fact that you don't.







You're full of it.  

I'm against NEGATIVE influences in society wherever I see them.

There are both positives and negatives to religion.

In this case, the truth is that religion is an influence.

Whether it is positive or negative depends on who's looking.

I didn't judge it, I just said this is what is so.


 The thread had absolutely nothing to do with relgion - yet in you crashed with your religious bias.

Where is the bias?

The thread is about why and where we are, women, at this point in time and as pertains to the women's movement.

If religion has an impact on that, then it is appropriate to bring it up.

If religion doesn't have an impact, then argue your points.



 I believe that the entire movement was fueled by the desire for and acess to comfortable shoes.

Prove me wrong.

I won't entertain utter stupidity.

You clearly have an anti-Roma bias.

That's fine, enjoy your day. 

I will continue to post as I see fit and add what I think are meaningful aspects to discussions.

NWP
by Guerilla Girl on Feb. 11, 2013 at 4:22 PM
2 moms liked this

I think it is more than just a little....And it is that black and white concept that the feminist movement fought back when it was a more socially accepted social norm.

Defining women in these narrow categories is something we still continue to fight against...and something that I think many young women have forgotten and take for granted what it was like before we were able to broaden that view.

Quoting Billiejeens:


No, that's a little too black and white.

Nothing is static either, one could go from one extreme at 16 to the other at 30.

Or remain somewhere in between.

Quoting NWP:

You gave an accurate, although superficial, description of the sexual dysfunction.

And the previous discussion referred to women as subservient "good wives" or amoral promiscuous tramps, yes?

I am simply asking if this is how you define women in general, as a general truth? It is actually a simple question.....

Neon Washable Paint

NWP
by Guerilla Girl on Feb. 11, 2013 at 4:39 PM
1 mom liked this

I think she is trying to get your goat.

Quoting romalove:

Neon Washable Paint

romalove
by SenseandSensibility on Feb. 11, 2013 at 5:20 PM
2 moms liked this
Woe is me. I am goat less LOL.

Quoting NWP:

I think she is trying to get your goat.

Quoting romalove:
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
NWP
by Guerilla Girl on Feb. 11, 2013 at 5:31 PM
2 moms liked this

I taught this phrase to my 8yo...Because my 3yo is an expert at pushing her buttons. Now I just tell her not to let her lil sis "get her goat"... It gives her control over her own composure and makes her laugh too.

Recently, I looked up the history of this phrase. Apparently goats are like race horse xanax...and if someone takes their goat, they can get extremely anxious and easily riled. LOL.

Quoting romalove:

Woe is me. I am goat less LOL.

Quoting NWP:

I think she is trying to get your goat.

Quoting romalove:


Neon Washable Paint

bluerooffarm
by Silver Member on Feb. 11, 2013 at 6:29 PM
1 mom liked this

 I think we've gotten even messed up in the past 10-15 years.  Instead of picking one side of this bi-polar mess in the media, we are often expected to be both.  The terms a lady in the street and a freak in the bedroom.  The idea that you (general) should be both the CEO of a company and clean the whole house.  These ideas proliferate in the commercials we see, the magazines that we read, and especially here on CM.  We moms are horrendous to one another, constantly putting down the choices of others instead of realizing that we should make the best decisions for our own family and give each other the benefit of the doubt that they are also making the best decision for their family.  The stupid mommy wars. 

Quoting NWP:

I think it is more than just a little....And it is that black and white concept that the feminist movement fought back when it was a more socially accepted social norm.

Defining women in these narrow categories is something we still continue to fight against...and something that I think many young women have forgotten and take for granted what it was like before we were able to broaden that view.

Quoting Billiejeens:

 

No, that's a little too black and white.

Nothing is static either, one could go from one extreme at 16 to the other at 30.

Or remain somewhere in between.

Quoting NWP:

You gave an accurate, although superficial, description of the sexual dysfunction.

And the previous discussion referred to women as subservient "good wives" or amoral promiscuous tramps, yes?

I am simply asking if this is how you define women in general, as a general truth? It is actually a simple question.....

 

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