THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE: The Educated American Woman-Her Problems and Prospects by Betty Friedan

THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE: The Educated American Woman-Her Problems and Prospects

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

An impassioned, white-heat indictment of the new slavery which will release many educated American women, dedicated wives and mothers, to understand their discontents and support what they may already suspect. Betty Friedan has spoken to some 200 Smith graduates, to suburbanites and college girls, has studied women's magazines and mass media and come up with the conviction that women are victims of a feminine mystique which claims that ""the highest value and the only commitment for women is the fulfillment of their own femininity"". Gone are the high spirits of the great crusaders for women's rights, their good fight subverted by the ascendency of Freudian sexology in our culture, promulgated by such influential exponents as Margaret Mead, pervading the marketplace (the sexual sell) and the academic world. The result: women are not fulfilling themselves as people but are ""encouraged by the mystique to evade their identity crisis, permitted to escape identity altogether in the name of femininity"" -- and affecting their children adversely along the way. Warning women that if they do not put forth the effort to become all that they have it in them to be, they will forfeit their own humanity in ""the comfortable concentration camp"", the author calls for a new life plan: -- to see housework not as the career the advertising industry would have us believe it to be, but as something to get done, while committing oneself to creative work, contributing to the work of the world at large. This will hit home.

Pub Date: Jan. 14th, 1962
Publisher: Norton