April 23, 2010

The Feminist Mystique

Short introduction: The book that started the 1960s feminist movement.


It seems as if the 1950s were deliberately conspiring against the woman.

Some disturbing facts:

  1. Housewives in the 1950s displayed the same sort of passivity as those who died in Nazi concentration camps or were Veitnam prisoners of war.

  2. There were compulsory "Married Life" courses in some colleges for women.

  3. Corporate America specifically tried to convince women that they belonged in the home because housewives bought oh-so-many projects.

  4. "Feminity" was really a lack of emotional and mental development; women were literally not encouraged to discover themselves and stay at a perpetual state of childhood.

  5. Psychological papers that refuted the commonly held "feminine" ideal was relegated to the fringe of science and never really reported.

  6. Many college women were at school expressly to "catch a man".

  7. Women who showed any sort of individuality or ambition were conditioned into thinking something was wrong with them and classified as having a "neurosis".

  8. It was apparently impossible to have a satisfying marriage life and be employed.

  9. Sex was the only way for most women to really establish an identity, i.e. "X's wife/girlfriend/lover".

  10. "I wanna be a doctor when I grow up!" "No, honey, you're a girl. You're going to be a wife and have kids, just like mummy." (paraphrased)

  11. So much more...

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