AbstractsWomens Studies

Domesticity in postwar America : The feminine mystique and Betty Friedan's impact on American women

by Merete Lucie Bredoch

Institution: University of Oslo
Year: 1000
Keywords: VDP::020
Record ID: 1277137
Full text PDF: https://www.duo.uio.no/handle/10852/25450


Betty Friedan has been celebrated as the author of the 1963 bestseller, The Feminine Mystique, a book that changed women s lives and was inspiration for the women s liberation movement. In The Feminine Mystique Betty Friedan gave a name to the frustration white middle-class women living in suburbia with 3.2 children felt. Women suddenly realized that they were not alone with their problems. Betty Friedan named the frustration that many career homemakers felt the problem that has no name, and urged them to break away from their domestic confines, go back to school, pursue careers, and revive the vision of female independence that had been alive before World War II. The Feminine Mystique lit a spark for the women s liberation movement in the late 1960s. The movement included the Old Left women in National Organization of Women (NOW), and the young women who created loosely affiliated small groups collectively known as the women s liberation movement. Women s rights entered the political agenda, with giving women the right to abortion in 1973 among the most important victories.