By Stephanie Coontz
In 1963, Betty Friedan unleashed a hurricane of controversy together with her bestselling booklet, The female Mystique. thousands of girls wrote to her to assert that the e-book had reworked, even kept, their lives. approximately part a century later, many ladies nonetheless remember the place they have been after they first learn it.
In A unusual Stirring, historian Stephanie Coontz examines the sunrise of the Nineteen Sixties, whilst the sexual revolution had slightly all started, newspapers marketed for "perky, appealing gal typists," yet married girls have been instructed to stick domestic, and husbands managed virtually each point of relatives existence.
Based on exhaustive study and interviews, and difficult either conservative and liberal myths approximately Friedan, A unusual Stirring brilliantly illuminates how a new release of ladies got here to achieve that their dissatisfaction with family lifestyles didn't replicate their own weak spot yet particularly a social and political injustice.
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Extra resources for A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique & American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s
When it came to women, however, the laws, practices, and attitudes of 1963 had more in common with those of the first fifty years of the century than what was to come in the next twenty years. The homemakers in the Saturday Evening Post article may have thought they were choosing to defer to their husbands, but they actually had few alternatives. Many states still had “head and master” laws, affirming that the wife was subject to her husband. And the expectation that husbands had the right to control what their wives did or even read was widespread.
It is not caused by lack of material advantages; it may not even be felt by women preoccupied with desperate problems of hunger, poverty or illness. And women who think it will be solved by more money, a bigger house, a second car . . ” Friedan heaped scorn on the idea that women could solve the problem, as many psychiatrists suggested, by achieving a more satisfying sexual life. One hundred years earlier, when Victorian culture permitted men, but not women, to “gratify their basic sexual needs,” many of women’s 24 9780465002009-text_coontz 10/18/10 9:11 AM Page 25 Naming the Problem: Friedan’s Message to American Housewives problems may have been sexual in nature.
Another woman, married eight years with two children, wrote that she had been “fighting a battle with the ‘feminine mystique’ for four years,” with a husband who “is very good as a husband but who believes women are inferior by the will of God, so it hasn’t been an easy struggle. ” In one letter, a woman described herself as “trapped, with no hope of freedom. . After twenty years of home, husband, and children, I finally got a chance to fulfill a dream. I went to college four evenings a week for two and a half semesters and then had to drop out.
A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique & American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s by Stephanie Coontz