An analysis of the feminine mystique on american culture

Friedan points out that this is unproven and that Margaret Meada prominent functionalist, had a flourishing career as an anthropologist. These masters of America shape the lives and livelihoods of womanhood and the whole family according to their own corrupt and corrupting aims. His own mother had exhibited dependency and sought a feeling of accomplishment through the successes of her son.

Paramount among these, of course, is the need for expanding sales and greater profits. In both instances, what is decisive is not the needs of women as human beings but the interests of the monopolists.

The manufacturer wants her back into the kitchen—and we show him how to do it the right way. Friedan says that this change in education arrested girls in their emotional development at a young age, because they never had to face the painful identity crisis and subsequent maturation that comes from dealing with many adult challenges.

Being in department stores relieved their isolation. Twelve were engaged in extramarital affairs in fact or in fantasy. Men, feeling more pressure to perform, resented this. Friedan interviews several full-time housewives, finding that although they are not fulfilled by their housework, they are all extremely busy with it.

Friedan discusses Abraham Maslow 's hierarchy of needs and notes that women have been trapped at the basic, physiological level, expected to find their identity through their sexual role alone.

Product designers created new gadgets that contributed to giving them a sense of achievement and yet, maintained housework as their main purpose. She postulates that these women unconsciously stretch their home duties to fill the time available, because the feminine mystique has taught women that this is their role, and if they ever complete their tasks they will become unneeded.

But the real menace, which lies below the level of general consciousness, is the dehumanization of the American people — a process that affects not only the housewife but sucks the whole family into its vortex.

How did The Feminine Mystique affect the American culture?

Active Themes Any creative urges a housewife had were to be channeled into her home and family. Friedan notes that the uncertainties and fears during World War II and the Cold War made Americans long for the comfort of home, so they tried to create an idealized home life with the father as breadwinner and the mother as housewife.

Active Themes Advertisers and manufacturers tried to convince housewives that housework was fun.

The feminine mystique essays

We liberate her need to be creative in the kitchen. The feminine mystique had convinced women that they could feel most fulfilled through the expression of their sex function, which either meant that they should have sex or have children, or both.

After all, they were still using a prepared mix.

An analysis of the feminine mystique on american culture

In stores, they saw other women like themselves, which reinforced their sense of playing the right social role. Danger also stimulated them. If, after all their frenzied purchasing, the results do not stack up with the promises, the housewives are invited to slake their thirst with salt water.

Sexual gratification is likewise promised in glamor ads featuring lipsticks and hair dyes, hi-fashion clothes, perfumes, chrome-plated cars and the like. She states, "Anatomy is woman's destiny, say the theorists of femininity; the identity of woman is determined by her biology.

Paramount among these, of course, is the need for expanding sales and greater profits. Working women can usually polish off in an hour the chores on which fulltime housewives spend six hours and still leave unfinished at dinnertime. The Feminine Mystique supports a thesis that women need meaningful work in order to be healthy adults.

Friedan says that women need meaningful work just as men do to achieve self-actualization, the highest level on the hierarchy of needs. They distracted her from her boredom by giving her more items with which she could perform household tasks.

Friedan points out that the average age of marriage was dropping, the portion of women attending college was decreasing and the birthrate was increasing for women throughout the s, yet the widespread trend of unhappy women persisted, although American culture insisted that fulfillment for women could be found in marriage and housewifery.

Therefore, the creativity was still directed outward, for the family more than her own satisfaction. Many women dropped out of school early to marry, afraid that if they waited too long or became too educated, they would not be able to attract a husband.

He did not expect her to have any opinions or ideas of her own. Friedan discusses early American feminists and how they fought against the assumption that the proper role of a woman was to be solely a wife and mother.

Eighteen were taking tranquilizers; several had tried suicide; and some had been hospitalized for varying periods, for depression or vaguely diagnosed psychotic states.

Ideas, the conceptual thought which is uniquely human, were completely absent from their minds or lives.

The Feminine Mystique Analysis

The reliance on sex to relieve boredom, as well as the excessive attention given to sex in the culture, had desensitized women. As Friedan pointed out, "part of the strange newness of the problem is that it cannot be understood in terms of the age-old material problems of man: This was unusual in Victorian society, so Freud assumed that women who behaved in this way must have secretly wanted to be men.The Feminine Mystique, is considered partially responsible for ushering in second wave feminism, or a feminist movement(s) which began mid-century and included a broad range of issues such as.

As is clear from the title, the conference took as its launching point Betty Friedan’s argument that a “feminine mystique” pervaded American culture in the years after World War II, limiting women’s horizons to the domestic sphere of home and children.

The Feminine Mystique is an outstanding sociological study — an overdue challenge to the mercenary mythmakers who have invented the glorified image of the Happy Housewife Heroine and imposed it upon American women.

The Feminine Mystique is a book written by Betty Friedan which is widely credited with sparking the beginning of second-wave feminism in the United States. It was published on February 19, by W. W. Norton. InFriedan was asked to conduct a survey of her former Smith College classmates for their 15th anniversary reunion; the results, in.

If ideal femininity is a woman who accepts and encourages femininity in all its forms, the opposite of the ideal feminine would be a lesbian.

They may shed the feminine identity in order to build their own identity and fight the "feminine mystique".

The Feminine Mystique Analysis

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An analysis of the feminine mystique on american culture
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