The Feminine Mystique (50th Anniversary Edition)

By Betty Friedan

“If you’ve by no means learn it, learn it now.”―Arianna Huffington, O, The Oprah Magazine

Landmark, groundbreaking, classic―these adjectives slightly do justice to the pioneering imaginative and prescient and lasting influence of The female Mystique. released in 1963, it gave a pitch-perfect description of “the challenge that has no name”: the insidious ideals and associations that undermined women’s self assurance of their highbrow features and saved them in the house. Writing in a time whilst the common lady first married in her young people and 60 percentage of girls scholars dropped out of faculty to marry, Betty Friedan captured the frustrations and thwarted pursuits of a iteration and confirmed ladies how they can reclaim their lives. half social chronicle, half manifesto, The female Mystique is full of interesting anecdotes and interviews in addition to insights that proceed to encourage. This 50th–anniversary variation positive aspects an afterword by means of best-selling writer Anna Quindlen in addition to a brand new creation by way of Gail Collins.

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Did i feel i'd be identifying, irrevocably, the chilly loneliness of that afternoon if I went on? I gave up the fellowship, in aid. yet for years in a while, i couldn't learn a observe of the technological know-how that when I had considered my destiny life’s paintings; the reminder of its loss was once too painful. I by no means may possibly clarify, infrequently knew myself, why I gave up this profession. I lived within the current, engaged on newspapers without specific plan. I married, had kids, lived in accordance with the female mystique as a suburban housewife. yet nonetheless the query haunted me. i may feel no function in my lifestyles, i'll locate no peace, till i ultimately confronted it and labored out my very own solution. i found, speaking to Smith seniors in 1959, that the query is not any much less terrifying to ladies this day. in simple terms they solution it now in a fashion that my iteration came across, after part a life-time, to not be a solution in any respect. those women, in most cases seniors, have been sitting within the front room of the varsity apartment, having espresso. It used to be now not too diversified from such a night whilst i used to be a senior, other than that many extra of the women wore jewelry on their left palms. I requested those round me what they deliberate to be. The engaged ones noted weddings, residences, getting a task as a secretary whereas husband accomplished institution. The others, after a adversarial silence, gave obscure solutions approximately this task or that, graduate research, yet not anyone had any actual plans. A blonde with a ponytail requested me tomorrow if I had believed the issues they'd acknowledged. “None of it used to be true,” she advised me. “We don’t prefer to be requested what we wish to do. None people be aware of. None folks even wish to give it some thought. those who're going to be married without delay are the fortunate ones. They don’t need to give it some thought. ” yet i realized that evening that a few of the engaged women, sitting silently round the hearth whereas I requested the others approximately jobs, had additionally appeared indignant approximately whatever. “They don’t are looking to take into consideration unlikely on,” my ponytailed informant acknowledged. “They comprehend they’re not likely to take advantage of their schooling. They’ll be other halves and moms. you could say you’re going to maintain on interpreting and have an interest locally. yet that’s no longer an analogous. You won’t relatively pass on. It’s a sadness to grasp you’re going to forestall now, and never cross on and use it. ” In counterpoint, I heard the phrases of a lady, fifteen years after she left university, a doctor’s spouse, mom of 3, who stated over espresso in her New England kitchen: The tragedy used to be, no one ever regarded us within the eye and stated you'll want to come to a decision what you need to do along with your existence, in addition to being your husband’s spouse and children’s mom. I by no means suggestion it via till i used to be thirty-six, and my husband used to be so busy together with his perform that he couldn’t entertain me each evening. the 3 boys have been at school all day. I saved on attempting to have infants regardless of an Rh discrepancy. After miscarriages, they stated i have to cease. i assumed that my very own development and evolution have been over. I consistently knew as a toddler that i used to be going to develop up and visit collage, after which get married, and that’s so far as a woman has to imagine.

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