By Stephanie Coontz
In 1963, Betty Friedan unleashed a typhoon of controversy together with her bestselling booklet, The female Mystique. 1000's of girls wrote to her to assert that the ebook had reworked, even stored, their lives. approximately part a century later, many girls nonetheless remember the place they have been once 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 ladies have been informed to stick domestic, and husbands managed nearly each point of kinfolk existence.
Based on exhaustive learn and interviews, and demanding either conservative and liberal myths approximately Friedan, A unusual Stirring brilliantly illuminates how a iteration of ladies got here to achieve that their dissatisfaction with household existence didn't replicate their own weak point yet relatively a social and political injustice.
Read or Download A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique & American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s PDF
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Extra info for A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique & American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s
She told me she had often wondered whether she should see a psychiatrist because of her tendency to cry “for no reason” in the middle of the afternoon. “But I couldn’t afford it, and I was too much the daughter of my working-class folks to imagine doing something as self-indulgent as paying someone good money to talk about myself. ” 19 9780465002009-text_coontz 10/18/10 9:11 AM Page 20 A Strange Stirring Friedan “called it perfectly,” said Lillian Rubin, looking back to her life long before she ever imagined she would become a nationally renowned psychologist and author.
But that was not the issue facing modern women. Indeed, Friedan argued that women had been encouraged to seek too much fulfillment in their sexual lives, leading some women to wrongly conclude that an affair or a new husband would assuage their pain. ” Denied permission to pursue this goal, misled into thinking that service to their family was the highest and only aspiration women should have, many developed “a hunger” that neither food nor sex could fill. The women most likely to feel this hunger, Friedan said, were those who had chosen not to work outside the home.
Some women reported that they were reading the book with their husbands, and a few husbands wrote to say that they now understood their wives’ depression better and would try to help them pursue outside interests. One husband, a father to two girls, thanked Friedan for making him feel a little constructive guilt about women’s lack of options. ” In a January 1964 letter, a woman who had been “uprooted” by her husband to move “to the boondocks of Alaska” wrote: “All I can say Betty is your husband must be a gem.