Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Look what I found ~ The Feminine Mystique

In moving something on my bookshelf a few minutes ago, I uncovered this paperback book that's 40-some years old.
The Feminine Mystique ~ by Betty Friedan, 1963
If you look closely, you can see the original price of the book in the top right-hand corner: 75 cents! I don't think I ever read it all the way through, so I plan to substitute this book for one on my list for the Women Unbound reading challenge. (Click on the link to see my list.) Here are the chapter headings:
1 ~ The problem that has no name
2 ~ The happy housewife heroine
3 ~ The crisis in woman's identity
4 ~ The passionate journey
5 ~ The sexual solipsism of Sigmund Freud
6 ~ The functional freeze, the feminine protest, and Margaret Mead
7 ~ The sex-directed educators
8 ~ The mistaken choice
9 ~ The sexual sell
10 ~ Housewifery expands to fill the time available
11 ~ The sex-seekers
12 ~ Progressive dehumanization: The comfortable concentration camp
13 ~ The forfeited self
14 ~ A new life plan for women
I know about "housewifery" that expands to fill the time available. I remember noticing that I could spend all day on a number of chores (doing dishes, laundry, ironing, vacuuming, dusting) -- or, if I had something else I wanted to do that day, I could finish all those chores quickly and STILL manage to do that special thing. I'm glad I found this book so I can read it during this year's reading focus on women because it's one of the seminal works of the women's liberation movement. Funny-ha-ha irony, that word "seminal," which is based on the word "semen":
seminal
1. pertaining to, containing, or consisting of semen.
2. (botany) of or pertaining to seed.
3. having possibilities of future development.
4. highly original and influencing the development of future events: a seminal artist; seminal ideas.
Obviously, I'm using the word in the fourth sense.

3 comments:

Diversions said...

I don't think I've ever read the whole book either, but what a great selection for the Women Unbound challenge!

Madgew said...

This is one of the most influential books of my life. I read it in college and it changed my life forever.

dolcebellezza said...

I remember my mother reading, and talking to my aunt about, this book when I was a child. It was pitvotal in her life, and I thank you for reminding me of it. I should read it for the challenge, too, although I normally don't reach for nonfiction. Fiction lover that I am. ;)