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":
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.


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. ;)