By Stephanie Coontz
In 1963, Betty Friedan unleashed a typhoon of controversy together with her bestselling ebook, The female Mystique. hundreds of thousands of ladies wrote to her to claim that the booklet had reworked, even kept, their lives. approximately part a century later, many ladies nonetheless remember the place they have been after they first learn it.
In A unusual Stirring, historian Stephanie Coontz examines the sunrise of the Sixties, while the sexual revolution had slightly started, newspapers marketed for "perky, appealing gal typists," yet married ladies have been instructed to stick domestic, and husbands managed nearly each element of relations lifestyles.
Based on exhaustive study and interviews, and not easy 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 lifestyles didn't replicate their own weak point yet really a social and political injustice.
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Extra resources for A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique & American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s
If a woman did keep a child, she and her child faced legal as well as social discrimination. Many companies refused to hire unwed mothers. Children born out of wedlock had the word “illegitimate” stamped on their birth certificates and school records. They had no right to inherit from their fathers, to collect debts owed to their mother if she died, or even to inherit from the mother’s parents should the mother predecease them. Until 1968, the child of an unwed mother could not sue for wrongful death if the mother was killed by medical malpractice or employer malfeasance.
Until they read Friedan, that had only made it harder for them to understand why they were not as delighted with those lives as Mrs. Charles Johnson appeared to be. 18 9780465002009-text_coontz 10/18/10 9:11 AM Page 19 2 ^^^^^^^^^ Naming the Problem: Friedan’s Message to American Housewives The problem lay buried, unspoken, for many years in the minds of American women. . Each suburban wife struggled with it alone. ” —Page 1, The Feminine Mystique THE OPENING PARAGRAPH OF FRIEDAN’S BOOK IS ONE OF THE TWO OR THREE passages that women who read the book in the first years after its publication still remember most vividly.
I love my husband and so I gave up school. However, I will try to raise my sons to realize that women are people with the same dreams, hopes, and feelings as men. . I will also try to help my daughter realize you can be feminine, a woman, and a full person at the same time. ” 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.
A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique & American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s by Stephanie Coontz