As a college student studying women’s literature one book continued to come up over and over in my studies. This book was Betty Friedan’s 1963 classic The Feminine Mystique. Because it appeared the book had been so influential, I decided to check out a copy from my school library and read it for myself.
Even as a young woman in the 21st Century I was influenced by The Feminine Mystique. Although socially the country progressed rapidly after the 1960s, the religious community that controlled every aspect of my life growing up had remained stuck in the Victorian era. As I read the book I was truly exposed to new ideas. In the same way that Friedan influenced a new generation of feminists, my life was forever changed because of the ideas expressed in her book.
If Friedan’s book was an articulation of the frustrations many women were feeling in post-war America, the organization of the National Organization for Women (NOW) was a collective response of those who had simply had enough. [Read more...]