What Is The Thesis Of The Feminine Mystique

What Is The Thesis Of The Feminine Mystique-20
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Friedan continued to hope for a labor movement that would unite individuals beyond politics and feminism to fight for democracy and social humanity, continuing to believe as she did during her years in Popular Front activism that “a coalition inspired by the labor movement held out promise for a better America” (255).

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Friedan continued to hope for a labor movement that would unite individuals beyond politics and feminism to fight for democracy and social humanity, continuing to believe as she did during her years in Popular Front activism that “a coalition inspired by the labor movement held out promise for a better America” (255).

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Another result was that like Betty Friedan, “many left-wing feminists had to go underground…[and] later emerged as second-wave feminists, some of them, like Friedan, minimizing any connection to 1940s radicalism (11).

Horowitz’s argument here is really reaching the heart of the issue of Friedan’s life.

As Horowitz concludes, these many influences and impulses came to a head in The Feminist Mystique published in 1963 after a number of years and countless strenuously researched drafts.

Recalling her Smith education and building on further reading of philosophy and psychology, Friedan argued as the central thesis of her book “that women would achieve emancipation only when they entered the paid work force” (210), thereby taking themselves seriously, building on their education and experience to realize self-fulfillment without the strictures of housewifery.

To do so in many ways minimizes her own powers of logic and creative thinking.

Although Horowitz's work is primarily a biography, and a particularly well-written and researched one at that, it also has interesting historical analysis of feminism and social movements in the 1940s into the 1960s.

Concurrently, Friedan was industriously building a career as a freelance writer for major national publications.

Through her examination of the Cold War, atomic America, and suburbia, Horowitz argues that Friedan combined her experiences and “articulated middle-class women’s discontents as profoundly sociological, something that sprang from the specifics of their situation in America and that could be remedied by changes in family and work” (196).

Betty Friedan and the Making of the Feminist Mystique: The American Left, the Cold War, and Modern Feminism. Instead of suddenly becoming aware of and being able to articulate the gender limitations of suburban post-war America, Friedan brought the benefit of a lifetime of involvement with Popular Front feminism and labor activism to her critique.

Instead, born of an awareness of anti-Semitism and class differences in her hometown of Peoria, IL fostered during her years as a young scholar and journalist at Smith College and through a number of years as a labor journalist, Friedan was involved in political radicalism.

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