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The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan is a landmark book of its time, and it is still relevant for all women today. This book describes the early 20th century turning of women from vital human beings, who were fulfilled by higher education and work, into a mystique that proved to be a mix of self-suppression and repression, which eventually was supported by society at large and by women themselves.
How did women go from being over 50% of university educated people in the 1900’s through 1930’s to a human being who was supposed to be dedicated to others who gained her sense of self-worth and fulfillment from serving and giving up her own personhood? How did this effect the women themselves, and their family? How did it affect the age at which women married?
In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, how did women, who while society was telling them that they should be happy, start breaking out of the mold of the feminine mystique.
How damaging was the illusion of the feminine mystique to women themselves, husbands, daughters, and sons? How does this affect us today?
How was this related to profit? There was a lot of profit to be made at the expense of the wellbeing of women. This is still true.
I highly recommend that everyone read this book.
23 of 25 people found this review helpful
Betty Friedan's book is a cultural milestone in the same way that other books of its time, like The Lonely Crowd, The Organization Man, and The Hidden Persuaders is. A lot of the information is pretty dated, but the book opens a window up onto American culture and society in the mid-twentieth century. The reading by Parker Posey, however, is godawful. Monotonous and flat with no variation in tone. Probably better to read a hard copy of the book rather than suffer through this rendition.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I often struggle with non fiction. I tend to find it unengaging and difficult to digest. However, Friedan's work is so grounded, so rooted in statistic and real life examples that it makes it perhaps not easily digestable but palatable with very little chewing.
Very small point on the delivery - the reader can slightly over pronounce her 's' and 'sh' sounds. When I was listening on my headphones, it had a tendency to give me a headache, but this may just be me being overly sensitive!
this is a really interesting and important book in feminist thought. something about the narration on this audible product is hard to listen to. she is very monotone which sends you to sleep, but also she has this conflict/retaliatory tone which makes the monologue sound aggressive.
What made the experience of listening to The Feminine Mystique the most enjoyable?
Parker Posey was a fantastic choice, she is amazing.
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Its hard to believe that with all of our advances so many women are still falling for the feminine mystic.
I found it so hard to come to terms that women have fought so hard for rights, rights now it seems women today take for granted with the re immergence of the 50's style house wife. I cringe when I hear someone call themselves a 'wifey'. Or when I watch a friend a change herself into someone else for a man. These women would roll in their graves.
I needed to read this book to be reminded of all that was fought for.
It was actually sickening to me listening to the chapters on advertising fuelling womens need or wants to be fulfilled because its rampant today. That has not changed and until reading this book I had never even thought to think of where it may have stemmed from.
This book has made me want to learn more on the women's movement.
I was completely overwhelmed and awed at times during this book.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
What disappointed you about The Feminine Mystique?
I felt like the author was sobbing whilst she was writing.
What was most disappointing about Betty Friedan’s story?
It's too one sided. In her misery she's over looked the other side of her arguments.
What do you think the narrator could have done better?
I wish she'd cheer up! She should be less sensational. She's like a really depressing tabloid newspaper. She should use less emotional words.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
Any additional comments?
It was an influential book in its time. I don't entirely agree with the political agenda but I like to try to listen every point view. for this reason I've started many books, and returned them. I only got 3 chapters into this one. I wish I could return this book, but I've returned too many books, and I'm stuck with this misery of a book!
1 of 3 people found this review helpful