A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique & American Women by Stephanie Coontz

By Stephanie Coontz

In 1963, Betty Friedan unleashed a typhoon of controversy along with her bestselling e-book, The female Mystique. thousands of girls wrote to her to claim that the booklet had reworked, even stored, their lives. approximately part a century later, many girls nonetheless keep in mind the place they have been once they first learn it.

In A unusual Stirring, historian Stephanie Coontz examines the sunrise of the Nineteen Sixties, while the sexual revolution had slightly began, newspapers marketed for "perky, appealing gal typists," yet married ladies have been advised to stick domestic, and husbands managed nearly each element of kinfolk lifestyles.

Based on exhaustive examine and interviews, and tough either conservative and liberal myths approximately Friedan, A unusual Stirring brilliantly illuminates how a iteration of ladies got here to gain that their dissatisfaction with family lifestyles didn't mirror 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

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Some of them had already realized that they were “unusual” and not “geared” for what society wanted of them. But many would have agreed with the women who told Gallup and his colleagues that their lives were easier than those of their own parents. 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.

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. ” In a January 1964 letter, a woman who had been “uprooted” by her husband to move “to the boondocks of Alaska” wrote: “All I can say Betty is your husband must be a gem.

Nobody ever asked me if I wanted to keep the baby, or explained the options,” said another. “I went to the maternity home, I was going to have the baby, they were going to take it, and I was going to go home. I was not allowed to keep the baby. ” Before World War II, maternity homes had encouraged unwed mothers to breast-feed after birth and did not pressure them to give away the child, but in the postwar era the philosophy had changed. While young black women who had babies were considered immoral, young white ones were considered neurotic or immature, and by the 1960s many homes put tremendous pressure on them to give up their children.

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