In the era of 1960s and before that women in America, especially married women, spent their entire life taking care of their husbands and children. Their whole life was confined to household chores and babysitting. The year of 1960 brought with it a wave of change in society and cultural transformation. …
Feminine Mystique had helped the women to express their irritations and dissatisfactions that have haunted them and with which they have dealt all alone. The spark was ignited by works of Betty Friedan in Feminine Mystique. The publication of such a work became the driving factor of forcing women to think about her own independent lifestyle. They appeared to be content, but a sort of irritation and dissatisfaction was growing within them. They were simply afraid to end up their life totally in this fashion with no recreation. A true feminist at that time was never supposed to demand for a successful working career or financial independence. The deep cultural changes were dragging women to workplaces and there they also ended up with dissatisfaction witnessing huge gender discrimination and more pay for male employees (unequal remuneration). Several protests led to social reforms in America after that. Keeping this at the backdrop, the essay addresses the wave of change that stirred the American society in 1960s with publication of Feminine Mystique, which created a national debate about women’s roles and over time acknowledged as one of the significant works of the modern women’s movement.
Interviews and surveys of contemporaries have been conducted by reputed organizations to find out the life of American women during 1960 i.e. post World War II. The Gallup organization had conducted 18,000 interviews of mainly divorced and aged women all hailing from 1960s.The respondents were mainly in their mid thirties with just basic education. Most of them were having a child or two and were complete homemakers during 1960s. These women were those who had witnessed World War II and got married some years post war. Stephaine Coontz’s opinions about women of 1960 has been captured in her remarks, “To modern generations these women’s lives seem as outmoded as the white gloves and pert hats they wore when they left the shelter of their homes” (Coontz, xii). Such remarks give an idea of women during the mid 20th century. It also emphasizes the value and credibility of their lives when viewed from the perspective of modern society. Women then were seen only as taking care of their husbands and parents. She had to do all the household chores hardly getting any time for herself. In one part of The Help the author Kathryn Stockett describes Leefolt saying “Twenty three years old and she lanky as a fourteen year old boy. Even her hair is thin, brown and see through” (Stockett, 1). The author shows a contrasting feature compared to Feminine Mystique where some women in society had no time for baby care and left them in care of other women. Those other women did the job with utmost devotion irrespective of their physical and mental state. But the approach of both the works has been quite different although they deal with a similar issue. Feminine Mystique talks about the life of women in general during mid 20th century. But in The Help the author has narrated a story where a woman goes on to take care of another’s child after losing her own son. The American society of that time has been depicted therein. Child bearing also came at an early age as women began to get engaged right after high school. The marriage age of 20 had dropped to 17 (Freidan, 58). Such an early marriage affected the ...
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She went to Smith College and graduated in 1942 with a top honours in psychology. She later started her career as a freelance writer before advancement into a full feminist writer. In 1947, she married Carl Friedan with whom she had three children before divorcing him in 1969 after twenty years of marriage.
Characteristics of the 1960’s: Introduction: On recovery of the time capsule, its contents proved an exciting archeological finding that would enlighten the new generation on how to piece together a period some can only reminiscence about. The first item is a news paper cutting dated November 23rd 1963 with the heading “Kennedy Assassinated”.
The period between World War II and 1960 was a historical time for women in America. With men manning the warfronts women were no more domesticated. They took to jobs and helped in the manufacturing process of the supply of goods needed by the army. Thousands of soldiers lost their lives in the warfronts, creating stress and financial burden for the women on an unmitigated scale.
Art, especially literature and movies, always attempt to reflect contemporary social life to send messages to the audience. This definitely impacts the society in a significant manner and reforms become possible because people readily understand and accept the theories when they are presented through dramatization of life
Both works were written by authors who were deeply concerned by the place of women in modern America, in particular, the changes that were brought about by the advent of World War II.Friedan’s book was conceived as a result of a reunion visit to her Alma Mater during which she circulated a questionnaire to some 200 former classmates.
Betty Friedan suggests that since ancient times and in the beginning of the twentieth century, on going middle-class women conducted an exciting feminist fight for women’s rights. From this revolt, they achieved the right to advanced
roduction liberty, which foresaw the approval of oral contraceptives commonly known during then period’ to date as “The Pill” (Golson & Carlisle 161). Hence, availing the long sought confidence to the female gender, which enabled them pursue their intellectual dreams. This
The second item is an audio cassette with a mixed collection of Bob Dylan songs. The third item is a collection photographs of young people (17 – early 30”s) attending what seems to be a concert. The fourth item is a tattered book identified as the
President Johnson sought to build a more educated, tolerant and caring society. Hippies protested the war which, like these other societal shaking events, played out in everyones living room via newly available color television sets. The divisions of opinion were
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