By Stephanie Coontz
In 1963, Betty Friedan unleashed a typhoon of controversy together with her bestselling booklet, The female Mystique. 1000's of girls wrote to her to assert that the booklet had remodeled, even stored, their lives. approximately part a century later, many ladies nonetheless remember the place they have been after they first learn it.
In A unusual Stirring, historian Stephanie Coontz examines the sunrise of the Nineteen Sixties, whilst the sexual revolution had slightly started, newspapers marketed for "perky, appealing gal typists," yet married ladies have been informed to stick domestic, and husbands managed virtually each point of kinfolk existence.
Based on exhaustive examine and interviews, and difficult either conservative and liberal myths approximately Friedan, A unusual Stirring brilliantly illuminates how a new release of girls got here to gain that their dissatisfaction with household lifestyles didn't mirror their own weak point yet particularly a social and political injustice.
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Extra info for A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique & American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s
Until 1972, “illegitimate” children who lived with their 12 9780465002009-text_coontz 10/19/10 11:12 AM Page 13 The Unliberated 1960s father could not collect workers’ compensation death benefits if he died on the job. There was seldom justice for women who were raped. Most state penal codes permitted defense lawyers to impeach a woman’s testimony by introducing evidence of previous consensual sex or claiming she had “invited” the rape by wearing “revealing” clothes or “tight” dresses. Many judges required corroboration that was almost impossible to achieve, such as having an eyewitness testify to the rape.
As it turned out, Friedan’s marriage was not as solid as this woman assumed, and it fell apart soon after The Feminine Mystique became a best seller. Some of Friedan’s readers were professionals who already opposed the prevailing cultural prescriptions for women and thanked Friedan for giving them ammunition and validation. Many more had gone to college but dropped out before graduation to marry, or had married immediately after graduation, giving up earlier aspirations of training for a professional career to raise children who had arrived in quick succession.
She was so ashamed to admit her dissatisfaction that she never knew how many other women shared it. If she tried to tell her husband, he didn’t understand what she was talking about. ” When American families settled down to their favorite television shows each evening, contented homemakers such as June Cleaver, Harriet Nelson, and Donna Reed reigned supreme. True, there was the hyperactive title character of I Love Lucy, whose unrealistic fantasies about becoming an entertainer like her husband or developing a moneymaking business of her own provided an endless source of screwball comedy.