The Feminine Mystique

Literary Critique of The Feminine Mystique 10th Grade

Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique ignited the onset of the second wave of feminism in the United States. This book is a sociological study about the roots of the feminine mystique and how it turned “into a religion, a pattern by which all women must now live or deny their femininity.” Although Friedan does raise good points that sparked an awakening for some women, she also had a very single-sided and close-minded perspective of a woman’s role as a housewife, which ended up hurting the validity of her thesis, for there are two sides to every story, and both sides must be kept in mind.

One very interesting point that Friedan brought up as part of an explanation as to why the feminine mystique is in place is that the economy needs housewives in order to keep it booming. Friedan states that "the really important role that women serve as housewives is to buy more things for the house. In all the talk of femininity and woman's role, one forgets that the real business of America is business" (299). Friedan proposes the idea that manufacturers and businessmen are among the true beneficiaries of keeping American women as housewives, but more importantly, keeping American women yearning for more, so that their empty...

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