Well, tonight I finished reading The Feminine Mystique.
I did not, I must admit, expect for this book to be as engrossing or relevant as it was. It was a text I was reading simply to acquaint myself with basic feminist thought and history. I did not, I don’t think, expect any of its tenets to still apply to twenty first century women, nor did I think it would be particularly fascinating.
I was totally, utterly, and completely wrong. I went through some serious life changes – changes in thought and action – while reading this book. As a woman, even a woman living many decades after this book was written, I could identify so keenly, if I really listened, with many of the problems discussed for women in the 1960’s.
It was also highly readable, making a long and complex point without ever seeming overly scholarly or pretentious. I started out somewhat skeptical of Friedan’s arguments, but give her a chance – by the end of the book, I was totally won over.
If you are a woman, or you know and love one, this is a must-read. Even and especially for the 21st century reader. This one deserves a special place on my favorites shelf. I read the entire several-hundred-page book in the space of about two weeks – during the college school semester.
Next up: The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir.