The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan

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.


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