The Feminine Mystique Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What was considered "true feminine fulfillment"?

The media, government and advertising all explained that women should find fulfillment in being a good mother, wife and housekeeper. According to the media, women were "freed by science and appliances from the drudgery, illnesses of their grandmothers, and the dangers of childbirth". They explained that American women were healthy, more beautiful, and even educated, so should be only concerned with their husbands, children and upkeep of their home.

2. Why did most women think there was something wrong with them?

Due to the media and government messages of women being fulfilled by their duties as a housewife, many women thought there was something wrong with them when this didn't fulfill them. Women had lost their identity and had no challenge in their day-to-day lives.

3. Why was there such difficulty with the problem without a name and why was it so hard to solve?

There was such difficulty with the problem that lacked a name because it couldn't be defined by a lack of money, or an illness, or being hungry or cold. Typical problems fell into these categories, and were understood by both doctors and their husbands. This problem, many women thought could be solved by a bigger house in a better suburb and having more money, however many women found that this even made the problem worse.

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