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The Feminine Mystique Essay

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In the following essay excerpt, Bowlby explores the link between femininity and consumerism that she finds in Friedan's The Feminine Mystique.

Published in 1963, The Feminine Mystique is commonly regarded both as a feminist classic and as a book which acted as a catalyst to the western feminist movement which began in the mid to late sixties. In the canon of post-war feminist works it sits somewhat isolated, and somewhat incongruously, midway between The Second Sex and the outpouring of texts and tracts later on. But the striking gap between 1948—the date of de Beauvoir's book— and 1963 in fact fits well with one of Friedan's principal contentions. The arguments of almost all feminist social critics, before and after Friedan, involve the presupposition or demonstration that women's freedom either never existed or existed only in the remote past. Friedan, however, argues that women had freedom and lost it...

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This section contains 5,774 words
(approx. 15 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Feminine Mystique Study Guide
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