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American Writers: a journey through history is a permanent archive for educators, researchers and every one interested in the writers featured in the  C‑SPAN series.



Betty Friedan's ground-breaking work The Feminine Mystique was published in 1963 after Friedan sent a questionnaire to other women in her 1942 Smith College graduating class.
Feminine Mystique
Friedan and her classmates all indicated a general dissatisfaction with their lives. This led Friedan to conduct more detailed research into "the problem that has no name"—the Feminine Mystique. She defined this "mystique" as the worthlessness women feel in roles that require them to be financially, intellectually and emotionally dependent upon their husbands. Through her findings, Friedan hypothesized that women are victims of a false belief system that requires them to find identity and meaning in their lives through their husbands and children.


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