By Stephanie Coontz

In 1963, Betty Friedan unleashed a hurricane of controversy along with her bestselling e-book, The female Mystique. hundreds of thousands of ladies wrote to her to assert that the booklet had remodeled, even kept, their lives. approximately part a century later, many ladies nonetheless bear in mind the place they have been after they first learn it.

In A unusual Stirring, historian Stephanie Coontz examines the sunrise of the Sixties, whilst the sexual revolution had slightly all started, newspapers marketed for "perky, beautiful gal typists," yet married ladies have been advised to stick domestic, and husbands managed nearly each point of relations lifestyles.

Based on exhaustive learn and interviews, and difficult either conservative and liberal myths approximately Friedan, A unusual Stirring brilliantly illuminates how a iteration of ladies got here to gain that their dissatisfaction with family lifestyles didn't replicate their own weak spot yet fairly a social and political injustice.

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Extra resources for A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique & American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s

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Part i The Sexual Woman This page intentionally left blank c h a p t e r t wo The New Taboo Katie An increasing number of twenty-something women face a new taboo, and it’s not about sex or money or power. 1 No longer is a romantic relationship the holy grail for college-educated women. Their mothers may have concerned themselves with such old-fashioned matters, but times have changed. Instead, relationships are often perceived as threatening educational attainment, career development, and personal growth.

I heard women ask over and over again whether their experiences and feelings were normal, whether the contradictory feelings they had about sex and love were true for other women, whether their ambivalence about sexual and 24 / The Paradox of Sexual Freedom relational desire and pleasure was shared by other women, and whether there was hope for them to feel more comfortable with their desires for sex and relationships. In my interviews and in my experiences with patients, I heard a lot of questioning, a lot of discontent, and a lot of angst.

Make [an] extra effort to keep my own personal life going on as well, with hobbies or career or whatever. Which my mom didn’t do at all, and now she’s kind of, her career was us. ” And she can’t think of anything. Katie’s mother had not maintained a career or even independent interests while raising her children, and for Katie this served as an object lesson about how to live, or not to live, her own life. Katie’s fierce attachment to her independence gave me some important insight into her struggles.

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