The Feminine Mystique 50+ Years Later

Facilitators:  Barbara Fleming, 221-9830,                         & Barbara Sherrod, 266-8488,                               
Dates:           Fridays, January 16 - March 6, 2015                                 (Eight Weeks)                                   Time:            9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Text:            The Feminine Mystique, available in                                 paperback for about $14.50 at Old                                   Firehouse

Fifty plus years after publication of The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan's book remains controversial--praised for inspiring the "second wave" of feminism and slammed for universalizing a complaint confined to rich middle-class white women; hailed for inciting needed changes in the workplace, damned for causing the downfall of the American family. Friedan sought to identify an undercurrent of discontent among housewives that she labeled “the problem with no name.” Has the problem been solved since 1963? How does the book stand up today? What has happened, and not happened, to gender definitions and roles? These are among the questions we will grapple with in this course.

We will look back at the past status of gender equality in this country, marketplace and economic un- derpinnings of women's status, TV and movie influences, resistance to the feminist movement from both within and without, the glass ceiling and much more. We will offer opportunities for class presentations and guide discussions on various aspects of the status of women then and now. We welcome both male and female perspectives for this exploration of the past and present.