Archive for November, 2013

Women’s Rights NOW and Then

by admin - November 5th, 2013

Friedan, pictured here with Barbara Ireton and Marguerite Rawalt in 1968

When we were handed the reading from the National Organization for Women’s, I recognized their signature acronym of NOW. After Googling this organization I was brought to their website; I realized that I have been to this website a few times before. Ever since elementary school I have been studying feminists and their movement, from doing a poster on Susan B. Anthony to writing my final research paper on Virginia Woolf, this has been a subject that has always interested me. In our reading from class, the statement of Purpose from NOW was written in 1966, when the organization was once formed. In their statement they say “NOW is dedicated to the proposition that women, first and foremost, are human beings, who, like all other people in our society, must have the chance to develop their fullest human potential.” (Statement of Purpose) This statement is one that may not have been agreed with by many in 1966, but today it is something that most everybody can agree with. The ideas of this organization were new and innovative at the time, but today seem to be common knowledge. Continue reading →

The 50’s Role of Women

by admin - November 2nd, 2013

After reading The Feminine Mystique we saw how many women struggled with “the problem that has no name.” Many women were getting married and having kids sooner than ever. These women were hoping for a perfect family and to be the perfect housewife. The media told them how to dress and act. They were supposed to love cleaning the house, taking care of their kids, and being with their husband, all with a big smile on their face because they really do love it. Women were realizing that this is not necessarily the case.

Betty Friedan talks about how she (and other women of the decade) was feeling a lack of fulfillment in her life. They were trying to do everything that they were told is the right thing to do. They started to realize that they weren’t feeling happy after doing it, and feeling a lack of fulfillment after doing the chores. They would feel guilty for this because they had everything that the media said they should have, so they should be happy like those women right? Women were blaming themselves for this, thinking other women were happier with their lives wondering “what kind of a woman was she if she did not feel this mysterious fulfillment waxing the kitchen floor?” (Friedan 19) Feeling “ashamed” and “hopelessly neurotic,” women were even going to psychiatrists to get help. (19)

This problem shouldn’t have been as mysterious to the women as it was, they were constantly told how to act and what to do within their own home. Continue reading →

No More Miss America (A Voice from the Sixties)

by admin - November 2nd, 2013

Miss America is one of the country’s oldest beauty contests that originated in Atlantic City as a local pageant. However, it quickly transformed into an event that “oppresses women in every area” (No More Miss America manifesto). The 1968 press release read in class entitled “No More Miss America” had an extremely negative view on beauty pageants and how it affected women. The article itself is outwardly feminist, in which it states “we plan to reject all male authority and demand to be busted by policewomen only.” The article directly criticizes the pageant without presenting any possible counterarguments. Continue reading →