Molly’s Blog on “The Future That Never Happened” (Levy), “The Re-Emergence of the Woman Question” (Echols), “The Feminine Mystique” (Friedan), and “The Second Sex” (de Beauvoir)
I thought that the readings were all very interesting. Each made a different point, but often the authors had similar beliefs. One of the articles that really struck me was the excerpt from “The Feminine Mystique” by Betty Friedan. She talked about how housewives found themselves unhappy because a lot of them did not feel fulfilled with being a housewife. Despite that, “The ‘woman problem’ in America no longer existed” these women were not happy trying to find the ‘true’ feminine fulfillment (273). One of the parts of this article that really struck me was how suburban housewives were taking tranquilizers “like cough drops.” (277). Instead of admitting that there was a real problem with these women, they were given medical drugs. It is ironical that the suburban housewife was considered the envy of the western world, but suburban housewives were so unhappy. Friedan makes a great point that for some of these women being a housewife was exactly what they wanted, but others wanted something different, and this difference does make one more of a woman than the other.
An issue that I knew little to nothing about before reading Echols’s article on “The Re-Emergence of the Woman Question” was of how women (both white and black) dealt with each other in the SNCC. I think it is really sad that these women were divided against each other. If these women worked together than their goals could have been accomplished so much earlier. This issue reminded me of what de Beauvoir bemoans when she writes, “The reason is that women lack concrete means for organizing themselves into a unit which can stand face to face with the correlative unit.” (257). Echols writes about how black and white women were fighting for the same cause to get voting rights, but were divided by their skin color and not united by the fact they were all female.
The issue of women not uniting with each other has already come up a lot in the readings. I think many feminist writers recognize that if women stop fighting with each other and start to unite more than the feminist cause would be served better. I am not saying that if women stopped fighting that sexism would disappear, but I do think that if women were more united about eradicating sexism than more would be done.