S3 E9. From 1963 to Today: How “The Feminine Mystique” Lives On
The Story of WomanMarch 04, 202400:57:49

S3 E9. From 1963 to Today: How “The Feminine Mystique” Lives On

Betty Friedan's "The Feminine Mystique," published in 1963, is often recognized as a catalyst for the second wave of feminism. How far have we come since then in terms of women's role in society, and specifically women's maternal and domestic role?

In this episode of The Story of Woman, host Anna Stoecklein dives deep into a conversation with writer and scholar, Monica Cardenas (https://monicacardenas.com/), about the parallels between the issues faced by women in the 1960s and the challenges that persist in the present. Reflecting on the enduring mystique, the conversation explores what the original “feminine mystique” was and how, despite societal evolution, the cultural expectations of women to be mothers persists.

Acknowledging the limited perspective of "The Feminine Mystique," the conversation highlights its concentration on the experiences of mainly white, straight, middle-class women, and emphasizes the need for a more inclusive dialogue on women's diverse experiences. Join Anna and Monica as they explore the enduring impact of domestic and maternal expectations, and the evolving concept of the "motherhood mandate."

Some topics we cover include:
- How "The Feminine Mystique" shed light on societal expectations for women in the 1960s
- Ways in which, despite societal progress, expectations around women and motherhood persist today
- The impact these societal exceptions have on reproductive freedoms
- The book's limitations in addressing the experiences of women from diverse backgrounds
- Literature's role in shaping culture

Transcription is available here: https://www.thestoryofwomanpodcast.com/blog/s3-e9-from-1963-to-today-how-the-feminine-mystique-lives-on

Buy The Feminine Mystique: https://uk.bookshop.org/a/9266/9780141192055

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