Author(s): Betty Friedan
The problem lay buried, unspoken, for many years in the minds of American women'
The pioneering Betty Friedan here identifies the strange problem plaguing American housewives, and explains the malignant role advertising plays in perpetuating the myth of the 'happy housewife heroine'.
Betty Friedan (1921-2006) is hailed by historians as a seminal figure in the 'Second Wave' of the women's feminist movement. In 1957, Friedan wrote a questionnaire for her former classmates at a reunion at the all-female, Smith College. The results revealed that many women shared the same frustrations as her in their roles as housewives and mothers. Friedan's findings provided a clear-eyed analysis of the issues that affected women's lives in the decades after the Second World War, and became the basis to her book, The Feminine Mystique. A sensation on publication selling over 3 million copies, it established Friedan as one of the chief architects of the women's liberation movement.