Fifty Years Later – A Different Feminine Mystique

Betty Friedan 2It was 50 years ago that Betty Friedan’s book The Feminine Mystique was published, changing the lives of women in the early 1960s, and – many would agree – forever.

Many feminist scholars date the beginning of second-wave feminism to the publication of her book.

So I was heartened to get an email from my alma mater saying two things that were immediately tied together for me: That the school has renovated its biology labs and has more students studying biology this year than ever, and that all incoming students this year will read The Feminine Mystique.

This points up that quality I really appreciate about single-sex education and being the graduate of a women’s college. I love knowing that an understanding of the vagaries and shifts of feminism won’t just belong to the students who take women’s studies classes, but to the future biologists and mathematicians, too.

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