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The Feminine Mystique | Chapter Summaries


Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Chapter 1 The first chapter probes a common malaise among American women, including both those who enjoy middle-class comforts and... Read More
Chapter 2 To a large extent, popular culture formulates the accepted sense of femininity. Herself a contributor to women's magazin... Read More
Chapter 3 This chapter begins with a personal anecdote—a life-changing moment in which Betty Friedan acknowledges that at age 21, ... Read More
Chapter 4 Maintaining the continuity of her argument, Betty Friedan returns to the last sentence of the preceding chapter: "I thin... Read More
Chapter 5 Betty Friedan notes the antifeminist position has taken on the authority of Freudian discourse, albeit a popular version... Read More
Chapter 6 Betty Friedan discusses the development of the social sciences in America (particularly psychology, anthropology, and so... Read More
Chapter 7 In the years following World War II, more American women were attending college than ever before, but two out of three d... Read More
Chapter 8 Culture does not cast a magic spell. Historical circumstances help explain the society's general readiness for the femin... Read More
Chapter 9 While by the 1960s most women have access to opportunities for fulfillment outside of the home, the question remains: wh... Read More
Chapter 10 This chapter disputes a fundamental notion of the mystique—the role for women in the home is equal to the role of men in... Read More
Chapter 11 A damaging effect of the mystique, the American woman's sexuality has become, to her, "the only important thing in life,... Read More
Chapter 12 Clinicians, social scientists, and analysts are concerned by the passivity, boredom, and softness in American children. ... Read More
Chapter 13 The goal of the "psychologically healthy man" is normality: happy, self-accepting, without guilt, and most of all, auton... Read More
Chapter 14 In order to break the hold of the mystique, each woman must ask herself, "What do I want to do?" The steps toward a life... Read More
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