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The Feminine Mystique (Anglais) Broché – 4 mars 2010

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

Feminism ... began with the work of a single person: Friedan (Nicholas Lemann)

Présentation de l'éditeur

When Betty Friedan produced The Feminine Mystique in 1963, she could not have realized how the discovery and debate of her contemporaries' general malaise would shake up society. Victims of a false belief system, these women were following strict social convention by loyally conforming to the pretty image of the magazines, and found themselves forced to seek meaning in their lives only through a family and a home. Friedan's controversial book about these women - and every woman - would ultimately set Second Wave feminism in motion and begin the battle for equality. This groundbreaking and life-changing work remains just as powerful, important and true as it was forty-five years ago, and is essential reading both as a historical document and as a study of women living in a man's world.

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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
In the fifties, after the first feminist wave of the beginning of the twentieth century, and after the great women’s move toward the factories of the Second World War, suddenly, women were expected to go back to the kitchen.
Context: the economy was booming, there were enough jobs for everyone, even women, and home appliances could replace 90% of the housework women used to have to put in. So basically, just at the time in history when the concept of housewife was being rendered obsolete, and should therefore have disappeared - and women had already fought to be considered man's equal - there was a massive counter-revolution in the western world, led by the experts and the industries, telling women that, yes, they were equal, but different from men, complementary to men. And had to stay at home.
The feminine mystique is the term used by the author to describe the way the media and the experts were sublimating the role of women as housewives and mothers in order to force women back inside the homes, just when they were increasingly becoming more educated, and therefore could not be told they were inferior to men and couldn't work. At a time when you really didn't need someone doing housework full time (thanks to the new technology of dish-washer for instance) an new ideology (but really just a variation of a sexist principle) was created to convince women that they would somehow harm their children and their husband’s career if they didn't stay at home and take care of this huge suburban house.
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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
A la lecture de cet essai, on comprend pourquoi il a interpellé des milliers de femmes américaines lorsqu'il est paru. Lors de sa publication, les Etats-Unis connaissaient une sorte de mouvement réactionnaire, un retour en arrière de la part des américaines, qui, alors que les générations précédentes avaient obtenu de haute lutte des droits fondamentaux pour les femmes, revenaient à des valeurs "domestiques" et n'arrivaient plus à exister que par et au travers de leurs enfants et de leur mari, incapables de se définir par elles-mêmes en tant qu'individus.
Friedan nous livre une analyse extrêmement poussée et pertinente du phénomène, bousculant au passage un certain nombre de tabous, dont les conceptions freudiennes du développement féminin, ce qui, à l'époque, nécessitait un certain courage.
Assez long, l'ouvrage reste néanmoins abordable, car le style est vif et les citations, très nombreuses, donnent vie à l'ensemble. Il n'est pas nécessaire d'être sociologue ou psychanalyste pour apprécier ce livre, accessible à tous ceux qui s'intéressent à la condition féminine.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8f5ab63c) étoiles sur 5 191 commentaires
258 internautes sur 276 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8ebfcbac) étoiles sur 5 profound, penetrating, rational and humane 6 août 2000
Par Mayer Goldberg - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
It's common wisdom to think of the Feminine Mystique as a classical feminist text. This is perhaps the case, but I would like to argue that it is so much more than that. The book examines what society tells women about their lives -- education, career, family, sexuality, goals, values, and anything else. The book discusses what society tells women, who exactly promotes these views about femininity, out of what possible motives, and what toll do these views have on women, their family and their children. The basic thesis of the book is that femininity has been mystified, manipulated, and taught back to women, in their homes and schools and churches, in the novels and magazines they read, etc -- that this mystification of femininity is a monsterous distortion of a person's life, resulting in emotional problems, marital and family tension, stifled careers, and general unhappiness... That we -- society -- have been living in denial of the condition women have been manipulated into, and therefore have been ineffectual in our help. That there are good reasons why things are the way they are -- it's embarassing to discover just how economically profitable this distortion is.
The Feminine Mystique is profound and penetrating in that it questions a state of affairs so many of us take (or have taken) for granted. The book appeals to reason. You won't find any "masculine logic" vs. "feminine logic" stuff here; Just logic: The book is a systematic expose of the problem, its toll on women, and its toll on the rest of the family -- men and children. The book is humane and compassionate in dealing with human suffering: It doesn't place men and women on opposite sides of some battle of the sexes, but rather places all of us on the same side -- the side of the victims -- of some really bad ideas that have been dominant in society for a long time.
The book is frightening, because having read it, the magnitude and scope of women's suffering takes on a new meaning. The book is liberating, because having read it, you realise the mistakes you've made in your own life -- how you may have contributed to the problem, and you have a pretty good idea as to how to go about changing things -- your own life, and the way you deal with others. This is a great book.
206 internautes sur 224 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8e7a2a20) étoiles sur 5 The Feminine Mystique 19 avril 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
I find the review below about the women who were "bored because their men looked after them too well" to be very amusing. Coming from a poor area like Appalachia when I was young in the 50s I don't remember being too well looked after by my men. My mother was beat every night by my father and then he left her when I was 14 and we both had to go out and get jobs. Of course one of the problems back then was that it was so hard for women to find good jobs and we just weren't educated for it. We had to work as waitresses and that was about all we could do until we got married and then when our husbands got layed off we had to find work again and I had to work in a pencil factory while I was married anyway even when my husband wasnt layed off, my husband wasn't making enough money for the both of us and all our kids. So see, we weren't all rich little house wives back then and the author herself doesn't say much about the poor. I will tell you this though, if there weren't books like this around my daughter wouldn't be a doctor today and having a secure future. Shed be working at some dead end job like I was waiting for a guy to marry her and then probably still having to keep a job to keep the kids clothed. I'm tired of anti feminist rich republican wives putting down the feminist movement. It helped my life and that is all I can say about it.
171 internautes sur 199 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8f50ee1c) étoiles sur 5 A classic book and a triumph for Feminism - a must-read! 5 octobre 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
This is a well-documented and well-reseached book that discusses the problems faced by many American housewives. It was written in the sixties, when women were returning to their homes after the sexual revolution and the woman's right movement, when they were proudly filling in forms with "Occupation: Housewife" once again. These women were told by psychoanalysists, who mostly based their findings on Frued's theories, that a woman's sex life and happiness was ultimately found through living her life soley for her husband and children. The women Freidan studied and interviewed for this book were usually surburban wives, living in nice houses with their executive husbands who made a lot of money. These women had done everything right. They had married young: some barely finished or didn't finish high school, others dropped out of college, all for the goal of marrying their sweetheart and fulfilling the perfect image of the feminime mystique. These women had had many babies by natural childbirth, they sewed all their clothes and washed all their dished by hand, they had breastfed them all, they had doted on their childrens' and husband's interests and goals so much that they lost sight of their own. And even though these women were living by the perfect standards set by the "feminine mystique", they were dreadfully unhappy. So many were seeing pscyhoanalysts without positive results, so many were harboring resentful, depressing thoughts, and contemplating everything from an extramarital affair to suicide. And the most common problem of all came to be known as "chronic fatique syndrome". The women with this problem experienced listlessness and wrestlessness. They were always tired no matter how much they slept. Their joints and bones ached. They could not stayed interested in or concentrated on one subject for a long period of time. They were physically with their children all the time, but never really there in spirit.
And so, based on these findings, Freidan studied these women more, interviewed them more, and wrote The Feminine Mystique, in which she published her theories. I found most of her ideas to be extremely well thought out, and I can imagine how much the american housewife of the sixties, and later, really needed these ideas. For instance, Friedan comments on how "housework expands to fit the time available", noting that the house of the working women was always clean, even though she had a limited amount of time to clean it in, while the housewife who was perpetually cleaning and recleaning everything could never seem to "get anything done". Friedan also studied the ways in which these mothers affected their children, and most grew up to be dependant and irresponsible. The men looked for girls to marry who would take the place of their mother, who did everything for them, and the girls grew up to be stuck in the same trap as their mother, being a mother not only to their children but to their husbands as well, since their husbands had grown up under the feminine mystique and expected his wife to act as his mother had. Many times, the mothers try to live the dreams they never got fulfilled because of early marriage and motherhood through their children, and this is never good.
The most important thesis in this book, in my opinion, is the way in which Friedan pleads for women to become their own individuals. When a girl marries at seventeen, before she has even grown up herself, and has children of her own, her growing and learning process is stunted and she never finds out who she really is or what she really wants. When a woman waits on her family night and day, she loses such a big part of herself that she begins to feel like all she does for everyone else is useless and taken for granted. Freidan implores women to follow their own interests and not let the feminine mystique stunt their growth. She gives findings of women who finally went back to the desires and goals they had in their youth, as well as women who never left them but were the rare minority who combined motherhood with a career, and showed that they were no less women then the ones who stayed at home. In fact, having a life of their own improved the woman's marriage, family and sex life drastically when compared with the women whose worlds revolved around other people.
I found a few problems with Friedan's book and although they are insignificant in comparison with the book's positive aspects, they are worth pointing out nonetheless. Mainly, although Friedan is very advanced for her time in suggesting freedom and independence for women, she was very descriminative against homosexuals. She spent the first half of her book refuting Freud's theories about women and stating how he was a bad pscyhologist with unexamined and biased theories when it came to this area. However, she backs up her thesis about "weak" homosexual men being drawn to the love of other men because of the relationship they still desire with their mothers with all of Freud's theories. I don't think she should tear Freud's theories apart when it is in her favor and use the same person to back her up when she is talking about a different subject. Also her book is still sexist in the sense that she always expects women to do the housework and, if they choose to have a career, manage it along with the housework, when what she should do is suggest that if the man and the woman are both working, the man and the woman should both help out with the housework. However, since her views were so revolutionary at this time I am sure she did not want to press it by suggesting men actually do "woman's" work, since her very suggestion that women can and should do "man's" work was already taking things far.
On the whole this book was unquestionably fantastic. Although, fortunately, many women work today, some still face bias, prejudice, and descrimination from others, and this book goes to show that there is nothing wrong with a woman doing what she wants to do with her life just as there is nothing wrong with a man doing the same thing. And there are still some housewifes caught up in the feminine mystique who should read the book and find out why they are suffering the "problem who has no name". I feel that this book has done a tremendous amount of good for women throughout history after its publication, and it can still do a lot for them today...
32 internautes sur 35 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8e84a378) étoiles sur 5 You'll never quit your job after reading this book 6 octobre 2006
Par Megareader - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I read this book in high school, and was very happy to read it again in my 40s. In each instance, the urgency, and the modern-day applications of this work hit me in the face: the American woman exists in a world with extraordinary pressures. The pressure to get married; the pressure to let a man support you; the pressure to fully believe that unless you live your life through your family and solely through your family that you are somehow a failure.

Some parts of this book feel dated--and certainly the author is concentrating on but a section society: white, college educated, and at the least middle class.

However, look at how our teenager daughters and nieces are being sexualized today--this is only slightly different from the 1950s, where a young girl's sexuality was her primary trading commodity. Look at how the consumer culture continues to influence us. And look at how intelligent women (college educated or not, because there are plenty of smart women who didn't go to college) are still pressured to stay at home. The current cult of the "perfect parent" and "helicopter mother" still stems from the insidious understanding that women must give all to creating a perfect family.

THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE is thought-provoking and still more than a bit scarey. Can anyone imagine a time where your college major was, pretty much, a course in ironing?

If you want to learn more read PINK THINK--more lighthearted but as thought provoking.
50 internautes sur 59 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8ebfc768) étoiles sur 5 I'm glad that I can't relate to this book 17 juillet 2007
Par J. Plummer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Let me start off by saying that this book got an additional star from me because I completely agree with the point of this book: That if woman doesn't stand up and provide themselves with an identity and use themselves to their whole potential, they will become incomplete and nothing. This is mainly summed up in the chapter: A New Life Plan for Women. I recommend this book simply on this chapter. It is inspiring, positive, and relevant for women to read, even to this day. However, the rest of this book was hard for me to get through. In reference to the title of my review, I am young and perhaps I can't relate to some of the issues Ms. Friedan has brought up because of the women's movement of the '60's and '70's which has provided me with more opportunity, as a woman, to make life and career choices for myself without pressure or guilt. I am glad that I don't have the restrictions that women had back then and I am so grateful that there were women out there that knew our potential and were not willing to compromise it. But asides from possibly not liking the material because I found it hard to relate to, I did find that Ms.Friedan used alot of subject matter that is at best, subjective (for instance, the chapter Mistaken Choice was absurdly biased-- she makes references that the men in the military that were rejected for service due to mental issues usually came from homes that had doting overly loving mothers, that juvenile deliquency was non-existent in the homes of mothers who worked, that Russian children were more stable and adjusted than American children because their mothers worked or had interests outside the home etc, and that she even goes to imply that over loving a child is more traumatic for the child than raising them in a household where whippings and beatings are frequent possibilties.) There are other scattered observations that she made that I found hard to swallow as well, such as part of the chapter The Sexual Sell which implies that business caters to the homemakers because they do all the buying, and that mothers with careers or serious interests outside the home do not have the time to take to buy from business. I find it hard to believe that big business couldn't capitalize on the working mom. I can't believe that a working mom wouldn't be interested in an appliance that could cut her time to get chores done back then as well as today. That part of the chapter made no sense to me. Basically, I felt that Ms. Friedan used a lot of subjective facts, scare tactics (mother and housewife bashing), and propaganda that was unnecessary, at best, to get to her more inspiring point. I felt that all that "material" detracted from the point of the book, but I am glad I made it all the way through to get to the "New Plan." That's where the "heart of the artichoke" lies. But to those of you who feel that the point of the book is, "women who are unhappy with their lives are this way because they don't have a job" are missing the point. While although it is evident that she found her calling through her career and those around her (upper middle class women with privilege) did the same, her point is for women to challenge themselves and demand more than what is offered. Don't settle for less.
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