American housewives have not had their brains shot away, nor are they schizophrenic in the clinical sense. But if … the fundamental human drive is not the urge for pleasure or the satisfaction of biological needs, but the need to grow and to realize one’s full potential, their comfortable, empty, purposeless days are indeed cause for a nameless terror.
Ch 13 "The Forfeited Self"
The feminine mystique has succeeded in burying millions of American women alive.Betty Friedan
Men weren’t really the enemy they were fellow victims suffering from an outmoded masculine mystique that made them feel unnecessarily inadequate when there were no bears to kill.Betty Friedan
We need to see men and women as equal partners, but it’s hard to think of movies that do that. When I talk to people, they think of movies of forty-five years ago! Hepburn and Tracy!Betty Friedan
Strange new problems are being reported in the growing generations of children whose mothers were always there, driving them around, helping them with their homework an inability to endure pain or discipline or pursue any self- sustained goal of any sort, a devastating boredom with life.Betty Friedan
It is easier to live through someone else than to become complete yourself.Betty Friedan
When women take their education and their abilities seriously and put them to use, ultimately they have to compete with men. It is better for a woman to compete impersonally in society, as men do, than to compete for dominance in her own home with her husband, compete with her neighbors for empty status, and so smother her son that he cannot compete at all.Betty Friedan
A girl should not expect special privileges because of her sex but neither should she 'adjust' to prejudice and discrimination.Betty Friedan
A woman is handicapped by her sex, and handicaps society, either by slavishly copying the pattern of man’s advance in the professions, or by refusing to compete with man at all.Betty Friedan
What had really caused the women’s movement was the additional years of human life. At the turn of the century women’s life expectancy was forty-six; now it was nearly eighty. Our groping sense that we couldn’t live all those years in terms of motherhood alone was “the problem that had no name.” Realizing that it was not some freakish personal fault but our common problem as women had enabled us to take the first steps to change our lives.Betty Friedan
If women’s role in life is limited solely to housewife/mother, it clearly ends when she can no longer bear more children and the children she has borne leave home.Betty Friedan
The suburban housewife she was the dream image of the young American women and the envy, it was said, of women all over the world. The American housewife freed by science and labor-saving appliances from the drudgery, the dangers of childbirth, and the illnesses of her grandmother ... had found true feminine fulfilment.Betty Friedan