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The Feminine Mystique

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Landmark, groundbreaking, classic--these adjectives barely do justice to the pioneering vision and lasting impact of The Feminine Mystique. Published in 1963, it gave a pitch-perfect description of... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

I found this book absolutely fascinating!!

Everyone would benefit from reading this book! I wish it was required reading for high school seniors. This book is NOT what you would expect. It is NOT anti men! I really enjoyed this book!! That being said, If you are a stay at home mom this book might stir up very hard emotions. It was interesting to read that educated women are less likely to get divorced and that the more career the woman has the happier she is in her marriage. Pages 41&42 are inspiring for a woman who has been a housewife. Chapter 4 is a must read especially Pages 82-88. I am assuming most people don’t experience this culture and mistreatment anymore. I wouldn’t know. I was raised in a Morman family in Utah. I was raised being taught that the only way a girl can become anything is to get married and have kids. Needless to say I married at 18, had my first baby a year later and have stayed at home bearing children and being a slave to my husband and his family ever since. I have been raped and abused beyond belief. All the while my husband and his family are seen as amazing citizens who many admire. I was blind to the abuse for many years. I was raised to expect this treatment. And therefore thought something was wrong with me (and still do some days). The world unfortunately is not rid of this horrific abuse against women. Men and their families and friends are just better at hiding it. And she is blamed and further victimized by the community. Her husband is so good at deceiving others It is very hard for her to get the help she needs to escape from the abuse that is her private hell. I really liked the last paragraph on page 269 Chapter 12 is a must read. Especially pages 304-307 Chapter 13 is amazing!!! Especially the last paragraph on page 325 and Pages 335-337. Chapter 14 is inspiring and helpful The Epilogue is a must read! Some of my favorites from this book: “Equality is strongly related to a good, lasting marriage.” I took it as if the woman is treated as an equal they are more likely to have a good and lasting marriage. I don’t understand why a man wouldn’t want an equal marriage instead of a dictatorship. Not doing justice to yourself, is a greater crime than not pleasing others. “The feminists had only one model, one image, one vision, of a full and free human being: man. For until very recently, only men had the freedom and the education necessary to realize their full abilities, to pioneer and create and discover, and map new trails for future generations. Only men had the vote: the freedom to shape the major decisions of society.” Only men had the freedom to love, and enjoy love, and decide for themselves in the eyes of their God the problems of right and wrong. Did women want these freedoms because they wanted to be men? Or did they want them because they also were human? “if she was really able to fulfill herself, she would be able to be there for her child. She has to be complete herself, and there herself, to help the child to grow, and learn to handle reality, even to know what his own real feelings are.” Pg. 296 “If we continue to produce millions of young mothers who stop their growth and education short of identity, without a strong core of human values to pass on to their children, we are committing, quite simply, genocide, starting with the mass burial of American women and ending with the progressive dehumanization of their sons and daughters.” Pg. 364 “ It took, and still takes, extraordinary strength of purpose for women to pursue their own life plans when society does not expect it of them.” Pg. 376

An eye-opener

I’m learning about feminism & this is the first book I picked up to learn more about it. The author dives into how misogynistic practices are ingrained into our society & cites so many sources too, it’s incredible.

WTF - this edition is missing pages?!?

I don't know what was going on with this edition in printing, but I am beyond dismayed to find that pages jumped first from 66 to 35 (why backwards??) then again 31 pages later to, once again, page 66 jumped to 99. Effectively, this edition is missing pages 67-98 and I'm furious that one of the most influential books in feminism omits pages in this edition. DO NOT RECOMMEND. Find another [complete] edition towards which you might spend your money. This is a disservice to the ideas put forth in the book and the people who aim to further their understanding by purchasing it.


Girls these days should read this book to understand feminist and where it came from and where it should be going.

You'll never quit your job after reading this book

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.

profound, penetrating, rational and humane

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.
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