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The Feminine MystiqueThe Feminine Mystique is the title of a book written by Betty Friedan who also foundedThe National Organization for Women NOW to help US women gain equal rights Shedescribes the feminine mystique as the heightened awareness of the expectations of womenand how each woman has to fit a certain role as a little girl an uneducated and unemployedteenager and finally as a wife and mother who is to happily clean the kitchen and cook things allday After World War II a lot of womens organizations began to appear with the goal ofbringing the issues of equal rights into the limelight The stereotype even came down to the color of a womans hair Many women wishedthat they could be blonde because that was the ideal hair color In The Feminine MystiqueFriedan writes that across America three out of every ten women dyed their hair blonde KerberDeHart 514 This serves as an example of how there was such a push for women tofit a certain mold which was portrayed as the role of women Blacks were naturally excludedfrom the notion of ideal women and they suffered additional discrimination which was evengreater than that which the white women suffered from In addition to hair color women often went to great lengths to achieve a thin figure Thelook that women were striving for was the look of the thin model Many women wore tightuncomfortable clothing in order to create the illusion of being thinner and some even took pillsthat were supposed to make them lose weight The role of women was to find a husband to support the family that they would raiseMany women dropped out of college or never went in the first place because they were lead tobelieve that working outside of the home was for men and that it would not be feminine for themto get jobs and be single without a husband or children to take care of An enormous problem for women
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