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Aoife McCafferty

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The aim of this project was to recontextualizes the Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan. The book frames the main messages of the feminine mystique in a more reader friendly manner to make it more accessible. The book is aimed at young women in their early to late twenties who are beginning third level education, considering postgraduate study or starting an entry level job. The aim of this book is to empower women to aim higher in education and work and allow them to feel a connection with the message of the Feminine Mystique and the women’s rights movements of the past and present day.

The Feminine Mystique was first published in 1963. Friedan wrote about women's rights in relation to women in America. During World War II women went to work while men were deployed, but as soon as the war ended, they returned to the home and sought the comfort of a domestic life in the suburbs. The Feminine Mystique discusses the issues women faced in being told that true feminine fulfillment could only be achieved through the creation of a family and domestic life. Friedan named the dissatisfaction that women felt at the time as the problem that has no name. In her she discussed the impact that this dissatisfaction had on women and their families. It was not the societal norm at the time that married women would work and the workplace was largely male dominated. Women attempted to fill the void in their lives through the purchase of products, participation in community affairs, extramarital affairs and by living vicariously through their children. The message of the Feminine Mystique is still relevant today almost sixty years later. Today we may think that the sexes are equal yet, there is still inequality in all areas of society.

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