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The Feminine Mystique | [Betty Friedan]

The Feminine Mystique

The book that changed the consciousness of a country - and the world. Landmark, groundbreaking, classic - these adjectives barely describe the earthshaking and long-lasting effects of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique. This is the book that defined "the problem that has no name", that launched the Second Wave of the feminist movement, and has been awakening women and men with its insights into social relations, which still remain fresh, ever since.
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Publisher's Summary

First published in 1963, The Feminine Mystique ignited a revolution that profoundly changed our culture, our consciousness, and our lives. Today it newly penetrates to the heart of issues determining our lives - and sounds a call to arms against the very real dangers of a new feminine mystique. The underlying issues raised by Betty Friedan strike at the core of the problems women still face at home and in the marketplace. As women continue to struggle for equality, to keep their hard-won gains, to find fulfillment in their careers, marriages, and families, The Feminine Mystique remains the seminal consciousness-raising work of our times.

As an added bonus, when you purchase our Audible Modern Vanguard production of Betty Friedan's book, you'll also get an exclusive Jim Atlas interview added to your library.

This production is part of our Audible Modern Vanguard line, a collection of important works from groundbreaking authors.

©2001 Betty Friedan (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"[The Feminine Mystique] now feels both revolutionary and utterly contemporary....Four decades later, millions of individual transformations later, there is still so much to learn from this book....Those who think of it as solely a feminist manifesto ought to revisit its pages to get a sense of the magnitude of the research and reporting Friedan undertook." (Anna Quindlen)

"If you want to understand what has happened to American women over the last half-century, their extraordinary journey from Doris Day to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and beyond, you have to start with this book." (The New York Times Magazine)

"One of those rare books we are endowed with only once in several decades." (Amitai Etzioni)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (243 )
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  •  
    Melissa 02-20-15
    Melissa 02-20-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Finally!!!!!"

    I wish I would have read this book a long time ago. Betty Friedan does an excellent job of summarizing for me personally what I have known to to be true, but couldn't verbalize. Women deserve more. They deserve to be free to pursue what fulfills them in life. They deserve to be treated equally. They deserve to be valued for their contribution. They are deserving. A must read for every woman regardless of what she does for a living. What's amazing to me was that this was written so long ago and still so relevant. Parker Posey was the perfect narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Sarah 04-27-15
    Sarah 04-27-15 Member Since 2015
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    "This is an inspirational novel"

    I loved the narrator, toward the end of the book I did feel she was more soft spoken making it harder to hear. Over all I lover her voice.
    This book is amazing! I never have time to read book now with an over demanding full time job. I'm glad there was an audible book for it. Please give it a listen and it will change the way you view femininity.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dani Smith 04-11-15
    Dani Smith 04-11-15 Member Since 2014
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    "And a great surprise interview at the end!"

    There aren't enough to thank you's in the world for Betty Freidan for writing this. Though some of the content is dated (i.e. The description of homosexuality as a mental disorder), there's a lot of it that rings true still, with women still 23 cents per dollar below men's earnings. Foundational and well researched, and well narrated too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheimon New York, NY USA 11-21-14
    Cheimon New York, NY USA 11-21-14 Member Since 2007
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    "Important first-hand report from the past"

    At its most basic, The Feminine Mystique read today is a reminder of how fundamentally our society has changed in two short generations, how many perspectives, mindsets and ambitions we take for granted today that might have been deemed actually harmful or even dangerous only sixty years ago. (Of course, it is equally stunning how many of the questions Friedan poses remain open today, though that is more general knowledge.)

    Sadly, the narration is not up to par. I wish they had chosen a professional narrator instead of a celebrity. Ms. Posey's voice lacks inflection and is often too casual. A few odd direction/editing choices don't help either.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 10-12-14
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 10-12-14 Member Since 2015

    Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.

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    "HUMAN BEINGS FIRST"

    By writing–women are human beings first–, Betty Friedan speaks truth to power. Friedan’s theme in The Feminine Mystique attempts to enlighten thick-headed males and doubting women about the equality of human beings. It is sad to realize that such a banal and obvious statement as “women are human beings first” so perfectly exposes the ignorance of prejudice.

    Every rational human being has a brain that functions in the same way. This is not to suggest that genetics do not matter. It is not to suggest that environment does not matter. It suggests that sexual function, color of one’s skin, and culture are outside influences that create prejudice while the brain is an infinitely malleable organ that carries the potential for genius as well as stupidity.

    Freidan’s concern is that women are not treated as equals even though women are approximately equal-in-number to men. Things have changed since 1963 but equality remains a work-in-process. Of the fortune 500 companies in the United States, only 25 have female CEOs. Women doing the same job as men in 2010 receive $.81 for every $1 paid to men, a 19% difference. Though house work is shared more now than in the 1960s, women work 18 hours a week homemaking while men work 10 hours a week (according to a PEW Research Study in 2011); i.e. the greatest burden remains with women. Without meaning to argue that the glass is half empty rather than half full, the revolution exemplified by Freidan’s book is incomplete. Many people continue to fight for equality of all human beings but many men and women continue to resist; to the detriment of society.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    David H Palo Alto, CA United States 08-07-14
    David H Palo Alto, CA United States 08-07-14 Member Since 2012
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    "An Important Book."

    It's a book in it's time. The amount of time spent discussing Freud isn't as relevant, although I do wonder how much has stuck around, even if no longer attributed to Freud. I'm not sure the prescriptive parts would have worked out. I don't know if Ms. Friedan was still very locked in to roles as she wrote much of the book, and couldn't see all the possibilities or, perhaps, those possibilities didn't seem all the appealing. I would also say that a lot of what is here is a reflection of middle class life. Poor women didn't stop working because they couldn't. Poor women and women of color were the housekeepers who kept popping up in the narrative. However, I must say the world she described was dreary. What I took away was that defining the role of woman so narrowly, and not allowing her the freedom to be was a form of death. I can certainly understand the alcoholism and suicides she describes. I do see the progress we've made over all these years, and I don't think those trying to turn back the clock will be able to do it. I also wonder where we still come up short and why. What is the modern equivalent for girls? Given that women are still under represented in many fields, what's stopping them now?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Amanda Sydney, Australia 05-12-14
    Amanda Sydney, Australia 05-12-14

    Literawesome

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    "Way too long"
    What did you like best about The Feminine Mystique? What did you like least?

    A thought provoking manifesto that really did provoke thought. By the end of the second half though I was done. It got way too repetitive, needlessly argumentative and politically tedious.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I didnt get to the end. Parker Posey was just terrible.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Parker Posey?

    Meryl Streep. I have heard other titles narrated by Streep and think she would have been a lot more appropriate.


    Any additional comments?

    Parker Posey... her constant mispronunciation of words, her mono tone, her apathetic meter. I thought she would bring a hip, youthful passion to the work but she made it unbearable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Marion Tokyo, Japan 11-26-13
    Marion Tokyo, Japan 11-26-13 Member Since 2013
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    "reveting"
    If you could sum up The Feminine Mystique in three words, what would they be?

    malaise d'une generation


    What does Parker Posey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Parker Posey's performance has been critisiced a lot in previous critiques. I don't agree at all with the persons who said her voice was monotone and that she didnt brind live to the book.
    I appreciated her soft voice and her intonations. it is very easy to listen to.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patti Suwanee, GA, United States 07-02-11
    Patti Suwanee, GA, United States 07-02-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Narration"

    It was difficult to enjoy this book, the narrator was quite poor and sing-song in her tone. Would have enjoyed the content of the book but finally gave up due to poor narration.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    Crystal cocoa, FL, United States 04-16-11
    Crystal cocoa, FL, United States 04-16-11
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    "Just download it already!"

    This book is one of the best books I have ever read/listened to. You don't have to be born in the 50s or even be a woman to appreciate this text. It's timeless and eye opening and I am recommending all the people (not just women) in my life read it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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