Book reviewed: "A Strange Stirring: The 'Feminine Mystique' and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s" by Stephanie Coontz
When I was married, I one time gave my husband a gift of a book that was an alternative history ... it was possibly the worst gift I ever gave! I still remember the day he tossed it down in frustration (after muttering at it over and over), unable to continue because he knew how it actually happened ...
That's my frustration and non-continuance with this particular book, whose author ironically has the same first name as my mom - who is the reason I cannot continue reading this!
I don't deny what the women who felt like they were no longer oddballs or misfits, once they read Betty Friedan's book and found out they weren't alone in how vapid they felt there lives were as housewives ... I like history tremendously, and especially enjoy women's history!, but for me personally, trying to read this book is like my former husband trying to read that alternative history tome --
You have to understand my mother's childhood, which severely affected her adult choices: she was one of six children of a pair of alcoholics. She grew up during the Depression. Her family was so poverty-stricken, that the children even with a living father, wound-up in an orphanage for a time (a whole other story there); I think it's probably fair to say that when they were 'home', it was the coldwater flat often referenced in those times -- where food was scarce, but vermin of every type, were not ...
To my mother, there was no more outstanding future she wanted for herself than to be a suburban wife and mother -surpassing even the tremendous skills she had in the garment district and her tailoring career, before I came along.
My mother never mentioned 'The Feminine Mystique', but - knowing my mother - she would have been baffled by it, because --
Stephanie Waseck was living the dream!!!
And so, unfortunately, I cannot continue this book, but am going to put it in a donation bag.