Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Betty Friedan: The Feminine Mystique and Hillary Clinton

Once in a life comes along a book that changes one's life.

Suddenly the words you read touch a nerve or click inside your mind, making you view reality in a new way.

The Feminine Mystique had the power not only to change people's way of thinking but also helped change their attitudes, and ultimately their behavior.

It certainly changed mine.

By putting her finger on that painful sore of society, Betty Friedan brought about the much needed rallying cry of the second wave of American feminism: "The problem that had no name." That cry resonated loud and clear through the nation for everyone to hear it: Equality for women!

Although equality for American women is still a few light years away from them, much has been accomplished. And though England had Margaret Thatcher, Pakistan Benazir Bhutto, and The Philippines Corazon Aquino, American society can't even begin to accept that a woman could become president.

Will American women put aside their petty hatreds and rancors to even consider that one of their own gender could become president? That remains to be seen.

When I see Hillary Clinton--on the TV debates--facing the hordes of menacing men: the hostile stares of the other male candidates, the hostile moderators (e.g., Tim Russell, who looked as if he had just eaten a baby), the camera-men, the technicians, the reporters, the beefy security men, the electricians, the burly grip-men, the carpenters, the unionized workers (all men!), my heart goes to her and I say, "That's a courageous woman."

Then I ask myself: "Where are the women? Painting their nails? Why aren't they supporting her?"

Well, there's one plausible answer: American women still wish to be treated like Daisy Buchanan (The Great Gatsby) or Lily Bart (The House of Mirth): worse than second class citizens--sexual objects. That this thing is happening in the twenty-first century boggles the mind;d that this thing is happening in America is degrading to women. What can be more telling of the plight of woman than the question a middle-age woman asked senator McCain, "How do we beat the bitch?"

Now a woman-candidate has been transformed--by a woman citizen--into a female beast!

How dare a woman run for president of the United States? She is a sub-human beast!

I can recall Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (in the early middle ages) advocating equality for women through That lovely character, the Wife of Bath.

Have we regressed?

If Hillary Clinton is elected, it will not be because women elected her; it will be because fair-minded men accepted the fact that woman live in this country, too. That the 14th Amendment applies to all Americans--not jus men. Equal representation and equal treatment shouldn't be empty words.

Noble, fair-minded men will elect the first woman president of the United States.

The writing techniques I employ in this article are all explained in Mary Duffy's writing manual:

Sentence Openers

Augustine, City of God
Austen J, Pride and Prejudice
Austen J, "Marriage Proposals and Me"
Austen J, Emma
Borges, The Aleph
C. Bronte, Jane Eyre
Burroughs E,Tarzan
Cervantes, Don Quijote
Chaucer, Wife of Bath
Coelho P,The Alchemist
Coyle H, They Are Soldiers
Dante, New Life
Dickens C, David Copperfield
Dostoevsky, Crime&Punishment
ConanDoyle,Hound of Baskervilles
Dubner S, Superfreakonomics

DuMaurier D, Rebecca
Ellis B. E. American Psycho
Fitzgerald S, Great Gatsby
Flaubert G, Madame Bovary
Fleming I,Doctor No
Freud S, Leonardo Da Vinci
Friedan B, Feminine Mystique
GarciaMarquez, Of Love & OtherDemons
Guerrero M,ThePoison Pill

Grass G, The Tin Drum
Harris T, Hannibal Rising
Heidegger M,House of Being
Ishiguro K, Remains of The Day
Johnson S,Rasselas
Kosinski J, The Painted Bird
Lee H,To Kill a Mockingbird
McBain Ed,Gutter and Grave
Murakami H,Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Nabokov V, Lolita
Meyer, S, Twilight
Ortega,Dehumanization of Art
Poe E A, Gordon Pym
Prose F, Reading Like a Writer
Rushdie S,Midnight Children
Sabatini R, Scaramouche
Spark M, Prime of Miss Brodie

Stendhal, Red and Black
Sterne L,Tristram Shandy
Stevenson R, Dr.Jekyll & Mr.Hyde
Stoker B, Dracula
Thackeray W,History of Pendennis
Tolstoy L, Anna Karenina
Trollope A, Autobiography
Unamuno M, Tragic Sense of Life
Voltaire, Candide
Webb J, Fields of Fire
Wharton E, The House of Mirth
Woolf V, To The Lighhouse

The secrets of 'no-doze' prose:
Mary Duffy's Sentence Openers

Lindsey Vonn after winning the Downhill World ...
Image via Wikipedia
Lindsey Vonn

Back to main page

No comments:

Post a Comment