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The Ninja Reader

High-brow or downright pretentious, good PNR or sparkly vampires, I don't care about the premise so long as it entertains me.

Currently reading

Bullying: The Social Destruction of Self
Laura Martocci

The Feminine Mystique

The Feminine Mystique - Betty Friedan, Anna Quindlen My grandmother told me once how she, a young schoolteacher, once had to take my grandfather and the two of them went around one of the poorest districts of town to round up her students. Back then I was stunned and shocked that nobody would want to go to school, and after, that added to my admiration, not only to my grandmother but also to teachers as a whole, who have one of the most ungrateful jobs in the world and yet still do it.I realte this story to you now because, from as far as I can tell, it is set in the sixties or the seventies, the same time "The Feminine Mystique" was being published and doing its thing in the US. When I asked my father if there was such thing as feminism in Bulgaria, he told me that equal rights weren't an issue because EVERYONE had to work, whether they wanted to or not. I suspect the truth is a lot more complicated than that, but I hope that my readers will understand why I had a hard time reading "The Feminine Mystique".That is not to say I don't agree with the ideas expressed. On the contrary, I vehemently support them. "The Feminine Mystique" is part inspirational manifesto, part study of a generation, part historical account. It explores carefully the factors leading up to the problem with no name and how it hurts not only women, but men as well, and why we need gender equality. It's a very good book, one that can also be very well used today. Social maladies stemming from discrimination, whether towards women, racial minorities or homosexuals, are not helping our society, as it is shown in the many, many accounts featured in this book.Speaking of homosexuals, I'm not entirely sure of Betty Friedan's stance on the question so I will not comment on it. All in all, this was a difficult book to read, but I think this is more the result of the way I was brought up rather than anything else. While it was focused heavily on American middle-class suburban housewives, I do believe that it conveys important ideas about the necessity for equal rights and, hopefully, a world where discrimination is no longer an issue. I encourage you to read it, even if to get a glimpse of the life women had fifty years ago.