…ural, freakish. A whole “home-maker” mythology was being built, one that treated women as children. I know I grew up with them, but sometimes I find a 1960s sitcom a bit shocking this way. Friedan and others of her era were reacting to that, to that enforced isolation of women in the baby factory suburbs.
Exactly. And that needed a reaction. But they over stated the problem — TFM is notorious for having been written based on a survey taken of her university graduating class, i.e. a small sampling of elite educated, well-off, East Coast suburban housewives — and thus over reacted. It is merely an irony that it was the leftists in the Second Wave who did this using American materialism as the rationale. This has stuck me as more than a little ironic for a while.
(Brought that one to Medium in ’16, but I originally wrote it in ’12.)
Americans did have other ways of acknowledging women’s contributions to societies, but Friedan and her ilk routinely dismissed those as women lying to themselves or selling themselves into unpaid prostitution (marriage). Etc. Yes the post war era had put homemakers on too high a pedestal, but it was Second Wavers who denied them any out but complete independence through employment. Every woman was to be a totally self-sufficient island who needed no-man and could do everything men could do only in high heels and backwards.
And now 50 years later we are shocked to find women are exhausted and lonely, feeling abandoned and like they have to do everything all on their own.
That was the plan.