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  • The Feminine Mystique

  • The Classic That Sparked a Feminist Revolution
  • By: Betty Friedan
  • Narrated by: Parker Posey, Imogen Church
  • Length: 14 hrs and 35 mins
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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The Feminine Mystique cover art

The Feminine Mystique

By: Betty Friedan
Narrated by: Parker Posey,Imogen Church
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Summary

The book that sparked a feminist revolution, now with a new introduction by Gaby Hinsliff. 

"Love and children and home are good but they are not the whole world, even if most of the words now written for women pretend they are. Why should women accept this picture of a half-life, instead of a share in the whole of human destiny?"

First published in 1963, Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique changed the world. Widely credited with inspiring second-wave feminism, the book spoke to women across the globe and defined "the problem that has no name". It showed women that they could and should aim for a life beyond the home and the family, and that they could never find true fulfilment as long as their roles and ambitions were so narrowly defined. 

Based on interviews with suburban housewives, as well as researching psychology and how women were portrayed in media and advertising, The Feminine Mystique showed that many women were in fact deeply unsatisfied, but unable to find a voice to express their feelings. 

A powerful and ground-breaking piece of feminist writing and a historically important literary work, it laid the foundations for many feminist activists following in Friedan’s footsteps, and had significant societal and political influence on the progression of gender equality. 

This new edition, published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Betty Friedan’s birth, includes a new introduction by Gaby Hinsliff, which discusses the reasons why Friedan’s book still has so much to say to women today.
 

©1963, 2001 Betty Friedan (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

Critic reviews

"One of the most influential non-fiction books of the twentieth century." (The New York Times)

"The Feminine Mystique forever changed the conversation as well as the way women view themselves...fundamentally altered the course of women’s lives." (Arianna Huffington, O, The Oprah Magazine)

What listeners say about The Feminine Mystique

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Terrible narration

I wanted to listen to the content of this book but the narration was so monosyllabic I couldn’t continue.
The irony was that the book is about women and their intelligence and wonderful qualities but the narrator sounded like an automated robot and did nothing to support the subject matter

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Changing feminisms, changing views

Some books on feminism withstand the test of time, but not this one, as most of the views described are no longer current. However, this doesn’t diminish the book's appeal. It's intriguing to explore and comprehend the evolution of women's positions today. My main criticism is that Friedan solely focuses on middle-class white women. Those from diverse backgrounds in terms of class and race are only mentioned as a footnote or afterthought. Despite updates to the narrative and in this audiobook since the original version, this discrepancy persists.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Important book, monotonous narration

Important book for its time. Dated in its studies of topics such as autism. Would have enjoyed it much better with a different narrator. it was so monotonous.

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