Daze of Our Wives by Beth Impson

Daze of Our Wives

Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique

by Beth Impson

When I first encountered Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, at the height of its influence in the 1970s, I kept thinking, “Who are these women?” My mother and her friends were not “desperate housewives”: secret alcoholics and adulterers, trying to escape the boredom of their non-wage-earning lives. They did not spend all day cleaning house, nor did they smother us because they needed to live vicariously through our lives. Their own lives were rich and interesting and useful, and I wanted more than anything to be like them.

Later I wondered even more about the Fried . . .