The Feminine Mystique Questions and Answers
by Betty Friedan

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Using Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique and her descriptions of women's lives in middle class suburbs, in what ways do women still experience "the sacrificed experience"?  

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Friedan's perception of women in the middle class, especially after the turn of the 20th century and more so in the post–WW II era, led her to conclude that women were expected to place their aspirations, hopes and needs secondary to those of her husband and her family, stay out of the workplace and rear the kids and have dinner on the table when the husband returned home from work.  Friedan's primary notion was that society, a paternal society at the time, fed these expectations which became a self fulfilling prophecy.  Today, the same expectations are still in place, compounded by the fact that with today's cost of living, it is necessary for husband and wife to work outside the home.  Yet the same basic expectations are present:  women must be wife, mother, be career-oriented, generate income, rear the children, keep the house and a myriad of other responsibilities.

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