Illustration of a woman in an apron in a kitchen

The Feminine Mystique

by Betty Friedan

Start Free Trial

Student Question

How would the author briefly describe "generation" in The Feminine Mystique?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The general definition of a generation are a group of people roughly the same age who live in the same time. Think WWII vets, or hippies, or Gen Xers.

For Freidan, this lack of moniker for women of her era *was* the problem. She personally dubbed it " the problem that had no name." The problem of Betty's generation was this, encapsulated by Susan Goldenberg for "The Guardian" (2/06):

"At a time when well behaved children and a big house in the suburbs were meant to represent the acme of female aspiration, she validated the feelings of many women that there could be more to life - or, as she wrote, giving voice to "the problem that has no name"." Betty recognized a longing in the women of her generation, a longing for something more - opportunity, recognition, fulfillment, success, a chance to live their own dreams beyond the narrow definition of 'womanhood' that had limited their lives."

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial