The Feminine Mystique, 50 Years Later
Presented by Boston University Development & Alumni Relations
February 12, 2013
Join Boston University in celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Feminine Mystique with a panel of experts from across the country including three BU alumnae. Led by Virginia Sapiro, dean of the Boston University College of Arts & Sciences, the panel will offer a critical exploration of the book and its legacy. Published in 1963, The Feminine Mystique explores the malaise widely experienced by women who felt trapped by their limited life options. Based on research that began with Friedan’s interviews with her Smith College classmates in time for their 15th reunion in 1957, the portrait of women’s lives stood in starch contrast to the rosy picture presented by the contemporaneous television sitcom, Leave it to Beaver. When Betty Friedan identified “the problem that has no name” – the widespread unhappiness that afflicted well-educated homemakers who seemed to have it all in the 1950s and 1960s -- she touched a nerve of recognition among women across America, and touched off a firestorm of debate that was crucial in giving rise to the feminist movement.