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Mom’s Take on The Feminine Mystique

Some of you’ll know that my mom handed away on Feb twenty fourth on the age of 96. I used to be lucky to be together with her within the weeks main as much as her dying and in addition when she took her final breath. Last week, whereas going by just a few of her papers, I stumbled on a letter she wrote to me about Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique written by hand in her small however well-formed writing.

Edythe was born in 1926, married my father in 1945 and had three kids by 1955. She was an outstanding homemaker, hostess, volunteer, and mom, grandmother and grandmother – Dad didn’t suppose it was mandatory for his spouse to work! Here’s her take on The Feminine Mystique.



It was intriguing to learn the varied questions and feedback within the “Letter to Lesley”. (Lesley is our daughter’s title. I wrote a collection of Letters to Lesley for the weblog of a buddy of mine.) I bear in mind all of the methods professional and con that girls I knew reacted to Betty Friedan. Like you, I’ve mellowed through the years.

At first, I used to be outraged that my very own function as spouse and mom was being attacked. With few exceptions, everybody I knew stayed residence with their kids and adopted – or allowed – their husbands to make the key selections. I, for one, discovered it [she’s referring to her role] fairly boring at instances, so I suppose I may go together with the query “Is this all?”

By the time the conflict was over, girls anticipated much more of life than they had been getting as wives and moms and needed to wrestle with the issue. Some, like I did, immersed themselves in church work or group service – rewarding in its manner however a bit missing in private achievement. At the identical time, we taken care of our homes and entertained when mandatory – which as you in all probability bear in mind was fairly regularly in our home!

You understand how we loved travelling even within the restricted manner we may afford within the early days. [I recall many road trips where Mom cooked breakfast and lunch using a Coleman stove to save money.] Later, after all, we unfold our wings additional afield. You all had been a credit score and pleasure to us. And, Mary, you understand how proud your father and I had been (and I nonetheless am) of all of your accomplishments – in schooling, the enterprise world, and the elevating of your pleasant kids, and your loving relationship with Ian.

Lesley’s feedback about it being extra a query of alternative might be true for her in the mean time, but when and once they have a household she might change. Be fascinating so that you can watch as time goes on. [As for this comment, now with two children, our daughter continues her full-time career.]

I really feel girls ought to have a alternative with out being criticized – want I had had one at first.

It’s fantastic to have a letter like that and to recollect the sorts of conversations we had. We had been each mom and daughter in addition to nice buddies. Over the years, I got here to understand the talents Mom had – analytical, organized, excessive EQ, dedication and perseverance – and knew that she may have had a superb profession had circumstances and timing been completely different. Instead, she made an influence in different essential methods. Here’s to you, Mom!


M.Okay. Tod writes historic fiction. Her newest novel is THE ADMIRAL’S WIFE, a twin timeline set in Hong Kong. Mary’s different novels, PARIS IN RUINS, TIME AND REGRET, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED can be found from AmazonNookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She may be contacted on FacebookTwitter and Goodreads or on her web site


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