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The Problem That Now Has A Name

1264 words - 6 pages

I take my title from the first Chapter of the late Betty Friedan's book , The Feminine Mystique. The Problem That has No Name. Where, Ms. Friedan was writing and to who, was not the adolescents of that age, the age of Second Wave feminism, but to the adult women, who struggled with the mundane, but required and obligated task of being a housewife. Which at that point in honor of Friedan, was the best place to start. Yes there were woman suffering, millions of women were “afraid to ask even herself the silent question- “Is this all?” ( Friedan, p. 11). “Women were taught to pity the neurotic, unfeminine, unhappy women who wanted to be poets or physicists or presidents.” ( p. 11) Getting ...view middle of the document...

This poll was done in the early 90’s and today we can still see that nothing has changed from then, to now, to help girl in their confidence. “In study after study, women and girls are less likely to feel ( a sense of entitlement; license to take up the world, a right to be heard and to express the full spectrum of human emotions.) than men and boy should be no surprise. We live in a culture that is ambivalent toward the female achievement, proficiency, independence, and right to a full equal life. Our culture devalues both women and the qualities which it projects unto us, such as nurturence, cooperation, and intuition. It has taught us to undervalue ourselves. To often we deride our own abilities. We denigrate our work and discount our success. We don’t feel we have the right to our dreams, or if we achieve them, we feel undeserving.” ( Orenstein, p. 23)
Peggy spent a year in two schools, one in a intercity school and the other in a suburban mostly white town just south of San Francisco. She studied these girls all year long, seeing how they felt, talking to them, their parents, their teachers, simply saying she was a journalist, an outside observer. She told the girls that she followed, choosing a group of three to four in each school, that everything they told her was in strict confidence and would not be told to their teachers, their parents, or their peers. In some situations she could not keep this promise, for things told to her endangered the girls lives. But that is not why I am here, that is not why I pour over her material and the material of countless other feminist writers. I am here for the girls of today. The one’s that I see coming out of the classroom at my nieces elementary school, wondering how they feel, or even how my niece feels at such a young age. Burdened with not only a smart as a whip intellect, but also the dream of being an artist, or a gymnast. The one who on her most recent birthday received a skin tight leotard, and worried that her stomach stuck out too much in it, when there was no stomach there to stick out. My opinion is not valuable in this essay, I am but a mere tool, used to get the word out that something is wrong and that we all as human beings are better than this. We need to be teachers to our girls.
Shortchanging Girls, Shortchanging America is a mirror...

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