In 1963, “The Feminine Mystique“, a book often credited with sparking the second wave, was published. Betty Friedan interviewed housewives across America who found themselves unfulfilled in the roles that they were told would make them the most happy. “The problem that had no name,” as it turned out, was not an individual failure on the parts of women, rather the frustration, depression and powerlessness women were experiencing was part of a larger “problem”.
In this episode, I speak with Stephanie Coontz, a professor of family history at Evergreen State College and the author of “A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s”. In a recent article for The New York Times, Coontz argues that, fifty years after the second wave, gender equality has hit a wall.