- If you love food and birth control, and wanna get ’em both at the same place, you should eat here. (LA Times)
- Millions of women now pay nothing for birth control. It feels so good to type those words. (Mother Jones)
- Taking woman-hating to a new level: An anti-Obamacare cartoon posted on the website Comically Incorrect claims that men will get more sexually transmitted diseases from “women who now get free birth control” thanks to the health care reform law. This is one of the dumbest, most misogynistic things I’ve seen in a long time. If STDs spread, it’s women’s fault! Not the men who gave them the disease! Yeah. OK. ’Cause men have no responsibility in protecting themselves from STDs. Evil women put them at risk and they’re simply helpless!! (Time)
- Paid FMLA for pregnant women and those of us with chronic illnesses? YES. PLEASE. (RH Reality Check)
- So far, there are nine states where you might need “abortion insurance.” Luckily, AZ isn’t one of them. Yet. (ABC News)
- Not that we aren’t fighting our own uphill battles here. (Arizona Daily Star)
- Abortion providers make huge sacrifices to care for women. And we are so thankful. (NY Mag)
- Even after having women (their peers!) stand in front of them telling their emotional stories of rape and miscarriage, Republicans weren’t moved to keep women from having to further endure these atrocities. (USA Today)
- Congressional dufus Steve Stockman (R-Texas, naturally) is so pro-life that he wishes “babies had guns” to kill their mothers who are considering abortion. Is this real life? I mean, he does know that a fetus can’t survive if the carrier of the fetus is dead, right? (MSNBC)
- I’m not a scientist or anything, but if birth control is less effective for women over 176 pounds, why don’t they do something to make it more effective? (Jezebel)
Last month we featured Part 1 of our interview with historian Stephanie Coontz about her book A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s (Basic Books, 2012). A Strange Stirring looks at the history of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, which has been widely regarded as one of the most influential books of the last century.
“Work is still organized on the assumption that every employee will have a wife at home to take care of life.”
Published 50 years ago in February of 1963, The Feminine Mystique was Friedan’s response to the unease and dissatisfaction that she learned was common among American housewives at the time. Friedan hypothesized that the root of their unhappiness was their confinement to domestic roles, which prevented them from finding meaning and identity outside of their roles as homemakers, partners, and caregivers. Entering the workforce and professions, Friedan believed, would provide them the fulfillment they were missing.
Although social conservatives blamed The Feminine Mystique for sowing marital discontent, that was never Friedan’s intention. As Stephanie Coontz explained in A Strange Stirring, Friedan’s book “made a point of not criticizing husbands for their wives’ unhappiness.” Instead, it suggested that “marriages would be happier when women no longer tried to meet all their needs through their assigned roles as wives and mothers.” In Part 1 of our interview, Coontz discussed the accuracy of Friedan’s insight, noting that “today divorce rates tend to be lowest in states where the highest percentage of wives are in the labor force. Marriages where men and women voluntarily share breadwinning and caregiving tend to be very high quality.” Continue reading