Understanding the Feminine Mystique

LayersofChic-how-to-dress-1950s-housewife-style-betty-draperThe Feminine Mystique is an idealized image of domestic femininity that arose in the early 1950’s. Betty Friedan wrote about the crisis that ‘has no name’ that plagued women of the 1950’s and 1960’s in her book The Feminine Mystique. Friedan interviewed homemakers about their dissatisfaction with their picture perfect domestic life; working and often well paid husband, children, nice home, the ability to buy clothes, haircuts and domestic appliances. Life for them was meant to be fulfilling according to the media that reinforced the ideal of the American housewife and advertisers who took advantage of their dissatisfaction by selling them the next new appliance that would make their life easier and more satisfying.

Women were socially pressured into becoming housewives and women as young as 17 were getting married before they even left college. If they happened to enter college and even finish college they gave away their future to become the perfect wife and mother.

The life of a house wife prevents women from developing their own identity and keeps them dependent and at the financial mercy of their husband. Friedan encourages women to seek fulfillment in education rather than pursuing the image of the Feminine Mystique.

What Friedan describes as the Feminine Mystique is known today as being a “domestic Goddess”. Could it possibly be that the ‘condition with no name’ is actually a contributor to post natal depression. Women are now having children later and later because they are actually focusing more on their career first. The loss of identity is actually more profound after having a career and independence. It is also easier for women now to reclaim  an identity that they once had, than never establishing one in the first place.

So is The Feminine Mystique still relevant to us today? Absolutely. Media today still targets women creating an ideal of perfect mother and homemaker. Women are made to feel guilty if they can’t breast feed or if they go back to work too early. But it’s not all about making babies and home making and fitting in a career. If that is all that is need to have a fulfilling life as a women then why aren’t we all completely fulfilled?

There is more to feeling in charge and empowered and ‘turned on by life’ than successfully juggling children, home, and career. Self help ‘guru’s’ are popping up everywhere and we are very privileged to enter an age where information and education is easily accessible. The guru’s tout “find and follow your passion”, not just a career. But is that really the answer? Yes it will certainly help the fulfillment levels if you are following your passion and earning money while you are at it but is there more?

I believe there is more. Please don’t feel greedy wanting more and I mean this in a non-materialistic way. You deserve more. You can feel turned on by life. It is available to you. So what is the answer to ‘more’?

More is a connection to spirit and inspiration. It is a way to tap into your creativity and intuition. It is a source of energy and empowerment that strengthens you and guides you.

Women are blessed with an ability that is out of men’s reach and this is our ‘magic potion’ to connecting us to the ‘more’ we are looking for. The hardest part for most of us is tapping in to this magic potion. It is available to all of us no mater our age, the biggest block is our belief systems instilled into us over centuries that keep a woman ‘chemically castrated’. That may seem like a harsh term to use but that is literally what our belief system does to us. It affects our hormones and our freedom to connect to our self and our own bodies.

So yes a magic potion sounds wonderfully easy and a simple solution, but to access that magic potion can take a lot of unpacking and relearning. So where do you start? You may not consciously know what the blocks are and where they come from. But we need to do this work for our own sake and the sake of our daughters. We need to notice what beliefs surrounding sexuality, relationships and marriage that we are passing on to our daughters. We need to be ultra conscious and vigilant of noticing how our belief systems affect the way we treat ourselves and how in turn that teaches people how to treat us.

We have to be conscious of parts of our self and identity we give up or hide to please others and to fit in and be socially acceptable. Yes social media is a fantastic innovation but we have also seen the side effects especially on young teenagers who are using it to search for validation and an identity. So we do have more and more platforms to express ourselves but those same platforms also become a source of criticism and deformation of character.

The Magic Potion we have within us is a matter of connection and self validation; with ourselves. This is where your journey starts to become orgasmicly inspired. It is an eye opening and amazing journey which you will need some help and guidance. Start your journey as soon as you can no matter what stage you are at. It is so worth it to be Turned on by Life!