I have never been a person who reads a book with a highlighter and writes notes in the margins - I suspect this is the lingering effect of the "Writing in Your Book is a Sin!" indoctrination of grade school. But Feminine Mystique makes me want to write notes in the margins and highlight passages that surprised me, either with their relevance to today, or because I had only vague ideas of the background of feminism, and reading its history is fascinating. Quotes from the 1850s - by men who supported the movement - contrasted with the heavily-promoted media image of the idealized 1950s housewife that inspired the book - it's amazing, and still so relevant today. I'm starting to think there is a 50 year cycle to this glorification of the Woman at Home. There's a quote in the book - from Life or Look or one of those 50s magazines, extolling the glories of well-educated women giving up careers for the joys of home and hearth, and I laughed out loud because it was EXACTLY like the article that sparked a small snitstorm here a few months ago. There really is nothing new under the sun.
It's amazing to read the quotes of early feminists - some of the most eloquently indignant about the restrictions on women were men. In 1850. Dude! I had long felt that "feminist" became a dirty word the same way "liberal" did - by constant repetition of bullshit by the shrill voices that get center stage in our (snort) "Liberal Media." I remember the nasty shit older men of my acquaintance said about Betty Friedan, and yet everything she says is reasonable and common sense. It really bothers me that so many young women don't know how it was, not back in Great-Great Grandma's Time, Lost in History, but in their mothers' lifetimes.
We haven't come a long way. We've come some of the way.
So, my weekend is booked solid. I'll get the front of the tot sweater done, I think. Maybe. This is why I'm in the Knitting Special Olympics. I love the process, and I'm happy with my results, because I know my other challenges.