BY Evelyn Chapman
on Feb 20, 2015
Betty Friedan’s book The Feminine Mystique turned 52 this week. As controversial as it is—in turns called classist, racist, and homophobic—we would like to celebrate all the ways it inspired a movement during a time of housewives, Jell-o molds, and sedated contentment.
Friedan, known for sparking the beginning of second-wave feminism, was called “angry” and “hysterical,” insults we are quite familiar with even today, for her identification of what she calls “the problem with no name. Read More
Identifying as a feminist is a profoundly personal decision, colored by the nuances of our own experiences. In The Feminine Mystique, the great Betty Friedan suggested that for feminists, the personal is the political, that our private thoughts and desires necessitate public action. Because of the intimate nature of the movement, it’s easy to scrutinize judge other women, but internal strife often stalls social change. Susan B. Read More
When we think of beauty pageants, we think of doe eyes, blond ringlets, and tiny waists; the bizarre ritual of choosing the most beautiful woman in the room seems antiquated and oppressive. But it turns out that prior to Women’s Liberation, pageantry was an even more surreal and shocking part of the American experience, and the queens provide insight into their contemporary social and political climate, cataloging the strange ways in which women were expected to express Western ideals of feminine beauty and grace. Read More
Popcorn Venus, 2012. Joyce II.
When you think of women photographers who work in self-portraiture, you probably think of Cindy Sherman. The artist has made a career of transforming herself into everything from a bleached blonde spray-tanned socialite to Mae West. Her impressive body of work is such that she appears to be everywhere, capable of metamorphosing into anyone she chooses.
It’s almost impossible to work in self portraiture without being compared to Sherman, and the young and brilliant photographer Juno Calypso often is. Read More
Young South African artist Reshma Chhiba recently created a bold art installation, and her work has sparked debates. Chhiba’s assignment was to craft something to memorialize the inhabitants of a former women’s prison in Johannesburg, a jail that once contained some amazing female activists who fought apartheid (like Winnie Madikizela-Mandela).
So what exactly did Chhiba make? A twelve meter long vagina crafted out of red velvet flesh and acrylic black pubic hair. Viewers are invited to step inside, and they experience some pretty shocking things. Read More
BY Katrina Pallop
on Feb 05, 2013
We’ve got quite a few important anniversaries to acknowledge this year. Fleetwood Mac’s album Rumours is 30 years old! Roe v. Wade is forty! And ringing in the big 5-0 this year is The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan’s 1963 Magnum Opus. To commemorate this occasion, the New School is hosting React: The Feminine Mystique at 50, a two-day symposium and exhibition featuring some of today's most well-known and respected feminist activists and writers. Read More
BY Intern Courtney
on Nov 10, 2011
Betty Friedan's 1963 book, "The Feminine Mystique," changed the face of feminism, but she's now getting a more tangible acknowledgment for her work. A monument is being unveiled today in Great View, NY, where Friedan lived while writing "The Feminine Mystique." While the author and activist received countless kudos during her life, this will be the first lasting tribute to her hard work. Friedan and Muriel Fox co founded NOW (The National Organization for Women) in 1966, and Fox has said Friedan "not only wrote the book, but then headed the organization that made it happen. Read More