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
BY Kelly Maxwell
on Mar 20, 2013
“Feminism has fizzled,” or so says this week's issue of New York Magazine. Wow, okay then-- tell me more, eh?
The cover features a photo of a hip modern mom with a retro-chic frilly apron, an old-school feather duster, and the headline, “The Feminist Housewife.” The author, Lisa Miller, pushes the two labels against each other in head-to-head combat and attempts to uncover why choosing to become a stay-at-home mom can be a brave act of feminism. The tagline for the piece is, “Feminists who say they’re having it all—by choosing to stay home. 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