Previously published in Examiner
Part 5 of the Betty Friedan
Montreal Women of the early 1960’s and 1970’s was very involved with the early feminist movement and look towards Betty Freidan as a pioneer into the new movement of empowering women.
Women’s issues of concern for Betty Freidan
We last looked at the motivation for Betty’s classic book, The Feminine Mystique. We learned that she interviewed several women who all felt the same way. Betty Freidan was also concerned with the amount of tranquilizers these women were taking. These women often slept more than 10 hours a day and complained of tiredness. When they went to their doctors some of the doctors advised them to get out and exercise or just to get out of the house. This group of doctors felt it was because of boredom that these women were feeling this way. On the other hand, other doctors prescribed tranquilizers and some of these women were eating them up like candy.
These women felt bored, listless, empty inside, yet they just could not figure out why. Doctor’s said they were bored or they doled out tranquilizers en mass to these women. No one identified that these women were lacking something in their lives.
The doctors who believed boredom was the key to this women’s issue was on the mark. However, the 1960’s was the height of the hippie generation and also the generation of the Valium addicted bored housewife. Rather than go beyond the surface and get to the underlying problem it was easier for doctors to hand out the Valium and hope the problem would go away. It didn’t. Many women needed more in their lives. Women were bored that is true. They needed to do something that made them feel like they were useful, productive, and could attain the level of equal footing with their husband’s and all men in general.
To be continued