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Friedan, Betty

  • A woman is handicapped by her sex, and handicaps society, either by slavishly copying the pattern of man's advance in the professions, or by refusing to compete with man at all.

  • Instead of fulfilling the promise of infinite orgasmic bliss, sex in the America of the feminine mystique is becoming a strangely joyless national compulsion, if not a contemptuous mockery.

  • It is better for a woman to compete impersonally in society, as men do, than to compete for dominance in her own home with her husband, compete with her neighbors for empty status, and so smother her son that he cannot compete at all.

  • It is easier to live through someone else than to become complete yourself.

  • Men are not the enemy, but the fellow victims. The real enemy is women's denigration of themselves.

  • Men weren't really the enemy - they were fellow victims suffering from an outmoded masculine mystique that made them feel unnecessarily inadequate when there were no bears to kill.

  • Strange new problems are being reported in the growing generations of children whose mothers were always there, driving them around, helping them with their homework - an inability to endure pain or discipline or pursue any self-sustained goal of any sort, a devastating boredom with life.

  • The feminine mystique has succeeded in burying millions of American women alive.

  • When she stopped conforming to the conventional picture of femininity she finally began to enjoy being a woman.