Huffpost Women

The Skeptical Early Reviews Of Betty Friedan's 'The Feminine Mystique'

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Today, it's well known that Betty Friedan's 1963 work The Feminine Mystique was—and still is—a seminal, revolutionary piece of literature. The National Organization of Women formed in its wake; it jolted a generation of women into thinking critically about their futures and their choices, and apparently it even killed home cooking (according to some people, at least).

But none of those things happened right away. In truth, The Feminine Mystique's 50-year shelf life got off to a somewhat rocky start. While many book critics immediately recognized the potential in Friedan's book when it was released in 1963, some remained skeptical. Some detractors said it was too alarmist, others said it was too complacent—and one even complained that Friedan went too far in asserting that average girl wouldn't rather be at home putting cream on her face. That last guy probably has a few regrets.

Read the whole story at The Atlantic