Feminism In The 1950's

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Feminism is not about making women gain strength, they are already strong, it is about changing the mindset of society. Women have the ability to achieve anything a man can, so why are women limited of their potential to succeed in life? The fifties was a time where the only ideal role for women in life was to become a housewife, because that is what the social norms were. With that case, there were many women that were dissatisfied and felt incomplete, since they had no voice and control over their life. During the 1950’s women faced patriarchal oppression which impacted their family life, job opportunities, and mental health. Initially, an American women during the 1950’s was expected to fit into the pretty picture of a housewife, by getting…show more content…
Housewives suffered mentally, but did not understand why they felt empty and discontent with their lives because they were taught to feel fulfilled as being a mother and wife. Housewives assumed if there was a problem, it must have to do with their marriage or family life and were given advice by psychiatrists on how to improve their marriage and role as a mother. The psychological impact connected with their harsh treatment from society and other factors, which negatively contributed to women’s mental health. Furthermore, according to Erchull “Anxiety disorders and depression are twice as likely to affect women compared to men. Women are more likely to develop PTSD compared to men. In particular, rape is the leading cause of PTSD, and 90 percent are female adults, and 82 percent of juvenile victims are female” (Erchull). This could easily be linked to the oppression that women face on an everyday basis. Since there many misconceptions and stigma surrounding mental illnesses during that time period, most women who were seen as unstable were put in mental institutions. For the most part, this did not solve the problem that the women suffered with. In fact, Sylvia Plath an American writer wrote a book called “The Bell Jar” which was a fictional autobiography because the main character Esther, represented herself who struggled with mental illnesses. This book…show more content…
“Why Mental Health Is A Feminist Issue.” Talkspace Online TherapyBlog, 13 Oct. 2017, www.talkspace.com/blog/2017/08/mental-health-feminist-issue/. “Family Life in the 1950s: A Decade of Social and Economic Prosperity.” Historyplex, historyplex.com/family-life-in-1950s. Friedan, Betty. The Feminine Mystique. New York :Norton, 1963. Print. Plath, Sylvia. The Bell Jar. New York: Harper & Row, 1971. Print. “Women in the 1950s.” Khan Academy, www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ap-us-history/period-8/apush-1950s-america/a/women-in-the-1950s "Women's Roles in the 1950s." American Decades, edited by Judith S. Baughman, et al., vol. 6: 1950-1959, Gale, 2001, pp. 278-280. http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CX3468301967/UHIC?u=newh97416&xid=84a77f08. Accessed 1 Mar.
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