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Margaret Sanger Feminism Analysis

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In relation to the previous discussion on Margaret Sanger, this chapter will explore the theories of Sanger who wrote in the period of first wave feminism in relation to Betty Friedan; a second wave feminist and women’s activist who, like Sanger chooses to focus on the constraints of female biology despite the difference in time. This direct comparison allows a critical analysis between the parallels and differences of the first two waves of feminism on the grounds of bodily autonomy; investigating further whether these two waves are connected on these grounds and how significant they are in the different time frames. Friedan positioned herself within society as one of the most influential figures to contribute to the development of feminism…show more content…
Similarly to the likes of Margaret Sanger, Friedan fails to mention any reference to black women and those of different ethnicities, consequently raising concerns over the solutions that Friedan is suggesting; if these middle class women go back out and work on their careers then who will come in to their homes and look after their children and clean their house? Aren’t these women who have already been combining the reality of working and domestic duties? After all, when Friedan wrote ‘The Feminine Mystique’ more than one-third of women were already in the workforce. A notable comparison between the works of Sanger and Friedan is that the liberation of women is not only dependent on their gender but also on their social class, introducing an alternative that bodily autonomy is not forefront in the overlap of first and second wave feminism. The women of the feminine mystique had the choice to become a housewife or obtain a career, although they were pressured by society to adopt the latter, the element of choice was still there for them. It was the difference between what they thought their lives would be and the actual reality which led women to develop discontent, depression and ‘the problem with no name’ . It was this element of choice and the usage of it to the full potential which ties Friedan and Sanger close together, the women of Sanger’s time were limited with their choice for family planning and the lack of knowledge held them back due to child rearing requirements. For the women of the fifties Friedan felt that they were not using their freedom of choice to the full potential and should instead
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