The Cycle | February 19, 2013
>> giving uninsight into the young mind, the feminine mystique " by unveiling the unhappiness of housewives, causing them to live away from the kitchen. and now nearly 00 years, new myths do threaten not only women their their entire families. with us professor stephanie koontz, he's the author of "a strange stirring." stephanie , thank you for being with us.
>> my pleasure. back to last summer, ann marie slaughter published this article in the atlanta take title "why women still can't have it all." basically parked this debate. pointing out that women have to be super human to balance the job, and the family life . i think we're trying to sort that out. you also point out in recent years, married women in particular have actually been leaving the labor force . so what are some of the barriers throughout that still exist for us?
>> well, we've come such a tremendously long way. back in 1963 , if you wanted a job, you had to go to the help wanted female section of the want ads . if you got a job as a college educated woman you'd earn less than the high school grodropout male. it was never the thought that women could have it all. that was a madison avenue mystique. but the fact that we now have a world where 70% of american kids grow up in households where at looeft where every member, every adult in the household is at work. and our policymakers and business leaders still assume we're back in the era of "mad men" where there's a woman at home to take care of the rest of life. that's a problem for women but also for men who also want to be at home.
>> i read your "the new york times" piece on this. i want to read back the last thing you say which is "we must stop seeing work/family policy as a women 's issue and start seeing it as a human rights issue that affects parent, children, partners, singles and elders. feminists should certainly support this campaign, but they don't need to own it." i found that fascinating. if i were giving advice to the republican party and conservatives. it strikes me this might be a good entry point for conservatives to address this kind of policy without making it a pro-feminist argument. but a pro-family argument.
>> that's right. everybody should get in on this. not only people with children. need for the work/family flexibility. but there's more people taking care of aging parents these days than of preschool children. even if you're single, you have family responsibilities. so it is a human rights issue for individuals that need to do this. it is for our competitiveness as a society because we're excluding people by forces them to choose between work and family. and of course for those who need care, both elders and children.
>> stephanie "the feminine mystique " seemed to change the world . we didn't realize the world that used to exist before it in a lot of ways. can you talk about how and why that book changed america?
>> well, there were a lot of things that were already going on that were drawing women into the workforce. but what you had was this extraordinary set of myths that betty made up a word for. she called it the feminine mystique . that women were so totally different than men that you couldn't treat them as people. that all women , the normal woman renounced as one psychiatrist put it, all aspirations outside the home. not out of coercion like in the bad days . but because all would come from watching the achievements of her husband. but so feminine mystique , women who actually believed this found themselves unhappy, discontented because they were human beings , something more in their lives. first, they turned it inward saying what's wrong with me? they started taking tranquilizers. they thought they were crazy. literally, women i interviewed, i thought i was crazy. and she came along, no, you're not created. society is crazy for not wanting the same aspirations that men have. and one woman told me after the book she flushed her tranquilizers in the toilet.
>> that is amazing. stephanie , thank you for being with us. thank you.
>>> and straight ahead, a trip to weed country.
>> no thank you.
>> a vietnam vet that escape