I lied. I haven’t been sticking to my reading list. I was shelving books at the library, and then I saw The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan, this oft-cited turning-point in feminism book, published in 1963, debunking the ‘feminine mystique’ as a housewife. So I stuck out my impulsive hand and started a week long saga of reading this book. The Lovely Bones took me only a few hours, and The Feminine Mystique, around the same length, took me a week. I believe this is due to the fact that this novel can be treated as a thesis rather than an instructive nonfiction novel. There are a lot of ideas to digest– for instance, how Freud was inherently anti-feminist and narrow, the loss of identity in females as housewives, and subsequently, their children’s loss of identity. This then all manifested in a sort of a pedantic rant, controlled but I could still see it thundering beneath. It was a ranty thesis. I can’t read rant well (see: Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged). Also, she talked endlessly about Smith College, a no-no when there are other nicer women’s colleges.
Verdict: Don’t read this if you want to see references to other women’s colleges or have a hard time getting through slightly ranty material, but if you’re looking for great, ranty, scholarly but accessible writing, with amazing case studies and points, please read. (Please don’t think I’m prejudiced thinking all feminist literature is ranty!)