Historian Stephanie Coontz is writing a biography. No, not of Betty Friedan the author, but of The Feminine Mystique, a book: its history and influence.
Stephanie Coontz needs your help.If you are willing to talk about this, or can direct her to someone else who might, you can send her your memories directly, or you can correspond informally by e-mail, or she can send you a few survey questions, whichever is easiest. Please address correspondence to her at email@example.com. And if you have suggestions of other people for her to talk to, all such suggestions would be gratefully received.
She is eager to hear from several different groups of people as described by below:
People who read the book when it first came out, or whose mothers or grandmothers read it, and what the impact of that was. Some people have described the impact it had on their own lives; others have described the impact it had on their mothers, or that their mothers’ reactions to it had on them. For many, the effect was truly life-changing. For others, it was frightening or produced deep ambivalence. For still others, it didn't resonate at all. I am interested in hearing all these stories, or if you know people who have such stories, I’d appreciate your putting me in touch with them.
I am also interested in talking to people who read the book some time later, to find out how they came to do so and how it impacted them (or in some cases, disappointed them) then.
I am even interested in talking to people who did not read the book but knew of it, and what their impressions of it were. (I have found a surprising number of women who were young feminists in the 1960s and thought they had read the book, but when they went back to it realized that they had not; it was the title alone that confirmed ideas they had gained elsewhere.)