Paleo Retiree writes:

About Paleo Retiree

Onetime media flunky and movie buff and very glad to have left that mess behind. Formerly Michael Blowhard of the cultureblog Now a rootless parasite and bon vivant on a quest to find the perfectly-crafted artisanal cocktail.
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11 Responses to Linkage

  1. Pedon has always been one of my faves.


  2. agnostic says:

    Looks like 50 years on, nobody on the feminazi or anti-feminazi side has any idea what The Feminine Mystique was about, what the recent historical context was, and how it did or did not lead into later strands of women’s movements.

    That rant by Judgy Bitch links the book with radical feminism, which didn’t erupt until the late ’60s and more like the ’70s. Friedan was a liberal from the Greatest Generation, not a radical from the Silent Generation. She railed against the lesbian takeover of mainstream women’s groups, and pointed to male homosexuality as an effect of over-protective smothering mothers who produced weak sons. The book doesn’t focus on abortion, pornography, sexuality, etc. Those are all the idees fixes if Silent Gen rad-fems from the ’70s.

    The historical context of The Feminine Mystique was mid-century “Mom-ism” — that was the widespread phrase for it. Helicopter parenting, super-moms, etc., is what we’d call its re-emergence over the past 20 or so years. The term was coined in 1942 by Philip Wylie, Generation of Vipers, in the chapter on the mid-century predecessor of today’s busybody mom brigade, smothering mothers, etc.

    She may not have cared for Wylie’s misogyny, but she echoes a lot of the critique of Mom-ism. During the mid-century, the critique was an embattled minority position, exactly like today’s assault on helicopter parenting, which remains the norm. But by 1963, the managerialism and conformity of the mid-century was starting to loosen up, and audiences were more receptive to the critique of Mom-ism then.

    The Feminine Mystique, in the minds of the popular audiences who made it such a hit, was more of a rallying call to stop worrying so much about being a super-mom and helicopter parent. It was making the mothers themselves a nervous wreck (turning to “mother’s little helper” AKA “happy pills” for anxiety relief). It was producing a generation of weak sons. And it was spreading too much matriarchal influence within the home, castrating the father/husband. So, it was the women’s version of The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.

    Christ, I can’t believe I’m defending Betty Friedan! But since nobody knows nothing anymore, someone has to set the record straight.


    • That’s a nice corrective — Friedan certainly wasn’t one of the ’70s-era loonies. But I think you may be overbalancing the scales. She was plenty loony in her own way. Friedan had a lot of Marxism in her background, she brawled with her husband, she claimed too much for education and work as fulfilling, she was dismissive and contemptuous of housework, and she was a seriously incendiary figure, legendary for her egocentricity and rages.


  3. ironrailsironweights says:

    You all know what I noticed about Roberta’s pin-up pictures.



  4. Raw milk and milk regulation were frequent legal flashpoints in the early 20th century. When I took constitutional law, I was surprised at how many milk cases we read:


  5. dearieme says:

    Shingle style:the first sketch looks pretty much like the Arts-and-Crafts style.


    • Fun connection. The Wikipedia entry on Shingle Style points to something similar: “Many of the concepts of the Shingle style were adopted by Gustav Stickley, and adapted to the American version of the Arts and Crafts Movement.”


      • dearieme says:

        The arts-and-crafts houses in our neighbourhood are very pleasing on the eye – and eye-wateringly expensive.


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