From April ’11 Spotlight:
Professor Stephanie Coontz has scheduled a book signing event at KAM Isaiah Israel in Hyde Park at 4pm on Sunday, April 10. After watching her speak about her new book A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s on The Colbert Report, I called with some specifically Jewish questions, and Coontz was ready.
“I had about 300 letters [in the Friedan archives] that I had to sort through to do my interviews, and I quickly realized a disproportionate number of the women who wrote to her were Jewish. So yes, I do think my book will be of particular interest to Jewish women.
I think that The Feminine Mystique resonated for them for a couple of different reasons.
First of all, I describe the stereotypes of the ‘Smothering Mom’ of that time; now magnify them a hundredfold and you’ve got the stereotypes of the Jewish mom.
Second, a lot of these women grew up in families that really valued education, and were then dumbfounded when their parents refused to send them to graduate school, or they realized that the education they had valued was never going to be useful again after marriage.
And she never gave much biographical detail, but as far as I can tell, Friedan also had a third issue that entered in for many Jewish women, and that is the blue-eyed ideal of beauty. I think she felt that very keenly.”
For details, click here to download KAMII flyer –> 11Apr10CoontzKAMII
Or visit: http://www.kamii.org/calendar
PS: When I asked Coontz if she’d received the famous “Colbert Bump” after her TCR appearance on 2/23, she said: “My publishers tell me my ‘Big Bump’ came after the interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air.” Of course! I should have guessed 🙂