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Source: James Kivell

 

I used to work so hard to maintain this beautiful picture of myself as a wife and mother. I had all of my children by natural childbirth. I breastfed them all. I got mad once at an older woman at a party when I said childbirth is the most important thing in life, the basic animal, and she said, ‘Don’t you want to be more than an animal?’

You do want something more, only you don’t know what it is. So you put even more into housekeeping. It’s not challenging enough, just ironing dresses for your little girls, so you go in for ruffly dresses that need more ironing, and bake your own bread, and refuse to get a dishwasher. You think if you make a big enough challenge out of it, then somehow it will be satisfying. And still it wasn’t.

By Betty Friedman

Buy The Feminine Mystique (Penguin Modern Classics)

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