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Interview: Stephanie Coontz, Author of “A Strange Stirring"

  • Broadcast in Culture



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   Stepahie Coontz will discuss her book: "A Strange Stirring:  The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960's."  Drawing on extensive research and interviews, Coontz examines women’s changing status from the 1920s-1950s, compares the dilemmas of working-class and middle-class women in the early 1960s, and illuminates the new mystiques and possibilities facing couples today. The powerful stories she tells remind us of the immense costs of denying women the challenges of meaningful work and exempting men from the challenges of meaningful parenting.       An award-winning social historian and the Director of Research and Public Education at the Council on Contemporary Families, Stephanie Coontz is frequently sought after by national and local media for her expertise on families and marriage. She has appeared on numerous national television shows, including Today, Oprah, and 20/20, and has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek and Vogue, among others.      Coontz will explain just how “unliberated” the 1960s were for women, and why so many were so unhappy with their lives. We will discuss where Betty Friedan got it right – including how modern research supports her prediction that men would be happier and marriages better because of feminism – and what she got wrong.  We will also focus on how the feminine mystique has evolved into the new “hottie” and “parenting” mystiques, and why the “career mystique” and the masculine mystique are the big threats to marriage and family life today.