The New Feminine Mystique

The Problem That Has No Name in the 21st century

The ‘Good Enough’ Marriage November 23, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — thenewmystique @ 1:57 am

Despite its practical veneer, this piece is pure Mystique.  An “expert,” meaning a professional magazine writer, advises fussy American single women to quit shilly-shallying and pick someone already.    It’s no surprise that such advice would appear in a time of worsening economic prospects for women, nor is it out of character for the Mystique to stick its nose where it does not belong–in the lives of women the author has never met yet still feel competent to advise.  Naturally, men are not subject to hectoring about their personal lives.

Settling isn’t for everyone. I tried a marriage to Mr. Not Quite Right and wound up having no sex for eight years.   I need chemistry as well as competence, and I do not need to struggle under a man’s sense of entitlement to my labor, body and psyche.  Mieux vaut seul que mal accompagné–it is better to be alone than in bad company.


Vintage Dress for Success November 13, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — thenewmystique @ 5:01 pm

According to that lifestyle magazine, The New York Times, the interview suit has come roaring back in fashion.  The illustration, a still from the 1959 cinematic paean to the mystique, The Best of Everything, implies that armored foundation garments are now required to demonstrate fitness for the job.

Ladies, show your fitness for the job by wearing a girdle

Ladies, show your fitness for the job by wearing a girdle

In the same issue, the New York Times notes that President-Elect Obama is free to go casual.


Mystique according to People

Filed under: Uncategorized — thenewmystique @ 7:58 am

Galina Espinoza, senior editor on US entertainment magazine People, said of Michelle Obama to the BBC:

“She is just a regular mom in a lot of ways but she is also right now one of the biggest celebrities on the planet as the new first lady. She’s glamorous, she’s beautiful, she’s got a handsome husband, gorgeous kids and she’s now one of the most powerful women in the world. It’s an unbeatable combination.”


Angelina Mystique

Filed under: Uncategorized — thenewmystique @ 7:08 am


From today’s BBC News front page.


Mom-in-Chief November 12, 2008

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The mystique antennae start waving when a Princeton- and Harvard-educated attorney describes her upcoming role  as  ‘Mom-in-chief.’  First Lady to be Michelle Obama is approaching her new job in a distinctly retro way, turning down the volume and retreating from a public role in the Obama administration.  She is obliquely assuring a public mistrustful of powerful women that she will not emulate Hillary Clinton. Obama will set fashion trends, not policy direction.


The Problem That Has No Name November 11, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — thenewmystique @ 9:37 pm

The Feminine Mystique hasn’t gone anywhere since Betty Friedan first described it in 1963.

The mystique  is made up of the thousands of images,  assumptions,  myths,  roles, demands, and stereotypes that fill the air around us. The mystique shrouds our lives in a pink glow and displaces the atmosphere  until we find ourselves suffocating.  To drive away the mystique we must throw open the window, let in light and air so we can see and breathe clearly.

This blog exists to document the present-day Feminine Mystique.  I welcome your contributions. Please send evidence of the Mystique at work–employment and labor statistics, news stories, changes in fashion, personal encounters,  lifestyle articles–to thenewmystique at yahoo dot com.