The Feminine Mystique

The Feminine Mystique Characters

Sigmund Freud

A Viennese neurologist who developed the theory and practice of psychoanalysis. The popularity of psychoanalysis in postwar America, particularly its explanations of female behavior, led many women suffering from the problem that has no(read full character analysis)

Betty Friedan

The co-founder of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and the organization’s first president. Friedan was a feminist activist and sociologist whose first book, The Feminine Mystique, published in 1963, signaled the initiation of… (read full character analysis)

Margaret Mead

A noted anthropologist, Mead studied gender and sexuality in primitive civilizations and applied some of her findings to American society. Mead, like many social scientists in the postwar era, validated traditional gender roles through her… (read full character analysis)

Lucy Stone

– An abolitionist and campaigner for women’s rights. Stone was born in western Massachusetts and attended Oberlin College where she was forbidden from studying public speaking, so she practiced by herself in the woods. Stone… (read full character analysis)
Minor Characters
Alfred Kinsey
An American biologist, zoologist, and sexologist who founded the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University. Friedan draws on Kinsey’s broad-based research into the marriage and sexual behavior of Americans both to observe the impact of the feminine mystique on men and women and to challenge traditional conceptions of gender.