When a man thinks of a married woman, no matter how lovely she is, he must inevitably picture her greeting her husband at the door with a martini or warmer welcome, fixing little children's lunches or scrubbing them down because they've fallen into a mudhole. She is somebody else's wife and somebody else's mother.
When a man thinks of a single woman, he pictures her alone in her apartment, smooth legs sheathed in pink silk Capri pants, lying tantalizingly among dozens of satin cushions, trying to read but not very successfully, for he is in that room–filling her thoughts, her dreams, her life.
Helen Gurley Brown, Sex and the Single Girl, 1962
The problem lay buried, unspoken, for many years in the minds of American women. It was a strange starring, a sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning that women suffered in the middle of the 20th century in the United States. Each suburban wife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shop for groceries, match slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, she furred Cub Scouts and brownies, lay beside her husband at night–she was afraid to even ask herself the silent question–“ is this all?”
Betty Friedan, The feminine mystique, 1963
Never before in history has there been a generation of women so disillusioned, disappointed, and unhappy marriage is in our times. Many feel that married life does not offer what they had hoped and dreamed it would. Some feel neglected, unappreciated, and often unlocked. When they search for answers, they feel lost in a sea of darkness. Some are resigned to this condition, but others still hope and search for answers.
There are, of course many women who have achieved a high level of happiness, but in many cases it is not the happiness of which they once dreamed, and it falls short of their goals. They feel a need for a richer, fuller life. They, too, need light and understanding.
Helen B. Andelin, Fascinating Womanhood, 1965
When faced with a multiple choice test, the young women of the 60s and 70s tried to turn it into an essay exam.