Women in the post-WWII era were relegated to the home to be wives and mothers. The mass media perpetuated that societal expectation by stereotyping women. This activity will allow students to uncover those stereotypes themselves. Using 21 different print advertisements, students will think critically about the unspoken and oftentimes oppressive stereotypes that were put on women in that era.
Following an investigation of print advertisements, students will then read a segment of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique. They will discuss how that seminal work challenged the societal expectations and assumptions of women in the 1960s.
This is developed to be an in-class activity. It worked well in one-50 minute class but can be adapted for a segment of a block class or used as a take-home assignment.
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