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The Feminine Mystique Asks, "Is This All?"

Editor's Note: Like this illustration, sometimes a good sermon illustration raises a challenging issue or question that the sermon must address.

The 1963 non-fiction book The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan is often credited as a catalyst to the modern feminism movement in the U.S. In essence, the book examined the general state of unhappiness of many middle-class American women. According to Friedan's research, a comfortable, predictable suburban life didn't give women the fulfillment they were expecting.

The first chapter of her book, titled "The Problem that Has No Name," raised a question that resonated with many women across the nation:

The problem lay buried, unspoken, for many years in the minds of American women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning that women suffered in the middle of the twentieth century in the United States. Each suburban wife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night—she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question—"Is this all?"

Possible Preaching Angles: (1) Women; Women in Ministry; Spiritual Gifts—Namely, women have so much more to offer the church and the world than just making beds, matching slipcovers, and chauffeuring kids to activities.

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