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Still Needing the F Word

Anna Quindlen emphasizes the use of the f word. It’s not what any person may think the f word is when they read the title of this blog. Quindlen refers to the term feminist as the F word. She believes that we have been moving towards a prefeminist era rather than a postfeminist era.

Quindlen uses many studies to support her opinions. She uses a study done at Duke University regarding women’s status in society. Women are thought of as an “effortless perfection.” According to the study, women spend their time and effort on things like their hair and makeup rather than their intelligence. They “hide” their intelligence in order to succeed with their male peers. She uses Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique” to show that society has not actually changed as much as we think it has. Quindlen states, “In the decades since Friedan’s book became a best seller, women have won the right to do as much as men do. They just haven’t won the right to do as little as men. Hence, effortless perfection.”

Women have been victims of inappropriate actions from men. For example, Arnold Schwarzenegger has been accused of inappropriately touching other women without their consent. He was accused of touching them up their skirts. However, many did not believe that his actions were repulsive.  Why did it not seem to be a problem when Schwarzenegger performed such an action but if he were to disrespect or disgrace another individual, would people have reacted in the same manner?

Like Quindlen states, although women have won the right to do as much as men, they have not won the right to do as little as men do. With that, we keep moving back rather than forward. This is only degrading society rather than continuing to improve what we once started.


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