Nichole Jones History 237 Candice Bredbenner March 22, 2010 Jessamyn Nauhas vs. Betty Friedan Tensions and contradictions are appropriate words for the years between 1945 and 1965, but so are acceptance, growth, hardships, and fear. The words that could be used to describe the era, varied from each person or group who used them. According to many sources, women were expected to maintain their domestic and motherly roles; however, it was acceptable for them to work outside of the home. In 1940, 25% of women worked and by 1960 an astounding 35% of women worked (Dubois, Dumenil, 2009, p598). Betty Friedan suggested in the Feminine Mystique that women’s roles were defined as domesticity and motherhood by advertisement, articles, media, and etc. In spite of this, women still managed to help launch the civil rights movement, fight for racial justice issues, and involved themselves in many other activism issues. Meyerowitz found differences in the non-fiction content of women’s magazines with a predominantly white readership than of those with a predominantly black readership. Yes it was true that white women fought for African American causes and vice versa, but it was also true that the majority of women fought for their own race. Magazines with more white readers wrote more articles about white women involved with community service and magazines with more African American readers wrote more articles about African American performers who defied racism (Meyerowitz, 1993, p1459). The fundamental nature is that black women were contending with race and gender. Betty Friedan’s argument that articles in that era were directed toward domesticity was proven wrong by Joanne Meyerowitz. Meyerowitz compared nonfiction articles for the 30s, 40s, and 50s and found that there were a mix of domesticity articles and women’s success articles. In fact, there Meyerowitz found that 60% of the articles she researched were more geared towards working women and their successes. Then again, many of the women’s success articles usually started out by feminizing the woman, or group of, by describing her as “pretty, motherly, shapely, happily married, petite, charming, or soft voiced” (Meyerowitz, 1993, p1460) Jessamyn Neuhaus found that the sources of her research, cookbooks, did in fact feature gender roles and insinuate that a woman’s place was in the kitchen; however; the cookbooks also advocated that women did not have to enjoy being in the kitchen or spend hours in it. For example, a statement made by Campbell’s soup executive in 1953 was “the average housewife isn’t interested in making a slave of herself. When you do it day after day, cooking tends to get a little tiresome and that young housewife is really less interested in her reputation as a home cook today… she doesn’t regard slaving in the kitchen as an essential of good wife and mother” (Neuhaus,1999, p543).