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'The Problem That Has No Name'

ID Number: 15955
Maker: Poster-Film Collective; Flypress and Badger
Technique: offset
Date Made: circa 1970s
Place Made: United Kingdom: London
Measurements: 77.3 cm x 51.4 cm; 30 7/16 in x 20 1/4 in
Main Subject: Women
Materials: paper (fiber product)
Digitized: Y

Full Text:
'The Problem That Has No Name' Women and post-war American consumer society 'Our enormously productive economy... demands that we make consumption our way of life' Victor Leblem, Marketing Consultant, mid 1950's. The United States determined the shaping of the post-war western world because of its huge economic and military strength, and with it, the spreading of the so-called 'American way of life.' For women, consumerism meant a world defined by her place in the home and the administration of consumption. At the same time women were bombarded with images which presented them with an ever increasing set of contradictory roles: the obedient housewife, the loving mother, and the glamorous star and the sex symbol. THE WORLD OF... the military ...politics ...technology ...production On the one side, spokesmen like Dr. Spock suggested the naturalness of women's role: "Biologically and temperamentally, I believe women were made to be concerned first and foremost with childcare, husband care and home care, "whereas the economist Galbraith suggested the artificiality of this role when he said that "...the conversion of women into a crypto-servant class is an economic accomplishment of the first order. The value of the services of housewives has been calculated at roughly one quarter of the gross national product." 'The problem that has no name' was a concept used by Betty Friedan in 'The Feminine Mystique' (1963) to describe the contradictory feelings that women had about the roles which were assigned to them in the world's most affluent society. It was a problem that each suburban housewife struggled with alone in confinement; the feeling that their lives were solely shaped by their roles as wife and mothers. Women began to share and discuss this problem together through, what came to be known as, consciousness-raising groups. They were a central factor to the beginnings of the Women's Liberation Movement and of a language to describe the unequal sexual role


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