A passage by Rachel Simon-Kumar:
“In 1963 in the U.S., a Psychologist named Betty Friedan was perplexed by an unusual mental condition that she found was quite widespread among women, of all ages. Women (mostly married) complained of depression, of being unable to focus on things, of bursting into tears without reason, sleeping a lot and feeling unusually tired. They just felt – for want of a better description – unhappy. Yet, seemingly, there was no reason for many of these women to feel so. They had secure marriages, had children, and financial security and social networks, and were involved in community groups. Many had at least one or two years of college education before deciding to settle down to marriage and children. Friedan was clearly confused as to why this collective depression among women existed; it was in her words, a “problem that had no name”. In her book titled The Feminine Mystique she traces the origins for this problem. She tells us in her book that very early on she realized that these women’s suffering were not individual, that is, these were not women who had some biological, hormonal, sexual or other psychological defects. The answer to this problem clearly lay elsewhere.
Friedan talked to hundreds of women and realized that the source of these women’s depression was an identity crisis. On the one hand, women from girlhood were being told that they would find fulfillment and happiness as wife and mother, in traditional feminine roles. On the other, the reality was that as women spent more and more of their energy being just that, they felt more and more unhappy. As one young mother told Friedan: “I’ve tried everything women are supposed to do – hobbies, gardening, pickling, canning … but I’m desperate. I begin to feel that I have no personality. I’m a server of food and a putter-on of pants and a bedmaker, somebody to call on when you want something. But who am I?”. Another woman told her that she had everything – a husband who was moving up in his career, a lovely new home, enough money. Yet, when she woke up in the morning there was nothing to look forward to. Women had just one question that summed up their feelings: Is this all there is in life?
…you can find the whole article here, and while it talks about women in the 50′s, it’s nonetheless still relevant today. So if you sometimes, if not most of the time, feel the same way, do yourself a favor and go see “Revolutionary Road“. It’s based on a novel by Richard Yates, and is simply one of those movies that give you a bone to chew on for a long time. Need I say more?!
Also, outstanding job by Michael Shannon, who steals the show in every scene he’s in. If it weren’t for Heath Ledger’s Joker, he’d be the guy to beat out this year at the Oscars! A movie that’s not afraid to show us how truly full of sh*t we all are…the final scene is priceless.
Links: Official site | IMDb | psychology4all.com
Wikipedia: Revolutionary Road (book) | Revolutionary Road (film)
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