Representations of Lean In and the Feminine Mystique in Social Media: A Look at Pinterest Pins

Mia Moody-Ramirez, Liz Fassih


Betty Friedan, in her 1963 bestseller, The Feminine Mystique, examined the role of various institutions in keeping women in a subservient position. The text helped kick off 1960s feminism in the United States. Fifty years later, as feminism enters into the fourth wave, the popular text Lean In has garnered media attention. Its reviews are mixed with critics praising it for its insightful advice on how to balance both career and family and panning it for a seemingly elitist perspective. The time is ripe to study Lean In’s new influence on feminism and Feminine Mystique’s lasting impact on society. This textual analysis examines representations of The Feminine Mystique and Lean In in user-generated content. Specifically, it investigates how users used Pinterest to both praise and pan both texts. While The Feminine Mystique is unquestionably a noteworthy text that helped stimulate the third wave of the feminist movement, very few communications research articles have addressed the book. Lean In currently enjoys increasing popularity and has further stimulated women to play an active role in the advancement of their careers. However, it too lacks a suitable amount of communications research articles. As visual book-marking sites continue to grow in importance, communications professionals and scholars need a solid understanding of the various definitions and techniques affiliated with the platform. This exploration of The Feminine Mystique and Lean In provides insight into how audiences used the platform to share ideas about feminism in the 21st Century. 



feminist theory, Lean In, Feminist Mystique

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