All this seemed possible because the pill had just become widely available, and for the first time women had control over whether and when they had a child. (I will never forget finding that oddly shaped, Pez-like dispenser in my mother’s bedroom right after the birth of my youngest sister; my mother called her “That’s It” for weeks before giving her a name.)From a long WaPo article by Elsa Walsh titled "Why women should embrace a ‘good enough’ life." The quoted part describes the author's mindset, which later changed. I chose to quote that because: 1. Her mother sounds so cold, calling an infant "That's It." (A child called "It"!) and 2. The author makes her college age self sound like a nitwit. She says she was 15 when Roe v. Wade came out, so I figure she was born in 1958. I was born in 1951, and I always thought the Gloria Steinem presentation of women's liberation was a women's magazine pep talk. Friedan's book begins as a rant about the bullshit in women's magazines. If you had a brain at the time, you didn't take this stuff at face value. I don't accept Walsh's assertion that oh, if you were only there back then in the 1970s, you'd have been thoroughly intoxicated.
There were other feminist writers back then, and there were plenty of readers interested in feminism who didn't like Steinem and who didn't bother going all the way back to Freidan. When I went to college (circa 1970), the new books young women get excited about where "Sexual Politics" and "The Female Eunuch," and the older book we went back to was "The Second Sex." These books had some critical edge and were not simply cheerleading women about having a conventional middle-class life modernized with the addition of a great career and planned, delayed reproduction.
Walsh is working off a false premise about what life was like back then. She has a book to promote, and I can understand the urge to write a book that acts like it's discovered something new. But, really, the problem with the idea that you can't really "have it all" has been well-known all along.