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Midlife Crisis – The Feminist Origins of a Chauvinist Cliché - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Midlife Crisis: The Feminist Origins of a Chauvinist Cliché

Susanne Schmidt


The phrase “midlife crisis” today conjures up images of male indulgence and irresponsibility—an affluent, middle-aged man speeding off in a red sports car with a woman half his age—but before it became a gendered cliché, it gained traction as a feminist concept. Journalist Gail Sheehy used the term to describe a midlife period when both men and women reassessed their choices in life, often abandoning traditional gender roles. Widely popular in the United States and internationally, the term was quickly appropriated by psychological and psychiatric experts and redefined as a male-centered, masc ... More

Keywords: aging, anti-feminism, demarcation, feminism, Carol Gilligan, middle age, popular science, psychology, Gail Sheehy, women

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780226686851
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226686998.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Susanne Schmidt, author
Freie Universität Berlin

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