Betty Friedan  

rm_VoodooGuru1 49M
2116 posts
2/5/2006 2:50 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Betty Friedan

Betty Friedan passed away today.

Most of you have never heard of her, but you may have heard of her book, The Feminine Mystique. Published in 1963, it is perhaps the most important work of post-modern feminism.

A Smithie, she went back to Northampton in the late 50s to observe the current women there. She was shocked to find that they considered Smith a finishing school. The graduation rate was disturbingly low, as the girls would spend a year or two there while their older boyfriends finished at Harvard, MIT, Cornell, Amherst, etc. then "came to get them" for marriage.

The Feminine Mystique challenged women to achieve their own success, and not to measure their success by their husband's and children's accomplishments. The book made an enormous impact; even if you've never heard of her, her book has affected you.

She was despised by the Right, but I sincerely don't understand why. She was no radical... she married, had children, grandchildren, and even spoke out against the feminists who really were radical. She just realized that women had intellectual talent equal to that of men, and would have more fulfilling lives if they were allowed to apply that talent.

Thank you Betty. I just wish I had known you personally.


MissAnnThrope 56F
11488 posts
2/6/2006 4:50 pm

She was despised by the right because her attitude wasn't do as I say, not as I do, which is what women the right love, such as Phyllis Schafly say to women. Betty Friedan didn't downplay her success, the way the right expects women too. Not to mention, the right wingers are a sucker for women they think look good. They do go around saying only ugly women have the attitudes Friedan had. Conservative women do this too. Lately, the conservative attitude is, it's ok for a woman to have success, as long as it doesn't get in the way of her family. *sigh*

rm_VoodooGuru1 49M
2053 posts
2/8/2006 3:26 am

I know that's why they hate confrontational feminists, like Hillary, or Gloria Steinem if you want to go old school But Ms. Friedan was a sweet lady who in a way could be seen as a reactionary in that she wanted things to go back to the way they were when she was an ambitious undergrad.

(Huh... I know Betty Friedan doesn't have the staggering drawing power of defecation games, but this response is disappointing.)

saddletrampsk 54F

2/8/2006 6:45 am

"intellectual talent equal to that of men"..WTF..that would mean a step down..

womanoirish 53F

2/8/2006 9:01 am

I was very sad when I read about her death in the papers. I admired her for her courage to speak up and out. She will be missed. I, too, wished I had known her personally.

rm_VoodooGuru1 49M
2053 posts
2/8/2006 9:59 pm

saddletrampsk - you want me to go all Harvard on you?

womanoirish - thank you, I feel better now about this post.

angelgrrl 48F

2/9/2006 8:50 am

I missed this post somehow, but I want to chime in now. She was an amazing woman, and she did what most people wish to -- left a mark on the world and made changes for the better. She will be missed, and she also will be remembered. My mom is a feminist in the way Friedan was -- it was a shock to me to learn that this was not the usual way of things.

The right hates it when someone challenges what they consider is the correct way of thinking, especially if it's done well. If you can't attack the message, attack the messenger.

rm_RemBase 49F
15 posts
2/12/2006 9:16 pm

Gah! "Most of you have never heard of her..."

That's possibly the most depressing statement I've read on the blogs tonight.

Between her death and Coretta Scott King's, it was a bummer week for women.


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