Betty Friedan

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As an icon in the women’s rights movement, Betty Friedan did more than write about confining gender stereotypes but she became a force for change. Susan Oliver’s bibliography captivates Betty Friedan’s leading role against the sexual inequality between men and woman during her lifetime. Born as a daughter of Jewish parents in Peoria, Illinois Betty saw in her own eyes the sacrifices women were making through her mother’s loss of fulfilling a career in journalism. Once she married, Betty’s mother had to give up her job at a newspaper and latter on urged Betty to peruse a career in journalism. Betty was able to graduate from Smith College with a bachelor’s degree and did one year’s worth of work in graduate school at the University of California, she choose to work in New York as a journalist instead of accepting a fellowship to go straight on to getting her PhD in psychology. Unlike her mother Betty did not end her career after marrying her husband Carl, and continued her freelance writing while raising her three kids. Betty and her family moved after Carl establishing his own adverting agency where she experienced her own suffering first hand while living in the suburbs. Restless as a homemaker and began to wonder if other women felt the same way. Betty surveyed other graduates of Smith College which formed the basis of The Feminine Mystique. The book became created a social revolution by dispelling the myth that all women wanted to be happy homemakers. In 1966, she co-founded the National Organization for Women (NOW) serving as its first president and the rest as we know it is history.

It seems as if what motivated Betty the most, to start the women’s movement was the major episodes of sexual discrimination in her early life in an era were generally most women did not work. Betty’s own mother was subjected to change her personal fulfillment to essentially become a homemaker. Betty realized how devastated and frustrated her mother was, not being able to use...
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