Betty Friedan

Betty Friedan



Betty Friedan (February 4, 1921 – February 4, 2006) was an American feminist, activist, and writer. She is best known for her book The Feminine Mystique (1963), which is often credited with sparking the second wave of feminism in the United States.

Born in Peoria, Illinois, Friedan was the daughter of Jewish immigrants. She attended Smith College, where she earned her bachelor's degree in 1942. After graduation, she worked as a journalist for various publications, including the Federated Press and the UE News.

In the 1950s, Friedan became increasingly dissatisfied with her role as a homemaker and with the limited opportunities available to women in the workforce. This dissatisfaction led her to write The Feminine Mystique, which argued that women were being held back by the “feminine mystique”—the idea that women should be content with the roles of housewife and mother, and that any fulfillment they sought outside of those roles was unnatural. The book quickly became a bestseller and was widely acclaimed.

Friedan went on to become a prominent figure in the women's movement, founding the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1966. She also served as president of NOW from 1966 to 1970 and was a leader in the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

In addition to her involvement in the women's rights movement, Friedan wrote several other books, including It Changed My Life: Writings on the Women's Movement (1976), The Second Stage (1981), and The Fountain of Age (1993). She also wrote extensively on aging, women's issues, and Jewish identity.

Friedan died in 2006 at the age of 85. She has been widely praised for her contributions to the feminist movement and her work in advancing the rights of women. She is remembered as one of the most influential figures of the 20th century.

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