A Feminist a Day: Betty Friedan

Who is she?

Betty FriedanBetty Friedan was an American writer, feminist and activist whose 1963 book The Feminine Mystique is credited with launching the second wave of feminism worldwide.

She also co-founded and was the first president of the highly influential National Organisation of Women (NOW). In 1970, Betty organised the Women’s Strike for Equality which saw 50,000 women in New York alone and made headlines around the world.

The Feminine Mystique coined the phrase “the problem that has no name” – essentially, a generation of educated women who felt stifled by their homemaker role and inability to have careers like men. The book helped to ignite the women’s movement in the 1960s and 70s, which saw huge leaps in new freedoms and achievements in women’s rights.

Why should we thank her?

NOW is arguably the most powerful and influential force in women’s rights in the US, and its activism has helped millions of women.

The Feminine Mystique lit a fire under a generation of women, creating the wave of feminism that gave us Germaine Greer, Gloria Steinem and many other powerful voices.

Betty really did change the world by asserting that women were as capable as men for any work or any career path. A revolutionary idea at the time.

Best quote

“The feminine mystique has succeeded in burying millions of American women alive.”

A Feminist a Day: Betty Friedan

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