Betty Friedan Facts

Betty Friedan Facts
Betty Friedan was a noted author and feminist activist who is considered by scholars to have been one of the leaders of the "Second Wave" of American feminism during the 1960s and 1970s. During the course of her life, Frieden authored many books and articles on feminism, including the seminal 1963 work The Feminine Mystique, and helped organize activists throughout the United States. Frieden was born Bettye Naomi Goldstein on February 4, 1921 to a family of Jewish jewelry store owners in Peoria, Illinois. She graduated from public high school in Peoria and went on the attend Smith College in Massachusetts, where she graduated summa cum laude with a BA in psychology in 1942. She then moved to California and traveled throughout the United States, becoming a prolific writer on feminist issues and one of the top feminist organizers of the 1960s and 1970s.
Interesting Betty Friedan Facts:
Betty became active in Marxism as a child.
Despite being known as a good writer and winning awards for her writings later in life, Friedan was rejected as a writer for her high school's newspaper.
She studied psychology for a year at the University of California, Berkley graduate school in 1943, but chose to pursue a full-time career as an activist instead.
Many of her friends and associates in college were committed Marxists and communists who were investigated by the FBI.
She worked as a journalist for pro-labor periodicals during the 1940s.
While writer for the pro-labor magazine UE News in 1947, Betty met her future husband Carl Friedan.
Friedan was known for having a caustic personality that sometimes drove a wedge between her and likeminded people.
Carl and Betty had three children, but divorced in 1969.
Friedan began research on her opus magnum, The Feminine Mystique, in the late 1950s and published the book in 1963.
Betty also wrote five other books and hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles.
Some of her unpublished works are now housed at the Schlesinger Library at Harvard University.
Friedan was one of the National Organization for Women's (NOW) original founders in 1966.
She helped organize the Women's Strike for Equality on August 26, 1970, which happened to be the fiftieth anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth. Amendment (Women's Suffrage/right to vote) to the United States Constitution.
After abortion was legalized by the Supreme Court through Roe v. Wade, Friedan organized the National Abortion Rights League in 1973.
Despite sharing virtually the same beliefs and working in many of the same circles, Friedan had a lifelong rivalry with fellow feminist Gloria Steinem.
Betty was one of the primary driving forces behind the failed Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) push in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Unlike many feminists of her era, Friedan never actively opposed pornography.
Although she was never outspoken against homosexuality, Frieden rarely advocated on their behalf and did not believe that their lifestyles should be politicized.
Friedan died of heart failure on February 4, 2006 at the age of eighty-five.
Carl Friedan once said that Betty "changed the course of human history almost single-handedly."
Despite often being overlooked in favor of Steinem by the mainstream, many scholars of feminism argue that Frieden was the primary impetus behind the Second Wave feminist movement.

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