Friedan also became a celebrity as a result of the book. This text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Download our mobile app for on-the-go access to the Jewish Virtual Library, © 1998 - 2020 American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. Friedan still mixed with Marxists and she wrote for left-wing papers. So in 1966, Friedan joined other women in founding the National Organization for Women (NOW). Women have repeatedly described how they felt when reading the book: They realized they were not alone and that they could aspire to something more than the life they were being encouraged or even forced to lead. Betty Friedan, née Bettye Naomi Goldstein, (born February 4, 1921, Peoria, Illinois, U.S.—died February 4, 2006, Washington, D.C.), American feminist best known for her book The Feminine Mystique (1963), which explored the causes of the frustrations of modern women in traditional roles. She found that 89% were not using their education. In 1967, the first NOW convention took on the Equal Rights Amendment and abortion, though NOW viewed the abortion issue as highly controversial and focused more on political and employment equality. During World War II, she worked as a reporter for a labor service, and had to give up her job to a veteran who returned at the end of the war. While young, she was active in Marxist and radical Jewish circles. NOW activists and others in the women's movement struggled over how much to take on issues of lesbian rights and how welcoming to be of movement participation and leadership by lesbians. It depicted the roles of women in industrial societies, in particular the ful-time homemaker role, which Friedan saw as stifling. Sources: Wikipedia; Library of Congress photo. That book, published in 1963, was The Feminine Mystique. It is a key text in Women’s Studies and U.S. history classes. She moved with her family back to the city and she became involved in the growing women's movement. (1921 - 2006) Betty Naomi Goldstein Friedan was born on February 4, 1921, in Peoria, Illinois. Friedan wrote up her results and tried to sell the article to magazines but could find no buyers. Refusing this recasting of her work, she withdrew the article and worked on expanding it into a book. For years, Friedan toured the United States speaking about "The Feminine Mystique" and introducing audiences to her groundbreaking work and to feminism. She was criticized by many feminists as abandoning the feminist critique of traditional women's roles, while Friedan credited the rise of Reagan and rightwing conservatism "and various Neanderthal forces" to the failure of feminism to value family life and children. In her 1963 book, Friedan wrote of the "feminine mystique" and the housewife's question, "Is this all?" Among her other accomplishments, Friedan was the founder and first president of the National Organization for Women (NOW). She worked for the United Electric Workers’ News and then Cosmopolitan. Betty later dropped out of her doctoral program at the University of California at Berkeley, where she was studying group dynamics, and moved to New York to pursue a career. Betty's mother was unhappy in that choice, and she pushed Betty to get a college education and pursue a career. Friedan's other books include The Second Stage, which she wrote under a less radical position, It Changed My Life, and The Fountain of Age. Friedan served as its first president for three years. Her father was a jeweler and her mother, who had been an editor of the women's pages of a newspaper, left her job to become a homemaker. A leading figure in the women's movement in the United States, her 1963 book The Feminine Mystique is often credited with sparking the second wave of American feminism in the 20th century. She is a former faculty member of the Humanist Institute. Betty Friedan was an American feminist writer and activist. In 1983, Friedan began to focus on researching fulfillment in the older years, and in 1993 published her findings as "The Fountain of Age." Her article on the survey, which lamented the lost potential of her classmates and present-day women college students, was submitted to women's magazines in 1958, but editors rejected it or wanted it rewritten to a less feminist point of view. In 1957, for the 15th reunion of her graduating class at Smith, Friedan was asked to survey her classmates on how they'd used their education. A leading voice of women’s rights movement, Betty Friedan was a phenomenal woman, often credited with starting the second wave of feminism in the United States, in the 20th century. In 1976, Friedan published "It Changed My Life," with her thoughts on the women's movement. She had founded many organizations to raise awareness for bridging the gap between men and women in society. She worked as a clinical psychologist and social researcher along with being a writer. After graduation, she spent a year at Berkeley doing graduate work in psychology, but declined a scholarship for further study, and left Berkeley to work as a journalist for leftist and union publications. Friedan also took a controversial stand on lesbians in the movement. Among her other activities, Friedan often lectured and taught at colleges, wrote for many magazines, and was an organizer and director of the First Women's Bank and Trust.
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