|The Woman in History that I chose is Betty Friedan. She was born February 4, 1921 in|
Peorie, Illinois as Bettye Naomi Goldstein. She graduated high school in 1938 only to further her
career at Smith College. She graduated cum laude in 1942. She was a very intelligent woman
whose training was as a psychologist however she did not pursue that career. She married Carl
Friedman in 1947. They changed their last name by dropping the "m". Betty and Carl had three
children: Emily, Daniel, and Jonathan. Betty divorced Carl in 1969 due to spousal abuse. She
became quite an activist for women's rights. She also became a powerful writer. She wrote "The
Femine Mystique" in 1963 which actually made her quite famous. It was a very controversial
best seller that transformed women's lives forever which started the second wave of feminism. Over
three million books were sold by the year 2000. This book exposed sexism and opened
womens' eye's to the importance outside the home, not just inside. This was a major
accomplishment for Betty as she touched so many lives. In 1966, Betty was the co-founder of
NOW (National Organization for Women). She was the first president from 1966-1970. She was
not in favor of homosexuality issues at first but later changed her stance on the issue. Betty also
wrote the following books: It Changed My Life in 1976, The Second Stage in 1981, The
Fountain of Age in 1993, Beyond Gender in 1997, and her autobiography Life so Far in 2000.
In 1971, with the help of some others, Betty founded the National Women's Political Caucus.
She also assisted in the founding of NARAL (National Association for the Repeal of Abortion
Laws) which is now known as Naral Pro-Choice America. In 1993, Betty was inducted into the
National Women's Hall of Fame, a major accomplishment. She was instrumental in social
activism in the area of pursuing unisex help wanted ads and stressing the need for women to be
in the fields of politics, medicine, clergy, and the military. Betty's goal in life was to eliminate
discrimination for all women.
The first time that I heard about Betty Friedan was this summer in my Modern America history
class. I find this rather interesting as she accomplished so much for women and the sections in
my book about her were not large. She teaches me the importance of never giving up on my
dreams and standing up for what you believe in. Ironically, Betty died on her birthday in 2006.
The research I used for this blog came from internet sites: Wikipedia, NOW, New York Times,
and American Workers. For further study and information about Betty, I would recommend
reading her books, articles at now.org as well as other organizations she assisted.