Betty Friedan Feminism

Superior Essays
Once upon a time, there was a woman named Betty Friedan who lived in Peoria, Illinois. She was born on February 4th, 1921, went to Smith College, and died on February 4th, 2006. As she grew up, she noticed that women and men were treated differently, and decided to take a stand. She wrote many articles and books expressing her ideas, but her first book was the most influential. By noticing sexual discrimination during adolescence and experiencing sexism as a journalist, Betty Friedan was motivated to become a feminist and fuel the Women’s Movement by expressing her views on gender discrimination in the book, The Feminine Mystique.
Friedan’s experiences as a young girl caused her to notice the existence of gender inequality and shaped her views
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The goal of the book, The Feminine Mystique, was to analyze the faults in “the ‘feminine mystique’ era, [when] ‘career woman’ was a dirty word”. Betty Friedan wanted to disprove the stereotypes and labels society had so easily created about the role of women. She wanted to raise awareness for “the problem that has no name”, the fact that the lives of women were restricted to working around the house and playing with the children. Betty Friedan wanted to prove that a tightly-knit family and a successful career were possible for women and they did not have to choose one or the other. Friedan wanted the book to start a movement of people who believed that “women will share in the economic burden, and men will share more equally in the home and the family”. The Feminine Mystique was more successful than Friedan had ever imagined. Mothers and housewives all over the world read the book and realized that many other people were facing the same struggles. Friedan “put into words what a lot of women had been feeling and thinking, that they were freaks and they were the only ones”. Daughters of unhappy women read the book and finally understood their mother 's’ actions. People were so heavily affected by the book that they wrote to Friedan, expressing their gratitude to Friedan for helping them understand themselves. The Feminine Mystique started the Women’s Movement– women all over the country were realizing how unfairly they had been treated and how much more life has to offer for them. People started campaigning and protesting to end workplace discrimination and make anti-discrimination laws. From reading the book, women had the courage to leave unhappy marriages, get reeducated, look for jobs, explore their lifelong interests, and gain independence from the stereotype that was restricting their opportunities.

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