Betty Friedan


By: Madison Le

March 24, 2021

Betty Friedan was a very inspirational author that wrote about the struggles and limitations that suburban housewives were faced with in the 19th century.   She was one of the very first people that stood up against assigned gender roles and gender inequality, demanding that all genders be treated equally.  Her best work, The Feminine Mystique, sparked the flame that burned for gender equality and showed the world how much women despised being treated unequally.

Betty Naomi Goldstein was an intellectual woman who excelled in college, earning her a degree in psychology.  Later, she then attended a year of graduate work at the University of California.  After graduating, she worked various jobs, until she met her fiance, Carl Friedan, in 1947.  Ten years later, they had gotten a divorce where she then lived on as a housewife and a journalist for a number of various magazines.  In 1957, Betty had met up with a number of friends she had met at Smith College and interviewed each one of them on how they were enjoying their lives as housewives.  She found that they were displeased with their role as housewives and how they shared very similar opinions. Digging deeper into the topic, she surfaced more and more cases as she interviewed more women.  

After many years of research and observation, she collected all of her information and comprised it into a book titled, The Feminine Mystique.  The book sparked immediate interest and it spoke about how women felt of no value after having to rely on their husbands to support the family.  Over 3 million copies of the book were sold in its first three years of production.  This book’s publication is also known as the beginning of the modern women’s movement.  In 1966, Betty went on to help found the National Organization for Women which led many gender equality movements.  After this big achievement, Betty went on to advocate for other movements such as, legalizing abortion, Women’s Strike for Equality, and even proposed the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  She continued to stand up against gender inequality until she died on February 4, 2006.

Betty Freidan is important in Glasgow’s community because she demonstrates how it is important to stand up for topics that would benefit the community around you.  She shows her passion for gender equality through writing based on her own personal experiences she has made with others and sharing them with the world.