Betty Friedan was born on February 4, 1921 in Peoria, Illinois. Friedan is most well-known for her work as a writer and women’s rights activists. Some go as far as crediting her for beginning the second-wave feminism movement in the United States during the 1960s.
Her novel The Feminine Mystique described “the problem that has no name.” This being the unhappiness of housewives in the country (including herself) who were unsatisfied with their lives, despite the materialistic things they had.
Friedan co-founded the National Organization for Women, and served as their first president. In addition to this, Friedan also helped establish the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws due to help women who were unable to access safe, legal abortions. With help from other feminists of her time, Friedan also helped create the National Women’s Political Caucus.
Friedan is still seen today as being an influential icon during the feminist movement. Her work, including The Feminine Mystique is still referenced by many in the feminist movement.
Through her hard work she helped make the United States a more equal place by advocating for equality in every situation, ranging from abortion rights to political equality. Young women today are able to look up to Friedan and receive a better understanding of modern feminism, despite her work being from another generation.
“Men are not the enemy, but the fellow victims. The real enemy is women’s denigration of themselves.”