Christine de Pizan

Christine de Pizan
The Writer Christine de Pizan at Her Desk

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Betty Friedan, the "Feminine Mystique," and the "Problem That Has No Name"

Betty Friedan (born 4 February 1921)

In 1963, Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique, a book that is widely regarded as having ignited the second-wave feminist movement. She went on to help found the National Organization for Women.

Betty Friedan in 1995
In a perfect circle, Friedan was born on 4 February in 1921 and died on her eighty-fifth birthday, 4 February 2006. 

There are biographies, of course, and endless histories, assessments, and analyses. (This New York Times obituary gives a good summary of her life and work.

But there's also the book itself--it's a breathtaking read, available in paper and hardback copies, new and used, fancy fiftieth-anniversary deluxe editions and Norton Critical texts prepared for classroom use, digital download and audiobook. Get one! Read it! Enjoy! And then get angry!

Update, 4 February 2021: Noting the one-hundredth anniversary of her birth, the New York Times has published "Why We Can't Stop Talking about Betty Friedan": "A 100th birthday celebration in honor of the feminist raises the question: What was Ms. Friedan’s legacy exactly? ‘As with everything Betty, it’s complicated.’" 

Cover of the 1963 edition

No comments:

Post a Comment