The Rebirth of the Feminist Movement

February 19, 1963 – Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique is published by W.W. Norton and Co.

Based on a survey she took in 1957 at her Smith College 15 year reunion, Friedan identifies what she called “the problem that has no name” describing the unhappiness millions of American women were feeling thought they lived comfortable lives, were happily married, and enjoyed their children. The book became a best seller and is credited for launching the second wave of the Women’s Movement encouraging women to find satisfaction outside the home. She co-found the National Organization for Women in 1966 and was its first president. She stayed politically active and was involved in numerous causes being anti-war and pro-choice. She died of congestive heart failure in 2006 on her 85th birthday. Ironically, at the same time, changes in the economy were forcing millions of American women to return to the workforce, not because they wanted to, but because they had to. Perhaps many of them found better situations thanks to Betty’s ground breaking work.

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Filed under 1960s, Feminism

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