Saturday, February 4, 2012

This Day in History February 4, 1921

On this date, this woman, Betty Friedan, was born in 1921.  Interestingly enough, she died exactly 85 years later.  She was born in Peoria, Illinois, and she graduated in 1943 with a Bachelor's degree.  She could have gone on to get her master's degree, but she chose to go to work as a reporter. She had done this due to her own mother's unhappiness at leaving her journalism job to be a stay-at-home mom.

Friedan married in 1947, and she left her job to be a stay-at-home mom, but she returned to work after her first child was born.  In 1949, she was fired when she asked for maternity leave since she was pregnant with her second child.   When the unions did nothing, she accepted her lot and stayed at home and became a free-lance writer.

In 1963, she published her first book The Feminine Mystique.  It became a best-seller and was eventually translated into 13 languages.  In 1966, she joined with the new women's organization NOW and was the first president.  She worked for the ERA adoption in 1967 (which of course, failed).  She also worked to overturn anti-abortion legislation.

She died of congestive heart failure on her 85th birthday.

While I am sure I owe her a lot, I don't support NOW nor abortion (nor gay rights, which she also supported).  It is just a personal opinion of mine that I believe is backed up by the Bible, but I am not going to say any more about this potentially explosive topic.  No one can deny that she was instrumental in helping women get more rights.  I am sure I wouldn't be where I am today without her tireless efforts.

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