Betty Friedan was born on February 4, 1921 in Peoria, Illinois, USA. Her mother was a journalist and worked on a newspaper before marry. When she married, she had to give up her dream job and the loss of that career affected her deeply. Later she tried to make Betty to pursue the career in journalism that she was never able to achieve.
When she was young, she usually wrote about how she felt isolated from society, and her passion against injustice. In high school she became involved in the school newspaper and launched a magazine with six other friends called "Tide". The articles were about home life as opposed to school life. She was doing the journalism work that her mother would like she had done.
She married Carl Friedan in 1947, however she didn't stop writing like her mother. She kept on writing even when she was raising three children. But somehow she felt unfulfilled by her role as wife and mother. It was not enough for her.
Women at that time were victims of a pervasive system of delusions and false values that urged them to find their fulfillment and identity vicariously, through their husbands and children.
Due to a small investigation she got replies from two hundred women who revealed that they were unhappy with their lives. She later wrote an article based on her findings, but the editors of the women's magazines with whom she had previously worked refused to publish it. Those refusals only made her more determined to share her findings with the world. She decided to investigate the problem on a much larger scale and publish a book.
Friedan published the book "The Feminine Mystique" in 1963, which began by describing what she called "the problem that has no name". The book was very successful, selling over three million copies. It helped to drive the second wave of feminism and the women's movement. She demanded that women be given more rights.
"Each suburban wife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night - she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question—'Is this all?' ". Women felt frustrated, her dreams weren't being fulfilled, they were alone and had to keel silence. They didn't have a choice, they didn't have a voice. They had to accept to be submissive and perform the traditional and passive role of women in society.
As a consequence, women started a rebellion to fight for equality between men and women in public services, in work, in education, in pay and in opportunities.
From 1966 to 1970, Betty Friedan co-founded the National Organization for Women (NOW) which was dedicated to achieving equality of opportunities for women.
She also helped to found NARAL an association which defends women's choices in abortion, birth control, sexual health and contraception.
We should think that if now we, women, can be protected in a sexual relation or have the choice to opt if we want to have a baby or not, we owe it to anyone. Anyone worried about us. Thank you, Betty.