25 Most Famous Betty Friedan Quotes

25 Most Famous Betty Friedan Quotes

by / Comments Off / 1935 View / Nov 19, 2014

Betty Friedan was a writer and a feminist, she was also one of the leading figures in the women’s movement. Her most famous work was the novel The Feminine Mystique, published in 1963. She died at the age of 85 from congestive heart failure.

“A girl should not expect special privileges because of her sex but neither should she adjust to prejudice and discrimination.”

“A good woman is one who loves passionately, has guts, seriousness and passionate convictions, takes responsibility, and shapes society.”

“Aging is not ‘lost youth’ but a new stage of opportunity and strength.”

“Chosen motherhood is the real liberation. The choice to have a child makes the whole experience of motherhood different, and the choice to be generative in other ways can at last be made, and is being made by many women now, without guilt.”

“Dominance is a burden. Most men who are honest will admit that.”

“I never set out to write a book to change women’s lives, to change history. It’s like, ‘Who, me?’ Yes, me. I did it. And I’m not that different from other women. … Maybe my power and glory was that I could speak my truth as a woman and it was the truth of every woman.”

“If I were a man, I would strenuously object to the assumption that women have any moral or spiritual superiority as a class.”

“If women’s role in life is limited solely to housewife/mother, it clearly ends when she can no longer bear more children and the children she has borne leave home.”

“In almost every professional field, in business and in the arts and sciences, women are still treated as second-class citizens. It would be a great service to tell girls who plan to work in society to expect this subtle, uncomfortable discrimination–tell them not to be quiet, and hope it will go away, but fight it. A girl should not expect special privileges because of her sex, but neither should she “adjust” to prejudice and discrimination.”

“Instead of fulfilling the promise of infinite orgasmic bliss, sex in the America of the feminine mystique is becoming a strangely joyless national compulsion, if not a contemptuous mockery.”

“It is easier to live through someone else than to become complete yourself.”

“It is perhaps beside the point to remark that bowling alleys and supermarkets have nursery facilities, while schools and colleges and scientific laboratories and government offices do not.”

“It is wrong to keep spelling out unnecessary choices that make women unconsciously resist either commitment or motherhood–and that hold back recognition of the needed social changes.”

“Just as darkness is sometimes defined as the absence of light, so age is defined as the absence of youth.”

“Man is not the enemy here, but the fellow victim. The real enemy is women’s denigration of themselves.”

“Men weren’t really the enemy — they were fellow victims suffering from an outmoded masculine mystique that made them feel unnecessarily inadequate when there were no bears to kill.”

“No woman gets an orgasm from shining the kitchen floor.”

“The feminine mystique has succeeded in burying millions of American women alive.”

“The feminists had destroyed the old image of woman, but they could not erase the hostility, the prejudice, the discrimination that still remained.”

“The key to the trap is, of course, education. The feminine mystique has made higher education for women seem suspect, unnecessary and even dangerous. But I think that education, and only education, has saved, and can continue to save, American women from the greater dangers of the feminine mystique.”

“The problem that has no name – which is simply the fact that American women are kept from growing to their full human capacities – is taking a far greater toll on the physical and mental health of our country than any known disease.”

“There needs to be bolder thinking, … on how to measure the quality of life of men and women in the work force. Currently, success is measured by material advancements. We need to readjust
the definition of success to account for time outside of work and satisfaction of life, not just the dollars-and-cents bottom line.”

“We need to see men and women as equal partners, but it’s hard to think of movies that do that. When I talk to people, they think of movies of forty-five years ago! Hepburn and Tracy!”

“When she stopped conforming to the conventional picture of femininity she finally began to enjoy being a woman.”

“You can have it all, just not all at the same time.”