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    Betty Friedan Quotes

    American feminist

    Quotes by Betty Friedan

    • A girl should not expect special privileges because of her sex but neither should she adjust to prejudice and discrimination.
    • A woman has got to be able to say, and not feel guilty, 'Who am I, and what do I want out of life?' She mustn't feel selfish and neurotic if she wants goals of her own, outside of husband and children.
    • Aging is not 'lost youth' but a new stage of opportunity and strength.
      Age
    • 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 divorce has increased by one thousand percent, don't blame the women's movement. Blame the obsolete sex roles on which our marriages were based.
    • 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.
      Sex
    • It is better for a woman to compete impersonally in society, as men do, than to compete for dominance in her own home with her husband, compete with her neighbors for empty status, and so smother her son that he cannot compete at all.
    • It is easier to live through someone else than to become complete yourself.
    • Men are not the enemy, but the fellow victims. The real enemy is women's denigration of themselves.
    • Strange new problems are being reported in the growing generations of children whose mothers were always there, driving them around, helping them with their homework - an inability to endure pain or discipline or pursue any self-sustained goal of any sort, a devastating boredom with life.
    • The problem lay buried, unspoken for many years in the minds of American women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning that women suffered in the middle of the twentieth century in the United States. Each suburban housewife 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?'
    • 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.
    • When she stopped conforming to the conventional picture of femininity she finally began to enjoy being a woman.
    If we're missing any Betty Friedan books or quotes, do email us.

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