The Best Betty Friedan quotes

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Betty Friedan is one of the most influential writers in America. She wrote the The Feminine Mystique which was published in 1963. It is widely credited with sparking second wave feminism and she is often called the mother of modern feminism for her part in shaping society’s views on women’s rights, gender roles, and sexual identity. Her early life led to her becoming a feminist leader later in life as she grew up deeply affected by World War II, the Great Depression, and the rise of fascism around Europe.
Here are the most inspiring statements from Betty Friedan.

Here are the deepest Work, Feelings, Women, Life, World quotes from Betty Friedan, and much more.


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About Betty Friedan

birth of the author

February 4, 1921

death of the author

February 4, 2006

occupation of the author

Writer, Activist

knownfor of the author

Known For:
Author Of The Feminine Mystique, Consequently Sparking The Beginning Of Second-Wave Feminism

education of the author

Smith College University Of California, Berkeley

award of the author

Notable Works:
The Feminine Mystique


I’m my age and I feel glorious. — Betty Friedan

My adolescence was quite miserable, when I look back on it, at least my early part of my adolescence. Because there was anti–Semitism in Peoria, and I didn’t feel that when I was in elementary school. — Betty Friedan

I have discovered that there is a crucial difference between society’s image of old people and ‘us’ as we know and feel ourselves to be. — Betty Friedan

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. — Betty Friedan

i m my age and i feel glorious Betty Friedan quote


Advice? I don’t offer advice. Not my business. Your life is what you make it. — Betty Friedan

I wouldn’t be satisfied with a life lived solely on the barricades. I reserve my right to be frivolous. — Betty Friedan

I loved my kids. And I loved my house, and I loved a lot of things about my life in the 1950s. But there were a lot like me in that era, very overeducated housewives. — Betty Friedan

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. — Betty Friedan

I can’t point to any major episodes of sexual discrimination in my early life. But I was so aware of the crime, the shame that there was no use of my mother’s ability and energy. — Betty Friedan

advice i don t offer advice not my business your life is what you make it Betty Friedan quote

A woman who is herself only a sexual object, lives finally in a world of objects, unable to touch in others the individual identity she lacks herself. — Betty Friedan

You can have it all, just not all at the same time. — Betty Friedan


Who knows what women can be when they are finally free to become themselves? — Betty Friedan

No woman gets an orgasm from shining the kitchen floor. — Betty Friedan

The feminine mystique has succeeded in burying millions of American women alive. — Betty Friedan

who knows what women can be when they are finally free to become themselves Betty Friedan quote

When I was in high school, even in college, I didn’t have any real image of a career woman or a professional woman. — Betty Friedan

It is frightening when a woman finally realizes that there is no answer to the question ‘who am I’ except the voice inside herself. — Betty Friedan

Women today have choices and demand choices, choices to have kids or not and the reproductive technology thereto. And it is a fact [that] most women continue to chose to have children. — Betty Friedan

To protest free speech in the name of protecting women is dangerous and wrong. — Betty Friedan

The feminist revolution had to be fought because women quite simply were stopped at a state of evolution far short of their human capacity. — Betty Friedan

no woman gets an orgasm from shining the kitchen floor Betty Friedan quote

We can no longer ignore that voice within women that says: ‘I want something more than my husband and my children and my home.’ — Betty Friedan

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. — Betty Friedan

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

When [the] life span of America women is approaching eighty years having kids is not going to take it up. — Betty Friedan

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! — Betty Friedan

the feminine mystique has succeeded in burying millions of american women alive Betty Friedan quote

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

Protectiveness has often muffled the sound of doors closing against women. — Betty Friedan

Redundant Thematics

In Betty Friedan Statements


When she stopped conforming to the conventional picture of femininity she finally began to enjoy being a woman. — Betty Friedan

American women were frustrated in just the role of housewife–but they also managed to enlarge it. And they weren’t just housewives, they were community leaders. — Betty Friedan

Each woman is made to feel it is her own cross to bear if she can’t be the perfect clone of the male superman and the perfect clone of the feminine mystique. — Betty Friedan

to protest free speech in the name of protecting women is dangerous and wrong Betty Friedan quote

We need a new political movement of women and men toward a new society. — Betty Friedan

It is an undeniable fact that, in organizing, petitioning, and speaking out to free the slaves, American women learned how to free themselves. — Betty Friedan

Women, because they are not generally the principal breadwinners, can be perhaps most useful as the trail blazers, working along the bypaths, doing the unusual job that men cannot afford to gamble on. — Betty Friedan

Gradually, without seeing it clearly for quite a while, I came to realize that something is very wrong with the way American women are trying to live their lives today. — Betty Friedan

A woman is handicapped by her sex, and handicaps society, either by slavishly copying the pattern of man’s advance in the professions, or by refusing to compete with man at all. — Betty Friedan

The situation of women and men is not comparable to worker–boss or black and white. — Betty Friedan

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


The only way for a woman, as for a man, to find herself, to know herself as a person, is by creative work of her own. — Betty Friedan

Today the problem that has no name is how to juggle work, love, home and children. — Betty Friedan

There is absolutely no evidence that it is harmful to children if their mother’s health, well–being and autonomy and control of her own destiny is maximized by work outside the home. — Betty Friedan

today the problem that has no name is how to juggle work love home and children Betty Friedan quote

Neither woman nor man lives by work, or love, alone … The human self defines itself and grows through love and work: All psychology before and after Freud boils down to that. — Betty Friedan

If you were very bright and you became head of a department, as I did, of the psychology department, you were encouraged to go on to graduate work. But as a women you didn’t even think about discrimination. — Betty Friedan


I just decided that I didn’t want to be in the academic world, because it was [really] too easy for me at the top. But also it wasn’t active enough for me. — Betty Friedan

I didn’t want to be in a situation where I was broader than the boys, which I was, in the academic world. — Betty Friedan

Some people think I’m saying, ‘Women of the world unite––you have nothing to lose but your men. It’s not true. You have nothing to lose but your vacuum cleaners. — Betty Friedan

I realized that what I was saying was threatening, somehow, to the editors of women’s magazines. That it threatened the very world they were trying to paint, what I then called the ‘feminine mystique. — Betty Friedan

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