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A great woman of the 20th century, she played a major role in liberalizing our society in terms of women's rights. Before her, women "belonged in the homes," the man always wore the pants, and women were basically second class citizens. The right wing hated her during her hayday, as she fought for equal pay and equal opportunity for women.
"Betty Friedan, whose manifesto 'The Feminine Mystique' became a best seller in the 1960s and laid the groundwork for the modern feminist movement, died Saturday, her birthday. She was 85.
"Friedan died at her home of congestive heart failure, according to a cousin, Emily Bazelon.
"Friedan's assertion in her 1963 best seller that having a husband and babies was not everything and that women should aspire to separate identities as individuals, was highly unusual, if not revolutionary, just after the baby and suburban booms of the Eisenhower era.
"The feminine mystique, she said, was a phony bill of goods society sold to women that left them unfulfilled, suffering from 'the problem that has no name' and seeking a solution in tranquilizers and psychoanalysis.
'"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,' Friedan said."
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