(Feb 4, 1921 – Feb 4, 2006) Feminist icon credited with starting the modern-day feminist revolution. Her private life defined her radical ideology as demonstrated throughout her writings, particularly her most famous book, “The Feminine Mystique” (1963). Friedan’s book essentially sanctioned the wholesale sacrifice of being a wife, motherhood and children on the altar of abortion and careerism presided over by the all-powerful Marxist State. Friedan founded two important radical organizations that paved the way toward legalized infanticide. In 1966, Friedan was a cofounder of NOW (the National Organization for Women) whose main objective would be to empower women (in Engels’s words) not to be “shut out from socially productive labor and restricted to private domestic labor.” In 1969, with Bernard Nathanson, Friedan started the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL) which abortion was legalized 4 years later.
Friedan helped destroy the American family – driving a wedge between husband and wife by demonizing the position of housewives as domestic slaves and grossly romanticizing working outside the home. Friedan’s hagiographic biographer Daniel Horowitz even noted that Friedan offered a distorted vision of the actual conditions of white upper-middle class suburban housewives in the 1950s, by hyping anything that was negative and repressing anything that was constructive, shamelessly manipulating and inventing the data to confirm her neurotic need for a crisis and disregard (as Marx, Mead and Kinsey did) everything that challenged her grand, abstract thesis.
Friedan also conflated a Marx/Engels paradigm they used to exploit class differences in labor and society 100 years before and smuggled them into the home. For example, observe how Friedan taught women to liberate themselves from the “housewife trap”:
[To] emancipate woman and make her the equal of the man is and remains an impossibility so long as the woman is shut out from socially productive labor and restricted to private domestic labor. The emancipation of woman will only be possible when woman can take in production on a large, social scale, and domestic work no longer claims anything but an insignificant amount of her time.
Incidentally, this passage was plagiarized from Friedrich Engels’ 1884 essay “The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State.”
Named Bettye Naomi Goldstein, Friedan was born in Peoria, Ill., the daughter of Jewish immigrants Harry Goldstein, a jeweler, and his domineering, hateful but attractive young wife, Miriam Horwitz Goldstein. The Goldstein house was horribly dysfunctional. Friedan’s father was adamant that her mother quit her job writing for the society pages and dedicate herself to being a housewife. Friedan would later admit that this fateful decision in her family was the cause of her mother’s incessant rage and the resulting profound bitterness and despair inside the Goldstein home.
Extolling abstractness and socialist values above real conditions undermines much of Friedan’s book. Before she published “The Feminine Mystique,” Friedan wrote for numerous leftist, socialist-inspired magazines, agitating on behalf of neglected lower-class workers. The abstractness of her ideas are fundamentally Marxist. She assumed, as irrefutable, that all women suffered the same restless discontent as her mother and herself. Friedan wrote:
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 20th century in the United States. 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?”
Friedan arrived at Smith College in 1938. She started taking Professor staunch leftist and Communist Party member Dorothy Wolff Douglas’s economics course in 1940, and recalls becoming interested in literature on the Spanish Civil War and communist John Reed’s book Ten Days That Shook the World. More specific, it was in February 1941 that Dorothy Wolff Douglas was able to make a great enough impact on Betty to convince her to adopt communism.
Here is where the research of Daniel Horowitz also fills in some blanks. Using Friedan’s notes, Horowitz reported that:
“Especially important is what [Friedan] recorded when Douglas talked about the condition of women in Nazi Germany and the USSR. On [Friedan’s] twentieth birthday, in February 1941, Douglas mentioned what she called the ‘feminist movement.’ She talked about the ‘traditionalism’ of the Nazis’ attitude to religion, women, children, and family. According to [Friedan’s] notes, Douglas said the Nazis placed children at the center of family lives, celebrated motherhood, and opposed women working outside the house in professional positions (not as farmers and mutual laborers). They minimized the intellectual capacity of women, emphasizing instead the importance of their feelings. In the middle of her lecture on women under Nazi rule, Douglas noted parenthetically that men who controlled women’s magazines participated in this conscious ideological effort to tell women that despite their aspirations for intellectual life, in fact they were instinctual being who belonged in the home. In contrast, Douglas said, women in the USSR experienced equality of opportunity, with their wages almost matching (and in some cases exceeding) those of men.”
Betty Friedan opposed American involvement in the war before, during, and after the Nazi-Soviet Pact, showing, at the very least, that she was not a doctrinaire Party-line communist. But, according to FBI files examined by Horowitz, she reportedly did join the Young Communist League (the youth branch of the Communist Party), and attempted to join the Party itself at least twice. She records in her memoir that she attempted to join in New York in 1942, but decided against it after talking it over with her father. Daniel Horowitz, using Friedan’s FBI file, recorded another attempt in 1944, where she was turned away because “there already were too many intellectuals in the labor movement and that she would have greater party influence by staying in her own field, which is Psychology.”
Professor Horowitz stated in a lecture that,
After she left Smith, Friedan spent a year as a psychology graduate at the University of California, Berkeley. There she began nine years, from 1943 to 1952, as a labor journalist, first for Federated Press, a left-wing news service. Then, for about six years beginning in July 1946, precisely at the moment when the wartime Popular Front came under intense attack, Friedan was a reporter for the UE News, the newspaper of one of America’s most radical unions.
That union, the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, or “UE,” was more than radical. It was communist-controlled, and among Betty Friedan’s assignments at UE News was to promote the communist-run Progressive Party campaign of Henry Wallace for the presidency in 1948. The support that the communist-dominated unions gave to the Progressive Party and its anti-containment policies was the final straw between the reds and the CIO, and over the course of the next two years the Democratic-Socialist leadership of the CIO would expel the red unions, including the UE.
As Daniel Horowitz found, Friedan read Friedrich Engels’ The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State, the classic statement of Marxist feminism. Friedan took down what Engels had to say about the liberation of women coming only when they entered the productive workforce: “The emancipation of women becomes possible only when women are enabled to take part in production on a large, social scale, and when domestic duties require their attention only to a minor degree.”
To that, Friedan added three words of her own: “along with men.”
The modern feminist movement was on its way. But it’s journey was not over. It still had to be drilled and instilled in the schools. On that, there were many who built on Friedan’s foundation, from numerous other radical feminists to the secular disciples of John Dewey—just for starters.
Americans today need to understand that the feminist movement is rooted less in concern for every woman and more in far-left politics—even communist politics. There is a specter haunting the feminist movement, and that specter does not have the interest of women first, especially not conservative women.
History Events Involving Betty Friedan:
The Equal Rights Amendment is Passed by Congress and Sent to States for Ratification but Stopped by Phyllis Schlafly’s Grassroots Movement
The National Organization for Women (NOW) was Founded in Washington, DC by Communist and Jewish Betty Friedan