Betty Friedan on Women's Liberation

“It is easier to live through someone else than to complete yourself. The freedom to lead and plan your own life is frightening if you have never faced it before. 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 (1921 - 2006) was a leading figure during the 1960s women's movement after her 1963 book The Feminine Mystique helped kick off second-wave feminism. She also played a large role in forming many women's groups in the mid-to-late 20th century, the National Organization for Women being the most notable. She died in 2006 at the age of 85.


“It is easier to live through someone else than to complete yourself. The freedom to lead and plan your own life is frightening if you have never faced it before. 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, from The Feminine Mystique, Ch. 14

Photo credit: "Betty Friedan 1960" by Fred Palumbo, World Telegram staff photographer - Library of Congress. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c15884. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons. Since modified.

A still from the film "We Became Fragments" by Luisa Conlon , Lacy Roberts and Hanna Miller, part of the Global Oneness Project library.

Photo: Luisa Conlon , Lacy Roberts and Hanna Miller / Global Oneness Project
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