Betty Friedan Women's Rights Movement

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Similar to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, which ignited the environmental movement, Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique sparked the second wave of feminism. American society limited women’s roles to housewife and feminine jobs such as teachers and secretaries. Friedan and her supporters focused on job equality and equal pay, but soon the movement progressed and split into two factions, women’s rights and women’s liberation. The liberation movement, composed mostly of young, radical women, advocated for much more than equal job opportunities and education which the women’s rights movement demanded. While the two groups eventually merged and provided some success, gender equality and women’s rights remain a controversial issue in American society. In 1963, Friedan published The Feminine Mystique which exposed women’s unsatisfied lives as mothers and wives. Women who shared these …show more content…

But soon, younger women believed the goals of NOW did not represent their ideals of women’s rights. These young, radical women created a separate branch of the second wave of feminism known as the women’s liberation movement. The women of the liberation movement talked openly about taboo subjects such as sex and abortion. Gloria Steinem advocated for the inclusion of courses in Women’s Studies, sexism, and American law in universities (Steinem 541). Additionally, these women challenged the traditional roles portrayed by women and the standard of beauty. In 1968, the liberation movement protested the Miss America Pageant stating, “We will protest the image of Miss America, an image that oppresses women in every area.” The protest included radical activities such as the burning of bras, makeup, or any “women-garbage” and they refused any male inclusion or services. (No More Miss

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