Betty Friedan quotes

  • Men, also, have in them enormous capacities that they have to repress and fear in themselves, living up to this obsolete and brutal man-eating, bear-killing, Ernest Hemingway, crewcut Prussian sadistic, napalm all the children in Vietnam, bang-bang you're dead, image of masculinity, the image of all powerful masculine superiority that is absolute.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Children #Powerful #Men

  • Economic equity is an enormous empowerment of women. Having jobs that provide income means that women can be a more effective force, a more equal force, in the political process. Women with income take themselves more seriously and they are taken more seriously.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Jobs #Taken #Mean

  • Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Birthday #Inspiring #Uplifting

  • There's increasing consciousness that a "command and control" style of management which one associates with a male model isn't necessarily what works anymore, especially with small to medium sized companies. There's increasing evidence that a more flexible management style, where responsibility is distributed up and down the line, is what works best. And that kind of management style is one that will allow individual workers more flexibility - men and women.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Responsibility #Men #Style

  • 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

    #Strength #Freedom #Voice

  • I think it's tremendously important that women continue to be full participants in the corporate environment, and that they continue to seek the same responsibilities, opportunities and rewards in that environment that in the past have only been available to men.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Responsibility #Past #Opportunity

  • 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

    #Women #Diversity #Enemy

  • There's no question that the black middle class has benefited greatly by the civil rights movement. But there is a large black underclass that does not have access to jobs. If there's no clear road to income and status except crime, we should expect social problems. You can't solve this problem without addressing the economic issues, and the same is true with gender.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Jobs #Rights #Class

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

  • Each suburban wife struggles 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?
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Husband #Children #Struggle

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

    #Women #Being A Woman #Enjoy

  • Who knows what women can be when they are finally free to become themselves? Who knows what women's intelligence will contribute when it can be nourished without denying love?
    -- Betty Friedan

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

    #Justice #Social Justice

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

    #Women #History #Alive

  • Instead of fulfilling the promise of infinite orgasmic bliss, sex in the America of the feminine mystique is becoming a strangely joyless national compulsion, if not a contemptuous mockery.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Sex #America #Promise

  • Men are not the enemy, but the fellow victims. The real enemy is women's denigration of themselves.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Real #Women #Memorable

  • No woman gets an ***** from shining the kitchen floor.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Shining #Kitchen

  • 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

    #Women #Creative #Way

  • 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

    #Children #Husband #Selfish

  • A girl should not expect special privileges because of her sex, but neither should she "adjust" to prejudice and discrimination.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Girl #Sex #Justice

  • 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 is, a longing] that women suffered in the middle of the 20th century in the United States. Each suburban [house]wife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries ... she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question - 'Is this all?
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Years #Wife #House

  • I'm my age and I feel glorious.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Age #Middle Ages #Feels

  • If divorce has increased by one thousand percent, don't blame the women's movement. Blame the obsolete sex roles on which our marriages were based.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Sex #Divorce #Justice

  • I never set out to write a book to change women's lives, to change history. It's like, 'Who, me?' Yes, me. I did it. And I'm not that different from other women. Maybe my power and glory was that I could speak my truth as a woman and it was the truth of every woman.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Book #Writing #Different

  • The real joke that history played on American women is not the one that makes people snigger, with cheap Freudian sophistication, at the dead feminists. It is the joke that Freudian thought played on living women, twisting the memory of the feminists into the man-eating phantom of the feminine mystique, shriveling the very wish to be more than just a wife and mother.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Mother #Memories #Real

  • Strange new problems are being reported in the growing generations of children whose mothers were always there, driving them around, helping them with their homework --an inability to endure pain or discipline or pursue any self-sustained goal of any sort, a devastating boredom with life.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Mother #Children #Pain

  • We need to see men and women as equal partners, but its 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

    #Men #Thinking #Years

  • 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

    #Inspirational #Men #Self

  • There needs to be bolder thinking, ... on how to measure the quality of life of men and women in the work force. Currently, success is measured by material advancements. We need to readjust the definition of success to account for time outside of work and satisfaction of life, not just the dollars-and-cents bottom line.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Men #Thinking #Quality

  • life lived only for oneself does not truly satisfy men or women. There is a hunger in Americans today for larger purposes beyond the self. That is the reason for the religious revival and the new resonance of 'family.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Religious #Men #Self

  • the new mystique is that women can have it all. There's a whole new generation of women today, flogging themselves to compete for success according to the male model - in a work world structured for men with wives to handle the details of life.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Men #Wife #Males

  • Just as darkness is sometimes defined as the absence of light, so age is defined as the absence of youth.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Light #Darkness #Age

  • Why the increasing emphasis by professional age experts and the media on - and public acceptance of - the nursing home as the locus of age when, in fact, more than ninety percent of those over sixty-five continue to live in the community?
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Home #Nursing #Acceptance

  • 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

    #Differences #People #Age

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

    #Names #Speech #Dangerous

  • Aging will create the music of the coming century.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Aging #Century

  • Regardless of your age, you will always have adventures, unexpected joys and unexpected sorrows.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Adventure #Inspirational Birthday #Joy

  • Over and over again, stories in women's magazines insist that women can know fulfillment only at the moment of giving birth to a child. They deny the years when she can no longer look forward to giving birth, even if she repeats the act over and over again. In the feminine mystique, there is no other way for a woman to dream of creation or of the future. There is no other way she can even dream about herself, except as her children's mother, her husband's wife.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Mother #Dream #Husband

  • 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

    #Children #Husband #Home

  • 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

    #Feminist #Prejudice #Discrimination

  • He's a male chauvinistic piglet.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Piglet #Males #Insult

  • You have to say no to the old ways before you can begin to find the new yes you need.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Needs #Way

  • The suburban housewife - she was the dream image of the young American women and the envy, it was said, of women all over the world. The American housewife - freed by science and labor-saving appliances from the drudgery, the dangers of childbirth, and the illnesses of her grandmother had found true feminine fulfillment.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Dream #Grandmother #Envy

  • It is easier to live life through someone else than to become complete yourself.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Women #Live Life #Easier

  • Aging is not 'lost youth,' but a new stage of opportunity and strength. It's a different stage of life, and if you are going to pretend it's youth, you are going to miss it. You are going to miss the surprises, the possibilities, and the evolution that we are just beginning to know about because there are no role models, no guideposts, and no signs.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Opportunity #Bad Ass #Role Models

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

    #Doors #Justice #Sound

  • The problem that has no name-which is simply the fact that American women are kept from growing to their full human capacities-is taking a far greater toll on the physical and mental health of our country than any known disease.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Country #Names #Justice

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

    #Men #Political #Needs

  • ...women who 'adjust' as housewives, who grow up wanting to be 'just a housewife,' are in as much danger as the millions who walked to their own death in the concentration camps...they ate suffering a slow death of mind and spirit.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Growing Up #Mind #Suffering

  • The key to the trap is, of course, education. The feminine mystique has made higher education for women seem suspect, unnecessary and even dangerous. But I think that education, and only education, has saved, and can continue to save, American women from the greater dangers of the feminine mystique.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Thinking #Keys #Unnecessary

  • It is perhaps beside the point to remark that bowling alleys and supermarkets have nursery facilities, while schools and colleges and scientific laboratories and government offices do not.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #School #College #Government

  • The man who is extremely and dangerously hungry has no other interest but food. Capacities not useful for the satisfying of hunger are pushed into the background. 'But what happens to man's desires when there is plenty of food and his belly in chronically filled? At once, other (and higher) needs emerge and these, rather than the psychological hungers, dominate the organism.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Men #Desire #Needs

  • 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

    #Feminist #Revolution #States

  • Chosen motherhood is the real liberation. The choice to have a child makes the whole experience of motherhood different, and the choice to be generative in other ways can at last be made, and is being made by many women now, without guilt.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Children #Real #Motherhood

  • 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

    #Men #Thinking #People

  • It is better for a woman to compete impersonally in society, as men do, than to compete for dominance in her own home with her husband, compete with her neighbors for empty status, and so smother her son that he cannot compete at all.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Husband #Home #Son

  • I was at a meeting two years ago in Beijing, and I passed a bunch of women who were marching in a protest. Their signs were probably saying something I wouldn't have agreed with at all. But I was so glad to see women marching. And it's happening all over the world.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Years #Two #World

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

    #Satisfied #Barricades

  • Getting older is an adventure, not a problem.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Adventure #Getting Older #Problem

  • 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

    #Mother #Children #Home

  • You can show more of the reality of yourself instead of hiding behind a mask for fear of revealing too much
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Reality #Too Much #Hiding

  • [Feminist:] One who believes in the liberation of that which has been suppressed as female in a man.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Believe #Men #Feminist

  • Development can indeed continue beyond childhood and youth, beyond the seventies. It can continue until the very end of life, given purposes that challenge and use our human abilities. . . . In sum, our development does not necessarily end at any age. We can continue to develop into our eighties, even to our nineties.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Childhood #Challenges #Age

  • When one begins to think about it, America depends rather heavily on women's passive dependence, their femininity. Femininity, if one still wants to call it that, makes American women a target and a victim of the sexual sell.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Thinking #America #Target

  • 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

    #Sex #Men #Copying

  • 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

    #Voice #Answers #Realizing

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

    #Advice #Life Is #Offers

  • What had really caused the women's movement was the additional years of human life. At the turn of the century women's life expectancy was forty-six; now it was nearly eighty. Our groping sense that we couldn't live all those years in terms of motherhood alone was "the problem that had no name." Realizing that it was not some freakish personal fault but our common problem as women had enabled us to take the first steps to change our lives.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Motherhood #Names #Years

  • American housewives have not had their brains shot away, nor are they schizophrenic in the clinical sense. But if ... the fundamental human drive is not the urge for pleasure or the satisfaction of biological needs, but the need to grow and to realize one's full potential, their comfortable, empty, purposeless days are indeed cause for a nameless terror.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Brain #Satisfaction #Causes

  • Dominance is a burden. Most men who are honest will admit that.
    -- Betty Friedan

    #Men #Dominance #Honest

You may also like: