Monday, February 06, 2006

Betty Friedan

As you may know, Betty Friedan died Saturday. Some of the blogosphere's notable posts on her are found at the following weblogs:

Hugo Schwyzer
Random Ravings (good set of links)
Tennessee Guerilla Women
Echidne of the Snakes
UPDATE: nomadicfusion
UPDATE 2: Another good one at Echidne of the Snakes

If you know of any others that were particularly interesting, let me know and I'll put them up.

My suspicion is that at some point within the next few decades Friedan, who at present is still regarded as something of an out-of-date dinosaur, even by feminists who appreciate the work she did with The Feminist Mystique, will be seen, even by those who disagree with her overall view, as what she really was: namely, the most politically savvy feminist of her generation, who saw that the real key to lasting feminist change in the United States was in transforming for the better the lives of the large number of women who are too often dismissed by feminists (as Friedan herself often was, due to her focus on them) as "bourgeois." On its own such a focus was no doubt incomplete; but I think it was more savvy than it is usually conceded to be, and a more complete focus needs to be precisely that -- more, not less. But time is what will really tell. As Hugo Schwyzer notes, it's interesting to compare and contrast her with another great feminist who recently died, Andrea Dworkin. Between the two of them they have a lot to tell us about the strengths and weaknesses of contemporary feminism.

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