It Changed My Life: Writings on the Women's Movement

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Harvard University Press, 1976 - Social Science - 504 pages
2 Reviews

"It Changed My Life." That's what Betty Friedan heard over and over from women throughout the United States, after the publication of her radical best-seller, The Feminine Mystique, sparked the beginning of contemporary feminism. The first stirring and uncertain years of the women's movement helped many women put a name to the sense of invisibility, powerlessness, and depression that Friedan famously called "the problem that has no name."

First published in 1976, "It Changed My Life" is a compellingly readable collection of reports from the front, back in the days less than a generation ago when women were routinely shut out of the professions and higher education, underpaid, condescended to, and harassed without consequences to the harassers. The book describes the political campaigns for equal pay and job opportunities, for the outlawing of sex discrimination, for the Equal Rights Amendment, and for legalized abortion, the creation of National Organization for Women, the National Abortion Rights Action League, and the National Women's Political Caucus, and analyzes the antifeminist backlashes. Encounters with Simone de Beauvoir and Indira Gandhi are juxtaposed with moving and vivid personal struggles of many ordinary women. Among those women was Friedan herself, who frankly recorded her astonishment, gratification, and anger as the movement she helped create grew beyond all her hopes, and then raced beyond her control into a sexual politics she found disturbing.

A classic of modern feminism, "It Changed My Life" brings back years of struggle for those who were there, and recreates the past for the readers of today who were not yet born during these struggles for the opportunities and respect to which women can now feel entitled. In changing women's lives, the women's movement has changed everything.

  

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Review: It Changed My Life: Writings on the Women's Movement

User Review  - Fitfit Mayasari - Goodreads

very much inspiring. recommend it to every woman (and every man). Read full review

Review: It Changed My Life: Writings on the Women's Movement

User Review  - Diane - Goodreads

Anyone interested in the women's movement must take the time to read this book. An excellent insight into the women's movement. Read full review

Contents

The Way We Were1949 1974
6
Angry Letters Relieved Letters 1963
22
The Fourth Dimension 1964
37
Television and the Feminine Mystique 1964
59
The Crisis in Womens Identity 1964
77
NOW Statement of Purpose 1966
109
The Presidents Report
123
Excerpt from
141
The National Womens
214
BETTY FRIEDANS NOTEBOOK
233
TRANSCENDING POLARITIES
323
Madame Prime Minister 1966
339
A Visit with Pope Paul 1974
368
A Dialogue with Simone de Beauvoir 1975
391
The Crises of Divorce 1974
413
An Open Letter to True Men 1974
429

Tokenism and the PseudoRadical Copout 1969
145
A Womans Civil Right 1969
156
Judge Carswell and the Sex Plus Doctrine 1970
166
Call to Womens Strike for Equality 1970
192
Critique of Sexual Politics 1970
203
Scary Doings in Mexico City 1975
440
AN OPEN LETTER TO
469
AFTERWORDS
497
Copyright

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About the author (1976)

Betty Friedan was born Betty Naomi Goldstein on February 4, 1921 in Peoria, Illinois. The future feminist leader experienced anti-semitism growing up; this undoubtedly contributed to her political activism later in life. Graduating from Smith College in Massachusetts with a degree in psychology, she began her career as a reporter in New York City, and a few years later married Carl Friedan. The beginning of the women's movement in the United States can be traced to the publication of Friedan's first book, The Feminist Mystique, in 1963; it was instantly successful. Friedan wrote a follow-up to this book almost 20 years later, The Second Stage, in which she outlined issues that still needed addressing by feminists. She has also written a semi-autobiographical work, It Changed My Life, and a book about aging and society called The Fountain of Age. Friedan was a co-founder and the first president of the National Organization for Women. She has taught at New York University and the University of Southern California.

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