Particular Passions

Particular Passions: Talks with Women who Shaped our Times

Betty Friedan

Betty Friedan — Beyond the Feminine Mystique

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Betty-Friedan
Betty-Friedan

"The goal of the next stage has got to be to make equality livable and workable. That means that there has to be a restructuring of institutions. Not the abolition of the home and the family. That is not what this means. But there’s got to be a restructuring of the home and the family because it’s not any longer based on the woman as the subservient, unequal housewife. Both in the couple are earning, both should have options to take leaves, or go to part-time schedules, when children are little so the woman is no longer the automatic, unpaid server in the home. But the home is still there and needs to be taken care of. Now that means not only a whole new approach to parenting, but new kinds of designs of houses, apartments, communities, new services, new appliances, a restructuring of work; because work in all the professions, all the hours of internships and residencies, is structured in terms of men and men’s lives at a time when they had wives to take care of all the concrete details of life.

What we need are a whole set of options in child care, not just government funding, but preschool, after-school, in the home, funded or sponsored by unions, by industries, for profit, not for profit. Combinations of public funding, private funding, tax incentives for business to have child-care programs, tax credit for each child, whatever plans would enable one parent to stay home for a few years to concentrate on the child and be compensated for that financially, or having it to spend on child care, or take tax credit for it, plus a sliding scale with ability to pay.

We’re not going to get the restructuring, the flexitime and all the rest, in terms of women alone. We don’t have the power to get it. You’ll have men with new demands for it, too. Men in their young years are going to be expected increasingly to share the parenting and the family responsibility. You’re beginning to see men rebel, the quieter value revolution. They’ll say, “I’m not going to live in terms of the rat race alone. I’m not going to live in terms of a definition of masculinity that makes me suppress my feelings and defines me as just an instrument, as a breadwinner, and makes me have strokes and heart attacks at age forty-five.” You’re seeing evidence of this all over the place. So you find that young men, and older men, too, have some interest in flextime where they won’t be defined solely by the linear job career. This change coincides with changes in technology and those brought about by the energy crisis.

The changes that men are going to make are less simple because they won’t come from anger. They don’t have the same simple reason for anger that the women did. But if we don’t move on to the second stage, we could get aborted just like the first wave of feminism. I don’t think that the women’s movement as such is going to be the main vehicle for the next stage of change. It may be, of necessity, still too much locked into the first agenda which isn’t complete yet. We have to get the Equal Rights Amendment passed. But there are also too many women who’ve taken leadership in the women’s movement who are still in a phase of reaction. It makes them uneasy when I talk about the family." Betty Friedan - Particular Passions: Talks with Women Who Shaped Our Times.

The oral biography of Betty Friedan, who fueled the women’s liberation movement that continues to work toward equal rights for women around the globe. Available for .99 at Apple and Amazon.

Betty Friedan — On Women in Society

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"There’s no question today that women feel differently about themselves than they did twenty years ago, fifty years ago. For the most part, it’s been great for women to take themselves seriously as people, to feel some self-respect as people, to feel that they do have some equality even though we know it hasn’t been completely achieved; to feel some control over their lives, some ability to act, not just to have to wait passively, some ability even to express their anger when they feel it. It has given women a whole new sense of being alive. We’re only beginning to know what we’re capable of." Betty Friedan, Particular Passions: Talks With Women Who Shaped Our Times.

The oral biography of Betty Friedan, who fueled the women’s liberation movement that continues to work toward equal rights for women around the globe. Available for $0.99 at Apple and Amazon.

WOMEN’S ONGOING MARCH FOR EQUALITY

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'Liberty Leading the People', the painting by Eugene Delacroix, 'Liberte, Egalite et Fraternite' depicting the storming of the Bastille.

'Liberty Leading the People', the painting by Eugene Delacroix, 'Liberte, Egalite et Fraternite' depicting the storming of the Bastille.

Delacroix depicted Liberty as both an allegorical goddess-figure and a real woman during the first French Revolution, of 1789-94. This powerful image: woman as leader wasn’t a possibility at the time unless through marriage or birth.

In the 20th century there have been a few remarkable women leaders such as Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, and Indira Gandhi polled by the BBC in 1999 as the Woman of the Millennium. Gandhi's contributions as Prime Minister in India are remarkable, but would she have even gotten in the door if she weren’t Nehru’s daughter.

More than 200 years later, women still fight to gain a seat at the table. In 2016, American’s are holding their breath to see if they will have their first woman president.

As Betty Friedan said in “Particular Passions: Talks with Women who Shaped our Times.”

“When you're under the aegis of the feminine mystique, ...to do anything at all, you're going against the stream of society…” Fifty years after Friedan published her 'The Feminine Mystique' which reverberated around the world, for women to accomplish that’s what is required.

Read the brief chapter and oral biography of Betty Friedan, who fueled the women’s liberation movement that continues today around the globe.

"This is a wonderful book... The book is recommended reading for anyone — no matter what political or sociological background — who wants to know more about living history." — Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Available at Amazon and Apple for $0.99

WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH: HAVING IT ALL?

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Mary Cassatt - La Toilette (1891)
Mary Cassatt - La Toilette (1891)

Thirty years ago, after Betty Friedan who set the second women’s movement in motion in the 1960’s, thought that the guilts of motherhood would have abated.

“The way... you can have children now, when you've already started on your work, and know what you can do, you are not subject to the guilts...That put negative valences on one's own enjoyment of motherhood… “  from "Particular Passions: Talks with Women who Have Shaped our Times"

Women, fifty-one percent of the population, are gaining greater equality. Much has changed, but dealing with the role of motherhood is moving at a snail’s pace. Life, now that women are part of the workforce has become even more complicated.  What can we learn from the woman who wanted women to have a choice in the kind of life they could have.

The oral biography and brief chapter of Betty Friedan from “Particular Passions:  Talks with Women who Have Shaped our Times.”  Friedan fueled the women’s liberation movement that continues today around the globe.

An excerpt from a review: "One of those rare, rare books that pick your life up, turn it around and point it in the right  direction." — K.T. Maclay

Available at Amazon and Apple for $0.99

FASHION WEEK & BETTY FREIDAN EACH DELIVER A POWERFUL MESSAGE

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“We had to break through the whole image of woman and we had to define ourselves as people; and then we had to begin a process that’s still not finished, of restructuring institutions so that women could be people.” - Betty Friedan in “Particular Passions: Talks with Women Who Shaped our Times.”

Betty Friedan launched the contemporary modern women’s movement when her book, The Feminine Mystique, published fifty years ago exploded the myth of the happy homemaker. This one book galvanized women to mobilize at a grass roots level to help women become what they had the potential to be.

Fashion Week on the other hand, delivers an equally powerful message: how women should look. Fashion Week is a road show produced twice yearly that utterly dazzles with a series of hourly blockbuster events. The stunning and not so stunning designs, the excitement, the buzz, the anticipation, the frenzy is broadcast by the media around the world.

What one see are gorgeous clothes, on lanky young models, so tall, so young and so beautiful. They have neither breasts, nor hips, or backsides, and their skin is flawless. They look and move like zombies, staring out from vacant eyes. What you are meant to see, is just the clothes and you do. I was there for the first time and I was spellbound. The pull to look as these young models do is powerful not rational.

Can we integrate how we are told to look with who we can be? Two messages: one delivered to the eye, one delivered to the mind. Can they ever be integrated?

Particular Passions: Betty Friedan is available on Amazon and Apple.

FRIEDAN: 50 YEARS, THE IMPACT OF TIME

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Betty Friedan turned the world topsy-turvy, with her landmark book “The Feminine Mystique. Women viewed themselves from a new perspective setting in motion changes for themselves and between the sexes that were unthinkable. Fifty years has seen more radical changes in women’s identity, how women function, women’s relationship with men, than going back to the beginning of time. We haven’t achieved complete success in our goals which are constantly changing, but the massive machinery Friedan set in motion has great staying power and will help us get there... wherever "there" is.

As she said in my book, Particular Passions: Talks With Women Who Have Shaped our Times “The way... you can have children now, when you've already started on your work, and know what you can do, you are not subject to the guilts. That was the worst, the guilts, the conflicts... That put negative valences on one's own enjoyment of motherhood. It's such a short period. I wish I'd felt free to concentrate on them more.”

To put our lives in historical perspective read Friedan in her own words in a chapter from Particular Passions. You'll find things like the guilt about motherhood remains the same, but others that have changed dramatically… for the better.

Available at Amazon or Apple for only $0.99. It's a treat and a bargain. As good as a caffe latte and cheaper.

"Every woman owes it to herself to look up Particular Passions—borrow the volume from your public library. Or, better still, buy it and put it with your favorite novel or poetry collection to sustain you. Every story in the book is an inspiration. This book is a joy and a tonic." — Pioneer Press and Dispatch.

MOTHERHOOD - AN EVOLVING ROLE

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"Parenthood remains the greatest single preserve of the amateur." — Alvin Toffler.

Madonna and Child by Ghirlandaio.  

Madonna and Child by Ghirlandaio.  

The cult for Madonna and child, seen in illustrious altarpieces and frescoes, in every church throughout Europe, started in the early 13th century.  A thousand years later at Christmas time the cult is still preserved on holiday cards.   But the venerated images of the past no longer reflect life as we live it now.

Betty Friedan spoke about her focus, her work, her life…and also her children in Particular Passions: Talks with Women who Have Shaped our Times: “my public life…has been exciting…my frivolous life has been fun too...and my three kids..they may think I would have been a better mother if it hadn't been for the women's movement, but I don't think so.”

Read the chapter, an oral biography of Betty Friedan, who fueled the women’s liberation movement that continues today around the globe. For just $.99 be inspired. Learn from her challenges, accomplishments and mistakes.

As one review said: "One of those rare, rare books that pick your life up, turn it around and point it in the right direction." — K.T.Maclay

This chapter is available on Amazon and Apple.

MARISSA MAYER - A POWERFUL WOMAN

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Screen Shot 2012-12-26 at 11.19.32 PM

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." — Winston Churchill.

Marissa Mayer, a remarkable person - male or female - became president and CEO of Yahoo at the youthful age of 37, ranking 14 on the list of 50 American most powerful Business Women of 2012.

Look at what she has accomplished. Google’s first female engineer as employee number 20, when she joined in 1999. She went on to play a key role during her 13 years with the company, rising from engineer, designer, product manager to become an executive, before taking over the helm as CEO of Yahoo. She broke the glass ceiling… and how! And... she just had a baby.

Marissa Mayer is celebrated on the cover of Fortune, not because she's a business woman who also had a baby, but for her business acumen and success.

We should congratulate her, bask in her success, and hope there are other young women who also have the ability and drive to succeed.

We’ve come a long, long way from what was happening to all women in the 60’s and 70’s. Listen to Betty Friedan:

"The shores are strewn with the casualties of the feminine mystique. They did give up their own education to put their husbands through college, and then, maybe against their own wishes, ten or fifteen years later, they were left in the lurch by divorce. The strongest were able to cope more or less well, but it wasn’t that easy for a woman of forty-five or fifty to move ahead in a profession and make a new life for herself and her children or herself alone." - Betty Friedan in Particular Passions, Wikipedia

Be inspired and read the chapter in Particular Passions on Betty Friedan who helped make it possible for all of us, or check out other of the inspirational stories in the book. Run, with your fingers, don't walk to Amazon: http://amzn.to/UH8KaH or Apple: http://bit.ly/S7rMDr   You wont be disappointed. And chapters are only $.99.

An excerpt from one of the many glowing reviews: "Tantalizing glimpses into the lives of women who have not only made a living at their own “particular passion,” but have become well known, even world renowned,  for doing work they love." —Christian Science Monitor.

A comment on "The Myth of Male Decline"

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The Myth of Male Decline, By STEPHANIE COONTZ, published in The New York Times on September 29, 2012  generated 235 Comments - here is ours.

The conversation about the role of women was well articulated by Betty Friedan - "You're never finished."

In her oral interview for "Particular Passions: Talks with Women Who Shaped Our Times," Friedan discusses the need for men and women to define the multiple roles that we all play -- in the workforce, at home, as mothers, as wives. What we see in today's society - with this article in The Times, and Marissa Mayer's assertion that she will work through her maternity leave  -- is that in the 40 years since Friedan wrote "The Feminine Mystique," this conversation has yet to take place.

"The way . . . you can have children now, when you've already started on your work, and know what you can do, you are not subject to the guilts. That was the worst, the guilts, the conflicts . . . That put negative valences on one's own enjoyment of motherhood. It's such a short period. I wish I'd felt free to concentrate on them more."

Enjoy a complimentary interview with Betty Friedan in her own words - an oral interview from the book, Particular Passions - free.

"A forceful inspiration—a revelation of woman’s courage, spirit, and strength.”

— Redbook

Anne-Marie Slaughter, meet Betty Friedan

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Anne-Marie Slaughter's article that is getting the attention it deserves in the press restates many of Betty Friedan’s goals and concerns in forming NOW in 1966, and her awareness that being able to compete at work meant being able to shift roles in the home.

In her statement of purpose for the National Organization of Women, Friedan wrote “Full equality for women and full equal partnership with men. Take action to break through the barriers that keep women from participating in the mainstream of society.

…We could see even then, or we saw it more clearly as we went along, that it also had to mean a change, a very basic change in marriage, and in the home, which had been defined as the woman’s world.”

How long have we come Baby?

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