Fifty years ago, when Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique, unmarried women in more than half of the United States weren’t allowed access to contraception. Married women in some states couldn’t sit on juries, get a job without their husband’s permission, or keep control of their property and earnings.
That world is now a distant memory. And yet the revolution in women’s lives that Friedan’s controversial book helped launch remains woefully incomplete. Individual women have made great strides professionally, and some have made it to the very top of their chosen professions. But for the vast majority, the larger scope of Friedan’s dream—that our society might evolve in ways that would permit women to reach their “full human potential” at work and at home—remains unrealized.
Please join us on May 23 when Gail Collins and Anna Quindlen-authors of the introduction and afterword to the 50th anniversary edition of The Feminine Mystique-will visit the Center for American Progress. They will speak with CAP Senior Fellow Judith Warner about the unfinished business of the women’s movement and discuss Betty Friedan’s critical and much-contended legacy.
Copies of The Feminine Mystique: 50th Anniversary Edition will be available for purchase at the event.