Carol Platt Liebau: A Misleading "Feminist" Mystique

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

A Misleading "Feminist" Mystique

This is some irony. Writing in today's LA Times, feminist Susan Jacoby extols Betty Friedan, and laments the "igorance of the young" about feminism's supposed contributions. She writes:

Newspapers [running obituaries about Friedan] had to remind their readers that equal pay for equal work, sex-blind help-wanted ads, the right of pregnant women to keep their jobs, nondiscriminatory admission standards for professional schools and many other matters of simple justice were considered not only controversial but radical proposals in the 1960s.


"The Feminine Mystique" was written in 1963. Note that the Equal Pay Act was likewise passed in 1963, and the Civil Rights Act, which barred sex discrimination, was passed in 1964.

That was some quick work, if Friedan was responsible (ha). In any case, Jacobi's "radical proposals" of the 1960's were already enshrined in federal law before the decade was half over.

Jacobi's assertion that "history is a terrible thing to waste" would have signicantly more resonance if she, herself, weren't so sloppy with the historical facts.


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