Heard this morning that Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique and founder of the National Organization of Women (NOW), died yesterday at 85.
NPR interviewed Eleanor Smeal who worked with Friedan to start NOW. Smeal of course eulogized Friedan. She praised Friedan's legacy and lauded her as (I quote from memory) "a giant of the twentieth century."
Yes, like Joseph Stalin.
And the comparison is not histrionic. Since 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court declared open season on the unborn by making abortion legal through all nine months of pregnancy, 42 million unborn American children have been stifled—with their mothers' consent. Friedan was one of the voices who helped enable this maternal self-immolation and mass murder.1 While there is more than likely some silver lining to Friedan's influence (as with almost anything), what can redeem the deaths of so many innocent lives—not to mention the social disintergration accompanying the dissolution of the family?2
I wasn't surprised when Ms Smeal mentioned Friedan's support for "gay rights" from 1978. If women are equivalent to men and if sexual differences are exploitative, then why not let men exploit other men sexually? As Marx's friend Engels said so many years ago: it's all about power anyway.3
As we all must, Ms Friedan has passed from this earth to her eternal reward. I'll resist the urge to lead a chorus of "Ding dong! The Witch Is Dead," but I can't help observing that her passing inspires hope that her baneful influence will similarly recede into the past, laid to rest among the antiquated ideologies that made the twentieth century such a nightmare.
1. Friedan wasn't initially pro-abortion (she had to be persuaded by the founders of NARAL of the consistency of abortion with her anti-feminine positions), but she did so early enough in the abortion "rights" movement to have made a substantial difference. The first feminists, who valued the truly feminine, were naturally pro-life.
2. More on Fredan and on the tremendous importance of motherhood: Mothers Know Best.
3. The natural question to ask Engels then is "what power do you hope to gain by this observation?" Logically, the ideology is self-defeating.