Thursday, February 09, 2006

Friedan's Passing Sparks Two Lovely Riffs

Feminist pioneer Betty Friedan died recently, as you probably noted. And of course there was plenty of the usual blah-blah that accompanies the death of any leading historical figure. People understandably tend to be kind to the recently dead, and thus write about them as if they were plastic saints. But I loved how author and fellow feminist writer Germaine Greer remembered Betty differently, with a more honest, three-dimensional take in Britain's Guardian newspaper that I think serves as a finer tribute than any simplistic deification ever could. Closer to home, my friend Lois writes splendidly about what she calls her "dirty little secret," her lack of personal zeal for feminism. "Blame it on my parents. They had a politically correct marriage before it was politically correct to be politically correct. They both had fulfilling careers, and shared householding responsibilities equally. They made me feel smart and capable of achieving whatever I set out to achieve." Good for them. And lucky for Lois. As for Betty, she'll be missed, blemishes and all.


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