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Betty Friedan was born on February 4 1921 in Peoria Illinois She was born to Harry and Miriam Goldstein and she was before she became Betty Friedan she was called Bettye Naomi Goldstein Blau 7 As a young child she was an activist against anti-Semitism and was quite passionate about Marxism She attended Smith College majoring in psychology and was a fierce editor in chief of the schools newspaper Blau 13 When she graduated in 1943 she spent a year at the University of California to do graduate work in psychology with Erik Erikson Blau 21 She left after the first year to become a journalist and in 1957 she was asked to conduct a survey for her 15th anniversary reunion for her class at Smith College Blau 25 She found that many of them were housewives and unhappy being housewives Friedan 29 This interested her so she began to research by conducting interviews She published her findings incredibly influential novel The Feminine Mystique Friedan 2Betty Friedan influenced the world in many ways the most notably being influencing the world with her book The Feminine Mystique Her novel became an instant best seller and really is considered to have sparked the beginning of second wave feminism in the United States of America Meltzer 34 Her novel addressed an issue that was overwhelming yet unaddressed the issue of unhappy housewives Meltzer 38 In the 1960s when her book was published women were not expected to be more than a housewife which was quite oppressive Oliver 15 By starting second wave feminism Betty Friedan helped women get equal rights such as official legal inequalities reproductive rights and workplace inequality Oliver 29 She also founded and was the first president for the National Organization for Women NOW in 1966 which was a civil rights organization for women Oliver 49 Through NOW Betty Friedan fought and successfully got the government to enforce the Equal Pay Act which ensured
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