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Powerful women walk among us each day, we either know them personally, learn of them or embody such traits or characteristics but what about the women who have come before us? Who have paved the way for this new generation of powerful, and successful women? Often these women are forgotten or their work is not accessible to the masses. The objective of History on Her Side; is to shed light on the lives of influential women who have made a positive impact, within our society throughout history. Although these women are no longer alive their work should be celebrated.

When discussing influential women one must consider Betty Friedan. Betty Friedan was born on February 4, 1921 in Peoria, Illinois. Friedan graduated from Smith College with a major in psychology; afterwards Friedan attended the University of California to continue her studies in psychology. Betty Friedan was an accomplished journalist upon the publication of her novel “The Feminine Mystique.” Betty Friedan was viewed as a conscious feminist and activist who had created an outlet for her thoughts that materialized in the form of a novel. Such ideas and thoughts created awareness that resonated with other women in similar positions during that time. Friedan is specifically known for a novel titled “The Feminine Mystique,” which was written in 1963. This novel was considered responsible for raising the consciousness of oppressed women who had wanted more fulfilling lives than the ones they felt they were forced to live. “The problem that has no name” is a chapter within the novel that identifies patriarchy and the damage that it produces on the lives of women regardless of social status, race and sexual orientation.

Friedan’s novel “The Feminine Mystique” has been credited as sparking second wave feminism. Her career did not stop there. The National Organization for Women was founded by Friedan in 1966. N.O.W is a Feminist organization which promotes women’s equality nation wide. Friedan had organized a nation wide strike for women’s equality. The reason for the strike was for women to have access to the right to vote in the United States. Second wave feminism has evolved and progressed enormously since the publication of “The Feminine Mystique” Betty Friedan has made a great contribution towards the feminist movement. Such contributions deserve recognition; as well as to serve as a reminder of the continuous battle, to achieve gender equality.

“When she stopped conforming to the conventional picture of femininity she finally began to enjoy being a woman.”- Betty Friedan 

Written by: Sabrina Morataya

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