Women's Liberation Movement Essay

1202 Words Apr 11th, 2005 5 Pages
Women's Liberation Movement

Betty Friedan wrote that "the only way for a woman, as for a man, to find herself, to know herself as a person, is by creative work of her own." The message here is that women need more than just a husband, children, and a home to feel fulfilled; women need independence and creative outlets, unrestrained by the pressures of society. Throughout much of history, women have struggled with the limited roles society imposed on them. The belief that women were intellectually inferior, physically weaker, and overemotional has reinforced stereotypes throughout history. In the 1960s, however, women challenged their roles as "the happy little homemakers." Their story is the story of the Women's Liberation
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World War II had brought large numbers of women out of their homes and into the workforce. Many women began to acknowledge their dissatisfaction with being only a wife and mother with no means for a career. Betty Friedan was a woman who wrote about her experiences as a housewife in her book The Feminine Mystique. She wrote about the buried and unspoken "problem," that lack of fulfillment that middle-class, educated suburban housewives could not identify within their lives, but knew existed. Friedan helped launch the modern wave of the Women's Rights Movement by inspiring thousands of women to look beyond their roles as homemakers for fulfillment. By 1968, people were starting to talk about "Women's Liberation." The new wave of the Women's Civil Rights movement had begun, and the social, economic, and political rights of women had resurfaced. Numerous laws which addressed the civil rights of women were passed during this time. The Equal Pay Act, which made it illegal to pay different wages to men and women who performed the same job, was passed in 1963. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which barred discrimination in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, or ethnic group, was passed in 1964. In 1972, Title IX of the Education Amendments banned sex discrimination in schools. Then the following year, as a

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