Unintended Visionary Consequences

I've been pondering the passing of Betty Friedan, the woman who is heralded with the burden/honor of having founded NOW and NARAL.
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Organizations that have loudly promoted very questionable ideals (I'm being polite with questionable when I want to say "monumentally moronic" regarding some proclamations). Most of the news I saw was either from the glory hero worship from the left or the hammering she got from my conservative heros.

Now we have this little JWR article by Suzanne Fields (LINKED IN TITLE) that does present a balanced argument on the legacy of Friedan. While yes Friedan was a bit of a nutcase extremist in the battle against the "concentration camp of the 50's housewife"-yes, she literally made that metaphor- her actions did make a positive change.

Unfortunately not all the changes were intended, and Suzanne did a great job of explaining that about how Betty matured and the impact on her legacy.

When I wrote of Dr. King and how his legacy has not matured, I draw my conclusion directly from a visionary like Friedan who did live to see the maturation of her efforts. Friedan went from a rabid feminist icon of the 50's to seeing how her movement was 90 degrees off direction from where she intended it to go three decades later. Friedan wrote in her 80's book "The Second Stage" against the "lesbian feminists" who wanted to "ignore a woman's emotional needs" of family.

Betty was a wife and mother, maybe not a very good one as reported by NPR that she "claimed to not know how to cook and sent her kids off to school from her mansion in a cab". While a distorted motherhood, she did at some later point realize that motherhood was important. Family was important. A view that does not easily fit the mold of the professional woman espoused in the core of feminism. The core of feminism that she herself was a founding member of. Something that was too extreme even for her tastes, as wisdom had polished her edges over time.

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This is exactly the kind of reaction against the movement I would expect from a man like Dr. King had he survived as long as his wife did. I just cannot see someone that intelligent continuing to embrace every aspect of thought in the realities of change. Betty did grow and change, and I don't think she was as visionary, intelligent or wise as MLK.