To an Amazon Warrior Queen
In writing her 1963 best-selling manifesto "The Feminine Mystique" Betty Friedan laid the groundwork for the modern feminist movement. Her book shattered conventional gender mythologies--- as the mainstream stoked the dull-normal landscape with suburban dreams of domestic bliss. Betty Friedan died on her Aquarian birthday, January 28, at age 85.
Betty, because you spoke feminist truth to patriarchal power I had a better life than my mother and my grandmother. I've experienced the world as whole human being, born free, with choices, opportunities, visions, and dreams. At 16, I knew I wanted my own life. You and those who followed---Brownmiller, Dworkin, Willis, Morgan, Greer, Eherenreich---showed me I had the right to think, work, love and live on my own terms.
You taught us all how to value ourselves and gave us back our bodies, to know our worth and walk in dignity. Sometimes, when I see female children caught in sexual slavery, battery, cutting, anorexia and body hatred, I try to remember that real social change takes more than a generation. I cried when I heard you died, but when I look at all our strong, smart, beautiful daughters, proud soldiers, mothers, lawyers, partners, healers, diplomats and scholars, I see your fire in their eyes.
You are our Martin and our Malcolm.
Thank you, great Amazon Warrior Queen.