Betty Friedan (1920-2006)

“Betty Friedan died Saturday, February 4, 2006. It was her 85th birthday. Although she relished her status as an international “celebrity” I think of her as a cartographer. Early maps are never perfect. They have errors, omit essential places, and warn of mythical dragons, and some continents depicted turn out not to exist at all. Yet, lacking such early chartings, we would drift without any direction at all.

“History will record her death as the passing of a founding mother of the contemporary Women’s Movement, co-founder of many national women’s organizations, a sometimes abrasive but also warm woman. I hope she might also be remembered as our Mapmaker, whose legacy should live in our continuation to dare think of undiscovered lands— and then chart them, as best we can, with urgent deliberation.”