Feminist author Betty Friedan has died of congestive heart failure. She was 85.
The writer, whose manifesto The Feminine Mystique contributed to the modern feminist movement in the 1960s and 1970s, died at her Washington DC home on Saturday (04FEB05) - her birthday.
In her best-selling book, published in 1963, Friedan said a woman should aspire to have her own identity apart from a wife and mother.
She wrote, "A woman has got to be able to say, and not feel guilty, 'Who am I, and what do I want out of life?' She mustn't feel selfish and neurotic if she wants goals of her own, outside of husband and children."
Friedan tried to keep her ideals in the mainstream, telling college students in 1970, "Don't get into the bra-burning, anti-man, politics-of-orgasm school."
In 1966, Friedan founded America's National Organization for Women (NOW), where she campaigned for abortion, equal pay and promotion and maternity leave.
Friedan's cousin, Emily Bazelon, says, "Her feminism was an aspect of her humanism, and she really cared about the economic well-being of families and of all people."
The writer had three children, DANIEL, JONATHAN and EMILY, from her marriage to Carl Friedan, which ended in divorce in 1969. Carl died in December (05).