Betty Friedan and her Lies
Betty Friedan was one of the founders of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and a co-signer of the original (1966) Agenda of NOW. Judging from some of the statements that the original Agenda of NOW contained, it may seem that what feminism was about in those days was nothing more than an attempt to get women a place in the sun. The 1966 Agenda of NOW stated:
"NOW is dedicated to the proposition that women, first and foremost, are human beings, who, like all other people in our society, must have the chance to develop their fullest human potential. We believe that women can achieve such equality only by accepting to the full the challenges and responsibilities they share with all other people in our society, as part of the decision-making mainstream of American political, economic and social life." [my emphasis -WHS]
It was further said that:
"With a life span lengthened to nearly 75 years it is no longer either necessary or possible for women to devote the greater part of their lives to child- rearing; yet childbearing and rearing which continues to be a most important part of most women's lives-still is used to justify barring women from equal professional and economic participation and advance." and:
"We do not accept the traditional assumption that a woman has to choose between marriage and motherhood, on the one hand, and serious participation in industry or the professions on the other." and further:
"WE REJECT the current assumptions that a man must carry the sole burden of supporting himself, his wife, and family, and that a woman is automatically entitled to lifelong support by a man upon her marriage, or that marriage, home and family are primarily woman's world and responsibility-hers, to dominate-his to support. We believe that a true partnership between the sexes demands a different concept of marriage, an equitable sharing of the responsibilities of home and children and of the economic burdens of their support. We believe that proper recognition should be given to the economic and social value of homemaking and child-care. To these ends, we will seek to open a reexamination of laws and mores governing marriage and divorce, for we believe that the current state of "half-equity" between the sexes discriminates against both men and women, and is the cause of much unnecessary hostility between the sexes." [my emphasis -WHS]
That doesn't sound so bad at first glance. But regardless of what it sounds like, it is but one way by which to attempt to entice women, the majority of whom are found in poll after poll to prefer to be stay-at-home, married moms, to enter the work force. Why would anyone promote an idea that most women don't like? The answer to that question may be found in the fact that the goal to bring women into the work force is an ancient goal of communism and that, as Smith College professor Daniel Horowitz states in his new book "Betty Friedan and the Making of the Feminine Mystique" Betty Friedan was well into her thirties a devout and active functionary of the Communist Party of the U.S.A..
As per a book review by professor David Horowitz (no relation), published in Salon Magazine Jan. 1999:
...the author of that book establishes beyond doubt that the woman who has always presented herself as a typical suburban housewife until she began work on her groundbreaking book was in fact nothing of the kind. In fact, under her maiden name, Betty Goldstein, she was a political activist and professional propagandist for the Communist left for over a decade before the publication of "The Feminist Mystique" launched the modern women's movement
The review by professor Horowitz states further:
Professor Horowitz documents that Friedan was from her college days, and until her mid-30s, a Stalinist Marxist
, the political intimate of the leaders of America's Cold War fifth column and for a time even the lover of a young Communist physicist working on atomic bomb projects in Berkeley's radiation lab with J. Robert Oppenheimer. Her famous description of America's suburban family household as "a comfortable concentration camp" in "The Feminine Mystique" therefore had more to do with her Marxist hatred for America
than with any of her actual experience as a housewife or mother. (Her husband, Carl, also a leftist, once complained that his wife "was in the world during the whole marriage," had a full-time maid and "seldom was a wife and a mother").
It is fascinating that Friedan not only felt the need to lie about her real views and life experience then, but still feels the need to lie about them now. Although Horowitz, the author of the new biography, is a sympathetic leftist, Friedan refused to cooperate with him once she realized he was going to tell the truth about her life as Betty Goldstein."
Already in the original Communist Manifesto produced by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848/49 it was made clear that no society could be successfully restructured unless all established cultural and moral traditions would be abolished – amongst the objectives of Marx and Engels was the liberation of women from the servitude to commerce and industry that 19th century feminists had fought so hard and successfully to achieve.
Hence, one of the major goals of all communist leaders had been to destroy families and to bring women into the work force. "Free love,"* as sexual promiscuity was called then, became "sexual liberation" and today's "sexual freedom." It is the primary lure by which communists attempt to "liberate" women from the bonds of social convention, and Betty Friedan, although not an important leader of communism, promoted the same goal by calling for the inclusion of women in the work force.
In the introduction to his web site at which Carl Friedan recounts the incidents of terror and violence that were such a large part of his marriage to Betty Friedan, he states:
I am incensed about misleading allegations of spousal abuse made by my ex-wife, Betty Friedan. They are all delusions, but in challenging these flights of fantasy I carefully make a huge divide between, one, her historical role in leading the feminist cause and, two, her current revamping of our personal history. I am proud of what she did for the world, but am appalled by her misrepresenting our personal family past with outright falsehoods just to satisfy her own legacy.
No matter how happy Betty Friedan may be about the misery she is causing her ex-husband, what is there to be proud about in seeing that one's ex-wife brought about that a good portion of the Communist Manifesto became reality in the U.S.A.? Can what has been achieved in American Society, indeed, in much of the world, through the efforts of Carl Friedan's ex-wife be that easily separated from the fact that it was his marriage to her and the funds and security that he contributed to that marriage gave Betty Friedan the social and financial means by which she could pursue the implementation of the destruction of not only Carl Friedan's family but a very large portion of all of the families in civilization?
Carl Friedan is not entirely gracious in his account of the history of his marriage to the violent Betty Friedan. He states that he loves beautiful women and promises to deliver an explanation of why he got married to a woman who was, in his words making no bones about it, quite plainly ugly
. However, although I read his account fairly thoroughly, I could not find any evidence that he made good on his promise. The only comment that I could find that comes close is that he stated that Betty Friedan was clearly violent in their relationship before they even got married, so that he should have had plenty of warning.
However, what he doesn't touch on at all is the fact that he, too, was involved in communist activism at that time. He implies that Betty Friedan got the better deal in their marriage because he took her out of a dirty one-room factory loft in New York, where she struggled, writing for a newspaper. He would have done a considerable service if he would have told which newspaper she was writing for. It would perhaps also given us the explanation as to why they got involved with one another. They shared the same ideology.
The newspaper she was writing for, so Daniel Horowitz reports in the biography mentioned by David Horowitz (Feminism's Dirty Secret) was a communist newspaper. Betty Friedan, as a professional Stalinist-Marxist propagandist of many years, says Horowitz, was
Not at all a neophyte when it came to the "woman question" (the phrase itself is a marxist construction), she was certainly familiar with the writings of Engels, Lenin, and Stalin on the subject and had written about it herself as a journalist for the official publication of the communist-controlled United Electrical Workers union.
Nevertheless, Carl Friedan's version of the story must be true to a considerable extent, because, as David Horowitz reports in Feminism's Dirty Secret,
The ex-Mrs. Friedan, meanwhile, has softened her charges, telling Good Morning America, "I almost wish I hadn't even written about it, because it's been sensationalized out of context. My husband was no wife-beater, and I was no passive victim of a wife-beater. We fought a lot, and he was bigger than me."
...as Smith College professor Daniel Horowitz (no relation) revealed in his book Betty Friedan and the Making of the Feminist Mystique, Betty was not very candid about the facts of her own life and the sources of her radical perspective. She was hardly a suburban housewife when she wrote those words, but a twenty-five year veteran of professional journalism in the Communist Left, where she had been thoroughly indoctrinated in the politics of "the woman question" and specifically the idea that women were "oppressed."
how much of the communist ideology that was such large part of Betty Friedan's life and, indeed, formed her life, made it into the ideology of the oppressive feminism that now covers all aspects of our lives, of society and civilization and threatens to smother us all? Far-fetched? Judge for yourself.
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels stated in the Communist Manifesto:
The bourgeois sees in his wife nothing but an instrument of production. He hears that the instruments of production are to be exploited cooperatively and naturally can't think of anything else but that the lot of cooperatives will also affect the women as well....
There was no exploitation of Betty Friedan in her marriage to Carl Friedan. She most certainly wasn't for him what anyone would call an instrument of production. If anyone got exploited, it was Carl Friedan. He was held hostage, and had no more of a chance to escape than any of the millions of battered husbands who ever fell victim to the battered husband syndrome.
Just like the feminists, who base so much of their ideology on the Communists Manifesto, so Marx and Engels quite clearly envisioned the logical progression after the destruction of the family and its replacement with universal prostitution (now it should more properly be considered universal promiscuity). Marx and Engels said in their manifesto:
The communists have been accused, furthermore, that they want to abolish the fatherland, the national identity. The workers don't have a fatherland. It isn't possible to rob them of what they don't have. Because the proletariat must first of all conquer political rule, elevate itself to a national class (45), constitute itself as a nation, it will itself be national, even though by no means in the meaning of the bourgeoisie.
Nobody should have any illusions that the feminists consider any of the ideas presented in the Communist Manifesto to be outdated and archaic. The feminists use it as their bible. Erin Pizzey tells, when she speaks of her experiences with the radical feminists that usurped the women's shelter movement, that a commonly stocked book on their book shelves was Mao's Little Red Book, and that Mao's face was ever-present on posters in their living rooms. Mao most definitely based his ideas on the Communist Manifesto.
Do Betty Friedan's and NOW's objectives differ from, say, Mao tse tung's? This is what Mao had to say about the structure of society with respect to the family:
A man in China is usually subjected to the domination of three systems of authority [political authority, clan authority and religious authority].... As for women, in addition to being dominated by these three systems of authority, they are also dominated by the men (the authority of the husband). These four authorities - political, clan, religious and masculine - are the embodiment of the whole feudal-patriarchal ideology and system, and are the four thick ropes binding the Chinese people, particularly the peasants. How the peasants have overthrown the political authority of the landlords in the countryside has been described above. The political authority of the landlords is the backbone of all the other systems of authority. With that overturned, the clan authority, the religious authority and the authority of the husband all begin to totter.... As to the authority of the husband, this has always been weaker among the poor peasants because, out of economic necessity, their womenfolk have to do more manual labour than the women of the richer classes and therefore have more say and greater power of decision in family matters. With the increasing bankruptcy of the rural economy in recent years, the basis for men's domination over women has already been undermined. With the rise of the peasant movement, the women in many places have now begun to organize rural women's associations; the opportunity has come for them to lift up their heads, and the authority of the husband is getting shakier every day. In a word, the whole feudal-patriarchal ideology and system is tottering with the growth of the peasants' power.
"Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan"
(March 1927), Selected Works, Vol. I, pp. 44-46.
[The Little Red Book, Chapter 31. WOMEN, Full text
Look it up. It's only a little more than one page.]
Just in case you should be wondering what the aim of all of this was, it is no more than what Marx, Engels and today's feminists clamour for: the liberation of women from the drudgery of housework and from the raising of children. But why would anybody be crazy enough to fight revolutions over that and to turn all of society on its head? Well, the answer is in the rest of Chapter 31 of The Little Red Book. Here are just two more quotes from that chapter.
[In agricultural production] our fundamental task is to adjust the use of labour power in an organized way and to encourage women to do farm work.
"Our Economic Policy" (January 23, 1934), Selected Works, Vo1. I, p. 142.
With the completion of agricultural cooperation, many co-operatives are finding themselves short of labour. It has become necessary to arouse the great mass of women who did not work in the fields before to take their place on the labour front....China's women are a vast reserve of labour power. This reserve should be tapped in the struggle to build a great socialist country.
Introductory note to "Solving the Labour Shortage by Arousing the Women to Join in Production" (1955), The Socialist Upsurge in China's Countryside, Chinese ed., Vol. II.
Reading Carl Friedan's account of his marriage to Betty Friedan leaves no doubt in anyone's mind that he was the one being oppressed, even terrorized. Any claims to the contrary are outrageous lies.
Just as Betty Friedan lied persistently about her subordinate role as a stay-at-home wife and mother, she is also quite persistent in lying about other aspects of her marriage to Carl Friedan.
That upset Carl Friedan so much that he felt it necessary to establish a web site at which he gives his own account of his life with his violent ex-wife. Consider that not a single one of the claims that Betty Friedan ever made about his violence was ever brought into court and that Carl Friedan never has been found guilty of committing any of the violent acts his ex-wife accuses him of. Consider also that Carl Friedan never ever dreamed of bringing any charges against his ex-wife for any of the numerous incidents of personal injury and destruction of property she committed. Not only that, but, as mentioned above, even Betty Friedan is now making retractions.
FLASH - May 11, 2000 - The New York Times in a long Betty interview repeats Betty's lies of physical abuse as they appear in her new book, Life So Far. By this time Betty tries even more desperately to withdraw the book's most blatant charges, knowing they are false. When questioned about the abuse issue, the Times now reports her saying, " Don't make too much of that. He was no wife beater and I was no passive victim." She's slowly moving toward the truth.
PHONE CALL: (April 28) - Betty phoned me to say she didn't realize that the press would focus on these passages of her book and that she was "livid" at GEORGE Magazine for doing so. I hurriedly, but politely, hung up on her.
FLASH! - April 25, 2000 - GEORGE Magazine (May issue) has just run a cover story claiming that I beat up on my then wife, Betty Friedan. One of my friends, a confirmed male chauvenist pig, cheered, "Bravo! I hope you gave her a good uppercut for me." Another one chimed in "If you clipped her, she probably deserved it."
Ok, back off, fellows, it never happened. Betty is fantazising and GEORGE accepted her story of abuse as real rather than what it was - an S&M fantasy....TIME's coverage of the book makes her out a sexpot. Are they kidding? Betty Friedan a sexpot? Come on, now! Let's be sane! In all 19 years of marriage she never gave me a blow job
. That's a sexpot?
ARTICLE - April 24, 2000 - Back at the beginning of winter a year or so ago , the net's Salon magazine reported Betty was at an airport heading somewhere when her bag accidentally flew open and a slew of S&M magazines spilled out. You figure this one out. The article is really there somewhere in the Salon archives.
Carl Friedan is still being terrorized, although this time he may not have to fear for his life and health any longer but only for his reputation. Consider that he is now 80 and that the quarter of the life that he spent with his ex-wife still has a controlling influence on his life. The reality of his marriage to Betty Friedan was like this:
In the period between The Mystique and our splitting ('63-'67) she was a weight loss speed freak which compounded the venting of her violent temper. Betty already tottered on a thin line just this side of sanity. Amphetamines intensified it.
Being with her was like walking a field of land mines. Bang! She'd explode unexpectedly, often out of the clear blue sky with no provocation at all. She was the most violent person I have ever known. I've seen women frightened by her. Men, too. In my desperate attempts to subdue and bring her frequent hysterial attacks and screaming under control we would both get hurt. This explains why she had an occasional black eye and my face was scarred by deep gouges. Did you ever try to fend off the attack of a wild, man-eating tiger? Spousal abuse has no gender.
In the section "The Big Picture" at his web site, Carl Friedan tells:
A year or so ago I had dinner with Betty and, always on the make, she asked me, "Are you still as good in bed as you use to be?"
"Better," I answered. I only wish. The plumbing goes down hill by 80. At least mine did - somewhat. I can't talk for Strom Thurmond.
Betty and I had become friendly again in our old ages and so I was reluctant to talk publicly about the dark side of our relationship. Not too long ago my bowels would squirm at the mere mention of her name, but the ulcers went into remission in recent years as we shared mutual delight at the success of our three offspring, their strong marriages and the nine grandchildren they produced. I never expected to swear at her again, and would not have, not until this new book of hers came out attacking me. I was quite surprised, but it was in character for her to hit below the belt. So all bets are off. Marquis of Queensbury rules be damned.
Quite vivid in my mind is a midnight in about 1967 - a year or so before Betty and I separated for good. We were living at our Dakota apartment then - Betty disagreed with something I said (that's all it took), went into one of her raging uncontrollable fits, screaming , her face twisted in hate and insane anger, "You fucking no good prick you, you no-good bastard, you fucking bastard, " meanwhile sprinting into the kitchen. Back she came straight at me brandishing two large kitchen knives. "You fucking Goddamn sonofabitch, I'm going to cut your fucking cock off - your big cock it doesn't mean a thing to me
." At this I calmly picked up a kitchen chair, nailed her to the wall like a lion-tamer and took the knives away. And that was just a minor incident during that period when her explosive personality was further inflamed by amphetamines she was taking for weight loss, reinforced by alcohol.
There are many more accounts of Betty Friedan's violence in the chapter "Living with Insanity." Here are a few excerpts:
There are enough witnesses to the kind of behavior I describe and also witnesses to her raging fits and near-raging fits to make all this credible even to her most loyal followers. There were often eye-witnesses to the kind of episodes related here but mostly not, because they occurred behind the four walls.
In the summer of 1963 we rented Teddy White's bay cottage in Fair Harbor on Fire Island, a long sliver of barrier beach on the ocean....
...After a late barbecue dinner we, Pepi and Mark all relaxed and soon it was eleven o'clock. I started thinking of bed. Mark and Pepi had already gone to sleep upstairs. And then it seemed like the house exploded.
Betty went wild. I do not remember what motivated this fit, or what preceded it, if anything. She could never stand being contradicted, even on the tiniest detail. She fought with nearly everyone. Argued with everyone - sooner or later. It could have been a political discussion that set it off or someone's assertion that she disagreed with. Or, it is possible, she might have sixth-sensed that I was attracted to our female guest. I made no obvious sign of that, but Betty always reacted hostilely to pretty women. Possibly it was as simple as that.
This episode started, as usual, with the decibel range of her voice rising. I tried as usual to calm her down. That did not deter her from turning her hysterical screaming into insane action. With the unbridled fury of a madman, she seized a narrow lamp base, the shade shoved to the floor, and proceeded to dart through the house using the lamp as a club, smashing the window panes one after the other after the other, screaming a stream of foul epithets at me. A cacophony of screeching and breaking glass resounded throughout the house
I took off, fled from there, something I instinctively did, if possible, when she went into one of her crazy spells. My not being present deprived her of her target, often diminshing her fury....
It took all that day and another for a glazier to repair the windows – 27 panes of glass. I remember the number – 27, often wondering if Teddy White ever noticed and what he thought of his new glass.
That next morning no reaction from her. It was as if it had never happened. Except for the glazier's putty knife at work, life went on as usual. Pepi and brother Mark left that day and never returned to visit us at Fire Island again.
A really terrible episode occurred when in late summer of 1966 we made a weekend visit to my parents in Sharon, Mass. ...
Saturday night we left the kids at the motel to have dinner with an old friend of mine and his wife from Hingham, an historic New England town about twenty miles from Sharon. ...
Bob and Dottie had just returned from Yugoslavia where he had been invited by the government to confer with the blueberry commissar of that country. ...
At dinner that night he regaled us with a story of their trip. They had met the Yugoslav blueberry commissar in Debrovnik, ... The commissar arrived at the meeting on the following day with a volunteer translator in tow. It turned out to be Nikita Khrushchev, ...
After coffee and bill paying we said our goodbyes. We got in our car on the parking lot outside the restaurant and I started driving onto the highway back to the motel when Betty suddenly started screaming at me, "You never took me to Europe...you cheap sonofabitch, you never took me to Europe". I remember those words distinctly - they are etched in my brain because this episode was the most harrowing of any I have ever experienced in my life.
There had been no time for any argument to develop. We had little if any conversation in the interval between leaving the restaurant and reaching the car. This was truly spontaneous combustion.
The meaning of what she screamed is difficult to recall because it came out of her in such uncontrollable frenzied bursts. None of it made sense.
I slowed down and tried to calm her. "For Christsakes, Betty, stop this, stop this. What is this about?" But she was beyond logic. She was raging about this Europe thing, completely out of control.
With no letup in her fury she suddenly propped her back against the passenger side door and started kicking me furiously - while I was speeding along the highway. Then she lunged at my face with her nails. I felt my shirt being ripped and my chest bloodied.
That's how these fits usually happened - right out of the blue. Then, suddenly she opened the car door and threatened to jump out. "I'm getting out of this car", she yelled. That was a scenario I had become use to, her opening the passenger side door while I was driving - it had happened a number of times before.
This was sheer hell - here I am with my hands on the wheel, driving through the darkness, being furiously attacked by a raging woman, and the passenger door hanging out by its hinges. I managed somehow to hold her off with my right hand and to hold on to the wheel with my left. This is how I made my way back to the motel.
The moment I stopped in front of our bungalows she rushed out of the car running up and down the highway shrieking wildly. I went looking for her for fear she could get killed by the speeding cars, but lost track of her in the pitch black of the night.
I was standing by the curb peering into the darkness when suddenly she reappeared and started mauling me all over again with her claws
. I fended her off, pushing her away as I did during these fits. That's how she acquired her "black eyes", just being pushed away. Eyes and faces are easily bruised. It doesn't take much, Just pushing her away can do it. It's like ribs -- it just takes a few pounds of pressure to crack a rib. In her case I often had to use some force simply to contain her.
I fled to the motel rooms....She came screaming after me pounding on the door hysterically, and then, I really couldn't believe this - I guess maybe I could - I heard the screen on the window tear and there she was climbing through the window, breaking the screen on her way. She landed on the floor, but by that time I had ran out of the cabin into the night. She followed me threatening to call the police. I was too embarrassed to ever call the police. But in this state nothing embarrassed her. "Here's a dime" I said, "Go right ahead and call them" By that time it was I who needed the police. The police finally came and took us both to the Sharon police station.
The sargeant at the desk looked me over, pointed to my gougings and asked, " Where did you get all that?' " It's pretty self-evident, isn't it" I answered. My wounds were far greater than hers. While she had minor bruises, I had bleeding wounds. He separated us - I went to my folks' house, she to the motel. This incident has to be among the records of the Sharon Police Dept. I am quite sure it was late summer of 1966.
The next day she acted as though nothing had happened. I often thought that she remembered nothing of these episodes much like an epileptic who is not consious during a seizure. She only knew what was in the present - that she had some black and blue marks and I think she actually believes to this day that she was abused, that I unilaterally beat her up. That was surely part of her insanity. It certainly wasn't sane.
This latter episode would have taken place at about the time that Betty Friedan was working on getting N.O.W. off the ground, perhaps just about at the time she was finalizing the draft of the 1966 Agenda of N.O.W., in her attempts to improve the lot of women.
However, what Carl Friedan perhaps doesn't realize is that if any of these incidents would have happened not even 30 years later he would have been arrested, likely thrown into and kept in jail until the time of his trial and would most likely have been barred from receiving any access to his children by having a restraining order placed against him — all on account of the successes his ex-wife had in promoting women's "rights."
Well, in love and war all things are fair. What nobler war could there be than the destruction of our families. If Betty Friedan's own family got destroyed in the process, and if a few – or a lot – of lies got told during and after the destruction of the Friedan family, what does it matter? It comes with the territory.
The New York Times promoted and published very biased reporting about Joseph Stalin's mass murder of Russian peasants. More than 14 million died, but the Times reported very favourably on the evolution of the "workers' paradise."
Privately, Duranty, the New York Times' correspondent in Russia at the time, stated that at least 10 million Russians had deliberately been starved to death, but said, "They're only Russians." However, in connection with that Duranty also coined the phrase that has become very popular, "You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs."
Officially, though, he manufactured (with the help of people like George Bernard Shaw) the myth that great and benevolent social changes were taking place in Russia. That's obviously a tradition that Betty Friedan perpetuates, this time in relation to getting women and not just mere workers "a better deal." As I said, even if the war is being waged against our families, in love and war all things are fair — although that appears to be true only in the minds of some people who apparently don't possess a full set of functioning faculties.
Nevertheless, after reading Carl Friedan's account of being married to a terrorist, I got the firm impression that, as Erin Pizzey said in her discussion paper "Working With Violent Women," one should not negotiate with terrorists and just keep his distance.
The consequences of our refusal to concede female contributions to violence are manifold. It affects our capacity to promote ourselves as autonomous and responsible beings. It affects our ability to develop a literature about ourselves that encompasses the full array of human emotions and experience. It demeans the right our victims have to be valued. And it radically impedes our ability to recognize dimensions of power that have nothing to do with formal structures or patriarchy. Perhaps above all, the denial of women's aggression profoundly undermines our attempts as a culture to understand violence, to trace its causes and to quell them.
— Patricia Pearson, When She Was Bad
Violent Women and the Myth of Innocence