Carolyn Offers Tribute to Author
The pen is mightier than the burning bra.
The world knows that Betty Friedan
(1921-2006) is dead--dead but not gone.
a writer who saw the world around her clearly -- differently --
she changed the emotional and political landscapes of America. Whether
one ascribes to every detail of her philosophy or not, it turns
out that by being true to herself and by using the power of the
word to change what she thought needed to be changed, women -- and
men -- lead fuller lives today. The one approach that worked best,
however, is when she took up the pen when many were taking off their
Of course, from time immemorial,
the grand gesture has played a part in change. Think of the scene
so beautifully depicted in Les Miserables of the turning point in
the French Revolution. Though few have the patience and perseverance
of Gandhi, it may be that writing is more effective and lasting
(witness our Constitution based on many of the French Revolution's
The Feminine Mystique Friedan did what all good writers do.
She observed her surroundings, saw her own truth and wrote about
it. By doing so she found that her individual observations were
part of a greater whole, that universal truth that we have heard
for eons from the mouths of good storytellers. She says, "I
could speak my truth as a woman and it was the truth of every woman."
or not you agree may depend on whether you lived through the 40s
and 50s. I feel this way for I know I would not have resumed my
education at what was then considered a ripe age of 31--and finished.
With Friedan paving the way, many women went back to school, began
to practice their arts, returned to professions they had given up,
got jobs that had called to them for some time.
That Friedan is a generation older than I, that her writer/researchers
eye was able to see what others did not (or could not, because prejudices
can stalk us on padded, silent feet until someone trips them up)
makes her even more amazing. My mother, still alive and a scant
two years older than Friedan, still believes that it is the duty
of the woman at any amount of sacrifice to do for her family members
that which they can and would benefit from doing for themselves.
at 85, Friedan also wrote The Fountain of Age in which she dissected
the politics and prejudices that surround age as she had done decades
before for gender. Ageism -- one of my other favorite causes--is
a topic for another column.
By the feminist standards of the
60s and 70s, Friedan was a moderate. By the standards of the 50s,
she was a radical. That she achieved what she did by writing will
assure her a firmer place in history -- regardless of how you see
her today. For the pen -- if not longer lasting -- is mightier than
the burning bra or the burning flag.
Each month in this box, Carolyn lists
a writing or promotion tidbit that will help authors and a
tip to help readers find a treasure among long-neglected books
or a sapphire among the newly-published.
and learn more about their craft, technology associated with
their chosen careers or promotion by listening to audios produced
by Carolyn and fellow Authors* Coalition members, Allyn Evans,
Joyce Faulkner, Kathe Gogolewski and Marilyn Peake. They have
produced available in MP3 or CDRom that are available at http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/audio.asp.
Learn more about the instructors and find a list of the coming
classes at http://tri-studio.com/kathegogolewskieAUDIOCLASSES.html
or go to the Authors*
free sample class called "Radio: A Do-It-Yourself Guide
to Promoting Easy and Cheap!" on the Double
Dragon Publishing (DDP) website.
to a mini podcast of one of the audio classes here: http://tri-studio.com/kathegogolewskiAUDIOCLASSES.html
excerpts from the "Website Optimization: Don't Overlook
a Crucial and Fairly Inexpensive Marketing Tool." is
and one from the "Visualization: How to Train Yourself
to 'See' the World You Want to Create" class is at http://tri-studio.com/kathegogolewskiPODCASTEXCERPT2.html.
from the "The Advantages of Group Promotion: Extend Your
Reach and Have More Fun!" class is at: http://tri-studio.com/kathegogolewskiPODCASTEXCERPT3.html
Tip: Amazon.com is now offering what they call "Shorts."
Give this feature more time and you'll be able to download
articles, essays and more from most of your favorite authors
in very inexpensive little bits and pieces. No longer will
there be a need to purchase or borrow a whole book to sample
a new author's style. I can't imagine that writers (or their
publishers) will let this opportunity to communicate better
with their readers pass them by.
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