Eulogy for Betty Friedan

NOTE: Please keep in mind that the Rabbi writes English with a Yiddish accent. In order to understand some of his dialect, think of the way the famous comedian Jackie Mason speaks and try to read it accordingly. The Rabbi gets rolling about half way through his eulogy and then hits the ball out of the park at the end! Please keep reading. Thanks. kqd

Eulogy for Betty Friedan

by Rabbi David Eidensohn

It may be strange indeed for someone like me, an Orthodox rabbi, to eulogize Betty Friedan, the great feminist, who died February 4, 2006, on her eighty-fifth birthday. At first glance, Betty and I are on opposite sides of the spectrum. She a fighter for women to leave the home, and I a traditionalist. I raised five daughters, and the one thing we wanted was a child who was not like Betty Friedan. On the other hand, I understand her, only too well, and for this, I eulogize her and teach of her pain.

The day Betty died, I had over my house three married daughters. The tykes made, as is their wont, a mess of the house. I would then go to their mothers and ask, “Excuse me, but did you throw these toys all over the floor?” and they confessed. My daughters have, thank G-d, large broods, and work hard. Frankly, the only one in the house who was nervous and anxious was me, because I am cranky and nervous. The ladies were having a lovely time. So what did Betty want?

The article about Betty from the New York Times had this about a woman in Nebraska who had a doctorate in anthropology. After describing a typical morning she says, “By noon I’m ready for a padded cell.” She didn’t work, and probably had very few children. But she couldn’t take the pressure. She considered herself, “one of the more relaxed housewives in the neighborhood.” Why? If this woman, obviously very intelligent with a doctorate, could not figure out how to co-exist with a couple of kids, without working, how do my daughters do it?

My daughters do it because they are not alone in the world. Orthodox children are very close to their parents. My wife is very busy with her own business but still talks to all of her children every day, and they talk! They talk mostly about the children, because that is what life is all about. Betty’s friends don’t have such close families. They don’t live in an Orthodox Jewish community where family is king. They live in a world of fun, and children don’t fit into that world. The family that is on the edge is a family with a television, that goes to the movies, that seeks enjoyment and good times. Children are not for that.

Betty grew up in a world where doting Jewish parents destroyed their daughters. It hurts. I am Jewish. But it is true. They spoiled their daughters rotten. They taught them every kind of fun. One distant relative had rich parents and was a genius. She had everything, including lessons on flying a plane. Today, she is at the top of her field, while her mother moans in pain that she is not married.

I used to be a college chaplain. Once the president of the Jewish girls came to me and said, “Rabbi, the Jewish boys won’t date us, they only like gentile girls.” I was shocked. Surely this was a mistake. When I asked the boys about this, they were evasive. I persisted, and finally, a boy took me aside. “Rabbi, you have to understand,” he said. “These girls are Japs.” I could not believe it. “What do you mean, “Japs,” they are Americans?” I said. “No, rabbi,” said the boy, being as polite as he could to an Orthodox Jew from Monsey who never heard the word JAPS. “JAPS, rabbi, is an acronym for Jewish American Princess.” I felt a punch in my stomach. I was speechless. When I came together, I quickly left the college. I got into my hundred dollar Chevy with the hole in the floor and made good time to Monsey.

“This is just the beginning,” I told Sandra. “The rot is coming to our community. We have got to get our daughters out of this world. Better they should grow up in a cave and not suffer like those poor girls in college.” So, we got out. But I was right. The rot spread. It is now raging in the modern Orthodox community, and lapping at the Orthodox world. Wherever the rot goes gender war ensues, and hate, not love, prevails among spouses and destroys families.

My daughters are not JAPS, because it never occurred to them that television, movies, and “fun” is desirable. Work is fun. Family is fun. Children are fun. If you don’t feel like that, get off of this world, because you cannot have family, and without family, what do you have? Drugs are fun. Just ask Elvis. Of course, he died of an overdose, but at least, he had some fun while he lasted.

If you are raised on television and movies, filthy books and videos, how can you be a parent, or even a spouse? You want fun? So have it. But don’t marry and don’t have children. Betty lived in a world of fun. Since the fifties when the curse of television arrived in the home, the American home died. Today, half of new marriages end in divorce. The ones that don’t divorce are not happy places, either. Indeed, a large amount of non-divorcees are open marriages where people just despair of every marrying, and so don’t bother divorcing.

During the Clinton administration a federal study found an explanation for the decline of marital fatherhood, the rise, especially among whites, of non-marital babies, and the growing resistance of men to marriage. One reason given was the men wanted their money to go for fun, not for children. Of course, you either live for fun or for family, but not both. Something has to give.

My mother, may she be well, is quite busy going to weddings of grandchildren. She came to work a while ago and saw everyone staring at the floor. When she came in, they told her, “Mrs. Eidensohn, here is a baby. Of course, you are used to them.” A baby to a secular person is a rare thing, something to stare at.

My daughters can work and have children and smile, for one reason: They live in a community that has a “the family is fun” ethic, and live for their children and families, and nothing else. An entire community that appreciates children and mothers allow women to feel appreciated. A community that appreciates mothers until they turn forty produces bitter Betty Friedans.

Good by, Betty. You are now in another world, and there you will see the souls of your parents and ancestors. They will not appreciate your ideas, but if they read my eulogy for you, they will try to understand.

Betty, you died on your eighty-fifth birthday. In Hebrew, letters are also numbers. The word PEH or mouth, has a numerical value of 85. Yes, you merited to articulate the anguish of an entire generation, destroyed in the fifties by television, that came into the home and wrecked it.

Now it is our task, which I accept, to continue to articulate  your pain. Unfortunately, Betty, the only solution for a woman today is what I did, get out. Gloria Steinem taught for a long time “women need men like a squirrel needs a bicycle,” but when she turned 67, she had enough of that, and married a man. There are no solutions for the modern woman, not to be lesbians, not to be professors, but to be women, in a world where only family is fun. Today, the new Betty Friedan is the brilliant New York Time’s reporter Maureen Dowd, who constantly bemoans her single status, her despair at every marrying, and her chaste misery, awash in money and fame, without family.

Let those of us who believe in traditional family and marriage not attack Betty and her disciples, bitter women who should articulate their pain. We must listen. We must drive the televisions out, and raise a generation of men who know the ancient code of the Talmud, that one must “honor your wife more than yourself.”

Family is the only honor. Family is the only fun. America and the West have lost family, marriage, and as a result, have very few children. Demographically, Europe is a destruction. There is no money to pay for the pensions of retirees, because there are few young people working. Work is done by importing foreigners, who are gradually taking over. Bernard Lewis predicts that Europe will be, in a generation or two, run by Moslems. America, too, is increasingly losing its core population to immigrants. Without family, a country cannot survive. Everything depends on listening to Betty’s pain. We must then act, not as she did, but as our ancestors did. We must restore a woman to her pedestal, as the bearer of children, who are our future, and the life of our present.

And lest you dismiss all of this, who will pay your social security? America is having few children, and fewer people exist to pay for retirees. When this generation retires, we will need eleven trillion dollars, but government only earns two trillion dollars. What will happen then?

Maybe today is the time to think about that.

When my daughters were very young, they once played with their cute new nephew in front of the house. A lady walked by and asked them, “What are you doing?” They replied, “We are babysitting our nephew,” and anticipated a compliment for the baby. Instead, the lady huffed and said, “My children are not slaves.”

They controlled themselves until they got into the house, when everyone had a good laugh. That Passover, despite the budgetary difficulties, I bought some small silver cups. “These,” I said, “are for the slaves.” It became a cherished tradition.

How do we answer Betty? We find freedom in “slavery.” Those who reject it and seek “freedom” from family, will find the hell that consumed a generation of women, and is still burning brightly.

30 thoughts on “Eulogy for Betty Friedan

  1. Ridgewoodboy says:

    When I was a factory worker in the 1950s, I got the impression that the majority of
    women wanted to have children and that those who didn’t were, more often than not, men. In those days, it was the men who overwhelmingly favored abortion.

    During our lunch and coffee breaks, my coworkers often brought up the subject of abortion. Some would say that if their girlfriends ever became pregnant, they would have to face the abortionist, coat hangers and all. On this issue, the boyfriend had the last word and it seemed obvious that he considered it his right.

    In the early 1960s Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique. Although the book was considered an eye-opener, it never once mentions the word abortion (though it was included in an epilogue in a 1973 reprint).

    The National Organization of Women (NOW), which Friedan co-founded in1966, at first did not present “abortion rights” as a majority position. At the time, abortion was still viewed by most of the women who belonged to NOW as disreputable. Their thinking was about the same as in the 19th century, when abortion was seen as patriarchal oppression and an exploitation of women.

    Then along came Lawrence Lader and Bernard Nathanson, cofounders of the National Association for Repeal of Abortion Laws (Naral). In 1967 these two men persuaded Friedan to have NOW endorse legal abortion, which it did that very year. Friedan was awarded with the vice presidency of NARAL. (Nathanson would later disavow abortion advocacy and become a prominent voice for the right to life of the unborn. Lader, however, wrote several pro-abortion books, one of which was cited numerous times by the Supreme Court majority in its 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.)

    What seems ironic is that abortion in earlier times was seen as patriarchal oppression and an exploitation of women, yet today is celebrated as a “woman’s right.” It appears as though women were sold a bill of goods by men who favored abortion and wanted to secure their own rights. And that by doing so, women lost theirs.

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    • You’ll notice that all three of the conspirators you mentioned were non-Christians! And, there in lies the problem. Non-Christians are driven by their bizarre sexual proclivities, even to the point of abortion/murder, in order to allow their sexual obsession to continue. Nothing has changed today for these deviant sex-obsessed oddballs, as can be seen by self-destructive, sexual deviancy displayed by Sen. Anthony Weiner and Gov. Elliot Spitzer. The judicial push for the public acceptance of non-Christian’s perverted view of sex, (as opposed to Christian’s views), as NORMAL, began in the 1950s when the obscenity laws were challenged by a non-Christians named Samuel Roth on the East Coast and David Alberts on the West Coast, Both distributed pornography by mail, among other venues. Unfortunately, they won their caseand our country is now AWASH with the acceptance of ANY, and ALL, of the non-Christian’s perverted sexual mores – including pedophilia, sodomy, fellatio, cunnilingus, homosexuality, transgenderism, prostitution and pornography! Sadly, the justices of the day, who ruled on these cases, and were 94% Christian, were too sexually naive to fully understand the depth of these non-Christian’s propensity for deviant sex.

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      • No problem. Yes, I read it. That Simone de Beauvoir was a very troubled female basically the sex slave and char maid of her nutty capture Jean Paul Sartre. They never married and she was finally reduced to supplying him with teenage lovers at the end. And she is considered the first feminist by the sisterhood and revered for her writings on relationships! No wonder the feminists are screwed up in their thinking, relying on her advice and views about men.

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  2. Betty Friedan: How Jewish Dysfunction Became Universal
    http://henrymakow.com/001995.html

    Read this and thought of your article. I just made it into the 21 century today. I now have Skypi? (sp) My son put it on my computer today. I feel excited to have it but i don’t know why. I hope you had a good Monday. (grin)

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    • Thank you for the link. Makow is exactly right in his assessment of Friedan. She was an influential but, wicked, witch.
      Friedan lived 20 minutes from my house when I was a kid and her sons, and my mother’s friend’s sons, were friendly in school. Friedan would routinely fail to get her kids after school because she was too involved with socialist activities. She’d never make arrangements for her kids to get home. As a result, her boys would routinely show up, out of the blue, after school, at my Mom’s friend’s house and spent more time at her house during the week, than their own. Friedan would finally wander home after 7 pm, after they’d eaten dinner (she was between maids at the time because her finances were tight) to pick up her kids to take them home. No thank yous, no nothing.
      She was certainly NOT a women whose, marriage, life, priorities, advice or directives should have EVER been taken to heart by other women. And yet, Makow concurs with my assessment of her “success”, she was aided and abetted by the liberal news media, entertainment industry, etc. Very unfortunate outcome for everyone, but especially for the 35 million female baby boomers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wow! You lived close to Betty Friedan? That’s not surprising, she didn’t take care of her kids. Because kids are disposable to the feminist…Just “pimp” out your most precious little children to the lowest price babysitter available…Then go off to the office & look good for another man, then pick up the kiddies & go home to Hubby or whoever……Not for my precious kids! They have a stay at home Mommy!

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      • That’s exactly where God intended them to be and anyone who believes otherwise is a heartless individual, or worse yet, a non-Christian, radical, second-wave feminist.

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      • KQ, I can not seem to find it… Would you please be so very kind and post it… his site for the article keeps coming up blank!!! ugh!!

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      • Yes, I agree, Makow admires Islam, which appears to be a very disturbing view, but, on a closer look, he primarily admires it because of its emphasis on the nuclear family and its belief in a universal God. In addition, he is usually referencing Indonesian muslims, NOT Arab muslims. As you know, there is a big distinction there – one practices rabid jihad against non-muslims, the other does not. Makow typically deals in specific truths, not generalities, even when those truths may make the general public uncomfortable, he expresses them anyway. It’s hard to argue with those two positive facts about Islam, but, having said that, as a Christian, the entirety of muslim ideology makes me VERY uncomfortable.

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      • Another things that might be a concern about Henry Makow is about his tendency to “blame the Zionists” which might not bode well with some people (I mean, devout Christians). and his belief of Askhenazi Jews as Khazars which has already been refuted. In such, he is reinforcing conspiracy theory mentality in the Arab world and the lesser extent, in other islamic countries such as Pakistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia (yes, we have trouble with that too, thanks for radical islam which plagued Indonesia since fall of Soeharto in 1998 and wrecking religious tolerance in my country).

        In fact one of his commenters also warned him about admiring Islam because, which you itself acknowledged, Islam in it’s purest form are hostile to the Christian West. And even in case of my country most Muslims want peace, many of them also have inadequate education so they are easy to be swayed of by radicals which manifests in closures and attacks of churches, and allegedly politicized trial for blasphemy with a Christian gubernatorial candidate as a defendant, Mr. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama also known as Ahok.

        And, you must be know the answer why Islamic countries including mine are lagging behind in science and technology, it’s islamic superiority mentality itself (including it’s tendency to believe in conspiracies). Yes, this might be harsh and blatant, but I believe truth can be harsh sometimes, same for radical feminism which you exposed, ma’am. God Bless!

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      • And God Bless you too Lukas. You are the sanity your country needs. Any faith that teaches its adherents to irrationally kill others, without provocation, should be banned! Hatred of that kind is a form of insanity and it should be locked away.

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    • These are all representative of the lopsided, and nutty, thinking of non-Christians. Their ideology works in direct opposition to the tenets of Christianity. Read my post, 10+ Tenets of Christianity vs. 10+ Ideals of Radical Feminism” to see just how diabolical their efforts are to destroy the morality of Christianity. Also read my post, “Good Guys – Matt Barber Outs LGBT Agenda to Legally End Christian Morality.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Continue to teach her to love and respect Jesus’ teachings and in doing so she will be able to protect herself from the secular, non-Christian pressures inflicted on our youth. And, never let her get serious about unbeliever. You will have to start now to educate her as to why this is important to her happiness. If left unresolved, the outcome will bring her nothing but grief, especially if the relationship evolves beyond just dating. The sacrament of marriage, is just that, a sacrament. If the couple are not, first and foremost, committed to the sacrament itself, through their joint belief in the faith, as compared to the selfish secular version of, “It’s all about me!” marriage, it will be very difficult for the marriage to prevail when it is subjected to the normal stresses, and the temptations, of everyday life in our highly secularized world. This knowledge, along with her faith, will become her armor against evil temptations and nearly assure her, and her children’s happiness through a safe, secure and protective marriage to a good Christian man. Lastly, do not let her become obsessed with the pursuit of a “career ” as defined by radical, second-wave feminism. She must remain open to love, marriage and children, which is the only avenue to try happiness for Christian women. Read my post, “Short Essay – College May Not Always Be the Answer.” Good luck and God bless.

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  3. I’ve been trying to understand feminism deeper – reading books on the history that started in the 1800’s, who these first women were, and WHY they felt the way they did… What I’ve come to see is that they centered their life and choices around selfishness and focused on their discontentment in life.

    What do you think about how women in my generation (Gen Y) are very supportive of “feminism” but don’t have a real clue about where it came from, who Betty Friedan was, and only think its about equality for women? I’m trying to reach my generation and friends – I’ve found most Christians my age agree with what I think (that feminism is truly evil and has nothing to do with equality for women), but then there are some that don’t want to see it and think I’m making up some kind of conspiracy theory lol!

    Do you have any advice for me in trying to reach women my age that are Christian and still don’t understand how un-Christian real feminism is?

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    • I run into the same problem, primarily with misguided public school educated women, who think feminism is simply about equality and equal pay, (RAH-RAH!) when in fact, it is the most insidious plot ever undertaken to destroy Christian women’s lives and through their brainwashed naivete, our illustrious Christian country. I would have the women you are referring to read my post – “Short Essay – First vs. Second vs..Third-Wave Feminism.” It gives a good overview of the progression of feminism over the last 100 years and the principle protagonists. Next Monday’s post is also about the destructive nature of feminism over the last 100 years but from the male perspective, because they too are victims of feminism’s ruse. Christina Hoff Sommers’ book, “Who Stole Feminism?” is required reading for anyone trying to enlighten other women about the dark side of feminism. It will help prepare you to defend your position with facts. I have done a lot of the legwork through my blog in this regard, and most of my “Short Essays” could be used as the basis for a monthly discussion group, where each participant must defend their positive or negative positions, in connection with my assertions, with facts I think anyone who read the dozens of my “Current EVEntS” would begin to question their allegiance to an ideology that specifically produces these kind of twisted women.But, getting women to dig deeper than the sound bites, and headlines, upon which they generally base their political opinions is very difficult because most women, even those who claim to have opinions, have rarely thought them through. And more ironically, those who have defined their lives by feminism and are unwittingly wallowing around in a feminist quagmire become like Moonies, unable to see the truth about themselves. Unfortunately, they are most like lost for good. The very young, pre-teen girls, are the most likely to learn from the truth, and avoid the pitfalls of feminism as adults. High school is usually the “make it or break it” time in most young women’s lives and if they are not savvy about the evil inherrent in feminism, this is the time they will fall victim to its BS. Therefore it is a matter of educating them in whatever way you can – church groups, anti-feminist intervention groups, mother/daughter get-togethers, discussion groups, luncheons with reformed feminist speakers, book clubs on feminism, etc. and usually just being informed yourself about the facts, goes a long way, especially when you are confronted with a friend whose life is a mess. In most cases, her troubles (both general and specific) can usually be traced directly back to her substitution of the ideology of radical feminism for the tenets of Christianity. It’s then, during another crisis, you can, with kindness, undertake an intervention of sorts with friends who are like minded with regards to the evil of a feminist lifestyle. For your own knowledge, check out the remainder of my “Good Books” list and especially my “Good Movies” post. It shows vividly, the decline of our society’s behavior under the reign of radical feminism,as portrayed through more than 50 years (1920s-1970s) of movies, from the heroic Scarlet O’Hara in the 1939 movie”Gone with the Wind” to adulteress Carol Sanders in the 1969 movie “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice.” The only common denominator in the decline of every Christian institution, within our American cultural over the past 50 years, including education, religion, politics, military, academia, business, judiciary, entertainment, marriage, television and most importantly, the family – has been the adoption of radical second and third-wave feminism by gullible, influential, women. I wish you good luck with your ministry. If you save but one women from radical feminism, you will have done an admirable job.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have been working on a post which will include Betty Friedan. Interestingly, I ran across your post because of a comment that you made on another blog and I wanted to read more and understand who you are, and not because I was looking for information on Betty Friedan.

    I am so glad that I found your blog and so glad to find more and more people that stand up for family and for the true biblical role of men and women. We will never be truly happy in this life until we get rid of the misconseptions that have been planted in our minds, beginning in the sixties, and really flourished in the seventies, being passed down through the following decades. It made for a truly miserable society.

    When I do write this article I will include a link to list post. Thank you for sharing this. Have a blessed day!

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    • I think most women, if they would just find a quiet moment to reflect, would agree that feminism has let them down. Unfortunately most aggressively defend their bad choices because the die has been cast, and there is no room for their retreat. These are the women that young women must verbally reject. Feminism will never die until Christian women hold other women accountable for their truly repulsive lifestyles. I look forward to your article. Good luck and God bless.

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