Congress passed the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which made it illegal to pay men and women different wages for equal work.
Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique looks at women’s roles, desires, and rights in American society and helped to spark the second-wave feminist movement.
The National Organization for Women was established by Betty Friedan and others with the purpose of bringing “women into full participation in the mainstream of American society now, exercising all the privileges and responsibilities thereof in truly equal partnership with men.”
Female tennis star Billie Jean King accepted a challenge from self-described “male chauvinist pig” and former Wimbledon winner Bobby Riggs. In a symbolic win for the women’s movement, King defeated Riggs in the tennis match dubbed the “Battle of the Sexes.”
The National Organization for Women (NOW) is an activist women’s rights organization founded in 1966 by Betty Friedan and others. In the 1960s and 1970s, NOW helped lead the feminist movement in its efforts to eliminate sex discrimination and secure reproductive and equal rights for women. As the largest feminist organization in the United States, NOW continues to address issues of equality, race, economy, health, sexuality, and violence against women.
The Moral Majority was a fundamentalist Christian organization founded by televangelist Jerry Falwell in 1979. The Moral Majority was established to preserve “traditional” American values and to combat increasing acceptance of social movements and culture changes. The organization became a major political influence in its opposition to gay rights, abortion, feminism, and other liberal movements during the 1980s. In 1989, Falwell disbanded the organization, declaring that it had achieved its goals.
Betty Friedan (1921–2006), a leading feminist, published the landmark book The Feminine Mystique in 1963. Friedan graduated from Smith College in 1942 and was married in 1947. After ten years as a mother and a housewife, Friedan found herself frustrated by the confinement of her situation and lack of options as a woman. She studied the lives and dissatisfaction of American women and published her findings in The Feminine Mystique. The book was an instant success. In 1966 Friedan cofounded the National Organization for...
Lori D. Ginzberg, professor of history and women’s studies at Pennsylvania State University, discusses her 2010 biography, Elizabeth Cady Stanton: An American Life.