Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Books: Carl Friedan Strikes Back

ShareThis

The leader of the women's movement being punched out by her husband -- and taking it? In recent weeks, media outlets from Newsweek to the Times have zeroed in on the George scoop, an explosive excerpt from Betty Friedan's memoir Life So Far. The only trouble is that nearly everyone in the movement, to say nothing of everyone who read my 1988 book, The Sisterhood, knew about Betty's black eyes. And about fellow activists' hiding them with makeup before her public appearances. Indeed, one such episode forms Sisterhood's opening scene, and many Friedan friends and colleagues I interviewed remarked on the airborne crockery in that embattled household. Those two deserved each other was a comment I heard more than once. Now, memoir or no memoir, Friedan has been feverishly backpedaling on the charge. And the flare-up of old wounds has compelled Betty's ex, retired adman Carl Friedan, to retaliate with -- what else? -- a Website (www.carl- friedan.com) to vent over what he calls Betty's "S&M fantasy." He never "gratuitously" battered her, he insists, describing the feminist foremother as a "man-eating tiger" and "the most violent person I have ever known," while Carl himself was a "sacrificial lamb" whose own face was "scarred by deep gouges." En passant, he gripes that "in all 19 years of marriage she never gave me a blow job." Such revelations won't embarrass Grandma Betty, since Life So Far annotates her own sex life at length. For those still intrigued by the trials of the deserving Friedans, Carl's Website promises "tales of Betty's orgasms" any day now. Guess this fish had her bicycle after all.


Related:

Advertising
Current Issue
Subscribe to New York
Subscribe

Give a Gift

Advertising