"Betty Friedan a sexpot?"
BY LEE QUARNSTROM (06/08/00)
Despite Lee Quarnstrom's wild self-venting diatribe flung at my Web site, I was just delighted he spelled my domain name right: CarlFriedan.com. Log on and see how wrong a six-time divorcer can be. Didn't he learn anything from Nos. 3, 4 or 5? And he's giving splitsville advice? It just shows Salon will go to any lengths to get "blow job" in a headline.
-- Carl Friedan
It may be tasteless for Carl Friedan to air his marital woes on the Net, but he might be forgiven for his vehement ire, knowing that to live in the shadow of a famous feminist means that HIS is the voice that is continually overlooked. I thought that this article did an excellent job of dismissing Friedan as a "hysterical" husband. It's so nice to see that radical feminism still trumps rational discourse. Clearly, both parties in this divorce have behaved poorly. But to dismiss Betty Friedan's published remarks as "mild" ignores an important reality: She has the clout to get a book published, he doesn't. The number of people who will read his vitriolic Web site is minuscule in comparison to the number who have read Betty Friedan's memoirs.
Up until now, she has held the uncontested right to tell her life story (and his) as SHE saw fit. He's returned the favor, with interest ... Petty to be sure, but no more petty than for Betty Friedan to capitalize on her fame so as to write a tell-all memoir. Just because she used a more respectable medium (books) doesn't make her any more justified. I would argue that because people respect the power of the published word so much, she was able to make strong points in soft words, and everyone who read them was able to read between the lines. The Internet is not so hallowed: You have to say everything straight out. I don't like that Carl Friedan was so rude. But to place all the blame for this on him is to be negligently unconcerned with the role his former wife has played in his anger.
-- Kathleen Pilchowski