But without heroes like Betty Friedan and books like The Feminine Mystique, the situation would have been much, much worse. We are right to celebrate her and her book, and we should be careful about always making feminism seem irrelevant, or into a scapegoat for social problems. We owe feminism. A lot.

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Jennifer Vanasco is a is a news editor at WNYC and the former editor in chief of MTV Network's LGBT news site 365gay.com. She writes about social minorities, national politics, and culture. Her award-winning newspaper column on gay and women's issues ran for 15 years.