WATCH: Betty Friedan’s Prescient, Funny Speech on the Future of Aging

Forty or 50 years ago, who’d have thought that by the turn of the century women would be taken seriously in their own right, no longer having to push against being defined only in relation to men?

Now jump ahead half a century: It’s 1995 and the woman most often cited as the catalyst for women taking charge of their futures, “Feminine Mystique” author Betty Friedan, is a panelist at the American Society for Aging’s annual conference. And she’s doing it again: Older people can redefine what “being old” means in our society; it doesn’t have to a life stage measured only in relation to youth.

If you have plenty of time, watch the whole conference, which features four visionary panelists discussing the future of aging. If you want to skip straight to Friedan, fast forward to 34.34. (Not sure how to fast forward? See below.)

In this 20-year-old video clip, Friedan is funny, she’s rousing and she’s prescient. What she said back then is finally becoming part of the dialogue.

How to fast forward

Grab the little button in the time bar and drag it to the right until you see the timer reach 34:34. The video might take a little while to catch up or “buffer” – patience!



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