Who is your role model and why?
The American writer Betty Friedan — she fought for gender equality and wrote the great book “The Feminine Mystique” which sparked the beginning of a second-wave feminism.
So do you consider yourself a feminist?
Sure. I believe in equal rights for men and women.
Color me just a little surprised at this one: Leighton Meester is a feminist and actually cites second-wave feminist activist Betty Friedan as her role model. Friedan was the author of The Feminine Mystique, a 1963 book that that captured the unhappy, stilted lives that middle-class, mostly white women felt after marriage and children, feeling as if there weren’t other opportunities open to them. Friedan was initially prompted to write after interviewing her former Smith College classmates, when she learned how unhappy these well-educated women were as suburban housewives. The book catalyzed many women to join the feminist movement and led to an increased awareness to the restriction of expected gender roles in American society.
Friedan herself is a pretty controversial figure: her work focuses primarily on white, middle-class women at the exclusion of all other women. Additionally, in her activism, she was discriminatory against lesbians and LGBTQ folks. All that being said, Friedan did write one of the most impactful books of the 20th century, which I suppose is how Leighton Meester found her way to her. Given how many celebs won’t identify as feminists in the first place, I’ll take it. Maybe Blair Waldorf wants to hang out with Beyoncé (also a feminist, duh) and watch videos of feminism on YouTube to get more up-to-date? [OOTD Magazine] [Image via WENN]e