Betty Ford Still Inspires Women EverywhereMarch 18th, 2009 - 12:58 am ICT by GD
Betty Ford was different from all the First Ladies who had gone before her, and those to follow her. She had advocated the women’s rights movement even when White House advisors were against it, and worked hard for the Equal Rights Amendment. She told her own story to inspire women to do a mammogram against breast cancer. Then in April 1978, she, with her husband, President Gerald
For, announced to the world that she had sought treatment and was recovering from being addicted to alcohol and other drugs. She gave a face to the movement fighting alcohol and drug dependency and gave her name to a rehabilitation center that has helped close to a million patients.
Ford says that her spunk and candor came from being married to Gerald Ford, adding, “If I hadn’t been married to my husband, I never would have had the voice that I did when those things arose. So being married to (President Gerald Ford) was probably the biggest decision I made and the best decision I made.”
The Fords came to the White House immediately after the Watergate issue rocked America and vowed to change things. Mrs. Ford’s daughter, Susan Ford Bales speaks of her mother’s frank approach, saying that Betty had a podium to stand on the voice was always there. I think some of that comes from being raised with brothers. You learn to stand up for yourself. You’re not going to get mowed over.”
Historians now agree that Betty Ford changed the common perception of the First Lady and was “the beginning of a new generation of first ladies.”
Tags: alcohol and other drugs, april 1978, betty ford, breast cancer, candor, daughter susan, drug dependency, equal rights amendment, first ladies, first lady, fords, gerald ford, historians, mammogram, new generation, president gerald ford, rehabilitation center, spunk, susan ford bales, watergate