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The Good Girls Revolt : How the Women of Newsweek Sued Their Bosses and Changed the Workplace
by Lynn Povich

Overview -

It was the 1960s--a time of economic boom and social strife. Young women poured into the workplace, but the "Help Wanted" ads were segregated by gender and the "Mad Men" office culture was rife with sexual stereotyping and discrimination.

Lynn Povich was one of the lucky ones, landing a job at "Newsweek," renowned for its cutting-edge coverage of civil rights and the "Swinging Sixties." Nora Ephron, Jane Bryant Quinn, Ellen Goodman, and Susan Brownmiller all started there as well.  Read more...


 
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More About The Good Girls Revolt by Lynn Povich
 
 
 
Overview

It was the 1960s--a time of economic boom and social strife. Young women poured into the workplace, but the "Help Wanted" ads were segregated by gender and the "Mad Men" office culture was rife with sexual stereotyping and discrimination.

Lynn Povich was one of the lucky ones, landing a job at "Newsweek," renowned for its cutting-edge coverage of civil rights and the "Swinging Sixties." Nora Ephron, Jane Bryant Quinn, Ellen Goodman, and Susan Brownmiller all started there as well. It was a top-notch job--for a girl--at an exciting place.

But it was a dead end. Women researchers sometimes became reporters, rarely writers, and never editors. Any aspiring female journalist was told, "If you want to be a writer, go somewhere else."

On March 16, 1970, the day "Newsweek "published a cover story on the fledgling feminist movement entitled "Women in Revolt," forty-six "Newsweek "women charged the magazine with discrimination in hiring and promotion. It was the first female class action lawsuit--the first by women journalists--and it inspired other women in the media to quickly follow suit.

Lynn Povich was one of the ringleaders. In "The Good Girls Revolt," she evocatively tells the story of this dramatic turning point through the lives of several participants. With warmth, humor, and perspective, she shows how personal experiences and cultural shifts led a group of well-mannered, largely apolitical women, raised in the 1940s and 1950s, to challenge their bosses--and what happened after they did. For many, filing the suit was a radicalizing act that empowered them to "find themselves" and fight back. Others lost their way amid opportunities, pressures, discouragements, and hostilities they weren't prepared to navigate.

"The Good Girls Revolt "also explores why changes in the law didn't solve everything. Through the lives of young female journalists at "Newsweek "today, Lynn Povich shows what has--and hasn't--changed in the workplace.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781610391733
  • ISBN-10: 161039173X
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publish Date: September 2012
  • Page Count: 288


Related Categories

Books > Political Science > Civil Rights
Books > Social Science > Women's Studies - General
Books > Political Science > Political Ideologies - Conservatism & Liberalism

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2012-06-11
  • Reviewer: Staff

Feminist history at its best, Povich evokes, with clear-eyed affection and a keen sense of history the heady atmosphere of “Swinging Sixties”-era Newsweek: a real-life Mad Men with a social conscience and sense of mission. In 1970, when Newsweek’s editors, who prided themselves on their progressive views (pro–civil rights, anti–Vietnam War), determined that the women’s movement merited a cover story, it didn’t occur to them that Newsweek’s caste system, which relegated women to dead-end jobs as researchers. was a civil rights violation. An unpleasant surprise awaited them when, on June 16, 1970—the same day Newsweek’s “Women in Revolt” issue hit the newsstands—46 female Newsweek employees, Povich among them, filed an EEOC complaint charging Newsweek with systematic discrimination in hiring and promotion. The transformation of Povich—who subsequently became Newsweek’s first female senior editor—and her colleagues from polite, deferential girls to women of courage forms the heart of this lively, engaging book. Their successful lawsuit paved the way for similar suits at the New York Times, NBC, and others, expanding opportunities for women journalists while underscoring how attitudes are often more resistant to change than laws. Forty years later, women are discovering for themselves that the fight for equal rights is not over. (Sept.)

 
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