The Good Girls Revolt

The Good Girls Revolt

How the Women of Newsweek Sued Their Bosses and Changed the Workplace

Book - 2012
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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 theirway 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.

Publisher: New York, NY : PublicAffairs, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781610391733
161039173X
Branch Call Number: Business & Career 331.481 Pov

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AnneCarolineDrake
Mar 07, 2018

After watching the series Good Girls Revolt on Amazon, I wanted to read the backstory.

I stopped reading after the prologue and picked the book back up again because I've run out of times I can renew. The rest of the book was fascinating. It tells the story of gutsy women in the 1970s who took on Newsweek's good ole boy culture. There's a lot of Mad Man fascination with what work environments were like back in the day. I was a young career woman then, and I can assure you ~ as Lynn Povich explains ~ it wasn't fun for the women. It was hell.

Sexual harassment and discrimination were rampant. Most women didn't have access to pro bono top legal talent like Eleanor Holmes Norton to take on our bosses for us.

I was sad to read that the rewards of the lawsuit didn't materialize for most of the women. The rewards were reaped by reporters like Anna Quindlen who arrived on the scene later. She called the lawsuit the "gift that keeps on giving."

BCD2013 Jun 12, 2014

NYPL Staff Pick
Tells about the largely forgotten by history but influential sex discrimination lawsuit at Newsweek in the '70s. Povich carefully frames the Mad Men style culture that was pervasive at Newsweek and other news magazines, and the "click" moment that showed the so-called "newshens" that they could speak up for their rights.
- Jenny Baum

BCD2013 Jun 12, 2014

NYPL Staff Pick
Tells about the largely forgotten by history but influential sex discrimination lawsuit at Newsweek in the '70s. Povich carefully frames the Mad Men style culture that was pervasive at Newsweek and other news magazines, and the "click" moment that showed the so-called "newshens" that they could speak up for their rights.

lib_apart May 12, 2014

Tells about the largely forgotten by history but influential sex discrimination lawsuit at Newsweek in the '70s. Povich carefully frames the Mad Men style culture that was pervasive at Newsweek and other news magazines, and the "click" moment that showed the so-called "newshens" that they could speak up for their rights.

Cdnbookworm Oct 21, 2012

The story of the women of Newsweek began in the sixties, but continues into the present. Lynn follows the development of the case from its inception through its public unveiling to subsequent cases and slow change at the newsmagazine. While she was beginning to write this, she was approached by women working at Newsweek in the early twenty-first century, who were still feeling unfairness in the workplace and had just discovered the historic case. This present situation became part of the story included here, and brings in the changes, and gaps that still exist 42 years later. This was a landmark case for women's rights, and one of the interesting elements is the reaction by women both then and now to the term feminism. Among women today, there is a lack of knowledge of the history that partly explains this, but there is also a mindset among many women across time about what feminism is.
A very interesting book, about an important historical change that had long lasting impact on the workplace.

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