The inspiration behind the Amazon original series
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.
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About the Author
Lynn Povich began her career at Newsweek as a secretary. In 1975 she became the first woman senior editor in the magazine's history. Since leaving Newsweek in 1991, Povich has been editor-in-chief of Working Woman magazine and managing editor/senior executive producer for MSNBC.Com. Winner of the prestigious Matrix Award, Povich edited a book of columns by her father, famed Washington Post sports journalist Shirley Povich. She is married to Stephen Shepard, former editor-in-chief of Business Week and founding dean of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. They have two children.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Prologue: "Why do I need feminism?” or What Goes Around, Comes Around
Chapter 1: Editors File Story: Girls File Complaint
Chapter 2: A News Magazine Tradition
Chapter 3: The "Hot Book”
Chapter 4: Ring Leaders
Chapter 5: "You Gotta Take Off Your White Gloves, Ladies”
Chapter 6: Negotiating an Agreement
Chapter 7: Mad Men: The Boys Fight Back
Chapter 8: The Steel Magnolia
Chapter 9: "JoeSurrender”
Chapter 10: The Barricades Fell
Epilogue: Where They Are Now
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The gender discrimination at Newsweek magazine in the 1950s and 1960s was blatant. Men with college degrees from Ivy League colleges worked as writers, reporters and editors. Women with the same credentials were, for the most part, relegated to the ghetto of research and fact-checking. Period. The story of how the “good girls” of Newsweek changed that in the 1970s is related by one of the women in that suit. The attitudes of the men of Newsweek seem in some ways almost quaint. And they justified discrimination as part of the “tradition” of the magazine field. Lynn Povich’s story is more memoir than journalism history and that is not meant as a criticism. She relates the fear that accompanied talk of a lawsuit and how the women came together to face their powerful bosses – including publisher Katharine Graham. And it should come as no surprise that many of the woman who were discriminated against back then rose to the top of the journalism field, some to become household names. Others were not so lucky. Fascinating story!