Reviews for THE GOOD GIRLS REVOLT:
“As compelling as any novel, and also an accurate, intimate history of new women journalists invading the male journalistic world of the 1970s. Lynn Povich turns this epic revolt into a lesson on why and how we’ve just begun.” —Gloria Steinem
“A meticulously reported and highly readable account of a pivotal time in the women’s movement.” —Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle
“Povich’s in-depth research, narrative skills and eyewitness observations provide an entertaining and edifying look at a pivotal event in women’s history.” —Kirkus, which picked the book as one of the 6 Outstanding Biographies of Women
My book, THE GOOD GIRLS REVOLT, tells the story about how 46 young women at Newsweek filed an EEOC complaint in 1970 charging management with "systematic discrimination" against them in hiring and promotion."
I was one of those women. Through the lives of several participants I show how personal experiences and cultural shifts led a group of well-mannered, largely apolitical women, raised in the 1940s and 1950s, to stand up for our rights—and what happened after we did. For many, filing the suit was a radicalizing act that empowered them to "find themselves" and stake a claim. Others lost their way in a landscape of opportunities, pressures, discouragements, and hostilities they weren't prepared to navigate.
We were the first women in the media to file a complaint, inspiring other women to follow suit. Our lawyer was Eleanor Holmes Norton and, it turns out, we were the first female class action suit.
THE GOOD GIRLS REVOLT is a narrative account of our lawsuit, but it also tells the tale of young women working at Newsweek today, the kinds of obstacles they are facing and their confusion about why they're not getting ahead. After all, they are "post-feminists," the sex wars are over and we're all equal, so it couldn't be discrimination. When they discover our case 40 years earlier and meet us, they identify with our struggle and ultimately get interested in women's issues. Now they are proud to call themselves feminists.
In the Sixties, there were women at Newsweek who saw the lay of the land (never getting promoted out of the research category) and left--women like Nora Ephron, Ellen Goodman, Susan Brownmiller and Jane Bryant Quinn. And there was Katharine Graham, the owner of Newsweek, who underwent her own form of consciousness raising.
I talk about the women on the front lines at other news organizations whose careers were stalled or worse, and I talk about the beneficiaries of those cases, women like Gail Collins and Anna Quindlen, who acknowledge the courage and activism of their fore-sisters.
This is a book for my generation and for our sons and daughters. It is part history and part current events. Women have made a great deal of progress but equal rights, like civil rights, have yet to be won.