The Good Girls Revolt
by: Marina Lucic
September 12, 2012
In the 1960’s, women working in New York City took menial jobs because it was as close as most of them could get to the profession of their dreams. Classifieds were still segregated, and “Help wanted—Female” ads would almost certainly be for positions as nurses, secretaries or teachers. Lynn Povich, the first female senior editor of Newsweek, and a woman of the revolution that was sparked in 1969 as a response to women’s role in the workplace, recounts her story and the fight for gender equality in a new book tilted “The Good Girls Revolt.”
Povich worked for Newsweek in the 60’s — a time packed with excitement for the issue of women’s rights in the work place. In 1964, the Civil Rights Act made gender discrimination illegal, but it took five years for it to be truly felt by the women in the work force. In her book, Povich explains how she and her colleagues found themselves involved in the movement. She says, “It was only as the women’s movement started gaining steam that it suddenly dawned on us that, oops, there’s something wrong with this picture here — that this movement doesn’t just apply to those women, it applies to us, and we have to do something about it. And it’s illegal.”
Their response, when it did come, was powerful. The women sued Newsweek twice and won the second time. Their demands were that women make up a fraction of the reporters and writers for the publication. In addition to this, they also demanded that some men be hired as researchers. The goals, Povich says, were to integrate men and women and to show everyone that a job didn’t have to be a “man’s job” or a “woman’s job.”
Journalism is no longer a “man’s business” thanks to women such as Povich. “The Good Girls Revolt” follows this exciting and significant period in women’s ongoing fight towards work equality.