[Book Review] The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace

The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace / Lynn Povich (Powell's Books)
"On March 16, 1970, Newsweek magazine hit newsstands with a cover story on the fledgling feminist movement entitled "Women in Revolt." That same day, 46 Newsweek women, Lynn Povich among them, announced they'd filed an EEOC complaint charging their employer with "systematic discrimination" against them in hiring and promotion.

In "The Good Girls Revolt," Povich evocatively tells the story of this dramatic turning point through the lives of several participants, showing 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 their rights--and what happened after they 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.

With warmth, humor, and perspective, the book also explores why changes in the law did not change everything for today's young women."
After the work put in, the legal battles fought, and rights won, we tend to take for granted the opportunities that now exist and wonder if we still need feminism. This book is not only a well written narrative of how one group of women fought to over turn the norm, it is consistently anchored with facts and comparisons, and highlights the continued need who aren't afraid to question the status quo and will challenge for what needs to be done.

While the Good Girls Revolt is far from an in-depth treatise on the history of feminism, it is a recount of a pivotal effort and reminds the reader that feminism is not about hatred of men and bra burning, but about a legitimate fight for recognition and equality.  Povich writes with frankness and humor that makes this book an engaging read that I highly recommend.


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