Good Girls’ Fight to Be Journalists
USinfo | 2012-12-27 15:58
WHEN I graduated from college, before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 took effect, sex discrimination was legal. I wanted to write for a newspaper or newsmagazine, but despite an armload of credentials and skills, I soon learned the score: Women could do research, be secretaries and, if very lucky, work for the ghetto called the women’s page. But other than that, the guys were hired as the writers, and that was that.

“The Good Girls Revolt” by Lynn Povich (PublicAffairs), scheduled for release next week, is the little-known story of how a small band of women at Newsweek successfully challenged this industrywide practice. They fought the men of Newsweek in the early 1970s, becoming the first women in the media to sue on the grounds of sex discrimination.
“I arrived in New York approximately one second after the women at places like The New York Times and Newsweek had filed lawsuits,” Ms. Collins says. “People like me, who came right behind them, got the good jobs and promotions.”
Women today have opportunities and solid legal support, Ms. Povich writes. But many of the injustices that young women face now are the same ones women fought 40 years ago. Sexism is still alive and well in the workplace.
“The discrimination may be subtler, but sexist attitudes still exist,” she says.
“The Good Girls Revolt” has many timely lessons for working women who are concerned about discrimination today, and for the companies that employ them. Feminism is an incomplete revolution that has yet to reach its goals. But this sparkling, informative book may help move these goals a tiny bit closer.
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