Review: The Good Girls Revolt
This past semester, I took a history class called History of the United States. While I have taken multiple U.S. history classes throughout middle school and high school and loved them, this class was by far my favorite. Instead of having a textbook, we read different novels and autobiographies throughout the semester that ranged from topics like slavery and Japanese internment camps.
My favorite by far, though, was a book about the women’s rights movement called The Good Girls Revolt. This may sound familiar because there is now one season of a show based around this book on Amazon. I have not watched the show yet, but after reading the book, it is definitely one of the many shows that I plan to binge watch over winter break.
For those of you who don’t know what it’s about, The Good Girls Revolt is about a group of women at Newsweek magazine who believed that they were not being treated fairly in the workplace even after laws were passed to prevent that from happening.
The girls at Newsweek were hired for the sole purpose of being researchers and fact checkers, with little to no room for career advancement. They were even treated as sexual objects by some of the men, which unfortunately was much more common and acceptable during that time period than it is now.
After years of being treated like this, a group of girls, including the author of this book Lynn Povich, gathered and with the help of a lawyer, decided to sue their bosses at Newsweek.
The book follows them through the entire process of coming up with the lawsuit and what their terms would be once they won and settled on conditions. The most interesting part of this book is how the women always felt that this was going too far and should just approach their bosses directly instead of suing. What was even more interesting is how even after the company made some changes, the women felt reluctant to accept higher positions because they thought they would be walked all over from their male peers.
After they altered their terms, the author of the book soon becomes the editor and succeeds tremendously at her new job. This lawsuit even inspired women in other industries to fight for their own equality.
Being a journalism major myself, seeing these women put their careers on the line so I can have one all of these years later is incredibly inspiring. I can’t thank them enough for all that they have done, but unfortunately, our work isn’t done just yet for equality in the workplace. But because of those brave women, we’re a lot closer than we would be without them.