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Good Girls Revolt

November 7, 2016

Lynn Povich, an award winning journalist and author of THE GOOD GIRLS REVOLT: How the Women of Newsweek Sued Their Bosses and Changed the Workplace– the inspiration for the new Amazon original series Good Girls Revolt, will visit on Thursday, November 17 for a screening and book signing event that is free and open to the public in our URBN Annex Screening Room starting at 7pm. The event is presented by the Kal and Lucille Rudman Institute for Entertainment Industry Studies.
Lynn Povich began her career as a secretary in the Paris Bureau of Newsweek Magazine, rising to become a reporter and writer based in New York City. This may seem like an expected career trajectory by today’s standards, but in 1970 this was anything but normal. Though renowned writers Nora Ephron, Jane Bryan Quinn, Ellen Goodman and Susan Brownmiller began their careers at Newsweek, a magazine known for its coverage of the Civil Rights Movement, Newsweek was also a place where women researchers sometimes became reporters, rarely became writers and were never made editors. Any ambitious female journalist was told “If you want to be a writer, go somewhere else.”

On March 16, 1970 Newsweek published a cover story detailing the beginning of the first-wave feminist movement in their article, “Women in Revolt”, authored by a free-lance journalist because there were ‘no female reporters’ at Newsweek to cover the story. That same day, forty-six Newsweek women represented by Eleanor Holmes Norton filed a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that Newsweek had a policy of only allowing men to be reporters. It was the first female class action lawsuit, the first by women journalists, and blazed a trail for women and the media to follow. Povich, a ringleader in the lawsuit, went on to become the first Senior Editor in Newsweek history just five years after filing the claim.