Watching the new Amazon original series GOOD GIRLS REVOLT about the staff at the fictional News of the Week magazine is both enjoyable and emotional for me. The series begins in 1969, and episode 5 is New Year’s Eve ushering in 1970. (The fictional series is based on the nonfiction book THE GOOD GIRLS REVOLT: HOW THE WOMEN OF NEWSWEEK SUED THEIR BOSSES AND CHANGED THE WORKPLACE by Lynn Povich.)
The enjoyable parts of the series for me revolve around relating to the hair styles, clothes, consciousness raising, and the learning about women’s sexuality — all of which I experienced at that time. The emotional parts of the series revolve around contemplating the treatment of women then and now.
The consciousness raising for women and the anti-women treatment in the news room I experienced starting in 1972 when my husband Mitch and I got back from being stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army. Earlier, while Mitch was in the Army, I experienced the prejudice against women having professional jobs.
For all the supposed changes in the past 46 years, many things still remain the same for women. And although people could point out how slowly some things change throughout recorded history, the equal treatment (and equal pay) of women should not be one of those areas that changes so slowly since the 1960s.
I personally try to do my part in improving the perception of women. This started when I taught news writing courses at Temple University Center City in the mid-70s. I tried to change both male and female students’ perception of women because these perceptions influenced how the students wrote about women. I even had a collection of insulting women references in newspaper articles at the time, including articles from the front page of The Wall Street Journal. (I still remember the reference to “the blond” in an article about the Panama Canal.)
Then in my fictional writing as well as my blog post writing I try to portray strong roles for women. This is very important because I believe that many people do not perceive the difference between reality and fiction. A woman pilot in real life or in fiction can equally encourage other women to consider becoming a pilot.
The ongoing “put down” of women still happens all around us. One has only to look at advertising to see discriminatory gender portrayals — and video games may be some of the worse perpetrators of negative female images. Really, do all the women characters have to wear skimpy outfits?
Today I saw a billboard on the side of a bus advertising the new TV show PITCH, which is about a female pitcher in the major leagues. She is portrayed in the billboard in a skimpy top so that her breasts are accentuated. How shameful that a series which could actually help promote the acceptance of women in professional sports still uses a “sexy” photo to advertise the show.
In conclusion, I recommend watching GOOD GIRLS REVOLT on Amazon, and then considering whether — 46 years from 1970 — have we women really gotten that much farther than we were then?
© 2016 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller) has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks. Phyllis is available by skype for book group discussions and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Her Kindle fiction ebooks may be read for free with a Kindle Unlimited monthly subscription — see www.amazon.com/author/phylliszimblermiller — and her Kindle nonfiction ebooks may also be read for free with a Kindle Unlimited monthly subscription — see www.amazon.com/author/phylliszmiller