Martha at WRB: “Nice Girls Still Finish Last”


Martha @ Athena's Head

book_jacket-210In my most recent guest post on the WRB Blog, “Nice Girls Still Finish Last,” I take on Lynn Povich’s much ballyhooed The Good Girls Revolt. Here’s a quote to get you going:

Let’s talk about anger—belly-down, no-holds-barred rage—the kind of anger expressed by seventies feminists once dubbed “bra-burning kooks” and “women’s libbers.” Lynn Povich’s 2012 The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued Their Bosses and Changed the Workplace (now in paperback) has all the hallmarks of an epic battle of the sexes.

Unfortunately, her book is oddly muted, told from the perspective of a “pre-feminist” who seems caught between the thrill of working for a big magazine and the evidence piling up before her. It’s framed as a history of the first gender-discrimination suit filed against a major media company, complete with helpful explanations for those who’ve never encountered the phrase “male chauvinist pig.”

Me, I’d start resuscitating kickass slogans about piggy behavior rather than backing away with a wrinkled nose….

If you haven’t seen “A Profound Absence,” the essay I wrote for WRB’s thirtieth anniversary in its November/December issue, then please check it out, too, and spread the word. I argue that female intellectuals are now largely missing voices in the mainstream cultural wars—a situation that eerily (and disturbingly) echoes what female journalists at Newsweek and other media outlets faced in the 1970s.

What comes around, goes around…yet isn’t it time for some things to disappear altogether? Yes indeed, but being “nice” has never gotten us where we want to go.