These Sexist Moments In 'Good Girls Revolt' Are A Reminder Of How Far The Workplace Has Come
For all you feminists out there, Amazon's new series Good Girls Revolt is an inspiring story about women standing up against the patriarchy to defend gender equality in the workplace. Yet, there will also be times where you find yourself supremely frustrated at the sexist moments the characters endure in Good Girls Revolt . With it taking place in 1969, the story of the female researchers working at the magazine News of the Week pursuing their right to become reporters is pretty revolutionary. But that means that the female characters have to deal with their fair share of sexual discrimination before they get to be fully empowered — and it's not always easy to stomach.
While what happens to Grace Gummer's Nora Ephron in the pilot episode is certainly frustrating (she is refused a byline on an excellent article she wrote solely because she is a woman), her taking down Jim Belushi's Wick in front of the entire office and then strutting out was like a soothing salve for my rage. Yet, not every woman in Good Girls Revolt had the confidence or tenacity to do what Nora did — at least not in the first few episodes of the Amazon series — and stand up against blatant sexism. So here are some of the hardest moments to watch from the pilot episode of Good Girls Revolt for people who believe that women and men should be treated equally.
The Reporter-Researcher Dynamic
As Patti explains it to newbie Nora, the female researchers role is to "report, investigate, and write files for the reporters," while the male reporters simply "do a pass on them, put their names on them, and then the stories go to press." That's not to say the male reporters don't do some of the work, but the fact that women were not allowed to write their own stories is pretty much the entire basis for the series. This dynamic also allows Gabriel (who knew Nora from debating her in college) to continue treating her terribly, even though he knows deep-down that she is more talented than him.
How Cindy Is Treated By Her Husband
Cindy's marriage to her husband is introduced with the sexist, but time-period appropriate, idea that Lenny didn't believe she could continue to work at News of the Week once they started a family. Lenny even went beyond his close-minded views to becoming a straight-up villain when Cindy discovered he had poked a hole in her diaphragm to force her into a pregnancy.
Pretty Much Anything Wick Says Or Does
Belushi's character refers to the women in belittling and condescending terms (for example, "I need a honey to go up to photo") and his language is reflective of his lack of respect for the female employees. When he asked Anna Camp's Jane to get him coffee after she spoke up in a meeting, it was the perfect example of him trying to keep her in her submissive place.
The Women Being Viewed As Sexual Objects
Speaking of Wick, I never knew that women didn't look their best in jeans. Phew, thanks for letting me know! All kidding aside, the general comments about what the women in the office look like by most of the male employees of News of the Week would definitely constitute as sexual harassment now. Plus, while Doug does seem to genuinely care about Patti, they shouldn't be sleeping together in the office, nor should he be using his role as a reporter to insult Patti when she hurt his feelings in their personal lives outside of work.
The Magazine Was Hesitant To Use Female Sources
After people were killed at the Altamont concert, Patti got two women to tell the truth about what happened. Danielle, the backup singer for Santana, didn't want to use her name though because she said her reputation with the record company and band would be ruined. I get not wanting to use an anonymous source, but then the magazine didn't want to use Juicy Lucy's quotes either because she was "promiscuous." Thankfully, Finn eventually saw past that to publish the story.
Sam's Possessive Attitude Toward Jane
The crack researcher-writer duo is Jane and Sam, but the way he touched her in the newsroom and told her she was cute while she was giving him valuable information about the Altamont story was totally inappropriate.
While we still have improvements that need to be made in terms of gender equality in 2016, take a little comfort that thanks to the real women who inspired Good Girls Revolt, the way women are treated at work has come a long way.
Images: Amazon (7)