26 thoughts on “Why Good Girls Need to Revolt

  1. I get the feeling that the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s is a hard period for Hollywood costumers to grasp. My sister, who is a big fashionista, was very critical of the costumes for the last two seasons of “MAD MEN”, which covered 1968 to 1970.

    1. It’s a transitional period, & those are always hard — costume designers tend to go overboard towards either the earlier or later period. That really has to come down to a character-by-character decision, who would be most up-to-date & who wouldn’t, with a certain amount of mixing between the eras, since even the trendiest person of any time period isn’t totally committed to the current year’s fashions.

  2. Right on, sistah! That glass ceiling was firmly in place when I hit the streets of Manhattan in 1966 with B.A. and M.A. in hand. It was kindly explained to me at employment agencies that women could be hired at the major magazines only as research assistants to the men who wrote the stories. If I wanted to write, I should work at a women’s magazine. And of course businesses could not be expected to invest in women who would only leave the work force to bear children. Because you were expected to resign or be transferred to work avoiding the public once you began to “show.” I lucked out and stumbled onto the world of “house organs” where I was a valued employee, got to write and take extension courses in photography and typography (which involved spec-ing type for hot lead, seriously), and made a decent salary. But the system described here was firmly in place, lest anyone think otherwise.

    1. Thank you so much for your POV. And this “of course businesses could not be expected to invest in women who would only leave the work force to bear children” is still out there, ugh! Not as bad, but dayum. Drives me batty.

      1. I know someone who was the first woman ever awarded a specific graduate scholarship for this very reason [“women have babies and leave”]. The year? 2001.

  3. That title is just asking for it, so I’ll say it: Yes, the good girls are revolting! My favourite memory of that period was the cover of one of the magazines that showed a model sporting the “peasant look” compared to as guy dressed as a real peasant. This was also the period of the “beehive” hairdo, long coats and high boots. One cab driver was quoted as saying, “They’re all Cossacks!”

  4. I’m probably 5 years younger than the girls in the show. From the opening credits it felt as if I’d fallen through time back to then, a time that I hadn’t thought about in years. I had variations of the clothing, especially the paisley bohemian styles. The scene of the group of women taking out mirrors to examine their bodies reminded me of the copy of Our Bodies Ourselves I scoured. Good Girls Revolt gets the sense of the era.

    My mother is 99 and I had this vision of visiting her in the nursing home holding a copy of the newspaper announcing Hillary’s win and taking a picture of my mom with the newspaper. So last Wednesday I cried and ranted. Thank you for the comment about our foremothers and how we can’t stop now. It’s just going to take longer.

    1. Your intention to bring your mother the newspaper with Hillary’s win breaks my heart all over again. Trystan and I were talking the day after the election about how our poor mothers thought this era was behind them. I’ve had a stomach ache since November 8 and I’m trying to wrap my brain around how this works out going forward, especially as it pertains to the blog/podcast. We have talked about ways to continue putting forth a more obvious and in-your-face-patriarchy message on the blog, but it’s difficult because so much of what makes up costuming flicks is inherently sexist and glorifying of less-than-feminist narratives. Finding strong female leads that aren’t buried under the weight of helplessness is really, REALLY hard, particularly in historical flicks.

      We just have to keep pushing people to demand strong female characters in costume movies. And if no one else does it, well, maybe it’s time we start writing those screenplays ourselves.

      1. thank you SO much for the work you do and are continuing to do. it’s really i inspired me not to give up. :) this article is just what i needed today!

    2. I definitely thot of “Our Bodies Ourselves” in that scene — & the bathroom scene the next day was so funny! I really enjoyed those touches, they felt authentic & poignant.

  5. I remember trying to get a writing job with BA in English firmly in hand in 1970. The local newspaper said it would give me a “trial period” but never did. During the 70s I worked as a proofreader in a printing company, a government library tech, a medical editor,and then finally, a technical writer. It really was hard to get a foot in the door. It was so much easier in technical writing.

    As far as clothing, I was into miniskirts and bellbottoms. I had more than a dozen pairs of jeans, all different colors (my favorite were a Union Jack design), but I couldn’t wear those to work. I admit that I was more of a hippie (loved Giorgio de St. Angelo designs). I made a lot of my clothes, which consisted of mostly suits and dresses, but the dresses were NOT conservative. I still remember the Pucci-print dress (very much like the one “Eleanor Holmes Norton is wearing, above) with a hood and a butterfly-sleeved red paisley print sheath.

    Later in the decade came polyester double-knit (gag!), leisure suits (gag again), platform shoes. Just be happy with what’s being shown on screen because it gets much worse later!

    1. No jeans & no pants were allowed! All the fuss being made about pantsuits today — that’s why. Women couldn’t wear pants to work until very recently (not even in the US Senate until 1993!).

      1. As a litigation attorney, I can tell you that pantsuits were not “safe” for wearing in Court, even on the liberal East Coast, until after 2000. In 2008, when I had to go argue a motion in Kentucky, I was strongly advised not to wear a pantsuit if I wanted to be taken seriously.

  6. I just wanted to say that I love you all so much. :) (It’s been an emotional week, and I have a feeling watching this is going to be hard.)

  7. I am mot able to get Amazon on my cable and i will wait for the dvd. I too am suffering from ‘TrumpShock’. It galls me how Hillary got more popular votes, but the Electorial votes went to Trump, who terrifies me. We need to change it. Popular voye equals winner. Do away with Electorial System.

  8. I started my first post college job–as a social worker–in 1970. We were told we could wear pants, but only as part of a pantsuit. The pantsuits for sale were all ugly double knits. I wore short skirts and midis.
    About the fashions in Good Girls: there are lots of circle pins and I don’t remember them after the mid-sixties. Also–didn’t we have pantyhose by then? Several of the “gals” are shown putting on or taking off hose/garter belt combos.

    1. We most definitely had pantyhose before then. Without pantyhose, I could not have worn miniskirts. Some women preferred stockings and garter belts. However, as a woman with long legs (as long an inseam as my 6’2″ boyfriend), I could never get hose long enough that they didn’t pull the garter belts down over my hips (I know, TMI), so I thought pantyhose were God’s gift to women.

      I still have some vintage circle pins, but rarely wore them. They were too “old lady” or “preppy brat” for me.

  9. Just watching the show now (5 episodes in) and the authenticity is pretty consistent, except for Jane’s mother. Her hair is flat and looks dirty. She’d have a bubble ‘do hairsprayed into submission.

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