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Stuff I've been thinking about: Of "Good Girls," Playboy, Hef and Trump

By Rich Heldenfels Published: October 19, 2016

I have been watching "Good Girls Revolt," a drama coming to Amazon on Oct. 28, inspired by the 1970 class-action lawsuit against Newsweek magazine over its discrimination against women employees. (The magazine hired women as "researchers," men as writers, even when the women were far more qualified than the men.)
I'll say more about the series later. But, in tandem with it, I am reading "The Good Girls Revolt," the nonfiction version of the Newsweek uprising, by Lynn Povich, who was one of the participants.
The book, published in 2012, begins with an account of 21st-century sexism at Newsweek and other organizations, and it will all sound far too familiar to far too many women in the business, including my former colleagues. 
As for "Good Girls Revolt," one of the things that struck me about both the TV and print accounts is that the old sexism is alive and well in Trumpworld, where the old Playboy philosophy still reigns. It echoed partly in the book's reference to Susan Braudy's battle with Playboy in 1970 when she wrote a freelance piece on modern feminism, and Hugh Hefner was not pleased. I have linked to Braudy's account below. But before that, consider this excerpt from a memo Hefner wrote about Braudy's story:
"Doing a rather neutral piece on the pros and cons of feminism strikes me as being rather pointless for PLAYBOY. What I’m interested in is the highly irrational, emotional, kookie trend that feminism has taken. These chicks are our natural enemy — and there is, incidentally, nothing that we can say in the pages of PLAYBOY that will convince them that we are not."
Sure reminds me of a high-profile Republican. So do Povich's stories of sexual harassment, sleazy come-ons, "eighth-grade boys' locker room" conversation at a mostly-male story meeting, and a rejected man reacting in such a nasty and vulgar way that woman ended up quitting. 
And all we've gotten of late is men being given license to keep doing it. 
Braudy's story of her battle with Playboy is here. Povich's book also mentions Sheryl Sandberg's thoughts on women and ambition, so I went to read more on that, and decided to add these two quotes:

“Success and likeability are positively correlated for men and negatively for women. When a man is successful, he is liked by both men and women. When a woman is successful, people of both genders like her less." -- Sheryl Sandberg

 

"What is really going on, as peer reviewed studies continually find, is that high-achieving women experience social backlash because their very success – and specifically the behaviors that created that success – violates our expectations about how women are supposed to behave. Women are expected to be nice, warm, friendly, and nurturing. Thus, if a woman acts assertively or competitively, if she pushes her team to perform, if she exhibits decisive and forceful leadership, she is deviating from the social script that dictates how she “should” behave. By violating beliefs about what women are like, successful women elicit pushback from others for being insufficiently feminine and too masculine. As descriptions like “Ice Queen,” and “Ballbuster” can attest, we are deeply uncomfortable with powerful women. In fact, we often don’t really like them." Marianne Cooper, lead researcher for Sandberg's book "Lean In"

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Bob Dylan, Nobel Prize winner!

By Rich Heldenfels Published: October 13, 2016

Dylan ranks among my favorites across the decades, so there's inarguable coolness in his winning the Nobel Prize for literature. (Dare we dream that Smokey Robinson could win later?) While his catalog is massive, I thought here I'd offer some of the great covers of his songs,which show how well he reached across genres and artists, starting with a B.B. King track which is one of the only reasons I have held onto the soundtrack from a forgettable TV movie.

Joan Baez of course had a long history with Dylan, and even put out a two-record set of covers. Some of it was not great, but I really liked what she did with this tune. 

Had to do Hendrix.O'Jays!The Band. This song got me through a lot of bad nights in my youth.

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