The Great Stewardess Rebellion: How Women Launched a Workplace Revolution at 30,000 Feet

Books on Tape. Apr. 2022. 10:07 hrs. ISBN 9780593589403. $76. HIST
Journalist Wulfhart (Off Menu) provides a well-researched account of the fight for gender equality in the jet age and the efforts to revoke discriminatory gender-based requirements for women flight attendants. In the 1960s, weight and age limits, girdle checks, and automatic dismissal for marrying or becoming pregnant were the norm for them, while their male colleagues labored under no such restrictions. In the 1960s, the Fair Labor Standards Board employed a lawyer who took discrimination based on sex seriously. This book focuses on a few big names as women union representatives tackle overt sexism and ridiculous work rules one by one in negotiations and legal cases. Narrator Bonnie Friel provides the perfect tone for this case study of women being underestimated. Her reading gives listeners a sense of the poise and tenacity required to make vast improvements to the system and conveys the narrative’s emotional weight without being overly dramatic.
VERDICT Wulfhart’s book is particularly interesting in this time of renewed interest in union organizing. Recommended for public libraries.
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