‘The Great Stewardess Rebellion’

Stewardesses 60s and 70s could only be single, childless, and attractive women. Nell McShane Wulfhart talks about how stewardesses organized to change these sexist policies.

Listen 49:29
(photo credit, Emillie Krause)

(photo credit, Emillie Krause)

If you wanted to be an airline stewardess in the 1960s, you had to meet very strict requirements – you had to be a single, childless woman and fit certain weight, height and beauty standards. And the sexism didn’t stop once you were hired — here were mandatory weigh-ins, “girdle checks,” and forced retirement at 32. But things finally changed when a group of female stewardesses organized against these policies and fought for gender equality in the workplace.

Journalist NELL MCSHANE WULFHART tells that history of how stewardesses became flight attendants and their influence on the labor movement in her new book The Great Stewardess Rebellion: How Women Launched a Workplace Revolution at 30,000 Feet. We’ll also talk with flight attendant CHRISTA GIFFORD about what it’s been like flying through the pandemic.

Read more

The Washington Post, The women who made the skies a lot friendlier for flight attendants – The process of changing young stewardesses into union activists was a lengthy one, full of setbacks and false starts

“Eastern Air Lines Losers” Ad From 1967

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