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How the Women’s Movement Took Flight

Dusty Roads: How the Women’s Movement Took Flight unveils the captivating journey of Barbara “Dusty” Roads, an airline stewardess and flight attendant who defied unjust employment policies, becoming a labor trailblazer and inspiring the rise of the women’s movement. This empowering tale begins in the 1950s and explores her fight against the airline industry restrictions firing stewardesses at the age of thirty-two and banning marriage at a time when there was no feminist movement. Dusty was a union organizer and negotiator and one of the first female lobbyists to Congress in Washington, D.C. She helped a colleague file the first discrimination complaint in the United States with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission based on the sex amendment in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act when the agency opened in 1965. Dusty became the most powerful voice in her union, and her story captures the essence of her pivotal role in shaping a more inclusive and equal society.

When asked how the women’s movement helped her cause, she said, “They weren’t doing anything. We started it. They were doing absolutely nothing. The National Organization for Women (NOW) wasn’t even in existence. In fact, when NOW came along, they adopted our problem as one of their causes, but we started this thing. We were this little voice way out in the wilderness.”

~Interview with Dusty Roads, PBS
Dusty Roads: How the Women's Movement Took Flight Book Cover
Elaine Rock, writer and women's rights advocate
The story of

Elaine Rock

As a women’s rights advocate, historian, and former technology executive, Elaine writes about bold and extraordinary women and men who became trailblazers against gender discrimination. Her stories call attention to the potential loss of civil rights we may be taking for granted today and hopes to inspire her readers to be resolute in defending the freedoms previously won through decades of dedicated work and persistence. Elaine has published memoirs and non-fiction stories about how she and other women and men triumphed over personal and workplace adversities and emerged transformed. She is a member of various writers, history, and women’s organizations,  a former vice-president of the California Writers Club—Redwood Branch, and co-chair of the Redwood Writers 2018 Pen to Published Writers Conference. In addition, she is a photographer and swimmer. She lives in Sonoma County, California.

Published Works

Remember When
“Feeling Lucky.” A short story in Remember When: Fiction & Memoir Tales of Memories and Times Past.
Endeavor Book Cover
“You Don’t Need Fingers to Live.” A short story in ENDEAVOR: Stories of Struggle and Perseverance.
Redemption Book Cover
“Sisters Before We Knew It.” A short story in Redemption: Stories from the Edge.
Phoenix Book Cover
“El Diablo.” A poem in PHOENIX: Out of Silence…And Then.
Sonoma Book Cover
“History in Our Midst.” A short story in SONOMA: Stories of a Region and its People.

If there is a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must be the one to write it.

Toni Morrison
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