The year is 1970; the war in Vietnam is five years from over. The women’s movement is newly resurgent, and feminists are summarily reviled as “libbers.” Inette Miller is one year out of college—a reporter for a small-town newspaper. Her boyfriend gets drafted and is issued orders to Vietnam. Within their few remaining days together, Inette marries her US Army private, determined to accompany him to war.
There are obstacles. All wives of US military are prohibited in country. With the aid of her newspaper’s editor, Miller finagles a one-month work visa and becomes a war reporter. Her newspaper cannot afford life insurance beyond that. After thirty days, she is on her own.
As one of the rare woman war correspondents in Vietnam and the only one also married to an Army soldier, Miller’s experience was pathbreaking. Girls Don’t shines a light on the conflicting motives that drive an ambitious woman of that era and illustrates the schizophrenic struggle between the forces of powerful feminist ideology and the contrarian forces of the world as it was.
Girls Don’t is the story of what happens when a twenty-three-year-old feminist makes her way into the land of machismo. This is a war story, a love story, and an open-hearted confessional within the burgeoning women’s movement, chronicling its demands and its rewards.