• The backlash against women's rights would be just one of several powerful forces creating a harsh and painful climate for women at work. Reagonomics, the recession, and the expansion of a minimum-wage service economy also helped, in no small measure, to slow and even undermine women's momentum in the job market. But the backlash did more than impede women's opportunities for employment, promotions, and better pay. Its spokesmen kept the news of many of these setbacks from women. Not only did the backlash do grievous damage to working women C it did on the sly.