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Las Vegas Panic Buttons, La Croix’s #MeToo Moment, Breast Milk Wars, and More

Badass women and the news that affects them

Mitra Norowzi
Contributor

Quick Hits

  • Goldman Sachs has tapped Drew Faust, who was the first female president of Harvard, to join the company as a director, bringing the total number of women on the board to whopping three. It’s a small number, but studies have shown that three is the number where women feel confident speaking up for gender equality in mixed groups. The Street
  • A year after her death, Holocaust survivor and women’s rights activist Simone Veil was interred at the Panthéon, a burial place for notable French citizens. Veil is the fifth woman to be buried there. The New York Times
  • The National Gallery in London has acquired a painting by 17th Century Italian artist Artemisia Gentileschi, who is regarded as one of the most skilled painters of her time. The painting is the first work by a woman the gallery has bought since 1991 — only 21 of the 2,300 works at the gallery are by women. BBC
  • Claire Cockerton, founder of the UK-based company Plexal, has decided to leave the company to pursue ventures that support women as leaders in technology. InHerSight loves to see women supporting women! Business Cloud
  • A Canadian research team has found that HPV tests work just as well, if not better, than Pap smears for detecting cancer in women. NBC
  • A new study has found that one out of every four teenage girls will self-harm. By comparison, teenage boys are only half as likely to self-harm. The New York Times
  • The Trump administration is dismantling Obama-era guidelines on affirmative action in higher education. The change will give colleges and universities the O.K. to take a “race-neutral” approach to admissions decisions. Here at InHerSight, we know that diversity is proven to improve a company’s bottom line, and we’ll stand by that same notion in the case of higher education. Time
  • For decades, breast milk has been proven to be the most nutritious option for babies. That stuff is like liquid gold. But at the UN World Health Assembly in Geneva, the United States refused to support a resolution that would urge countries to reduce misleading marketing of breast milk substitutes. The situation got pretty nasty, kind of out of nowhere — the U.S. delegate threatened to slam Ecuador, whose delegate was supposed to introduce the measure, with trade measures and withdraw military support. The measure was reintroduced by Russia, curiously with no pushback from the United States, and the United States approved it when a section that called on the World Health Organization to end “inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children” was taken out. Fortune

They’ve Got a Bone to Pick

The top flutist at the Boston Symphony Orchestra has filed a gender pay discrimination suit under a new Massachusetts Equal Pay Law, which requires equal pay for comparable work. The flutist, Elizabeth Rowe, claims that her salary is only 75 percent of her closest comparable peer, the principal oboist, who happens to be a man. The New York Times

New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney took to Twitter to express his outrage that the Committee on House Administration, which reimburses representatives for the cost of necessities like tissues and such, refused to cover $37 worth of menstrual products he had bought for the use of staffers and visitors at his office. The committee denies that Maloney’s office requested reimbursement for those items. Maybe Maloney’s staffers should go free-bleed at the committee? Would the products be deemed a necessity then? Marie Claire

Nikki Columbus, who was offered a position at the MoMa as curator of performance in August 2017, has filed a complaint with the New York City Commission on Human Rights. She claims that a few weeks after mentioning that she’d just had a baby, the museum rescinded her job offer. The New York Times

The Latest in #MeToo (There’s a Lot)

  • MGM Resorts International and Caesar’s Entertainment have agreed in union negotiations to supply over 36,000 of their vulnerable workers — think people serving roles like housekeeper or server — with panic buttons to allow them to signal for help if they are sexually harassed. Service industry workers are often subject to sexual harassment and Las Vegas hotel and casino employees have been pushing for additional protections; especially after the #MeToo movement broke news of female workers facing harassment as the hands of casino owner Steve Wynn. Vox
  • Two men have accused 82-year-old Nick A. Caporella, CEO of National Beverage Corp, which manufactures La Croix water, of sexual assault. Their voices are important, as male narratives haven’t been as present in the conversation. The Wall Street Journal
  • Reminiscent of the Larry Nassar case earlier this year, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan (R), who formerly served as assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University, has been accused of ignoring rampant sexual abuse of the team at the hands of the college athletics doctor at the time, Richard Strauss. Multiple players on the team say it’s impossible that Jordan could have been unaware of what was going on. Jordan is a powerful member of the House of Representatives who has built a reputation as a ‘seeker of truth’ so it’s unclear how his career will be affected by the allegations. Strauss died by suicide in 2005. Politico
  • The female reporter who accused Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of unwelcome groping at a charity event she was covering way back in 2000 says she stands by her original account, which was published in a local newspaper, and uncovered recently by a blogger who uploaded a picture of the piece. Trudeau says he remembers the event, but denies the allegations. We really had higher hopes for him. BBC
  • At a rally in Montana, President Donald Trump mocked the #MeToo movement while insulting Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Referring to his skepticism over Warren’s claims that she is of Native American descent, he said, "I’m going to get one of those little kits, and in the middle of the debate, when she proclaims that she’s of Indian heritage because her mother says she has high cheekbones, we will take that little kit, but we have to do it gently because we’re in the Me Too generation, so we have to be very gentle." Coming from a president that himself has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women, the jab has chafed many anti-assault advocates. Marie Claire

Around the World

Taiwan. According to the UN’s latest assessment, Taiwan is the top country in Asia when it comes to addressing gender inequality. Globally, Taiwan ranks ninth for women’s rights. Not bad, Taiwan. Not bad at all. Taiwan News

The Netherlands. A trade union with Aegeon created the first collective bargaining agreement in the Netherlands to explicitly mention gender pay equality. The wage gap in the Netherlands is currently about 16 percent. NL Times

Ireland. As the next step in the Irish government's efforts to update its socially conservative constitution, a referendum will be held for the people to decide whether or not to remove a clause that reads “that by her life within the home, woman gives to the state a support without which the common good cannot be achieved”. Another clause up for removal says the country should “endeavour to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to the neglect of their duties in the home.” Somehow — and by now we are disappointed, but not surprised — there are opponents to the removal of the clauses. Independent

China. Although China has some of the highest rates of women in higher education and women self-made billionaires, the country is still having trouble with its gender policies. Facing a rapidly aging population due to the one-child policy, the government now allows families to have two children and has mandated extra paid maternity leave. But this has actually led to more discrimination — companies don’t want to hire women so that they don’t have to pay for the extra leave, thus decreasing women’s desire to have children. Council on Foreign Relations

Spain. Spain has also attempted to solve its low birth-rate problem. The government has announced it will reinstate a policy to offer free fertility services to lesbian couples and single women. However, it’s unlikely the policy will have much effect — Spain is a fairly religious country where having children outside of marriage isn’t really celebrated, plus research shows the availability of affordable childcare is the most significant factor in a woman’s decision to have a baby. Quartz

Australia. A man arrested for defacing the memorial of Eurydice Dixon, a young Australian comedian who was raped and murdered earlier this year, says he did it to attack feminism. Until the plight of men’s rights activists focuses on actual male issues, like male sexual assault, for example, and not acts of violence and destruction, we’ll take a hard pass. Junkee

By Mitra Norowzi

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