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Serena on Sexism, Ariana Grande, Inspiring International News, and More

September 10: Badass women and the news that affects them

Mitra Norowzi
Contributor

Quick Hits

  • Serena Williams' controversial U.S. Open final match has ignited some important conversations about sexism in tennis, and has Serena reiterating her stance: “I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff,” she said. InHerSight
  • CBS is officially parting ways with CEO Les Moonves in the wake of a New Yorker article that alleged he sexually harassed women at the company. But don’t feel too bad for this creep — somehow, he still has the potential to walk away with up to $100 million in severance. Fortune

  • As of 2015, around 64 percent of women were the primary breadwinners or co-breadwinners in their households. Think equal pay and paid time off are important enough yet? Yahoo Finance

  • One body that has committed to equal pay is the World Surf League, which recently announced that male and female surfers will receive equal prize money. InHerSight

  • Netflix’s “Queer Eye” took home three Emmy awards last week including Best Structured Reality Program, Best Casting for a Structured Reality Program, and for Outstanding Picture Editing for a Structured or Competition Reality Program. The show has been lauded for its work representing the LGBT+ community and its efforts to dismantle toxic masculinity. Huffington Post

  • Did you know that 50 percent of women in the U.S. who get annual mammograms for 10 years in a row will receive a false-positive for breast cancer? False negatives, which are arguably more dangerous, are common as well. Some companies are looking to Artificial Intelligence to improve the breast screening process, and are seeing promising results. Quartz

  • The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City has put a halt on nominations for the honor society Alpha Omega Alpha after finding that the group’s selection process discriminates against minorities. NPR

  • Celebrated astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell has finally been awarded her own prize—the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. Back in 1974, Burnell’s male boss was awarded a Nobel Prize for a discovery that she made! Burnell accepted her award graciously, pledging to donate the $3 million prize to help women, minorities, and refugees become physicists. For every woman that’s been in a similar situation, where credit or accolade was stolen, take heart. Huffington Post

In Politics

  • Ayanna Pressley, who was the first African American woman to be elected to Boston’s City Council, is predicted to be the first African-American woman to serve in the US House of Representatives representing Massachusetts after defeating long-standing incumbent Mike Capuano in the primary in an underdog victory reminiscent of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s win in New York. InHerSight

  • Kiah Morris, the only Black female lawmaker in Vermont has decided not to run for reelection after being subjected to racist threats, including online harassment and swastikas painted on the trees outside her house. Buzzfeed

  • Brett Kavanaugh’s hearings got off to a tense start last week. Opponents of Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court fear that he will cast the majority vote needed to dismantle Roe v. Wade and restrict abortion rights. Some 3,000 coat hangers have been sent to the office of Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who is widely regarded as one of the swing votes needed to confirm Kavanaugh’s confirmation, in the past few months. The hangers are a grisly reminder of the dangerous steps taken by women in pre-Roe days. Huffington Post

Is It Really Costing them Everything? Nike, Levi’s, and Corporate Activism

Nike’s new ad featuring Colin Kaepernick experienced an explosive reaction after its unveiling last week. Kaepernick started a movement within the NFL by kneeling during the national anthem during games in non-violent protest against police brutality. Opponents of Kaepernick and national anthem kneelers were incensed by the ad, taking to social media to attack Nike and post videos destroying their Nike apparel. Nike largely appears unbothered by the backlash, even posting a how-to on safely burning their products. Nike has a history of controversial, progressive campaigns focused on diversity, so it makes sense that it made Kaepernick the face of their 30th iteration of the “Just Do It” campaign. It feels genuine. Time

But, for companies looking to the future, taking an activist stance is also beneficial economically. Millennials and Gen Z’ers, the next era of customers, are highly receptive to companies which take a genuine stance on social justice. Although stock initially fell after the Nike ad, the company now reports a 31 percent increase in sales. Levi Strauss is another company taking a political stance — on gun control after a customer in a Levi’s store accidentally shot himself. CEO Chip Bergh is urging other companies to support gun control measures as well. It will be interesting to see how other corporations take on this new wave of corporate activism. Fortune

Leave Ariana Grande Alone

News broke Friday of 26-year-old rapper Mac Miller’s death by apparent overdose. Ignoring the real issue, that addiction is a serious health crisis in this country, some fans began to harass Miller’s ex-girlfriend Ariana Grande via social media. A wave of vile comments blaming her for breaking up with him when he was a low point prompted her to disable her Instagram comments. The reaction is reminiscent to that of Demi Lovato’s recent overdose. Other than ignoring the severity of the addiction issue, these individuals are perpetuating the dangerous idea that women ought to stay in difficult, potentially toxic relationships for the sake of their partner. Miller’s death is a tragedy, but Grande is not to blame — she had every right to make the right relationship decision for her. Refinery29

Around the World

  • India’s Supreme Court has finally cast aside its British-Colonial era law criminalizing gay sex. Check out these poignant photos of Indians upon hearing the good news. Warning: They might make you tear up a bit. NPR

  • Cécile Djunga, a weather presenter for a French-language news outlet in Belgium, made an emotionally stirring video about her experience as the only Black news presenter in the country. Djunga’s video will break your heart, but has sparked an important conversation about racism in Belgium, which has a history of violent African colonization, and a rising far-right political bloc. BBC

  • Two Russian women who killed their husbands after suffering years of abuse, were acquitted on appeal. Their acquittals are particularly shocking considering Russia has decriminalized many forms of domestic abuse in recent years. The New York Times

  • British police and U.S. border officials are teaming up to share intel in order to stop the barbaric practice of female genital mutilation (FGM). According to Britain’s National Health Service, there were 1,030 newly recorded cases of FGM between January and March of this year. The Guardian

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Is Tennis Sexist? Serena Williams Says Yes

September 10, 2018 by InHerSight