Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Greta Van Susteren is out at MSNBC, a Missouri woman is suing Uber after allegedly being raped by her driver, and the president should probably stop watching Morning Joe. Have a relaxing weekend.
• Insulter-in-chief. Let me begin by apologizing for starting two Broadsheets in a row with news of President Trump’s comments about professional women (believe me, I don’t like it any more than you do).
As you no doubt know, the president unleashed a pair of insulting tweets about Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski yesterday, calling her “crazy” and mocking her for “bleeding badly from a face-lift.” As we noted in Thursday’s edition, this is not out of character for the president, who has repeatedly chosen to insult high-profile women by calling them “dumb” or “neurotic” and attacking their looks.
I’m not going to spend too much time unpacking the misogyny of these comments. We’re all familiar with the sexist trope of the “crazy woman” and the fact that women’s looks and bodies are used against them in a way that rarely happens to men. (Though to be fair, Brzezinski responded Thursday with a shot at the president’s allegedly tiny hands and then wrote that he was “not mentally equipped to continue watching” Morning Joe in a joint Washington Post op-ed with Joe Scarborough this morning.)
In the New York Times, Susan Chira asks whether Trump’s candidacy and now presidency has uncorked some level of simmering misogyny in parts of America—and normalized behavior that would once have been unthinkable. To be honest, I wasn’t shocked by the president’s tweet. And that, for me, answers her question.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Off the record. After abruptly leaving Fox News in September 2016, Greta Van Susteren debuted her new show, For the Record, on MSNBC in January. Now, just six months later, she is leaving the network.
• A scary suit. A Kansas City, Mo. woman has filed suit against Uber, claiming that she was raped by her driver—and that the company had prior knowledge of his violent past.
• Baby steps. Google released its annual diversity stats, showing some improvement in gender diversity: Women now account for 30% of its workforce and 20% of technical roles. Progress on racial diversity, however, has stalled. Black employees, for instance, account for 2% of the total workforce and 1% of tech workers—numbers that have remained stagnant over the past year. The company also announced that it’s hired Danielle Brown, previously chief diversity and inclusion officer at Intel, as its new VP of diversity.
• Stop the killing. While AG Jeff Sessions doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to protecting LGBTQ rights, he is now promising to crack down on hate crimes—in particular, on those committed against transgender women.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Refinery29 has named Joanna Bomberg SVP and head of talent. She previously served as SVP of MTV’s Music & Talent department. Fatima Goss Graves has been promoted to CEO and President of the National Women’s Law Center.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• More bad news from Binary. Ann Lai, a former Binary Capital employee, is suing the firm, alleging that the firm permitted inappropriate behavior toward female staff. She also says that after she resigned in May 2016, Binary Capital partner Justin Caldbeck threatened her ability to find work if she disclosed anything about her time at the firm.
• Troll tamer? Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) explains her new bill to counter online harassment. Called the Online Safety Modernization Act, it would criminalize a slew of abuses: doxxing, blackmailing someone by threatening to reveal sexually explicit pictures or videos (sextortion), and swatting, in which trolls call in fake reports—say a hostage situation—to the police, bringing a SWAT team to a victim’s home.
• Water woman. Can you believe there is only one female gondolier in Venice? Meet Giorgia Boscolo.
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