Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Angela Merkel gets elected to a fourth term, Megyn Kelly’s show debuts, and we unveil our ranking of the Most Powerful Women in international business. Have a productive Monday.
• Sunlight is the best disinfectant? The New York Times‘ Nellie Bowles ruffled some feathers this weekend with a story headlined, “Push for Gender Equality in Tech? Some Men Say It’s Gone Too Far.” The article aims to expose “a fringe element of men who say women are ruining the tech world,” and includes quotes from James Damore (author of the Google anti-diversity memo) and a host of Silicon Valley “men’s rights activists.”
One of the most infuriating passages in what is—let’s be a real—an infuriating story, quotes Jon Parsons, a lawyer representing two men who sued Yahoo for gender discrimination last year. He claims that the fact that women headed up teams such as cars is evidence that men were not getting a fair shake at the company. “No eyebrows are going to rise if a woman heads up fashion,” Parsons told the NYT. “But we’re talking about women staffing positions — things like autos — where it cannot be explained other than manipulation.”
I suppose Parsons has never heard of GM CEO Mary Barra? With quotes like that, it’s no surprise that the story stirred up a lot of chatter online. Some readers—including Susan Fowler, whose blog post helped fell former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick—praised the story for allowing the subjects to hang themselves on their own words. (“‘We told the NYT that we actively discriminate against women’ will forever be these men’s legacy,” tweeted Fowler.)
However, not all readers saw the story so positively. Some Twitter users chided the Times for giving the men a platform to share their sexist views. Others felt the story didn’t provide sufficient context or do enough to debunk some of the sources’ more ridiculous statements.
I’m curious what you think of the piece—and of the general idea of reporting on the backlash against diversity in Silicon Valley, especially when that means exposing sentiments that most of us abhor. Let me know at email@example.com.
New York Times
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• World’s Most Powerful Women. Fortune has published our 17th list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in business outside of the U.S. (The businesswomen on the list represent 17 countries.) And while Banco Santander group executive chairman Ana Botín repeats again as No. 1, the list’s editors note that the 2017 ranking is actually quite different from prior years: “Until recently a significant number of [these] global listmakers graduated to their executive ranks through a family business or by government appointment. The far more common story this year is one of women who have vaulted up the corporate ladder and landed top jobs with some of the world’s largest multinationals.”
• Proud…mom. President Trump’s comments about the NFL—and particularly his attack on players who kneel during the national anthem, a practice started by Colin Kaepernick as a protest against racist behavior by the police—dominated the headlines this weekend. At a rally on Friday, the president said he would love to see an NFL owner respond to such protests by saying, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired.” Kaepernick’s mom, Teresa Kaepernick, responded with a drop-the-mic tweet: “Guess that makes me a proud bitch!”
• More Merkel. Angela Merkel won a fourth term as chancellor of Germany on Sunday—though her conservative bloc won just 33% of the vote, requiring her to build what is expected to be an uneasy coalition in order to form a government. Meanwhile, the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany captured 13% of the vote, bringing a far-right party into parliament for the first time in more than half a century.
• Revising the rules. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has ended Obama-era guidance on investigating campus sexual assault, replacing it with interim rules that will allow universities to decide which standard of evidence to use when handling complaints. Under the old system, colleges were told to use the “preponderance of the evidence” standards. Now schools can choose the “clear and convincing evidence standard,” which requires more evidence in order to declare a student guilty of sexual assault. DeVos says the Obama rules created a biased against the accused, while critics of the change say the new rules will make it harder for women who are assaulted to get justice—and discourage victims from coming forward in the first place.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Wise words. We asked the 2017 Most Powerful Women (on the U.S. list) to share the best advice they’ve received—and who dolled it out. Here’s what GM CEO Mary Barra (her parents), YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki (Google’s Eric Schmidt), and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty (Amex’s Ken Chenault) told us:
• Good sports. Another interesting note about this year’s MPWs: 65% of them played competitive sports in high school or college. The most popular choice? A three-way tie between swimming, basketball, and tennis.
• Megyn in the morning. Megyn Kelly’s morning show, which she describes as, “If a news show and a talk show had a baby,” premieres today. While some in the TV news world are skeptical that Megyn Kelly Today will succeed, the host appears unfazed. “I don’t feel this is a risky proposition, because I know myself and know what I can do,” she tells the NYT. “And I know that I’m about to launch the show that I was born to do.”
New York Times
• More years of Yellen? Janet Yellen is among a half-dozen or so candidates to be the next leader of the Federal Reserve. Her current term as chairwoman ends in February. As to her chances of serving again, President Trump has said, “I like her and I respect her, but I haven’t made that decision yet.”
New York Times
ON MY RADAR
“Compete awe”: What it was like to be on the court during the Battle of the Sexes
L’Oreal heiress is now the world’s richest woman
Hillary Clinton: Women who support Trump are ‘publicly disrespecting themselves’
Photos: A four-year mission to present a new vision of beauty