The Broadsheet for October 5th
Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Elizabeth Warren turns her ire to Equifax, the Minnesota Lynx win another WNBA championship, and we take a closer look at a device you may know—but probably don’t love. Enjoy your Thursday.
• It’s about time! My colleague Michal Lev-Ram has a fascinating story about a device that you likely have a good deal of experience with, but probably never gave much thought: the vaginal speculum.
The speculum, she reports, was designed by a man (surprise, surprise). Doctor J. Marion Sims, who is notorious for his experimentation on enslaved African-American women, designed the device in the mid-19th century—and not much has been done to update it since then.
Now, a team of women at San Francisco-based design firm Frog want to change that. Michal writes: “Fran Wang, a mechanical engineer, designed a device that could be angled at 105 degrees instead of a right angle. In lieu of a screw mechanism, she created a push handle—a button that opens three ‘leaves’ to expand the vagina. And instead of using cold metal, she used surgical silicone to coat the speculum. ‘It’s more like something you’d buy at Good Vibrations [a Bay Area-based sex toy chain],’ says Wang.”
The new speculum, called “Yona,” currently exists only in prototype. But Frog is hoping to find a medical device partner to fund and manufacture the product. “And if they do, it’s possible plenty of people with vaginas will have a slightly upgraded annual gynecology exam,” writes Michal. “After all, we are talking about half of the population.” Fortune
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Warren’s next target. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has shifted her focus from Wells Fargo to Equifax. Speaking at a Senate Banking Committee hearing yesterday, she noted that the company, which sells fraud-protection service, could actually benefit from the hack that exposed Americans’ data, saying Equifax is poised to make “millions of dollars off its own screw-up.” Fortune
• Close call? ProPublica reports that, in 2012, Ivanka Trump and her brother Donald Jr. where on the verge of being indicted for misleading prospective buyers of units in the Trump SoHo. But after a visit from Marc Kasowitz, President Trump’s lawyer and a major donor to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., the DA told his prosecutors to drop the case. ProPublica
• Dribbling dynasty. The Minnesota Lynx won their fourth WNBA championship after a 85-76 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks last night. ESPN
• Marketing gun control. A group of marketing execs—including Facebook’s Carolyn Everson, JPMorgan Chase’s Kristin Lemkau, and Live Nation’s Lisa Licht—are circulating a petition calling for gun control measures such as “universal background checks that keep criminals and terrorists from purchasing guns.” The group, which is calling itself the Gun Safety Alliance, is also exploring other options, including launching a public awareness campaign. AdAge
• Money where her mouth is. On Tuesday, Celine Dion returned to her residency at Caesars Palace, where she dedicated the concert—and the all proceeds from the show—to the victims of the Las Vegas massacre. EW
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Verizon Communications says Marni Walden, the company’s top media executive, will be switching to an advisory role at the end of the year and leaving the company in early 2018. Shelly Morris, senior director of Market and Retail Analytics for Nickelodeon Consumer Products, has been appointed to the National Society of Black Engineers national advisory board. Katie Nolan has been hired by ESPN.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• What women want. A global group of women under 40—hailing from countries including Estonia, Myanmar, and South Africa—who are being honored at this week’s Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society share the advances they would like toward gender equality. New York Times
• A crack team. Viola Davis and Larry Wilmore are teaming up to produce Black Don’t Crack, a TV comedy that focuses on three sorority sisters who lose touch after college. Essence
• Tuning out? First there were the awkward moments with Debra Messing and Jane Fonda—now Megyn Kelly’s morning show is facing a new hurdle: soft ratings. Her audience dropped from of 2.9 million to 2.3 million viewers over the course of its debut week. New York Times
ON MY RADAR
Mexico’s largest university is hosting a conference on feminism with no female panelists Washington Post
House backs ban on abortions after 20 weeks WSJ
Iranian chess player, shunned for refusing to wear hijab, will play in the U.S. New York Times
Issa Rae explains white male privilege in one paragraph The Cut
|Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso|