Good morning, Broadsheet readers. The news that everyone will be talking about this morning is, of course, the probable terror attack that occurred in lower Manhattan yesterday afternoon. Per the latest reports, eight people were killed by a man of Uzbek descent and an allegiance to Islamist group ISIS. As for the news about powerful women: Sexual harassment pervades Capitol Hill, French women protest Roman Polanski, and there’s a warrant out for Rose McGowan’s arrest. Stay safe this Wednesday.
• Harassment on the Hill. The House Administration Committee announced yesterday that it is reviewing whether Congress should do more to prevent harassment on Capitol Hill. The committee, which oversees employment and office logistical matters for the House, “will determine whether internal policy changes are needed to curb harassment or ease hostile work environments—and ensure that staff have a mechanism to report abusive behavior,” reports Politico. The news comes after two damning reports on House lawmakers and their policies:
- Earlier this month, it emerged that former Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy (R) has verbally abused young aides for years. “I tried to forget all of it because it was so horrible,” one former Murphy employee told Politico. “Screaming was an everyday thing. The manipulation and the mind games. … Everybody in that office was depressed.” Asked why they never reported these actions to the Office of Compliance, former staffers said they were afraid it would get back to Murphy and ruin their careers. The congressman resigned immediately following the report.
- Another Politico investigation from last week revealed that lawmakers and aides are not required to undergo sexual harassment training and that “victims must submit to as long as three months of mandated ‘counseling’ and ‘mediation,’ as well as…a ‘cooling off period,’ before filing a complaint against an alleged perpetrator.” And that’s if they report it in the first place. As one former staffer put it, “You don’t have an HR Department on the Hill. There’s no one place that you go. Nobody on the Hill has any idea how you report and deal with sexual harassment.”
The problem isn’t limited to the federal level. Already, reports have emerged about pervasive harassment issues in Massachusetts (“a dozen women who have worked in and around the State House over the past two decades described a climate of harassment and sexual misconduct”) and in California (“nearly 200 women have signed a letter denouncing a culture of rampant sexual misconduct in and around the state government”).
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• A sweet deal coming soon? In her first major interview, Hershey CEO Michele Buck tells Fortune‘s Susie Gharib that she wants to turn Hershey into an “innovation snacking powerhouse” and that she’s open to making a “transformational acquisition” to hit that goal. “I’m very open to mergers and acquisitions. I see them playing a key role in our growth agenda going forward,” she says. When Buck was tapped to run Hershey in March, she became the first female chief in the company’s 123-year history. Watch the full interview:
• Art imitating life? More than 7,000 women of the art world have signed an open letter denouncing sexual harassment in the industry. Signatories include some of the biggest names in contemporary art, including Cindy Sherman, Laurie Anderson, and Jenny Holzer. The letter follows last week’s resignation of Artforum magazine publisher and art world power broker Knight Landesman. The letter notes that “the resignation of one publisher from one high-profile magazine does not solve the larger, more insidious problem: an art world that upholds inherited power structures at the cost of ethical behavior.”
• Warrant out for McGowan. In what’s now becoming a bit of a strange saga, it appears that there’s an arrest warrant out for actress Rose McGowan for possessing a controlled substance. While the warrant was issued on February 1, McGowan—who earlier this month accused Harvey Weinstein of raping her (which he denies)—tweeted the following yesterday: “Are they trying to silence me? There is a warrant out for my arrest in Virginia.” Earlier this month, McGowan’s Twitter account was suspended after she escalated her accusations against Weinstein.
• Honor, interrupted. A retrospective honoring French-Polish film director Roman Polanski erupted in protest Monday evening as more than one hundred feminist activists showed up at the event, shouting, “No honor for rapists!” The protestors were referring to his 1977 conviction for having “unlawful sex” with a 13-year-old girl as well as four new rape allegations that have emerged in recent months.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• The case for transparency. Economics nerds will appreciate this thought-provoking piece on the pay transparency: “A salary is a price—that of an individual worker’s labour—and markets work best when prices are known. Public pay data should help people make better decisions about which skills to acquire and where to work.” The reason companies don’t want transparency is they would lose the upper hand in salary negotiations—and, they argue, because it can poison morale. The latter, however, is avoidable, as dissatisfaction comes not from the pay information itself, but from misperceptions being corrected.
• First Lady of the LSE. Fortune‘s Katie Reilly sits down with Dame Minouche Shafik, who recently became the first female director of the London School of Economics after serving as the most senior woman at the Bank of England. Shafik is on a mission to restore trust in universities at a moment when she says independent institutions and experts are under threat. “People have to know that there are independent voices out there that are apolitical,” she says. “Universities have the potential to be a place where some of those divisions get debated and potentially resolved.”
• Ebrahimi makes energy. Fatima Ebrahimi, a physicist at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, is bringing us closer to creating a limitless supply of clean, renewable energy. Using computer simulations, she’s modeling the physics behind a method she hopes will simplify the design of nuclear fusion devices called tokamaks, which exist today but which are costly and consume more energy than they produce. Ebrahimi’s fusion research “could be a breakthrough,” says a fellow physicist.
ON MY RADAR
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