Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Rep. Ilhan Omar apologizes for anti-Semitic comments, Japanese women are over buying candy for their male colleagues, and we get a primer on how sexism plays out on the campaign trail. Have a productive Tuesday.
• Spotting sexism on the stump. With a record-setting six female candidates already contending for the Democratic nomination, the 2020 presidential race is shaping up to be a groundbreaking one for women. But as evidenced by 2016, “firsts” are very rarely all goodness and light. So with more women than ever jostling for a spot on the ticket, it seems fair to assume that we may see political sexism hitting some all-time highs as well.
With that in mind, I suggest taking a moment to read this New York Times primer on how sexism has historically played out on the campaign trail. (And perhaps forward it to a few of the non-Broadsheet-reading political junkies in your life as well!) The NYT’s Maggie Astor does a nice job of laying out some of the biggest minefields faced by female candidates. Among them: the “likability trap” (voters are willing to support a man they don’t find likable as long as he is “qualified,” but do not extend the same rule to women); superficial judgements about, say, a woman’s appearance or the sound of her voice; and stereotypes that associate leadership with “masculine” traits—yet punish women who display them.
We are already seeing some of these factors in play (think of all the digital ink that’s been spilled so far in the service of assessing the likability of Elizabeth Warren or the reports that Amy Klobuchar inhabits the traditionally male role of tough boss.) But this is just the beginning—after all, we have more than a year and half to go!
So I urge you to file Astor’s taxonomy of campaign sexism away in your mental hard drive. We can’t remove all gender bias from the 2020 race, but we can work to recognize and call it out when we see it.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Ilhan’s apology. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) addressed charges of anti-Semitism yesterday, apologizing for insinuating that American support for Israel is fueled by money from a pro-Israel lobbying group. “Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” wrote the freshman, who is one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress. “I unequivocally apologize.”
New York Times
• A grande reveal. For the debut episode of their SiriusXM show, Making a Leader, Fortune‘s MPW Summit doyennes Pattie Sellers and Nina Easton sat down with ex-Starbucks CEO and potential presidential candidate Howard Schultz and his wife Sheri Schultz. Among the juicy tidbits from the interview: how Sheri’s conviction and courage was instrumental to Starbucks’ creation.
• Keeping up with Klobuchar. After several days of stories about Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s alleged abuse of staffers, this Politico article is an interesting change of pace. It reports that the Minnesota Democrat has been garnering glowing praise from an unlikely source: Senate Republicans. GOP lawmakers are apparently raving about “her personality, her respect for the other party, even her competitiveness in a general election.”
• Crypto chat. In the latest episode of their video show Balancing the Ledger, Fortune‘s Jen Wieczner and Robert Hackett talk about the cryptocurrency bear market with Jalak Jobanputra, founding partner of Future Perfect Ventures.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Revolution, the investment firm founded by Steve Case, has promoted Kristin Gunther to principal. Revathi Advaithi has been named CEO and appointed to the board at Flex.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• The motherhood tax break. Viktor Orbán, the populist prime minister of Hungary, is attempting to boost the country’s birth rate with a promise that women who have four or more children will never pay income tax again. The move reflects his anti-immigrant stance—he’s said that motivating Hungarian families to have more children was preferable to allowing immigrants from Muslim countries.
• A healthy challenge. Meet Oxiris Barbot, commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene—one of the highest-profile jobs in public health. Her mission: “to address equity and access to health care and the need for greater mental health services for youth.”
• Buy your own candy, guys. Japanese women are apparently fed up with a tradition that dictates they give chocolates to male colleagues on Valentine’s Day. (The men reciprocate on March 14th, known as White Day, “an event dreamed up by chocolate makers in the early 80s to boost sales.”) In fact, The Guardian reports that “some companies are now banning the practice, which is seen by many workers as a form of abuse of power and harassment.”