The Broadsheet: May 17th

May 17, 2016, 11:20 AM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Babs is back, Donald Trump gets a defender, and women are running the world—literally. Have a wonderful Tuesday.


 She said, she said. Two of this past weekend's buzziest stories got a second act when their protagonists came forward to challenge the narrative. Rowanne Brewer Lane, one of the women prominently featured in the New York Times story about Donald Trump's private relationships with women, yesterday said that the article took her comments out of context, adding that Trump “never made me feel like I was being demeaned in any way.” Meanwhile, meteorologist Liberté Chan, who was handed a sweater to cover her bare shoulders in the midst of her live weather forecast, wrote a blog post saying that the whole thing was a joke and no sexism was involved.

How you interpret the two women's responses is an open question—it certainly seems plausible that both could be under powerful pressure to challenge the media's interpretation of events. However, it's an important reminder that while the Internet Outrage Machine (which Fortune has, ahem, occasionally participated in) can be a force for good, it also can steamroll over the nuances of a story—and even the real people involved.


When Jack met Debra. Debra Lee, CEO and chairman of BET, has joined Twitter's board, bringing the company one step closer to fulfilling its promises to add board members who more accurately reflect the people that use its products.  Fortune

 Tech titans. Elle's 2016 list of women to watch in tech includes Hello Alfred founder Marcela Sapone, Trinity Ventures partner Anjula Acharia-Bath, and Google Maps VP Jen Fitzpatrick. Elle

 What pipeline problem? Eighth-grade girls outperformed boys on the first test of “technology and engineering literacy” on the Nation’s Report Card, a federal assessment of U.S. students. WSJ

 Tweets from the C-suite. Hearsay Social founder and CEO Clara Shih explains why CEOs who delegate social media to the millennials are making a huge mistake. Fortune

 Get Sophie a staff! Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, wife of Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, sparked criticism when she told a journalist that she needs more than one staffer to adequately serve the Canadian people. The hubbub seems silly to me: We expect a lot of world leaders' spouses—and it's ridiculous to think they can do it alone. The Guardian

 Who run the world? Women and girls made up 57% of the 17 million U.S. race finishers last year. This story looks at how female runners came to dominate the historically male sport, sorting through factors ranging from improved women's gear to a stronger emphasis on the social aspects of running. WSJ

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Progressive Corp. announced that Tricia Griffith, currently COO of personal lines for the Mayfield insurance company, will succeed president and CEO Glenn Renwick when he retires this summer. Suja Chandrasekaran, former global chief technology officer and chief data officer at Wal-Mart Stores, has joined Kimberly-Clark as CIO. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group named Suk Fun Ngan as co-general manager of the Hong Kong office and Ranjana Clark as head of transaction banking for MUFG’s Americas unit. This is the first time Japan’s largest bank has named women to its top executive ranks.


The New York Times Story About Trump and Women Is Terrifying—But Won't Hurt Him

This weekend, The New York Times published an in-depth investigation of Donald Trump’s private interactions with women. Writers Michael Barbaro and Megan Twohey, who report that they conduced 50 interviews over the course of six weeks, paint a portrait of a man who has never hesitated to use his wealth and power to manipulate, bully, and harass women.

Yet nothing I read in the piece shocked me. That’s not to say that the attitudes and behaviors chronicled by the writers aren’t repulsive—they are. It’s just that it’s impossible for even the most casual observer of this year’s presidential race to miss the glaring neon signs that read “Trump = Misogynist.” The man has spent his entire life publicly commenting on women’s bodies (including his daughter’s), attempting to degrade powerful women by attacking their looks, mocking men who help care for their children, tossing around terms like “bimbo” and advocating for treating women “like shit.”

If that’s how he behaves in public, is it any wonder that things get even uglier behind closed doors?

There are countless damning stories in the Times article—including the very serious allegation that Trump may have raped his then-wife Ivana, a charge she has since walked back. However, what stood out for me is the chilling thread that appears to connect every encounter chronicled by Barbaro and Twohey.

The sources quoted by the Times return again and again to Trump’s fixation with women’s weight and looks, and his bizarre obsession with rating them on a scale of 1 to 10. Obviously, this focus on “hotness” is childish and insulting. But more dangerously, it’s also a perfect technique for stripping away someone’s humanity. In his eyes, a woman isn’t smart, funny, or insightful—or even overbearing, stupid, or cruel. Instead, she’s simply a pretty object or an ugly one.

To read more, click here.


 Republican rebel. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) is breaking with her the majority of her party on bathroom bills and other gay and transgender LGTB issues for one very personal and compelling reason: her son Rodrigo is transgender. New York Times

 Come to Brooklyn, Babs! Barbara Streisand announced that she'll launch a nine-city tour this summer—and release a new album later this year.  Fortune

 Coulda, woulda, shoulda? Given Bernie Sanders' strong showing, the Upshot asks: Could Elizabeth Warren have beaten Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination? New York Times

 Ask him another. I'm planning to follow "Mansplaining," a new series from New York Magazine, in which female staffers from fashion/feminism site The Cut will ask their male colleagues "some of women’s more pressing questions about them, such as: Why do they take so long to put on their shoes? Why do they play video games long into adulthood? Why do they want us to listen to that guitar solo so badly?" New York Magazine

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Game of Thrones is giving its women a voice  New York Magazine

Giselle Inc.  New York Times

Donald Trump will be greeted by 100 naked women at the GOP convention  People

Report alleges Beyonce's 'celebrate every woman' clothing line is made by women in sweat shops  Quartz


I have done my level best to not make this story about me.

Megyn Kelly, on her feud with Donald Trump