Good morning, Broadsheet readers! A Nobel laureate talks pond scum, a teenager caught in the Hillary Clinton email uproar speaks out, and Mila Kunis tackles microaggressions in Hollywood. Enjoy your Thursday.
• Mila on microaggressions. Mila Kunis is the latest celebrity to come forward with tales of her personal encounters with sexism in Hollywood. It's a trend that's clearly gathering steam: Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Aniston, Rose McGowan, Renee Zellweger, Robin Wright, and other A-listers have spoken or written openly about being paid less than their male co-stars and being judged or losing parts based on their appearance.
While I always appreciate any woman willing to speak out against gender bias and misogyny, it can be difficult to identify with stories about magazine covers and multi-million dollar paychecks. Yet there's one piece of Kunis's essay that really hit home for me. She recounts the story of a male producer slated to work with her production company who referred to her as, "One of biggest actors in Hollywood and soon to be Ashton's wife and baby momma."
"It is only one small comment," writes Kunis. "But it's these very comments that women deal with day in and day out in offices, on calls, and in emails — microaggressions that devalue the contributions and worth of hard-working women."
Yes, I know the term "microaggression" freaks people out. But all it really means is exactly what Kunis describes: those little slights and insults that are thoughtlessly tossed our way, sometimes daily. And that is something I—and I think many others—can relate to.
What do you think about the rise in female celebrities going public with stories of sexist behavior? Is this a movement that will benefit all women—or just another facet of our celebrity-obsessed culture? Let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org. A Plus
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Dear Director. In an open letter to James Comey, the teenage girl who allegedly got sexts from Anthony Weiner accuses the FBI director of dragging her back into the spotlight. "I thought your job as FBI Director was to protect me," she writes. Buzzfeed
• A powerful read. Why is sexual harassment still so common in politics? One possible reason: power. "At its core, sexual harassment is about power, and politics is the ultimate power profession," writes the New York Times' Sheryl Gay Stolberg. New York Times
• Super scum. Speaking at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference, Elizabeth Blackburn, Nobel Laureate and president of the Salk Institute, explained how pond scum played a pivotal role in her work on telomeres—the chromosome-capping entities that protect genetic material as it replicates. In fact, the goo contains an enzyme that she believes holds the key to longevity. Fortune
• Gut check. Venture funding of companies related to the microbiome—the trillions of bacteria that live primarily in our digestive systems—is on the rise. Jessica Richman, CEO of uBiome, a startup that sequences customers' microbiomes, and Julie Smolyansky, CEO of probiotic food and drink maker Lifeway Foods, told the Brainstorm Health crowd why gut bacteria are having a moment. Fortune
• I skimmed it. This story chronicles the birth and explosive growth of the Skimm, the newsletter founded by Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, describing their daily missive as "a millennial-friendly update to Henry Luce’s original Time magazine, combining an earnest journalistic comprehensiveness with in-jokes." Bloomberg
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Sharon Feder, former chief digital officer at Rachael Ray, has joined The Muse as chief content officer.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Counting classes. ClassPass, the fitness startup led by CEO Payal Kadakia, will no longer offer members an unlimited workout option. Fortune
• Terrific 12. Twelve female leaders—including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, philanthropist Melinda Gates, and Ms. Foundation CEO Teresa Younger—weigh in on the policies that American women need and "what it means to govern like a feminist." Elle
• Muslims à la mode. Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz, a Riyadh-based Saudi princess and former retailer, is the editor in chief of the new Vogue Arabia, which aims to raise the profile of Muslim fashion. New York Times
• Manning up. Inspired by an election that's "been downright embarrassing to men," some men say they're making more of an effort to support women publicly and to speak out against sexual harassment and assault. Washington Post
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ON MY RADAR
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How men behaving badly have held Hillary Clinton back Time