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The World’s Most Powerful Women: January 4

On New Year’s Eve in Bangalore, India, several women claimed they were molested and heckled in a crowd of thousands. A public official there said the crime was prompted by the victims’ resemblance to “westerners.” As commenters called out the government for what seemed like justification for the attack and the online conversation snowballed, some men chimed in with the age-old response that “not all men” commit these kinds of acts. Women were quick to dismiss that tired argument. “Stop diluting the issue,” one wrote.

The “not all men” defense had a moment back in 2014 when it was mocked mercilessly in Internet memes that skewered it as tone deaf and characterized it as missing the point completely. Around that same time, writer Jess Zimmerman argued in a Time magazine piece that the “not all men” argument was actually an odd step forward from other perennial responses like “what about the men?” and “patriarchy hurts men too.” While infuriating, at least the former acknowledges that rape, sexism, and misogyny are serious issues. From the “not all men” level, Zimmerman wrote, men could progress to the next stages of awareness. That would entail them recognizing that they are unavoidably sexist sometimes because they were socialized that way, and to be anti-sexist, they have to actively work against that socialization.

If the response to this weekend’s attack in Bangalore is any indication, we’re not to that level yet.

@clairezillman

 

 

EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA

Limited exposureThe Pirelli Calendar—once known for its glamorous and sometimes nude photographs of celebrities—is again embracing age and body diversity by featuring unretouched and fully-clothed shots of actresses like Lupita Nyong’o and Charlotte Rampling.Fast Company

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Closing the gap
New research from the Resolution Foundation think-tank shows that the gender pay gap for British millennials has halved in the past generation, with men and women starting on near-even footing. But women continue to fall behind men in their 30s. When baby boomers were in their 20s, the gender pay gap was 16%; it was 9% for Generation X. It now stands at 5%.
Financial Times

THE AMERICAS

On the move
Fox News star host Megyn Kelly is leaving the network for NBC News, where she will host a daytime TV show and a weekly feature program and be involved in the network’s political coverage. Fox reportedly offered Kelly $20 million a year to stay, but NBC gave her a daytime slot to meet her desire to spend more time with her family.
Fortune
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Defending against Donald
General Motors was the most recent company on the receiving end of a Donald Trump tweet when the president-elect said yesterday the company should make its Chevy Cruze in the U.S. or pay a big border tax. GM said in a statement that only a “small number”—2.4%—of the cars are Mexican-made. Trump’s targeting of GM is especially notable since CEO Mary Barra is on his strategic and policy forum.
Fortune
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One for the books
Actress and comedian Leslie Jones shot back at publisher Simon & Schuster for its book deal with right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos that’s reportedly worth $250,000. Yiannopoulos was suspended from Twitter last year after directing offensive tweets at Jones. Simon & Schuster defended itself last week saying it does not condone hate speech and that opinions published in its books belong to authors. Jones responded, “but you still help them spread their hate to even more people.”
Huffington Post

ASIA-PACIFIC

No-show
South Korean President Park Geun-hye refused to testify yesterday in the impeachment trial that will determine her future—despite publicly denying the charges of corruption against her. The Constitutional Court asked Park again to testify on Thursday. It cannot force her to appear but can proceed without her if she refuses to testify twice. 
Associated Press
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A story to tell
A new project in Nepal is letting women tell their side of the nation’s history, especially its decade-long civil war. Jaya Luintel founded The Story Kitchen in hopes that it will give women new skills, provide a safe space for them to talk, and embolden them to testify before Nepal’s truth and reconciliation commission, which was set up to investigate rights abuses during the conflict.
Guardian
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Little bun, big deal
May Chow, owner of restaurant Little Bao in Hong Kong, has just been voted Asia’s best female chef by a panel of over 300 experts thanks in part to what she calls Chinese burgers: steamed white buns filled with braised pork belly, fried chicken, or fish. Chow says it could be seen as odd that her title comes with a gender qualifier but argues that the award will provide a platform to raise awareness about the industry.
BBC

IN BRIEF

9 women who could be elected U.S. president
The Hill

The invisible workload that drags women down
Money

Gretchen Carlson returns to TV for the first time since suing Roger Ailes
Fortune

The Women’s March could be the biggest U.S. inauguration demonstration ever
Washington Post

In sex-shy India, more women now want designer vaginas
Quartz

Brazil’s men helped to become better fathers to reduce gender violence
Guardian

How model Chrissy Teigen mastered the art of shaming mom-shamers
Slate

PARTING WORDS

“[B]eing pregnant and realizing we should offer parking for expectant mothers. The “aha” wasn’t, oh my God, Google needed pregnancy parking. The “aha” was that I had to be pregnant myself to think of it.”
--Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, reflecting on a defining moment of her life related to gender.