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Sheryl Sandberg on Sexist Assumptions, the World’s Best Female Chef, and ‘Jacindamania’

September 1, 2017, 5:46 AM UTC

In a new interview with LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg talked about what men can do to help the fight for gender equality. In short: they need to care enough about it to actually take action. Quartz has a run-down of Sandberg’s major points, but one in particular caught my attention. Rather than assuming that they know what women want, men should ask them instead.

“Don’t have private conversations where a woman’s pregnant and you say, ‘We’re not going to offer her that job, she’s pregnant.’ Ask her,” Sandberg told Hoffman. “She might decide she doesn’t want to travel more, but she might decide she wants to do it. So often, we take opportunities away from women, because we assume we know what they want, rather than giving them the full opportunities they deserve.”

We talk a lot about sexist stereotyping in terms of gender roles—women portrayed as cooks, cleaners, and caregivers, for instance. But the example Sandberg gives—men making assumptions about what a woman wants based on her life stage or career progress—is just another, slightly more nuanced version of it.



Asked and answeredForeign Policy looks into President Donald Trump's firing of Alice Wells, the former ambassador to Jordan, that seemed to come at the request of King Abdullah II. The king had reportedly griped about Wells to Trump's predecessor, but President Barack Obama, who appointed Wells to the job in 2014, rebuffed requests for her removal. Former colleagues refer to Wells as a talented diplomat but say her gender was a disadvantage in a part of the world where political leaders are not accustomed to having women sit at the table.Foreign Policy


Keeping an appointment
Rwanda President Paul Kagame, who won re-election with 99% of the vote earlier this month, has appointed 11 female ministers in his 20-person Cabinet, making good on a campaign promise. Meanwhile, the whereabouts of one of his most vocal critics, Diane Rwigara, and members of her family were unknown yesterday as another relative accused authorities of arresting them. Rwigara's disappearance is fueling concerns about Kagame's increasing authoritarianism.
East African

The Netflix effect
Growing up, Ana Roš never wanted to be a chef and never studied cooking, yet she was named the World's Best Female Chef this year. Her fascinating journey to the title started when her husband's parents—owners of restaurant Hiša Franko, which now belongs to Roš—decided to retire. Her biggest break, however, came via Netflix.


Calm in the storm
For a week now, CBS News anchor Norah O'Donnell has been covering Hurricane Harvey. The veteran journalist has reported on presidential campaigns, tornadoes, even 9/11, but this was her first time covering a hurricane. She talked to Elle about the experience: "Relaying that the most basic human needs are [unmet]—I think that tells a story. It’s important for viewers to see that."

Money trouble
Last year, the U.S. Treasury Department announced plans to put abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill instead of President Andrew Jackson. In an interview yesterday, current Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin wouldn't commit to the plan, saying he'd review it: "[T]he number-one issue why we change the currency is to stop counterfeiting, so the issues of why we change it will be primarily related to what we need to do for security purposes." Mnuchin's comments follow President Trump's suggestion on the campaign trail that he didn't want Tubman to replace Jackson—a slave owner and, interestingly enough, an opponent of centralized banking—calling the plan "pure political correctness."


The month-old tenure of Jacinda Ardern as Labour leader in New Zealand continues to boost—to an extraordinary degree—the popularity of the party. When she took over, Labour was at an all-time low in the polls. Now, it's at a 10-year high, surging ahead of the National party led by Prime Minister Bill English for the first time leading up to next month's general election. 

Inside India
In the latest episode of the Longform podcast, The New York Times' Ellen Barry—who was, until recently, the paper's south Asia bureau chief—talks about her latest story "How To Get Away With Murder in Small-Town India" and why she focused much of her coverage in India on the nation's women. 

What's in a name?
Actress Chloe Bennet, who stars in the TV series Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, recently opened up about changing her last name from Wang—a move she says helped her career almost immediately. "Changing my last name doesn't change the fact that my BLOOD is half Chinese, that I lived in China, speak Mandarin or that I was culturally raised both American and Chinese... It means I had to pay my rent...I'm doing everything I can, with the platform I have, to make sure no one has to change their name again, just so they can get work."


Her ancestors were Georgetown’s slaves. Now, at age 63, she’s enrolled there—as a college freshman
Washington Post

What Lena Waithe wants from Hollywood

Miss U.K. hands back her crown after being told to lose weight

Kim Kardashian backtracks on her anti-feminism comments


"If I plan something as a man I'm a 'genius.' If Taylor as a woman plans something she is 'manipulative.' Double standards. This is wrong.”
—Joseph Khan, director of Taylor Swift's 'Look What You Made Me Do' video on criticism of it.