Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Three out of four Americans fear that some women are making false #MeToo allegations, the UK’s deadline for companies to share pay data has passed, and there’s a new social media platform for moms with—gasp!—no way to mom-shame. Have a lovely Thursday.
• A violent anomaly. The YouTube shooting has been dominating the news cycle, and while mass shootings have sadly become commonplace in the U.S., at least one facet of this one sets it apart: The shooter was a woman. My colleague Claire Zillman dug into the research and found that numerous studies of mass shootings reveal that men carry out nearly all of the attacks (though she notes that Tuesday’s incident, which injured three, may not qualify as a mass shooting, depending on the definition used). Here are the highlights of what she found:
How common are female shooters?
The short answer is: Not at all. “An FBI report published last year found that of 220 ‘active shooting incidents’ between 2000 and 2016, just nine—or 4%—were perpetrated by a woman. A Secret Service report on 28 mass attacks in 2017 (defined as incidents in which at least three people were harmed) identifies all of the attackers as male. Research by University of Alabama criminal justice professor Adam Lankford, published in 2016, says that one woman was among 292 public mass shooters worldwide.”
Why are most mass shooters men?
There are two leading hypotheses:
- The scientific: “Male and female brains grow differently, with women’s forebrains—home to executive functions like impulse control and reflection—developing far faster than men’s. Going without these functions for longer than women, men, who are arguably predisposed for aggression because of testosterone, have more years to potentially behave badly.”
- The societal: “Eric Madfis, a sociologist at the University of Washington-Tacoma who’s studied the identities of American mass murderers, points to men’s tendency to externalize blame and frustration. Women, meanwhile, are more likely to internalize it. He notes that past mass shooters have often failed to live up to society’s masculine expectations financially or romantically. They may have resorted to violence as retribution for being denied what they think they’re owed.”
Last but certainly not least, it should be noted that more men own guns than women do (39% vs. 22%).
As Claire notes: “The gender of a mass shooter may seem irrelevant in the wake of the loss of life, but reducing gun violence—beyond firearm regulation and personal safety measures—depends on understanding the profile and motive of who is carrying out the act.” Fortune
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• What the settlements say. Settlement agreements between Bill O’Reilly and two women who accused him of harassment were made public for the first time yesterday. The documents reveal the disturbing tactics the former Fox News host used to keep the women quiet. Per the NYT: “Andrea Mackris and Rebecca Gomez Diamond were required to turn over all evidence, including audio recordings and diaries, to Mr. O’Reilly. In addition, Ms. Mackris was required to disclaim the materials ‘as counterfeit and forgeries if they ever became public.” Moreover, “The settlement with Ms. Mackris confirms a New York Times investigation that found a private investigator had been used to dig up information about her.” New York Times
• Baseless claims—or baseless beliefs? According to a new poll of 6,251 adults released by the Pew Research Center yesterday, 31% of respondents say that women making false claims about being sexually harassed or assaulted is a major problem in today’s workplace. Another 45% think baseless allegations are a minor problem. Interestingly, the responses were the same regardless or gender (though there were partisan differences, with Republicans being more likely to see this as an issue). Fortune
• Proof is in the pay gap. The deadline for UK firms to report pay data was midnight last night. The latest numbers reveal a median gender pay gap around 10%. Plus: CNN reminds us that US companies were close to having to reveal the same kind of data thanks to a September 2016 rule—until President Trump stayed it, claiming that it would be too burdensome for employees. The Guardian
• Masto on #MeToo. Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto reflects in Fortune on the recent letter that Senate women sent to the chamber’s leadership demanding that it confront sexual harassment in Congress. She writes: “Creating workplaces that are safe and free of harassment and discrimination should start in the halls of Congress, and my colleagues and I will not stop fighting for the protections that all victims deserve.” Fortune
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Oath has named Joanna Lambert GM of Finance and Tech.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Doodling with Angelou. In yesterday’s Google Doodle, Alphabet honored author and poet Maya Angelou on what would’ve been her 90th birthday. The Doodle features an audio recording of Angelou and several other celebrities—including Alicia Keys, Oprah Winfrey, and Martina McBride—reciting her poem Still I Rise. Fortune
• How gaps grow. According to new data from tech job platform Hired, women in the industry miss out on pay as they gain experience (essentially debunking the myth that women get paid less than men because they lack it). Within the first two years of working in a tech job, women ask for and receive 98% of what their male counterparts make. Meanwhile, women with seven to 10 years of experience ask for 90% and are offered 93% of what men earn. Recode
• Dems cheer Dallet. Rebecca Dallet, a Milwaukee County Circuit judge favored by liberals, was elected Tuesday to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Why do so many people outside the Badger State seem to care? Because the election was “the first chance in 2018 to take the temperature of voters across the state.” While Wisconsin voters picked Trump in 2016, Democrats are seeing this election as a sign that it can turn the state blue again (as it had been for 32 years prior to 2016). New York Times
• Social media for moms. Chairman Mom, a social platform for working parents, launched to the public yesterday. Its founder, Pando’s Sarah Lacy, touts the subscription-based service ($5 per month) as the opposite of social media, with no ads, no comment threads, and total privacy. Fast Company
ON MY RADAR
The woman who is reining in America’s technology giants Wall Street Journal
How Melinda Gates is tackling tech’s gender problem Bloomberg
How 50 famous female characters were described in their screenplays New York Magazine
Commentary: the Stormy Daniels coverage is sensationalism—and it needs to end Fortune