Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Omarosa is on the publicity trail for her new White House tell-all, President Trump just can’t stop commenting on women’s appearances, and what an unsolicited challenge tells us about how we value women’s time and expertise. Go get your Monday.
• Calling it. Last week, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro challenged New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to a debate, offering to donate $10,000 to her campaign or charity of choice if she accepted. After attempting to ignore the gambit for a day or so, Ocasio-Cortez responded via Twitter, saying: “Just like catcalling, I don’t owe a response to unsolicited requests from men with bad intentions. And also like catcalling, for some reason they feel entitled to one.”
It’s a surprising—and at least to my mind—on-point analogy. Shapiro isn’t running against Ocasio-Cortez; he isn’t even a politician. Yet he not only felt comfortable making the challenge, he also seemed to believe she owed him her time and attention.
As Helaine Olen writes for WaPo, this is a dynamic we’ve seen before. She connects the Ocasio-Cortez/Shapiro dustup with the recent op-ed from WNBA player Devereaux Peters, who wrote about how random men are constantly challenging her to one-on-one. “It’s almost as though these men cannot accept that a women can be more talented, successful and publicly prominent than a man, in a space they view as their own,” writes Olen.
She continues: “Shapiro’s challenge to [Ocasio-Cortez] demonstrated how as a society we value—or more correctly, do not value—women’s expertise, experience and time.”
While you probably don’t have to cope with Internet trolls challenging you to a public debate (I hope!), this larger theme may sound painfully familiar. So, the next time you are underestimated, given unsolicited advice, saddled with a task below your level, or even praised—yet denied the challenging project, raise, or promotion—maybe Ocasio-Cortez will provide some inspiration to speak up and push back. Washington Post
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• TV to tape. Former White House aide (and the original Apprentice villain) Omarosa Manigault-Newman is gearing up for the launch of her tell-all, Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House. Appearing on Meet the Press yesterday, she accused President Trump of having used racial slurs years ago on the set of the reality show, and said she recorded Chief of Staff John Kelly making threats against her as he fired her from her White House role. Fortune
• Pretty inappropriate. President Trump is, once again, demonstrating his fixation with commenting on women’s appearances. In a pair of recent tweets, he described Nellie Ohr, wife of a Justice Department official who worked for the research firm that commissioned the Steele dossier, as “beautiful,” and called former FBI lawyer Lisa Page “lovely.” As the NYT points out, the commentary is “in keeping with a long-running tendency by Mr. Trump. He has attacked women who criticize him as having faces ‘like a dog.’ He has denied accusations of unwanted sexual advances toward women by telling people to ‘look at her.'” New York Times
• Escape from New York. A new report from Morningstar research finds that U.S. firms with the highest share of female portfolio managers are far from NYC, the epicenter of the country’s financial industry. Instead, they’re located in cities like San Francisco and San Mateo. Why? “The reasons include [New York firms’] deeply rooted old-boy networks, ineffective recruiting, lack of mentoring and an absence of mid-career on-ramps for women who leave to care for children in the industry’s Northeast corridor,” according to Bloomberg. Bloomberg
• Mother of the movement runs. Lezley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown, who was fatally shot by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri four years agao, has announced that she’s running for city council. McSpadden made the announcement at a press conference on Canfield Drive, the same street where her son was killed. Jezebel
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Fighting bankruptcy to fighting cancer. In the latest edition of the NYT‘s “Corner Office” column, Paula Schneider talks about her brief reign as CEO of American Apparel, her gig consulting on Kanye West’s fashion line, and her current role, CEO of breast cancer foundation, Susan G. Komen. New York Times
• Pot pontificators. The Guardian has a look at some of the women who are in the process of transforming the cannabis industry, including “marijuana chef” Andrea Drummond and Tsion ‘Sunshine’ Lencho and Amber Senter, who run an organization dedicated to recruiting women of color into the field. The Guardian
• The doctor is in. Utah is sending a statue of a nineteenth-century doctor Martha Hughes Cannon to represent the state in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall. (Each state gets two statues, so she’ll join Mormon leader Brigham Young and replace Philo Farnsworth, the inventor of the TV). The state hopes that the statue will help combat its reputation as “behind the curve for women’s advancement.” NPR
ON MY RADAR
Venice Film Festival under fire due to lack of female directors Deadline
Is Stella McCartney the queen of sustainability? Refinery29
Tina Fey, Robert Carlock talk Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt‘s final season and possible movie Hollywood Reporter