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Mark Cuban, New Zealand Suffrage, Amy Chua: Broadsheet September 21

September 21, 2018, 10:56 AM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! The women of French cinema get a boost, Mark Cuban apologizes—and donates $10 million—over sexual harassment at the Mavs, and Yale Law’s Amy Chua reportedly told female students to look good if they wanted to work for Brett Kavanaugh. Editor’s note: Gird your inboxes! Our 2018 Fortune Most Powerful Women list debuts Monday morning, and we’ll have all the details for you right here. In the meantime, have an amazing weekend.


 Dress for success? By now you have almost certainly seen the news—first broken by HuffPost's Emily Peck—that Yale professor Jed Rubenfeld told a student that judge Brett Kavanaugh liked his female law clerks to have a "certain look." According to The Guardian, Rubenfeld's wife Amy Chua—a fellow Yale prof and author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother—added more color to her husband's vague but telling words, informing students that it was “not an accident” that Kavanaugh’s clerks all “looked like models.”

Chua did not dispute the students' accounts, but told HuffPost that the judge's "first and only litmus test in hiring has been excellence.” She also noted that her daughter has accepted a clerkship with Kavanaugh.

These allegations are, of course, very different from those of Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her during their high school days (and who is reportedly now discussing the possibility of testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee). There is no accusation of misconduct here, nor any suggestion that Kavanaugh hired clerks who were not qualified to do the job. Yet these students' stories are vital to our understanding of the atmosphere that surrounds the judge. While he may not have actually shown any hiring bias towards women with that "certain look," it seems that something gave Chua and Rubenfeld the impression that he did.

These stories also paint a damning picture of the upper rungs of the legal profession. Consider the accusations against Kavanaugh; the charges against his mentor Alex Kozinski, who retired in December amid multiple allegations of sexual harassment; and the fact that Rubenfeld himself is the subject of a Yale internal investigation "focused on [his] conduct, particularly with female law students," reports the Guardian.

In a conversation with a group of students—the very gathering where she shared her belief that the attractiveness of Kavanaugh's clerks is "no accident"—Chua reportedly said that she didn't think the federal judiciary would get its #MeToo moment. Looks like she was wrong.


Bumble branches out. You thought Bumble was just a dating app? Think again. The Whitney Wolfe Herd-run startup is launching a line of beauty products—its first items, serums aimed at solving skin issues and "emotional problems," are due out next year. Separately, Wolfe Herd says she's working with lawmakers to draft legislation that would make sending unsolicited photos of genitalia "an offense similar to flashing in public." Marie Claire

History to her-story. An incredible story in the Washington Post sends a writer back to her Texas hometown to investigate a rape accusation that rocked the community in 2006. A 16-year-old girl reported her rape by two older classmates, and the town turned against her. This story investigates why, and what happened next. Washington Post

Flipping out. Planned Parenthood has a $4 million plan to flip the House in favor of Democrats. The organization's PAC, Planned Parenthood Votes, has put that money behind 24 House races, 15 of them against incumbent Republicans.  Fortune

Paying amends. Mark Cuban will donate $10 million to nonprofits supporting women and combatting domestic violence after an independent investigation found widespread sexual harassment enabled by company mismanagement at the Dallas Mavericks, the NBA team Cuban owns. "I'm just sorry I didn't see it. I'm sorry I didn't recognize it. I just hope that out of this we'll be better, and we can avoid it and we can help make everybody just smarter about the whole thing," Cuban said during an emotional interview on ESPN. Dallas Morning News

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Traci Dunn is now vice president of inclusion, diversity, and culture at McKesson Corporation. Nellie Liang is President Donald Trump's pick for the Federal Reserve's board of governors.


 Le cinéma. Films made in France that employ enough women in behind-the-scenes roles like director and cinematographer will receive an extra government subsidy. The French film industry is the biggest in Europe, and the subsidy is one of several changes being introduced to improve gender representation in film.  Variety

Happy 125th! New Zealand just celebrated its 125th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote—the oldest anniversary of women's suffrage on the books. To mark the occasion, the women who make up 38% of the country's Parliament recreated a famous photo of New Zealand's all-male 1905 government. The 38% stat puts the nation well above the global average for female representation in government—with the added bonus of its female prime minister, Jacinda Ardern. Washington Post

 Get sprung. A campaign against the bail system will bail out 500 women and teenagers from Rikers Island. The mass bailout is planned to draw attention to the way the bail system discriminates against people of color and the poor, in this case focusing on how the system affects women and young people. New York Times

Today's Broadsheet was produced by Emma HinchliffeShare it with a friend. Looking for previous Broadsheets? Click here.


The first black female White House reporter had to pawn her watch every week just to eat  Washington Post

How puberty kills girls' confidence  The Atlantic

We're sexual misconduct law experts. The Senate's Brett Kavanaugh investigation is a hot mess  Fortune


To show me with my muscles, to show me jumping, it was a huge step in opening and broadening people’s eyes to respecting ballet.
Misty Copeland on ballet's artistry and athleticism. She's in Disney's upcoming movie 'The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.'