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What Happens to Women After #MeToo Claims: The Broadsheet

October 1, 2019, 10:45 AM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Hillary Clinton weighs in on the Joe Biden conversation, we get the inside story of Trump’s top Russia adviser Fiona Hill, and we learn what comes after women’s #MeToo claims come out. Have a fabulous Tuesday. 

EVERYONE'S TALKING

- What comes after #MeToo claims. In a new package published yesterday, New York Magazine's The Cut revisits the stories of women whose names you've forgotten: of Lauren O'Connor, of Tanya Selvaratnam, of Reah Bravo. They (and 22 others featured in the magazine) accused men of sexual harassment or sexual assault, with many of their claims fueling the on-going iteration of the #MeToo movement that's chugged across industries and geographies, up-turning—to some extent—workplace dynamics as we once knew them. 

While their accusations—taken together—have aided women in the workplace, the individuals didn't necessarily benefit personally; far from it. In the piece, they provide first-person accounts of what came after their claims came out. It's not easy reading:

- "I thought coming forward would be empowering and would help other women. A short dredging up of old memories and then it would be over. I was wrong about all of that," says Linda Vester, who accused NBC anchor Tom Brokaw of misconduct.

- "[A]t the time, 20% of me hoped I’d somehow, someday, be able to use what was a great professional risk for meaningful professional gain. Like, 'Hey, big national press, now that you exposed some of the most humiliating things I’ve endured, maybe I can get a little recognition that I’m a person and a professional that’s working on other amazing things.' Two years later, that hasn’t happened yet," says Lindsay Meyer, who accused VC funder Justin Caldbeck of harassment.

- "To come forward is expensive in a way I had no idea about and has cost more than double my financial resources. Nine times out of ten, it will involve legal entanglements that cost money. I’ve come to learn how expensive it is to get a photo pulled down or out of print. Therapy is expensive. All in all, we’re talking easily six figures, even with some pro bono representation, and I’m still paying it off. I have questioned whether I would do it over again. It’s also emotionally expensive. There is a literal tax on integrity," says O'Connor, whose memo detailing the Weinstein Company's toxic environment leaked to The New York Times.

Their stories, for one, counter the tired #MeToo-era argument that accusers come forward for personal gain. What's more, as Rebecca Traister writes in an accompanying essay, their individual sacrifices are "offered up to a collective future, one in which we should all be worth more."

You can read the powerful package here

Claire Zillman
claire.zillman@fortune.com
@clairezillman

ALSO IN THE HEADLINES

- Mom's medal. Track star Allyson Felix won gold as part of a mixed-gender 4X400 meter relay at the World Championships on Sunday. (The event will debut at the Olympics next year.) Felix's victory broke Usain Bolt's record for most world championship golds; her 12 top his 11—and carried a bit of extra significance since it was her first since becoming a mom. Felix sparred with one-time sponsor Nike over its pregnancy policy before signing on with Athleta earlier this year. NBC Sports

- ECB expectations. Before Christine Lagarde takes the helm at the European Central Bank in November, a look at what she'll inherit: namely, a divided institution. Lagarde says it's good that there are "differences of opinion." Bloomberg

- Drug discovery. GlaxoSmithKline, led by No. 2 on Fortune's Most Powerful Women International list Emma Walmsley, says its $4.16 billion acquisition of cancer specialist Tesaro was worth it—thanks to the promising results of a study of its in-development drug for ovarian cancer. The drug Zejula "could change how women with ovarian cancer are treated." Wall Street Journal 

- Nothing's forever. Forever 21 filed for a long-anticipated bankruptcy on Sunday, a filing that will see the chain exit many international markets and close 178 of its 549 U.S. stores. Executive chairman Linda Chang, whose parents founded the brand, says the company's goal is to "get back to doing what we do best." Fortune

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Intel named Cisco's Karen Walker SVP and CMO. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

- Citi CSO. Fortune's Katherine Dunn spoke with Citigroup's new Chief Sustainability Officer Val Smith. Her appointment reflects the extent to which the bank is integrating sustainability and climate into every aspect of its business, Smith says. The finance industry as a whole seems to be waking up to the risks of climate change. Fortune

- Breastfeeding barriers. HuffPost investigates how some employers make it impossible for women to breastfeed on the job. One Walmart worker's experience involved returning to work only to be offered such insubstantial substitutes for a nursing room that co-workers eventually pooled money to help her afford formula. (An academic study earlier this year came to similar findings). HuffPost

- A little annoying... Hillary Clinton weighed in on the conversation around Joe Biden's interactions with women. She called Biden's inappropriate behavior "a little annoying habit." "We can pick apart anybody. I mean, that’s a great spectator sport," she continued. "But this man who’s there in the Oval Office right now poses a clear and present danger to the future of the United States … So get over it." The Cut

- Inside the Russia story. Fiona Hill was President Trump's top Russia adviser for two and a half years. She resigned just seven days before the president made his fateful call to the president of Ukraine. The inside story of how she got there, what she did, and how she—by Trump White House standards—stayed so long: Politico Magazine

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

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QUOTE

"I might like to write something about that."

-Former U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May on how she would write a novel on the 'ill-fated 19th century ascent of Matterhorn' in the Alps, but would not write her own memoir