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The Gender Dynamics of the New 2020 Presidential Race

November 18, 2019, 1:11 PM UTC

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Good morning, Broadsheet readers! A record number of women will run in the U.K.’s general election, startup co-founders turn to Esther Perel’s couples counseling, and we take stock of the gender dynamics of the 2020 race. Have a lovely Monday.


- 2020 check-in. The Democratic race for the 2020 presidential nomination is reaching a turning point—for the men and women competing. 

In the Medium publication Gen, writer Jessica Valenti connects the late arrival to the race of former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Michael Bloomberg to the "misplaced confidence" of men who believe they're the one who's needed to save the day. To those men—more likely, studies show, to run for office than women with better qualifications—she says, "the country doesn’t necessarily need a savior. It needs a leader." 

In The Cut, Rebecca Traister examines gender dynamics of the race through a different lens, reflecting on how seeing six women make what she describes as "(mostly) serious runs for the Democratic presidential nomination" has—and has not—changed the way we think about female candidates.

At the start of the campaign season, she writes, it was thought that the presence of multiple women in the race might prevent any one of them from being painted with the usual stereotypes that hurt women in politics. And yet here we are, still listening to critiques of the candidates' "likability." Indeed, rather than disappear, the stereotypes seem to have become even more focused. Writes Traister: "It is now almost 2020, and here are our female candidates: the Meanie, the Lightweight, the Crazies, and the Angry, Dissembling Elitists."

Still, as the end of 2019—the first year in U.S. history in which so many women ran for the nation's highest office—approaches, we would be remiss to let the moment go without comment. 

"We have never seen anything like this before," writes Traister. "Yet it has been oddly glossed over—how extraordinary, how totally bananas it is to have had six women standing on presidential-nomination debate stages for the past five months."

Emma Hinchliffe


- Co-founder counseling. Famed couples therapist Esther Perel is turning her skills to solving a new kind of relationship problem: working relationships. Startup co-founders, employees and executives at Kickstarter and X (the unit within Alphabet) are learning about authenticity and emotional intelligence from the therapist-turned-management guru. Wall Street Journal

- An upsetting interview. The U.K.'s Prince Andrew (son of Queen Elizabeth II, brother of Prince Charles) gave an interview to BBC Newsnight's Emily Maitlis about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. The interview has not gone over well with the British public: the prince said he did not regret the entirety of their friendship, said he never noticed the young girls at Epstein's homes because as a member of the royal family he was used to having staff around, and denied that he had sex with Epstein victim Virginia Roberts when she was 17, as she has said. Prince Andrew's daughter Princess Eugenie does advocacy work to end sex trafficking. Guardian

- Record numbers. Despite the many female MPs standing down because of harassment, a record number of women have registered as candidates for the U.K.'s general election next month. Thirty-four percent of all candidates right now are women, and the Labour Party is the first to have more women running than men, at 53%. Guardian

- Modern art. First conferences, now museums. To fix the representation in its collection, the Baltimore Museum of Art for the next year will only acquire works by women. "To rectify centuries of imbalance, you have to do something radical," says museum director Christopher Bedford. Baltimore Sun

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Walmart promoted EVP of Walmart U.S. neighborhood markets Kathryn McLay to president and CEO of Sam's Club. Shinola promoted Shannon Washburn to CEO. When Otis Elevator spins out of United Technologies next year, CEO Judy Marks will join the 35 women who run Fortune 500 companies. Danielle Magred of Fox Networks Group joins Global Citizen as chief growth officer.


- Auf Wiedersehen! The luxury tax on tampons and menstrual hygiene products in Germany will end on Jan. 1. Tampons are re-classified as "necessary for everyday life," reducing the tax from 19% to 7%. Nanna-Josephine Roloff and Yasemin Kotra started the anti-tampon tax movement in Germany in 2018. CNN

- Pelosi's POV. In a Face the Nation interview that aired Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi weighed in on President Trump's tweets attacking impeachment hearings witness and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. "He made a mistake and he knows her strength. And he was trying to undermine it," Pelosi said. CBS News

- A special pay gap. Actress and comedian Mo'Nique filed a lawsuit against Netflix alleging that the streaming service discriminated against her based on race and gender by attempting to underpay her for a standup special compared to rates offered to other performers. Mo'Nique's lawsuit mentions the lack of diversity on Netflix's board of directors and accuses the company of perpetuating the "drastic wage gap forced upon Black women in America’s workforce." Netflix says it believes its opening $500,000 offer was fair and that it will fight the lawsuit. Fortune

- Damages for damaging videos. Remember the "fetal tissue" videos recorded at Planned Parenthood? Planned Parenthood has been awarded $2 million in damages after a jury found that the anti-abortion activist who secretly filmed videos and manipulated them to make it appear the organization was selling fetal tissue trespassed and committed fraud. The activist, David R. Daleiden, plans to appeal.  New York Times


The Quinceañera, redefined New York Times

Hong Kong court finds Carrie Lam's mask ban unconstitutional Bloomberg

Will reality television ever learn to handle misconduct allegations? Vanity Fair 

Here are good ways yoga teachers manage touch and consent New York Times


"I don’t know what everyone in the world who has a vagina wants to know about themselves, so it’s a first step."

-Curator Sarah Creed on opening world's first Vagina Museum in London


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