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Entries in gender gap (19)


Dem Donors Give Kentucky's Alison Lundergan Grimes Standing O In Senate Race Against Mitch McConnell

It’s time to start our engines for Kentucky’s Alison Lundergan Grimes, the 34-year-old Democratic secretary of state who intends to take out Senate Minority Speaker Mitch McConnell.

Howard Fineman writes for Huffington Post:

In her first major appearance before national party leaders, Saturday on Martha’s Vineyard, Grimes wowed Democratic senators, Senate candidates and donors alike at the party’s annual private summer fundraising retreat.

Each year the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee invites top donors to schmooze with senators, especially those up for reelection, and inspect the merchandise of challengers who will take on Republican incumbents.

Grimes spoke to the group Saturday morning and brought the jaded and normally undemonstrative crowd to its feet in wild applause, said one top donor, who had been deeply skeptical of the idea that McConnell could be knocked off by anyone.

Grimes made news a couple of weeks ago by announcing her senate run w/o a website in place. Mitch isn’t laughing any more, suggests both Howard Fineman and Kentucky’s Courier Journal. She is the daughter of one of Kentucky’s most prominent politicos, destined for a political future. Deciding to take on Mitch McConnell represents a quick turn in her destiny, but Democratic troops appear ready and enthusiastic to rally around her. 

“I’ve been going to these for years, and I have never, until this morning, seen a candidate get a standing O,” said the donor, who is among the top 100 contributors to the committee over the last five years. “It was amazing.” 

Kentucky’s Courier Journal columnist Al Cross writes that Grimes is a very serious competitor to knock Mitch McConnell out of his senate seat.

1. Author Robert Galbraith, whose debut novel ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ received outstanding debuts , was outed as Harry Potter author J.K.Rowling by London’s Sunday Times newspaper.

“I had hoped to keep this secret a little longer because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience,” Rowling said. “It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation, and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name.”

After one reviewer described as a “scintillating debut novel,” while another called it “astonishingly mature”. The novel had sold around 1,500 copies in hardback, before this weekend’s outing.

2. Texas Democrats have vowed to fight in the courts new abortion legislation passed in Austin late Friday night. The Republican majority passed the controversial bill with one Democratic vote. The 20 Democratic amendments to the bill that bans abortions after 20 weeks, requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, permits no exceptions for rape or incest, requires all abortions to take place in surgical centers, and offers no leeway in prescribing an abortion-inducing pill were all denied.

The abortion debate in Texas mobilized protests not seen in the last 20 years. “Let’s make sure that tonight is not an ending point, it’s a beginning point for our future, our collective futures, as we work to take this state back,” Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth told 2,000 supporters gathered in Austin.

3. US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has resigned her position as Homeland Security Secretary to become president of the University of California system. Napolitano was the third person to head the agency created in response to the 9/11 attacks.

Napolitano is the first woman to lead UC’s 145-year history. The LA Times writes that UC regents hope that a highly-visible political personality will be more effective at fundraising and playing an influential role in Sacramento and Washington.

The NY Daily News reports that Senator Chuck Schumer is pushing NYPD Chief Ray Kelly as her replacement.

4. EMILY’s List is on record with their intention to brand Florida Senator Marco Rubio as anti-women ahead of the 2016 elections. Stephanie Schriock, the group’s president, told TIME magazine that the Republican senator is “the most anti-women, anti-family candidate of the GOP field.”

“This is a senator who was one of only 22 Republican men voting against the Violence Against Women Act. He has worked tirelessly to roll back women’s freedom,” says Schriock.

Rubio’s ‘alleged sins’ against women also include his votes against pay equity legislation and support for mandatory ultrasounds in Florida. Rubio called the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, “a gift for trial lawyers”.

Read the New Republic’s analysis ‘There’s No Cure for Marco Rubio’s Abortion Anxiety’.

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5. The Atlantic asks: When Do Women (and Men) Stop Leaning In?, following up on Catherine Rampell’s analysis for the New York Times.

The popular notion that women stop looking for job promotions earlier than men goes under the microscope with another look at 2008 data from the Families and Work Institute. In 2008 just 37 percent of working women and 44 percent of working men wanted more responsibility at the office.

Sheryl Sandberg’s book ‘Lean In’ argues that the gender gap is much higher in the 25-34 and 35-44 age groups. University women and post 45-age women have similar expectations as men.


A Week of Powerful Women Under the Microscope, Starting With a Blowout At the New York Times

1. Powerful women under the microscope. I was surprised to read Politico’s recent story that quotes the proverbial anonymous member of the New York Times staff criticizing Executive Editor Jill Abramson. An incident involving managing editor Dean Baquet — in which he admittedly stormed out of her office, slammed his hand against a wall and then left the newsroom — provoked a discussion not about his behavior, but Abramson’s.

Significant criticism of Politico’s Dylan Byers media columnist ensued, leading Anna Palmer and Darren Samuelson to remind readers to: Sheryl Sandberg is bossy, Nancy Pelosi is old. Ann Curry is weepy. And Jill Abramson is condescending, brusque and bitchy.

Besides clothes, hair dos and wrinkles, perceived demeanor of women leaders is food for the journalistically opinionated and gossip mongers.

While Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was criticized for being too tough in ending the company’s teleworking policy, journalist Ann Curry has been criticized for being a cry baby — letting tears slip on her last day anchoring the “Today” show.

When her dismissal was attributed to her lack of chemistry with co-host Matt Lauer, Curry was over it.  lashed out, “‘Chemistry,’ in television history, generally means the man does not want to work with the woman,” Curry reportedly said. “It’s an excuse generally used by men in positions of power to say, ‘The woman doesn’t work.’ ”

2. Really? “Come to papa!” Ouch! 30 Rock just can’t escape the fallout from Operation Bambi. This is the code name for the plan that dumped news reporter and then co-host Ann Curry off the ‘Today’ Show. And the bad guy is Matt Laurer, who denies that he ever told a production assistant, “I can’t believe I am sitting next to this woman.”

In late March, New York Magazine’s Joe Hagan wrote an in-depth analysis Matt Lauer and the Decline of NBC’s ‘Today’ Show.

“Matt Lauer doesn’t want to be seen with sharp knives, it’s because last summer his co-host Ann Curry was discovered with one in her back. She was swiftly replaced by a younger, more genial woman, Savannah Guthrie. Ever since, Lauer has been the prime suspect in Curry’s virtual demise. Five million viewers, the majority of them women, would not soon forget how Curry, the intrepid female correspondent and emotionally vivid anchor, spent her last appearance on the Today show couch openly weeping, devastated at having to leave after only a year. The image of Matt Lauer trying to comfort her—and of Curry turning away from his attempted kiss—has become a kind of monument to the real Matt Lauer, forensic evidence of his guilt.”

600,000 women viewers have left the Today Show over the Ann Curry debacle and the show worth half a billion dollars in ad revenue has lost its first place morning show ratings perch.

Ann Curry cont. next column.

As the NewYork Times reminded us a week ago in ‘Who Can Save the ‘Today’ Show?, Ann Curry had spent 22 years of her professional life in the hallways of 30 Rockefeller Center. This article is particularly interesting because it points out that the boys club that ran the ‘Today Show’ just assumed that everything would blow over once Operation Bambi was a kill.

The press might be bad for a week or two, but after the London Olympics, everything would return to rosy pink normal. Instead, the red ink bled profusely as women said “count me out!”

Now the plot thickens at ‘Today’, with New York Magazine reporting that NBC management reached out to CNN’s Anderson Cooper about replacing Matt Laurer. Double ouch.

US News asked this week in The ‘Top of the Morning’ Case for Closing the Gender Gap if a team of women executives would have dealt with the situation at Today a whole lot better than the boys club.  Brian Stelter’s new book ‘Top of the Morning’ examines the Ann Curry firing, with the author telling us: “There’s a gender gap throughout television and it’s very pronounced in morning TV since these shows are mostly meant for women,” he says. “I just wonder, if there was a more even split, men and women in the control, whether they would think differently about how they treat their anchors.”

Stelter thinks the show wasn’t right for Curry, but agrees the ouster was a total debacle. Over at Today, Laurer axed the idea of Kathie Lee Gifford publishing her seven pages of signatures supporting Laurer.

3. Salon interviews Comedy Central’s newest starlet Amy Schumer, asking her if women comedians will ever be treated equally. Schumer’s 2012 Comedy Central special “Inside Amy Schumer” premieres on Comedy Central April 30.

Asked if she still gets queried about whether it’s hard to be a female comic — given the inherent assumption that women aren’t funny — Schumer says ‘yeah’ in every interview and she thinks the question comes from laziness.

The ‘Mostly Sex Stuff’ comic continues: “And while I’m sure there are some people who say that women aren’t funny, I don’t think most people do. I think those things are perpetuated by journalists, and I don’t actually run into it that much.”

Pressed Schumer adds: “I think it has something to do with the general aggression toward women, and it being pounded into people’s heads that it’s just not possible for women to be funny. Even though we’re living in the times we’re living in, there is still stigma with women in general. People want women to be in a certain place. And not everyone’s comfortable with a woman speaking openly and honestly. When I read Gloria Steinem quotes, I just think that we aren’t that far along, or much further along than when she was.”

The funny woman says that the gender stereotypes are a battle that doesn’t seem like it can be won. Her focus is using humor, changing one mind at a time.

4.Could voters possibly prefer women candidates? Are we dreaming? But PA’s own Democratic guberbatorial candidate Allyson Schwartz, is named in Molly Ball’s The Atlantic piece arguing that women are hot political candidates.

With Hillary Clinton being heckled at a rally in 2008 by men shouting “Iron my shirt!” we must be dreaming that the author is on point. It’s true that boys club political analysts like Chris Matthews are now saying that America wants to elect a woman president.

“Voters want change,” says Mike Shields, the chief of staff at the RNC. “A woman candidate personifies change just by being on the ballot.” adds Democratic pollster Andrew Myers. in these intolerably gridlocked times, “voters believe women are more likely to compromise and find common ground and solutions, and less likely to argue and triangulate for political advantage.”

Both consultants emphasize that women are harder to criticize than men. Sharp-edged attacks by male rivals — particularly in these critically divisive times by male rivals — conjure up images of hitting a girl.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) launched the idea of this week’s dinner between President Obama and 20 women senators.  “I said, ‘As you put together your agenda for this term, if you want a bipartisan, core group of people to start moving legislation, a great way to start is the women senators,’” she said.


Angelina Jolie & Madonna Make Big Donations To Girls' Education | Obama Morning After Pill Restrictions Overturned

Actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie introduced the audience at last week’s Women in the World Summit to very personal stories about Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who was shot in the head by the Taliban who stopped her school bus and asked which of the girls was the blogger Malala.

Vital Voices, with a donation from the Women in the World Foundation, established the Malala Fund, to be directed by the 15-year-old. In the BBC video below, Malala announces the first grant to educate 40 girls in her home district in the Swat Valley. 

After Jolie, who is the special enjoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, left the stage, conference organizer Tina Brown announced that the actress had recently donated $200,000 to the fund. Jolie has started her own project to fund girls’ schools in particular, with proceeds from her jewelry collection Style by Jolie jewelry collaboration with Robert Procop.

1. 25-year-old US diplomat Anne Smedinghoff died in an attack in Afghanistan on Saturday. The young diplomat had volunteered to deliver books to a school in southern Afghanistan.

US Secretary of State John Kerry met Smedinghoff on his recent trip to Afghanistan and spoke of her today.

“The folks who want to kill people, and that’s all they want to do, are scared of knowledge. And they want to shut the doors and they don’t want people to make their choices about the future. For them, it’s ‘You do things my way and if you don’t, we’ll throw acid in your face. We’ll put a bullet in your face,’ to a young girl trying to learn,” Kerry said. “So this is a huge challenge for us. It is a confrontation with modernity, with possibilities, and everything that our country stands for, everything we stand for, is embodied in what Anne Smedinghoff stood for.”

The young diplomat graduated from John Hopkins University in 2009 with a degree in international relations. She joined the Foreign Service shortly afterward. via CNN

2. In another piece of great news for girls, Madonna is set to sell her painting ‘Trois Femmes à la Table Rouge’, a 1921 painting by Fernand Léger at Sotheby’s in New York on May 7th. Proceeds from the sale estimated to fetch $5-$7 million will be used for girls’ education.

“I have a great passion for art and a great passion for education,’’ she said in a statement announcing the sale. “In conjunction with Sotheby’s I would like to share these two passions,’’ adding that “I cannot accept a world where women or girls are wounded, shot or killed for either going to school or teaching in girls’ schools.’’

Indeed, girls’ education is the topic on everyone’s minds and the subject of the last panel on Thursday evening at the Women in the World Conference. Moderated by Christiane Amanpour, the panelists were Humaira Bachal, founder of theDream Foundation TrustKhalida Brohi, founder of the Sughar Women Program, and Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, CEO of SOC Films. 

3. A US Federal judge ruled on Friday that emergency contraceptives such as Plan B and Next Choice should be available to all, including minors.

In a sharply worded ruling that called government regulators “politically motivated and scientifically unjustified,” U.S. District Judge Edward Korman ruled that levonorgestrel-based contraceptives such as Plan B One-Step and Next Choice One Dose should be available over the counter to all customers within 30 days.

“There is no serious health risk associated with use of Plan B as prescribed and intended, much less one that would make restrictions on distribution necessary for its safe use,” Korman wrote.

“A federal judge has accomplished what two administrations failed to do: make a decision about access to a drug based on medical evidence,” said Michael Halpern, program manager at the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. via LA Times

4. In Kansas, papers filed in court by the US Department of Justice reveal as assertion that domestic terrorist Angel Dillard asked a prison inmate to firebomb the house of Dr Mila Means, an abortion provider who stepped into abortion care in Wichita, Kansas after the assassination of Dr. George Tiller.

The Department of Justice sued Dillard — who claims that God speaks to her, guiding her actions — for sending an allegedly threatening letter to Dr. Means. 

Of note in the RHReality Check article, is the news that anti-choice terrorists are increasingly claiming the “god defense” when arguing their cases. Dr. Tillard’s killer Scott Roeder says his actions were motivated by God. 

Dillard claims that her conversations with both Roeder and inmate Robert Campbell are shielded from disclosure under “priest-penitent” privilege. A judge has ruled the communications are not protected since she is not ordained clergy. The defense has appealed.

5. US Women — especially working mothers — have little social policy backup, compared to women in other developed countries. But those who survive the challenges of career and motherhood appear to achieve significantly greater gender parity as managers, compared to women in other countries .

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In separate data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the US has the smallest gap between women and men in senior management positions, as of 2008. 16% of men managers have senior positions versus 14% for women. 

Writing for the New York Times Economix blog, Catherine Rampell has a major magazine feature ‘Lean In, Dad: How Shared Diaper Duty Could Stimulate the Economy.’ 

Madonna is selling ‘Trois Femmes à la Table Rouge’, a 1921 painting by Fernand Léger at Sotheby’s in New York on May 7. Proceeds from the sale estimated to fetch $5-$7 million will be used for girls’ education.