Winfrey interviews Ross, Rhimes on ‘Time’s Up’

With the Time’s Up movement quickly gaining momentum, a recent interview brought it back to where it all began to shed light on the campaign’s inception — and it’s future.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Oprah Winfrey interviewed some of the movement’s founders — including Reese Witherspoon, Shonda Rhimes, Natalie Portman, America Ferrera and Tracee Ellis Ross — on CBS Sunday Morning this past week, discussing “the impact their campaign has had on the public, their devotion to raising awareness of sexual harassment and what they hope for the post-Weinstein culture.”

In the interview, Winfrey asked the group how our society can “have a mature, nuanced conversation about how men and women should be relating to each other,” says THR, as recent sexual misconduct allegations have disturbed a variety of industries. Natalie Portman was first to respond, reports THR, offering that the conversation that needs to take place hinges on accepting that we are all human.

“We’re humans. We’re all humans. And I think it’s treating people as fellow humans and — and it’s not because you have a daughter that you respect a woman, it’s not because you have a wife or a sister, it’s because we’re human beings, whether we’re related to a man or not. We deserve the same respect.”

Beyond this assertion, THR says Witherspoon offered that having a fruitful conversation about sexual assault and harassment may not always be possible for women (and men) in other industries; however, with their platform as public figures, they are hoping to break down those barriers to make productive conversation possible.

“You know, we have public voices. We have resources,” Witherspoon said. “But women who are workers in this country have nothing to gain in certain times by coming forward. But we want to help. It gives me strength to hopefully help other women.”

Watch the interview from this past Sunday right here.

Election Day brings increased representation

While Election Day 2017 was all about electing leaders in municipalities around the United States, it was also a time to usher in what may be a new era of increased representation in American politics.

According to The Hill, Andrea Jenkins — a city council candidate in Minneapolis — became “the first openly transgender woman of color elected to public office in the United States” when she won the vote on Nov. 7.

Jenkins, who ran as a Democrat, campaigned on hot-button issues such as affordable housing and raising the minimum wage, says The Hill, with the newly-elected council member previously serving as a policy aide to council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden.

But Jenkins wasn’t the only one to break down barriers this Election Day. CBS News reports that in Virginia, transgender woman Danica Roem “unseated one of Virginia’s longest serving and most socially conservative lawmakers,” making history as “the first openly transgender person elected and seated in a state legislature.”

The Democrat and former newspaper reporter not only made history, CBS News says Roem scored an additional victory on election night — defeating the candidate Del. Bob Marshall, who “sponsored a bill this year that would have restricted the bathrooms transgender people can use.”

With diversity in people, practice and though making their way into local governments everywhere, perhaps the theme of this year’s election is best summed up by Roem herself:

“No matter what you look like, where you come from, how you worship or who you love, if you have good public policy ideas, if you’re qualified for office, you have every right to bring your ideas to the table.”

 

McSally tackles Capitol Hill dress code

Dressing professionally for the summer may have just become more difficult for those at work in the halls of Congress, but one U.S. representative is not about to sit idly by as dress code enforcements take a bit of a sexist turn.

According to Glamour, a recent CBS News report details a dress code specific to the House chambers and the Speaker’s Lobby, which includes wearing “appropriate business attire,” as Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) put it. For women, Glamour says this means wearing “a sleeved dress or blouse and wear closed-toed shoes,” while men should dress in a suit jacket and tie.

While the dress code has been enforced among men and women, one reporter’s experience brought the dress code to the floor of the House for GOP Congresswoman Martha McSally. When Haley Byrd, a congressional reporter for Independent Journal Review, was walking through the Speaker’s Lobby, Glamour says the young journalist was tossed out of the area for wearing a sleeveless dress, an incident that occurred after being offered a sweater to cover up.

Even though Byrd’s incident took place in May, McSally took a moment this week to address the issue and point out the latent sexism of the dress code policy.

“Before I yield back, I want to point out, I’m standing here in my professional attire, which happens to be a sleeveless dress and open-toed shoes,’ she said, according to Glamour. ‘With that, Mr. Speaker, I yield back.”

Winfrey to join ’60 Minutes’

Oprah Winfrey just scored a brand-new job.

According to The Cut, Winfrey will return to her television journalism roots to be a special correspondent to CBS’s 60 Minutes. Winfrey will begin her post in fall 2017, says The Cut, joining the news magazine show for its 50th season.

As for the kinds of stories she’ll cover for 60 Minutes, The Cut says Winfrey will report on issues that will “help facilitate real conversations between people from different backgrounds.”

CBS This Morning anchor Gayle King spoke on her longtime friend’s new appointment, reports NPR, saying that Winfrey’s new gig will be a way for her to do what she loves: storytelling.

“She has said all the time that she doesn’t miss the day-to-day of the show, but what she does miss is storytelling and connecting with people, women in particular,” King said. “And being able to meet and talk to them and interact with them. That’s what she misses. So to me, this is a perfect marriage.”

 

 

TV can never be #toofemale

With women like Priyanka Chopra and Kerry Washington occupying lead roles on prominent network television shows, it is safe to say that women are only starting to earn their due place on TV. However, one network thought one pilot show was “too female.”

According to The Huffington Post, CBS announced plans to shoot a pilot called Drew, a spin on the Nancy Drew book series, in 2015. The show was set to star Person of Interest actress Sarah Shahi, who would play a detective working for the New York police department.

But on Saturday, it was reported that CBS passed on the show. While The Huffington Post says the show is being “shopped around,” Deadline reported that, “CBS found that although the pilot episode tested well, it ‘skewed too female.’”

Enter the feminist Twitterverse, who took to the social networking site to share their disappointment and criticism over the show’s snub along with the hashtag #toofemale.

One user wrote, “Today we learned that t.v. cannot be too racist, too homophobic, too misogynist, too white, too middle-class, or too male — just .”

 is code for ‘this wasn’t written under the male gaze, it doesn’t cater to my male taste. I’m uncomfortable,'” another tweeted.

Shahi also joined the conversation, thanking her fans — both male and female — for their support, while also promising that something “amazing is around the corner.”

However,The Huffington Post said that CBS has yet to explain “what exactly makes a crime show starring a woman ‘too female’ for its primetime schedule.”

An All-American Girl

Although Black History Month may have just ended, American Girl is set to release a doll this summer that will honor black history every day of the year.

According to CBS, the company is celebrating its 30th anniversary with the release of a doll named Melody Ellison, “a nine-year-old growing up in Detroit during the 1960s civil rights era, a girl who loves to sing and uses her voice to make a difference.”

CBS says that Melody represents one of the most important periods in U.S. history for African Americans. Vice President of Marketing for American Girl Julia Prohaska said that the decision to launch Melody was the result of very careful decision making. “We’re not looking to address critical demand — we’re looking to tell stories in the most authentic and genuine way that we possibly can,” she explained.

To ensure an authentic story, Senior Historian on the project Mark Speltz was hired to develop Melody’s story.

“When we learn about the civil rights movement, we learn about a handful of really important people. But the movement was… driven by average, ordinary Americans, like Melody,” Speltz said.

Speltz was just one of several hired to form a “six-panel advisory board made up of historians and educators, including the late civil rights activist Julian Bond,” reports CBS.

The board collaborated with lead designer Heather Northrop and her team on Melody’s every detail, making sure that her hair was the right texture and giving her accessories indicative of the times, like a recording studio that plays Motown music, all to breathe life into Melody’s story.

Melody will make her debut at American Girl stores around the country late this summer, starting at $115. But her recording studio and other accessories will amount to a $900 purchase, says CBS.

Lawrence Discusses Pay Gap

If females in the public eye are seen as role models for young women, Jennifer Lawrence is trying her best to use her fame to do just that.

According to The Huffington Post, the 25-year-old actress discussed her recent essay on the pay gap with Charlie Rose of CBS News, citing the Sony hack as the impetus for becoming more vocal on the issue. The hack, which “revealed that Lawrence was being paid much less than her male colleagues,” made her realize “there was no one to blame but myself,” she said.

Lawrence explained that it wasn’t Sony’s fault for her lower pay, but instead her own fault for not speaking up. “I feel awkward negotiating, I feel uncomfortable asking for more money. I don’t want to seem like a brat,” she said.

As she gets older, Lawrence has found that she is still learning how to not only advocate herself, but also advocate on behalf of other women. “As I get older and I learn more and I have opinions I go: ‘I have just as much of a right to speak and with something like that, with something that’s so clearly unfair, if I don’t use my voice for women who don’t have a voice then what’s the point?'”

In another portion of the interview, The Daily Beast says that Lawrence expressed her hopes of becoming more comfortable dealing with uncomfortable topics. “I want to be that person who will say that thing that’s really hard to say, that’s really awkward and really difficult,” she said. “One day I want to be able to just say it, and not make a joke, and not try to make it cute, but to just say it.”