Sandberg wants girls to keep an eye on leadership

Sheryl Sandberg doesn’t want girls to think that leadership roles are only for boys. That’s why in the January issue of National Geographic, the Facebook COO asserted that girls need to believe in the power of their potential.

According to The Cut, Sandberg had this to say on the importance of encouraging girls to pursue leadership positions both big and small:

“‘Raise your hand if you’re a girl in class,’ she said. ‘Run for class president. If you’re interested in it, be a leader. Don’t let the world tell you girls can’t lead.’ She added that imposing gender roles on children pigeonholes them from an early age: ‘From the moment they’re born, boys and girls are treated according to stereotypes. We tell little boys, ‘Don’t cry like a girl.’ Not helpful.'”

Interviewed separately for the same issue of NatGeoThe Cut reports that Gloria Steinem echoed Sandberg’s thoughts, saying that it’s important to raise children in a way that that puts them on a level playing field in the future.

“It’s important for girls not to internalize a sense of passivity or inferiority or second-classness, and for boys not to internalize a sense of having to be stronger or superior or in control.”

Amen to that.

NWHL protects transgender players

A brand new policy adopted by the National Women’s Hockey League allows players to express their gender identities freely — and with protection.

According to The Cut, the NWHL became the first professional sports league with an openly transgender player back in October; after playing one season as Hailey Browne for the Buffalo Beats, the player came out as a transgender man named Harrison Browne. Following Browne’s announcement, The Cut reports that NWHL commissioner Dani Rylan personally tracked the revisions made on the NWHL’s website to Browne’s player profile and pronouns.

Now, the NWHL is ensuring that all players have a level playing field — or rink — no matter their gender identities. The Cut says the NWHL enacted a policy that emphasizes the league’s support for their players:

“The NWHL ‘recognizes all forms of gender expression,’ and ‘therefore supports athletes choosing to express their gender beyond the binary of female and male.’ There are now guidelines in the NWHL that indicate which players are eligible to participate, the first being ‘people designated female at birth, regardless of their gender identity.’ In addition, a person transitioning from male to female is eligible to play in the league if she has declared that her gender identity is female, a declaration that ‘cannot be changed, for sporting purposes, for a minimum of four years.’

Furthermore, the league presented stipulations blocking testosterone hormone therapy, says The Cut, specifically in transgender men while “transgender women athletes will be required to demonstrate testosterone levels equal to those of cis-female athletes.”

With these policies in place to create a playing environment open to all, The Cut reports Rylan told the New York Times that is is much more than just an important step forward in the world of sports.

“It’s a unique opportunity to continue to move the conversation forward and accelerate that social progress and to be that benchmark, and to remain approachable and available for these discussions.”


Oprah’s publishing imprint launches in January 2017

If you’ve been longing for some interesting books, there may soon be a host of titles coming your way.

According to The Cut, everyone’s favorite former-talk-show-host-turned-network-executive Oprah Winfrey will be launching her very own publishing imprint in January 2017. Winfrey’s “Oprah Books” will debut in the new year, says The Cut, and it already has some interesting reads waiting to be released.

“An Oprah Book’s first release will be Winfrey’s very own cookbook, Food, Health and Happiness, on January 3,” reports The Cut, “with Maria Smilios’s The Black Angels: The Untold Story of the Nurses Who Helped Cure Tuberculosis to follow in 2018.”

Oprah’s memoir, The Life You Want, was supposed to make its debut in the coming year under Flatiron Books (a division of Macmillan), according to The Cut, however, no release date has been announced.


Let feminism ring

Amal Clooney knows a thing or two about human rights; as an international human rights lawyer, she’s handled cases on behalf of Julian Assange and even to seek justice for the Armenian genocide. But now she’s asserting another facet of human rights: that women’s rights are human rights.

When Clooney spoke at the Texas Conference for Women, The Cut reports that the lawyer made explicit her disdain for misogyny, encouraging women to engage in “‘everyday acts of feminism’ for each other and to support each other at work as in everyday life.”

The Cut reports that Clooney continued her remarks this way:

“The worst thing that we can do as women is not stand up for each other, and this is something we can practice every day, no matter where we are and what we do — women sticking up for other women, choosing to protect and celebrate each other instead of competing or criticizing one another.”

But in case anyone missed her point the first time around, The Cut says she simplified her point even further by putting women’s rights in a global context.

Speaking on behalf of women spanning the globe, Clooney said, “Holding back women is holding back half of every country in the world.”

In defense of self-defense

When Gigi Hadid was attacked by a man who grabbed her after a Max Mara fashion show in Milan, the supermodel fought off her aggressor with an elbow to the face. Following the incident, Hadid wants women and girls everywhere to know that they have every right to fight back.

According to The Cut, Hadid recently spoke with Lena Dunham for her Lenny Letter, sharing that her quick reaction to the attack came as a result of previous boxing training. Although she told Lenny Letter that she hasn’t boxed in two years, all of her training came back to her in that moment.

“Since then, I hadn’t been in a situation that forced me to fight back,” she said, according to The Cut, “but it just came out when he grabbed me — it wasn’t a choice. I do have that fighter in me.”

But in addition to discussing the source of her quick action, The Cut says Hadid told Lenny Letter that she “hopes girls see the video of the attack, and realize how important it is to practice and learn self-defense.”

“I just want to use what happened to me to show that it’s everyone’s right, and it can be empowering, to be able to defend yourself,” she said.

J.Crew represents customers on runway

Watching runway shows at New York Fashion Week may feel like stepping into a utopia of high fashion and beautiful models, reading more as a form of art than as a presentation of upcoming design trends. That’s why J.Crew’s president and executive creative director placed some different faces on the runway for their fashion week show this year.

According to The Cut, the brand and its overarching tastemaker Jenna Lyons decided to hire “real, non-model people” to walk their forthcoming designs down the runway this year in an effort to think specifically about their customers.

“There’s so much going on in fashion, and I think one of the things that’s getting lost is the connection to people,” Lyons told The Cut of the decision. “And we keep talking about customers, but we’re not really talking to them, and it was a way to actually, I don’t know, talk to people.”

The Cut reports that Lyons and her team “made a list of 80 people, more than 90 percent of whom she knew through business or personal relationships; the rest were people she found randomly.” One such model: W Magazine writer Vanessa Lawrence, someone The Cut says Lyons met over the summer when she attended Giovanna Battaglia’s wedding.

The only other criterion for selecting the models was to ensure a diverse group, says The Cut,  with Lyons revealing to the site that she didn’t want to be guided by a specific vision; instead, she was focusing on making sure her models felt beautiful.

“Someone said to me, ‘Who is your muse?,’” she told The Cut, “and I was, like, ‘I don’t know, someone who likes clothes.’ It’s not about one individual person, I want everyone to feel beautiful, I want everyone to feel connected to the brand. They don’t all have to wear it the same way, I’m totally cool with that, and I love that. That’s what makes me want to make clothes, is making people feel beautiful, it doesn’t matter what they look like.”

To ensure their comfort with their looks, The Cut says Lyons and her team let the models choose how to style the looks according to their own preferences and let them do their own hair and makeup as they’d style it every day.

The goal, according to Lyons: “This was not about us telling them how to look, this was us looking at them and saying, How do you feel beautiful?



Barring sexism

In male-dominated industries and beyond, sexism is still alive and well, effecting the many women that work in these fields. But a new proposal may help reduce the number of sexist comments that women in the courtroom field every day.

According to The Cut, the National Association of Women Lawyers is proposing an amendment to the American Bar Association rules of professional conduct. If approved, the amendment would “explicitly ban harassment or discrimination on the basis of gender, plus ‘race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status or socioeconomic status in conduct related to the practice of law,'” reports The Cut.

Some are opposed to the proposal, says The Cut, arguing that such a ban restricts free speech within the courtroom. However, female lawyers tell a different story, with The Cut explaining that many say “sexist and discriminatory comments are often used to throw off opposing counsel, which impedes their ability to do their jobs.”

Former Executive Director of the San Francisco Bar Association  Drucilla Ramey told the New York Times that the proposed amendment would hold all lawyers accountable, according to The Cut.

“Lawyers are officers of the court. We’re supposed to set a standard of conduct, and that’s a privilege.”

Closing the pay gap

A new law in the state of Massachusetts may bring the United States one step closer to closing the gender pay gap that has long persisted in the American workplace.

According to The Cut, on Monday, Aug. 1, Governor Charlie Baker (R) “signed into law a bill making it illegal for employers to ask prospective employees for their salary histories before offering them a job.”

The first state to pass such means, the law now makes it mandatory for Massachusetts employers to state a salary’s position outright, reports The Cut, instead of allowing the applicant to share their personal salary history. The Cut frames the potential benefits of the new law this way:

“This effort is one big step in attempting to correct years of women getting paid less for the same jobs as men, because it ostensibly prevents a company lowballing a woman based on her gender and previous salary history. It instead forces companies to look at her relevant experience first.”

Also aiding in the fight against the pay gap is that the law makes it illegal for companies to forbid employees from sharing their salaries with each other, which allows for greater salary transparency, according to The Cut. This makes Massachusetts the 13th state with such a measure in place, The Cut reports.

While The Cut says the law will be officially enacted in July 2018, others may follow suit in the mean time.

Hayden approved to head up Library of Congress

The largest library in the world made history yet again, but this time, it’s not because of its size, but instead because of who now oversees it.

In February, President Obama nominated Dr. Carla Hayden as the 14th person in history to oversee the Library of Congress, reports The Cut, and on Wednesday, July 13, her installment was confirmed by the Senate with a 74-18 vote. This not only makes Dr. Hayden the first woman to ever hold the title, according to The Cut, it will also make her the first African American to assume the prestigious position.

The Cut reports that Dr. Hayden has been a fixture of the American library structure, serving as the head of the Baltimore library system and later the president of the American Library Association.

Upon her nomination in February, The Cut says President Obama wrote of Dr. Hayden’s dedication to the American library system.

“Dr. Hayden has devoted her career to modernizing libraries so that everyone can participate in today’s digital culture,” he wrote. “She has the proven experience, dedication, and deep knowledge of our nation’s libraries to serve our country well and that’s why I look forward to working with her in the months ahead.”

Congratulations, Dr. Hayden.


Jones calls out fashion designers

Saturday Night Live star Leslie Jones logged on to Twitter this week to share her frustration with fashion designers — and she’s prepared to shine a spotlight on those who’ve snubbed her.

According to The Cut, Jones, who is part of the cast of the forthcoming Ghostbusters film, took to Twitter on Tuesday, June 28 to reveal that many fashion designers are not stepping up to dress the star for a red carpet appearance for the film’s highly-anticipated release. She wrote:

“It’s so funny how there are no designers wanting to help me with a premiere dress for movie. Hmmm that will change and I remember everything.”

But shortly after Jones sent out the tweet, The Cut says Project Runway alum Christian Siriano responded, offering to design a premiere look for the star. The Cut reports that Siriano later told Time in an email, “I love Leslie and can’t wait to make her something fabulous to wear. I dress and support women of all ages and sizes.”

While Jones finally got the designer attention she deserves, it didn’t keep her from tweeting one last time about the issue. Several hours later, she wrote:

“Hmm what a difference a tweet makes. Should I name the designers that didn’t look out?Put y’all ass on blast. You will not get my love later.”

Whether or not Jones will actually reveal the designers who dissed her remains to be seen, but the important thing is, she found a designer that is excited about working with her — or we say, the designer found her.