Good morning, Broadsheet readers! A federal judge is under investigation, the doyenne of documentary calls it quits, and that famous photo of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square? It isn’t what you think it is. Have a productive Monday.
• Worth a thousand words. In this wide-ranging editorial, Fortune’s Leigh Gallagher takes a step back from the recent accusations of sexual harassment and assault and, among other things, looks “at the way gender roles in our culture—some subtle and some not so subtle—may have played a role, and how some of the signs may have been hiding in plain sight.”
One example Leigh mentions is the famous Alfred Eisenstaedt photograph, “V-J Day in Times Square,” of a sailor’s passionate embrace of a nurse in the middle of Times Square celebrating the end of World War II:
“Dig beneath the surface and you’ll find in reports and interviews that the woman, a 21-year-old dental assistant named Greta Zimmer (later Greta Zimmer Friedman), said the sailor, George Mendonsa, grabbed her, spun her around and forced the kiss on her. ‘It wasn’t that much of a kiss,’ she would say decades later in an interview with the Veterans History Project. ‘I felt that he was very strong. He was just holding me tight. I’m not sure about the kiss. It was just somebody celebrating. It wasn’t a romantic event.’ (In fact, Mendonsa was said to have been on a date with the other woman who can be seen smiling in the photo.) Many argue today that the photo should be seen as an instance not of romantic spontaneity, but of sexual assault.”
Read Leigh’s full piece here: Fortune
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Judging a judge. Federal appellate judge Alex Kozinski is under investigation following sexual-harassment allegations from six former clerks or externs, who said that the judge frequently made sexual comments at work, including showing one woman pornographic images and asking if they turned her on. Kozinski said that he would “never intentionally do anything to offend anyone.” Washington Post
• #MeToo reaches sports. An investigation of sports media network ESPN by The Boston Globe details sexual harassment and gender discrimination at the network, including one anchor saying she felt forced to stay on air while having a miscarriage. In addition to female employees feeling like they had to hide pregnancies or cut maternity leaves short, they reportedly endured a culture in which male executives “made unwanted sexual propositions to female colleagues, given unsolicited shoulder rubs, and openly rated women on their looks.” In response, a spokesperson said the network works “hard to maintain a respectful and inclusive culture at ESPN” and that one of the (many) claims is “entirely without merit.” Boston Globe
• Nevins’ exit. Sheila Nevins, whom The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd calls the “high priestess of HBO Documentary Films,” is leaving the network after 38 years. Nevins supervised the production of some 1,200 documentaries. Despite all her accolades—including the first Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award given to a documentarian—the 78-year-old seems thrilled to leave. ”I have deprived my life of a life. All I did was work. I was, like, born at HBO and I don’t have to die there. If I stayed any longer, I probably would have died at my desk. I just regret that there’s so little time left,” she said. New York Times
• Back to their gilded cages? The Trump administration is discussing a repeal of an Obama-era rule that allowed the spouses of H-1B visa recipients to work in the U.S. while waiting for green cards; these spouses typically received H-4 visas. Who does this news impact? About 80% of the 125,000 H-4 visas issued in 2015 went to Indians, and 90% of them were issued were to women. Quartz
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Complicity is complicated. April Bloomfield is among the painfully-small circle of celebrated female chefs…and the business partner of Ken Friedman, who allegedly had a “rape room” in his New York city restaurant The Spotted Pig. In the days since the accusations against Friedman became public, she has been called “complicit,” an “enabler,” and “as disgusting as her partner.” But, this smart Refinery29 piece points out, “the idea that Bloomfield isn’t just a bad guy but the worst woman smacks of a certain slant of cultural sexism—the kind that puts the onus on women to ‘fix’ the problem and lets men off the hook.” Refinery29
• 1 woman, 2 men and a truck. The latest issue of Fortune magazine has the heartwarming story of Mary Ellen Sheets, a single mom who, after being passed up for a promotion at her state-government job, started a moving company employing her two teenage sons. That company eventually turned into Two Men and a Truck, a franchise with locations in 40 states, Canada, the U.K., and Ireland. Last year, its annual revenue was $442 million. Fortune
• Banned from the budget. The Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the nation’s top public health agency, from using seven words— vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based, and science-based—in official documents being prepared for next year’s budget. Alison Kelly, the senior leader in the agency’s Office of Financial Services who informed the CDC of the ban, did not give an explanation for it. Washington Post
• Flats for life. As someone who has fully embraced the athleisure trend, I appreciated this New York Times piece, which asks in its headline, “Are High Heels Headed For a Tumble?” Aside from giving us an abbreviated history of the shoe style (in the late 17th century, it “wasn’t uncommon to see men in four-inch heels”), the author brings the issue into the present: why is the only feminine shoe emoji a stiletto? New York Times
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ON MY RADAR
How Oriana Fallaci’s writings on Islamism are remembered—and reviled The Atlantic
Russell Simmons, R. Kelly, and why black women can’t say #MeToo New York Times
My year of no shopping New York Times
I helped organize the Trump accusers press conference. Here’s why we did it. Fortune