Some See Anti-Women Backlash in Ouster of Brazil’s President
Simon Romero and Anna Jean Kaiser, The New York Times
Even before this summer’s Olympic Games, Brazil was in the international media limelight for the lengthy, dramatic ouster of former president Dilma Rousseff. Her impeachment last week has sparked allegations of administrative misconduct as well as ill-disguised misogyny. This article paints a picture of a male-dominated political landscape — Brazil is currently ranked 155th in the world for representation of women in office, and examples of anti-woman behavior from elected officials was rife. And it acknowledges both glimmers of hope and signs of potential trouble ahead. “This doesn’t mean that women won’t play a crucial role in Brazilian politics after Dilma’s impeachment,” says Marina Silva, a leading contender in Brazil’s 2018 presidential elections. “Of course we will. We have too much momentum now to stop us.”
Fear of a Female President
Peter Beinart, The Atlantic
Here in the United States, a backlash against Democratic presidential nominee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also seems to have taken root. Clinton’s unfavorability ratings are high — historically so, in fact, particularly among white men — and examples of outright hostility toward her abound. Profane slogans about her body parts and chants to put her in jail at July’s Republican National Convention are but two. Antagonism from men in the face of women taking on traditionally male roles is nothing new, Beinart notes. Psychological research shows that “among the emasculations men most fear is subordination to women,” and that fear can cause men to lash out. In fact, he asserts, “the Americans who dislike her most are those who most fear emasculation.”
On Being a Black Female Math Whiz During the Space Race
Cara Buckley, The New York Times
The role of black women in America’s space race is finally getting its moment in the spotlight. Next week, a book on the topic, “Hidden Figures” by Margot Lee Shetterly, will be released. And later this year, a movie of the same title and starring powerhouse performers Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monae will hit theaters, just in time for Oscar season. But this piece puts the voices of these flesh and blood female pioneers — math savants then, known as “colored computers” — and their families front and center. Buckley delves into their experiences working at NASA during segregation, as well as their feelings about the upcoming book and movie. What’s revealed is a compelling mix of brains, humility and fortitude to succeed and thrive despite the odds.
Phyllis Schlafly Started the War on Women. But it Will Outlive Her.
Emily Crockett, Vox
Phyllis Schlafly, the controversial, deeply conservative public figure who staunchly opposed the Equal Rights Amendment and fought hard against abortion access, died earlier this week. In the days following, many commentators have taken stock of her influence on gender politics, and politics as a whole, in America — influence that will, most likely, long outlive her. Schlafly’s public work included incendiary statements about race, sexual orientation and sexual harassment, words which would ultimately help shape the Republican Party for years to come. Her’s was a shrewd effort, Crockett asserts, to capitalize on existing conservative sentiments to find her way to power. “Schlafly didn’t invent anti-feminism any more than Donald Trump (whom Schlafly vocally supported up until her death) invented anti-immigrant sentiment,” Crockett writes. “But much like Trump, Schlafly had a gift for tapping into frustrations that were already brewing, and for channeling them into a movement powerful enough to take on a life of its own.”