Former Letterman writer dissects Dave's lame excuses for not hiring more women

Nell Scovell wrote for David Letterman, who in 33 years had a bad track record of hiring women as writers and stand-ups (about 10% of the total). He also admitted having sex with some of the women he hired. Scovell does a close read of Letterman's recent distortions to Tina Fey about his record:

In the pre-#MeToo era, Letterman (mostly) got a pass. In addressing the issue with one of Hollywood’s most successful comics, he could have admitted his failings. Instead, he attempted to dodge past criticisms. And while delivered with an air of complete logic, Letterman’s argument is a master class in distortion. Here are the first 170 words of the conversation. See if you can spot the different types of manipulative rhetoric — I counted at least ten.

Not that the whole thing was awkward. Fey got in some pretty good ones, for one-a them there lady comedienne types.

David Letterman Just Can’t Figure Out Why He Never Had Women Writers (The Cut)

Image: Wikimedia Read the rest

For a post-#MeToo world: 'The Field Guide to Consent'

Sex communication expert, and co-founder of the groundbreaking Cuddle Party, Marcia Baczynski has bravely taken on the task of teaching folks -- primarily women -- how to handle consent in a post-#MeToo world with her newly-published Field Guide to Consent.

In her words:

Since #metoo started, so many people have mentioned to me that they don't know what to do, they feel frozen, or they're worried they're not doing consent "right."

Or they just don't know how to make consent conversations sexy or hot.

So I made you a thing!

This is a free download, with loads of tips on what to say, how to use your voice and body language to make it sexy, and tons of useful distinctions and myth-busting. There's a workbook and an audio, and it's completely free.

I downloaded it myself today and, while I haven't soaked up all the materials yet, I can already see that it's an invaluable resource. Read the rest

Modern NDAs are unbelievably dirty, and the same handful of sleazy lawyers is behind most of them

Non-disclosure agreements were designed to protect trade-secrets, but they've morphed into a system for covering up misdeeds, silencing whistleblowers, and suborning perjury -- often at taxpayer expense. Read the rest

Molly Ringwald's brilliant essay about John Hughes is a superb exploration of what it means to love "problematic" art

If you've been paying attention, you might already know that Molly Ringwald is a brilliant writer with smart things to say about the movies that made her famous. Read the rest

The Rich and the Normal

A few weeks ago, the Italian people finally broke the political framework that dates to the end of World War II. The M5S Five Stars Movement, a party without a heritage, won the most popular votes. The M5S has been on a wave of growth since winning mayoral control of some Italian cities.

Disneyland announces a date for removal of sex-slave trafficking scene from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride

The Pirates of the Caribbean was the last ride Walt Disney personally supervised; it has undergone many replications and revisions over the years, but last year Disneyland Paris removed the "Buy a Bride" scene, in which we are treated to a lighthearted human trafficking auction in which captured women are auctioned to pirates as "brides." Read the rest

Steve Wynn accused of rape

A woman told police that casino mogul Steve Wynn raped her, and that she became pregnant and had a child from the rape, ' while another has reported she was forced to resign from a Las Vegas job after she refused to have sex with him,' reports AP. Read the rest

Amanda Palmer's #metoo song for Judy Blume

Judy Blume is Amanda Palmer's ballad in honor of the author's 80th birthday, celebrating her decades of service in helping young women to navigate a world that labels them as crazy and vain, the nagging sense that it's "just me": "The experiences of her teenage characters ― Deenie, Davey, Tony, Jill, Margaret ― are so thoroughly enmeshed with my own memories that the line between fact and fiction is deliciously thin. My memories of these characters, though I’d prefer to call them “people” ― of Deenie getting felt up in the dark locker room during the school dance; of Davey listlessly making and stirring a cup of tea that she has no intention of drinking; of Jill watching Linda, the fat girl in her class, being tormented by giggling bullies ― are all as vivid, if not more so, as my own memories of kissing Stephen Lee in our elementary school’s auditorium closet atop a pile of gymnastics mats (fourth grade), of being teased by Mike O’Curtin for being too flat-chested (all of sixth and seventh grades), or of discovering that an empty plastic ice pop sheath makes a pretty good dildo when filled with warm water (summer of eighth grade. And believe me, it was a truly great summer.)" Read the rest

Sex pest reporter returns to work at the New York Times

Glenn Thrush, who apologized for his behavior around women colleagues at The New York Times, is returning to work there after his time off.

“The woman involved was upset by my actions and for that I am deeply sorry,” in relation to the June episode. “Over the past several years, I have responded to a succession of personal and health crises by drinking heavily. During that period, I have done things that I am ashamed of, actions that have brought great hurt to my family and friends.”

The New York Times responded by suspending Thrush and launching an investigation into his actions. He underwent counseling. The newspaper last month announced that he would return to work, though he would no longer be covering the White House, a choice beat under the mercurial and mendacious President Trump.

How odd that false accusations supposedly destroy men's careers, yet truthful ones barely touch them. Read the rest

Ontario Conservative leader abruptly resigns after he is accused of sexual assault and misconduct with very young, drunk women

Hours after CTV published the firsthand accounts of two women who say they experienced sexual advances and at least one assault from Ontario Conservative Party leader Patrick Brown, Brown has resigned, leaving the party leaderless shortly before a key election. Read the rest

5 women sue Monster Energy over abusive and discriminatory culture

Yeah, 'Monster' sounds about right. Five women are suing beverage maker Monster Energy over a workplace culture where discrimination and sexually abusive behavior by male executives proliferated with impunity. Read the rest

App to record sexual consent in the blockchain will be used to discredit sexual assault survivors

LegalFling is a Dutch app that's supposed to protect partners in sexual liaisons from miscommunication by recording both parties' consent to sexual activity in an indelible, public blockchain entry. Read the rest

Making Mario Batali's sexual misconduct cinnamon rolls

Who can forget where their jaw was in mid-December when celebrity chef Mario Batali ended his sexual misconduct apology letter with a recipe for his "fan-favorite" Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls? Breezily contrite and self-promotional!

Well-known blogger, Geraldine DeRuiter, of The Everywhereist, decided to try her hand at the ill-timed recipe and found the results as gag-worthy as Batali's ham-handed apology. There are some hilarious lines in here. And the whole piece, intercut with DeRuiter's own harassment memories, is quite effectively snarky and intense.

The base of the rolls is pizza dough – Batali notes that you can either buy it, or use his recipe to make your own.

I make my own, because I’m a woman, and for us there are no fucking shortcuts. We spend 25 years working our asses off to be the most qualified Presidential candidate in U.S. history and we get beaten out by a sexual deviant who likely needs to call the front desk for help when he’s trying to order pornos in his hotel room.

Donald Trump is President, so I’m making the goddamn dough by scratch.

The pizza dough does not mix well with the sweetness. The icing is sickly sweet, the rolls themselves oddly savory. I was right about the texture – the dough is too tough. I hate them, but I keep eating them. Like I’m somehow destroying Batali’s shitty sexist horcrux in every bite.

Because I’ve rolled them too tightly, the middle pops up and out of one of the rolls.

Read the rest

Julian Assange is now an Ecuadoran citizen, but the UK government still won't let him out of the embassy

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been living in the Ecuadoran embassy to the United Kingdom in London for more than 5 years, believing that if he were taken into custody by the UK police, he would face extradition to the USA where he would be tried for publishing details of war crimes committed by the US military. Read the rest

Evangelical congregation gives pastor standing ovation for admitting he raped a high-schooler

Andy Savage is one of the powerful, wealthy evangelical clerics implicated in the #churchtoo movement, in which congregants are disclosing the sexual assaults and harassment they experienced at the hands of faith leaders. Read the rest

#Metoo: from the Balkans to Twitter

A friend asked me to follow the flow, and write this hashtag #metoo. Cavafi, the Greek poet who lived all his life by the sea and wrote about everything but the sea, before dying he said: Let me too say something about the sea. Read the rest

Does capitalism breed greed, or elevate the greedy?

When a billionaire Koch heir announces that he's taking a break from suing ex-fiancees to give back their engagement rings and playing tennis at Mar-a-Largo in order to produce designer shirts covered in money-bags, it's worth asking: did capitalism turn this guy into a useless asshole, or does capitalism find the useless assholes and shower them with money? Read the rest

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