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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 4, 2019. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 4, 2019. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)


The Week in Women: Wintour Stays Woke – AOC’s Oscar Moment – Weinstein Sinks Lower

By on January 30, 2019

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn’t put herself forward to run for office — her brother did without telling her, submitting her name in late 2016 to a group that finds and persuades community leaders to take the next step. The rest is history, but back in those early days Director Rachel Lears was there with her camera, filming the now-Congresswoman as she planned her campaign and hit the road. The result, Knock Down The House, premiered at Sundance on the weekend to a huge standing ovation (even before AOC Skyped in) and is headed to New York next.

‘His blue eyes would go black when he was remembering his crimes.’ On the 30th anniversary of serial killer Ted Bundy’s execution, Tina Brown interviews director Joe Berlinger, whose two new films on the killer are causing trouble already. Netflix had to make an unexpected statement on Monday reminding enamored viewers of The Ted Bundy Tapes that its subject was a rapist and a murderer — and the fact that Zac Efron plays Bundy in Berlinger’s new drama isn’t going to make the situation any better. During their interview on Tina’s TBD Podcast, Berlinger revealed his motivation for the work, describing Bundy as “the big bang of the obsession that we have with true crime today.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s private roundtable with journalists offered a rare insight into the power dynamic between herself and Dem Leader Chuck Schumer. When a staffer interrupted to tell her she had a caller on the line, Pelosi responded that the caller could either try again later or talk to someone else. She then turned back to the assembled media: “It’s Chuck”, Pelosi said. “It could be big, I don’t know.”

Harvey Weinstein has hired the former lawyer of one of his alleged victims, Rose McGowan, to represent him. McGowan’s reaction to the news was spine-chilling: “This is why my case didn’t go to trial — my instinct was my lawyers had been bought off.”

New research has found that the HPV vaccine has led to a ‘steep decrease in infection rates, even among women who aren’t vaccinated’ — which makes Vice President Mike Pence’s efforts to limit women’s access to the treatment even more outrageous.

50 hours of free childcare a week. Criminalizing harassment and catcalling. Instituting paid paternity leave. The first annual report from Scotland’s new Council on Women and Girls recommends actions that would make the country a world leader on gender equality.

Another closes. As we shared in this newsletter last year, some weak-kneed male business leaders are responding to #MeToo by refusing to be alone with their female colleagues, stymying potential mentorship and promotion opportunities. At the Davos power summit last week, a number of high-profile male attendees anonymously confirmed they’re doing it too.

Anna Wintour used her keynote address at an Australian Open brunch to criticize Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s “backward” record on LGBTQ rights, and to call for the tournament’s Margaret Court Arena to be renamed, given its namesake’s opposition to marriage equality. The typically reserved Wintour held nothing back, attacking the Prime Minister by declaring that “a government should protect its people, not make it unclear whether they will be accepted.” When it came to the arena — a topic nobody expected Wintour to broach — she stated that while Margaret Court might have been a champion on the court, she isn’t one off it. Here’s hoping we catch AW in just as fierce a mood at our 10th Annual Summit this April.

Novelist Leila Slimani’s The Perfect Nanny — about a nanny who kills the children — shook France to the core upon its release, collecting every literary award in the process (and compelling President Macron to appoint Slimani as a minister for culture.) This month brings a fresh English translation of the writer’s first book, Adèle, which follows a nymphomaniac Parisian journalist bored by her doctor husband and excessive lifestyle.

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Previous newsletters

The Week in Women: Venezuela’s Lost Women – Hollywood’s Divorce Doctor – Roe v. Wade Protected

The Week in Women: Doyennes of Davos – Rihanna’s House – The Tinder Whisperer

The Week in Women: Wintour Is Coming – Women Flow? – Kondo Fever