A NIGHT OF FIRSTS
If it became ladies’ night at the Grammys as soon as host Alicia Keys graced the stage, the energy surged to bachelorette-night levels two minutes into her monologue as she announced her special guests.
Keys turned her back to the audience and beamed as Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jennifer Lopez and former first lady Michelle Obama walked out arm in arm, becoming the most influential girl group since the white-dressed women of Congress at last week’s State of the Union.
Obama spoke twice (her initial attempt was drowned out by screaming) and by the end of the night, 31 women had awards in their laps. That number included country star Kacey Musgraves, who took home Album of the Year; the unstoppable Cardi B, who became the first ever solo female to win Best Rap Album; and Best Newcomer Dua Lipa, who found time in her speech to reference Grammy president Neil Portnow’s unwanted advice that women needed to “step up” if they wanted more awards.
Portnow, ironically, is stepping down – Sunday’s ceremony was his last in charge.
In December, we brought you the troubling story of Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum, the UAE princess whose attempt to escape a culture where “women are treated as subhumans” was thwarted when she was reportedly snatched off a yacht 50 miles from the coast of India.
Two months on, her situation remains unclear. While no-one has heard from Latifa directly since her 39-minute video explained her reasons for fleeing, we’re still trying to understand what Mary Robinson was thinking when she decided it would be a OK for a former U.N. Commissioner on Human Rights to fly to Dubai and take part in a photo op with Latifa and her captors, then toe the family’s line by calling Latifa a “troubled young woman with a serious medical condition.”
If there’s any silver lining to this crisis, it’s the reminder of social media’s power to bring us the truth as well as fake news. Latifa’s father, the Ruler of Dubai, might have spent billions to rebrand the kingdom as a modern one, but no amount of soccer team sponsorships and fancy airline engines can drown out what the world heard when Latifa’s video appeared.
Two female economists had a hunch: that women, who are more likely to preach inclusivity and tolerance, are better at leading diverse populations than men.
Their subsequent research proved they were right — in a big way. Looking at 54 years of data from 188 countries, Susan Perkins and Katherine Phillips found that in just their first year in charge, female leaders of ethnically and religiously diverse nations oversaw a 5.4 percent growth in GDP, compared to a 1.1 percent growth when men took charge.
After last week’s news that female-led companies give investors better returns, it’s clear that it’s not only companies but countries that should be focused on women when filling leadership positions.
BLANK WALLS ONLY
Is your home a ‘man repeller’? If you have a cactus, any clutter, sad books, or pictures of women, the answer is apparently yes.
A ridiculous new Daily Mail story introduces us to Suzanne Royston, an interior design specialist who prides herself on the ability to help women attract men through home design. Royston believes that a bedroom is “a boudoir to welcome a man into,” that mess makes women fat, and that women shouldn’t wear T-shirts with other women’s faces on them.
Her genius technique appears to be a simple one: snuffing out any decoration that implies a woman might have a personality. Thanks, but we’ll stick with Marie Kondo.
A REMINDER TO LIVE
If you were to take Royston’s advice, you’d miss out on Julie Yip-Williams’ stunning new memoir, The Unwinding of The Miracle.
Yip-Williams tragically passed away from colon cancer last March, leaving behind a husband and two daughters. The events of her life saw her go from being being born poor and blind in Vietnam to graduating from Harvard Law School. Before being taken from us at 42, Yip-Williams also fit in a solo trip around the world.
Her imparted wisdom? To live in the way she would if she could still be here: By saying yes, and understanding that we’re all in control of the effort we put into our lives.
WE’RE ALSO TRACKING
After being fired from CBS for sexual harassment, the disgraced Les Moonves has launched his new media company in Los Angeles — and CBS is footing the bill.
Nipple = not free yet. New Hampshire’s Supreme Court has upheld the convictions of three women who went topless on a beach.
A bid by a Thai princess to become the country’s prime minister hasbeen thwarted following a command from her brother, the king.
Of the 400 films on show at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, almost half have female directors.
Lindsey Vonn, the most successful female skier of all time, was able to add one more medal to her collection in her final race this weekend.
Love our newsletter? Share the love and pass this sign up link along to a friend.