Five Reads: Double Standards
Here’s our roundup of five compelling stories from around the internet in the last few days. Look for this column every week in this space.
Mean Boss or Tough Leader?
With a striking anecdote of Sen. Amy Klobuchar using a comb to eat a salad on an airplane because an aide had forgotten to bring a plastic fork, the New York Times ran a lengthy report that painted the Minnesota senator and presidential candidate as a mean boss. The story also prompted some thoughtful discussion on the double standards that so often operate for women both in politics and the workplace.
Sen. Klobuchar will be featured at Conversations About America’s Future, a two-day series of conversations at SXSW 2019 in collaboration with The Texas Tribune. The event will bring together some of the nation’s top political leaders, including Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, Former Governor John Hickenlooper, Former Governor John Kasich, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senator Elizabeth Warren and is part of the Cities, Government & Politics Track.
On Being Unlikable
As Molly Ball writes in her illuminating profile of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “difficult women are having a bit of a moment, from Hollywood to the halls of power in Washington.” Louis-Dreyfus has long made difficult women hilarious from Seinfeld’s Elaine to the acid-tongued Selina Meyer on Veep. Louis-Dreyfus, Ball says, “knows from experience that hardly anyone ever roots for that kind of woman in real life. You can’t be evil–or rude or annoying or bitchy or ambitious–and still be beloved. In real life, those traits make you polarizing, problematic.”
The story is part of a Time magazine feature on 15 people changing comedy. Immerse yourself in a week-long celebration laughmakers at the Comedy track at SXSW.
The Smaller the Better
The current administration may be avoiding dealing with campaign finance reform but millions of individuals are demanding a voice and their collective action wields great power. As Alex Seitz-Weld reports for NBC News, this year’s election may be decided by $25 contributions. “Small dollars are a bigger deal than ever because they can help organize and engage a large and committed group of supporters who invest more than just money in a campaign.”
No one knows that better than Sen. Bernie Sanders, who spoke at SXSW 2018. He raised $6 million for his current presidential campaign in a single day from 225,000 supporters.
U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who also knows something about winning with small donors will speak at SXSW 2019.
Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness
In a special section on The Future of Work, Charles Duhigg writes that even though the economy is doing well, “a surprising portion of Americans are professionally miserable right now.” Despite research on how to make employees happier at work, about half of all workers say they feel dissatisfied, even when they’re outwardly successful.
But there’s a silver lining. Duhigg concludes that a lack of early success may drive eventual career satisfaction. Learn more about what to expect from work and how to find career joy at The Future of Work track at SXSW 2019.
When Bitcoin Can Save Your Life
Carlos Hernández, a Venezuelan economist (certainly a challenging job in 2019), explains how Bitcoin has saved his family in an op-ed. “’Borderless money’” is more than a buzzword when you live in a collapsing economy and a collapsing dictatorship,” he writes. He explains why he keeps all his money in Bitcoin — the local currency has a daily inflation rate of around 3.5 percent — and the process he goes through to use it to buy food, goods and services for his family.
Learn more about this global currency from the SXSW 2019 Blockchain and Cryptocurrency track.
Five Reads Archive
Feb. 22: Putting the Kids Online
Feb. 15: After Parkland
Feb. 8: DeepMind Medicine
Feb. 1: Ready, Set AOC
January 25: CompSci Gets Way Cool
January 18: Spying on Crime
January 10: Taming Toxic Trolls
January 4: Big Tech = Big Trouble
December 28: Austin is Weird and Wired
December 22: The End of Traffic
December 15: Guarding the Truth
December 5: Becoming an Obama
November 30: The Trouble for Juul
November 21: Life Is Good
November 16: Whither Facebook
November 9: Why Does the US Love Guns?
November 2: Esther Perel Knows Love
Hugh Forrest serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW, the world’s most unique gathering of creative professionals. He also tries to write at least four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts often cover tech-related trends; other times they focus on books, pop culture, sports and other current events.