The XX Factor
What Women Really Think

July 21 2016 8:17 PM

Look at Vintage Photos of a (Brunette!) Hillary Clinton in Bow-Tie Blouses and Midi-Skirts

God bless Chelsea Clinton. Just when we were getting a little fed up with the Republican National Convention’s hold on the news cycle, she swooped with exactly the pick-me-up we needed: a “throwback Thursday” post full of glorious vintage photos of her mother. Is this shameless pandering to the all-important people-who-enjoy-looking-at-old-pictures demographic? Yes. Are we OK with that? Also yes.

July 21 2016 8:07 PM

Roger Ailes’ Forced Resignation Is a Repudiation of the Fox News Worldview

Rumors of Roger Ailes’ forthcoming ouster as chairman and CEO of Fox News have been circulating for days, but his resignation on Thursday nonetheless felt like a momentous event. The 20-year veteran of America’s most-watched news network, whose history of harassing women has been an open secret for years, lost his job within two weeks of Gretchen Carlson’s filing a sexual harassment lawsuit against him.

July 21 2016 4:44 PM

The UK House of Commons Commissioned a Report on How to Make Parliament More Inclusive

Given the misogyny and racism on display at the Republican National Convention right now, it is somewhat surprising to see governing bodies still interested in presenting forward-looking, inclusive ideas. On Wednesday, Bristol University professor Sarah Childs presented a report called “The Good Parliament” to the House of Commons. Childs had spent months interviewing and consulting with members of Parliament and their staffers in the aim of figuring out ways to make Parliament more diverse and welcoming to women and minorities. In her Wednesday address of Parliament, Childs said, “As we welcome the second female prime minister, we must not forget that Parliament itself remains far from diverse and inclusive. … Parliament needs to accept its responsibility to ensure a diverse composition of MPs and that present members are able to equally participate.” The report presents 43 recommendations which address three dimensions of “the diversity sensitive Parliament”: equality of participation (diversity among MPs and leadership positions), Parliamentary infrastructure (the physical and organizational structures of Parliament), and Commons culture (the customs and habits of MPs).

The recommendations addressing infrastructure are the easiest to implement, and will, hopefully, receive the least backlash. For instance, the report promotes “unisex/gender neutral toilets” because failing to provide them “will limit who can visit, participate in the formal activities of, and work in Parliament.” This seemingly minor change could make it much easier for mothers with sons, fathers with daughters, transgender individuals, and those with aging parents to more easily participate in Parliament. The report also recommends allowing infants in the Chamber of the House, which would allow mothers to breastfeed at work. “In addition to allowing Members to carry out their representative functions, permitting entry to infants would have symbolic benefits—showcasing the Commons as a role-model parent-friendly institution,” Childs writes.

July 21 2016 2:30 PM

Here’s Why Most Moms Don’t Go to Sex Parties While Their Kids Are at Camp

In a recent trend piece in the New York Post, reporter Doree Lewak writes about the ostensibly growing phenomenon of parents going wild while their kids are off at summer camp. Lewak presents us with a series of micro-portraits of modern-day Madame Bovaries and Anna Kareninas, women who spend much of the year feeling shackled by the confines of family life and seize upon the rare opportunity to let their suppressed libidos free.

There’s Elle, who has “been in nonstop [party] mode” since her children left—brackets in the original—and says she plans on filling her seven-week break from parenting with “parties with pot, magic mushrooms, ecstasy and group sex.” There’s Melanie, who is excited about getting drunk but most looks forward to an “epic bash” in which “[t]he couple goes all out—with naked girls and midgets.” There’s the Upper East Side mom who’s “typically quite modest when her kids are around, but all that changes when they leave.” Over the summer, she says, “I’m literally going to put on my tightest dresses. I’ve never worn a bikini in front of them—I don’t want to be too exposed. Now I’ll be walking around naked,” she explained. Similarly, there’s Tara, who made an agreement with her husband that they will be naked whenever home. On their agenda are “regular ‘Playboy party’ dinners with their friends: The women don as little as possible and the men dress like Hugh Hefner.” There’s only one anecdote about a dad letting loose over the summer, and it’s about a “professional Wall Street guy” who got arrested for urinating in public and spent a weekend in jail.

July 21 2016 12:50 PM

Megyn Kelly Bared Her Shoulders Last Night, and Some Fox Viewers Couldn’t Handle It

Lots of inappropriate things happened on the third night of the Republican National Convention. Crowds booed Ted Cruz and berated his wife Heidi, who had to be escorted from her seat by security. Conservative radio show host Laura Ingraham threw up what looked a lot like a Nazi salute after her speech. Trump air-kissed his running mate, Mike Pence.

July 20 2016 8:15 PM

Newt Gingrich: No One Cares About Melania’s Plagiarism Because She’s “Stunningly Attractive”

The Republican National Convention hasn’t been the friendliest place for women. Chris Christie gave a speech in which he practically salivated at the thought of locking Hillary Clinton in jail. Merchandise abounds bearing sexist slogans like “Trump That Bitch” and “Clinton Sucks But Not Like Monica.”Women looking for camaraderie and support at a Women for Trump event on Monday found itpractically deserted. And now Newt Gingrich has assured women that society won’t judge them for their actions or their words—society will judge them primarily for their looks.

July 20 2016 6:32 PM

Demi Lovato, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Eva Longoria Are Odd Choices of DNC Speakers

Is speaking at a national political convention a prestigious gig? Because the list of the celebrities who will appear at the Democratic National Convention next week has started to trickle out and … there are a lot of randos on it! Debra Messing. Demi Lovato. Chloë Grace Moretz. Eva Longoria. Sure, these names are a step up from Scott Baio, Antonio Sabato Jr., and Kimberlin Brown—the inspirational speakers brought to us by the Republican National Convention—but they’re still decidedly B-list. So unserious, so Us Weekly! Wouldn’t you just as soon expect that group to do a reality show as endorse our president?

A quick rundown of why these four are such odd choices: Debra Messing is a big-time Democrat who was most recently in the news for getting into a Twitter war with Bernie Sanders supporter Susan Sarandon. Will & Grace was a while ago, she was not the best part of Smash, and Mysteries of Laurawas canceled—Messing is not at the top of her game lately.

July 20 2016 11:44 AM

Mitch McConnell Blamed Democrats for Zika Funding Impasse, Forgetting One Crucial Fact

During Mitch McConnell’s speech at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday night, the Senate Majority Leader slammed “Clinton Democrats” for failing to pass a bill that would allocate funds to combat the Zika virus.

July 20 2016 9:51 AM

Study: Only 4 Percent of Network News Segments About Contraception Mention IUDs

Do Lester Holt, David Muir, Scott Pelley, and their evening news colleagues understand how hormonal birth control works? If they do, they rarely say so, according to a study recently accepted for publication in the journal Contraception. Researchers Elizabeth W. Patton, Michelle H. Moniz, Lauren S. Hughes, Lorraine Buis, and Joel Howell, most of whom are medical doctors, reviewed 116 news segments about contraception that aired on ABC, NBC, and CBS between January 2010 and July 2014. They found that news reporters relied more on politicians and even church leaders for information about contraception than on medical experts. “We found that when the network television media covers contraception, they do so within a largely political frame and emphasize the controversial aspects of contraception, while paying less attention to health aspects and content experts,” the researchers write.

July 20 2016 8:39 AM

Tiffany Trump’s Sad, Vague Tribute to Her Distant Father

Speeches by a candidate’s spouse or children are generally meant to humanize him and to reassure voters that they’re voting for a loving family man. But Tuesday night’s vague testimonial by Donald Trump’s younger daughter, Tiffany, served only to make him seem more strange and aloof.

In a speech about five minutes long, Tiffany was unable to come up with a single meaningful anecdote about her father or his influence in her life. He wrote notes on her childhood report cards, she said, and called her on the phone after someone close to her died. Her attempted praise was edged with sadness: He’s good with advice, she said, but “he keeps it short.” She loves introducing him to her friends who have “preconceived notions” about him, because “in person my father is so friendly, so considerate, so funny, and so real.” The unavoidable implication was that the Donald Trump the public knows is none of these things. Her delivery, meanwhile, reminded many people of Vanessa Bayer’s impression of Miley Cyrus on Saturday Night Live.

So who is Tiffany Trump? It’s a question that no one has to ask anymore about her older half-sister Ivanka, who is one of the most important public faces of the Trump campaign and brand. Tiffany, by contrast, remains little-known and has rarely been seen on the campaign trail, in part because she was in college until May. Her father doesn’t follow her on Twitter, and he rarely mentions her. A creepily omnipresent clickfarm headline plays into her low profile, combining an unflattering modeling photo with headlines teasing variations on “the daughter Donald Trump wants to hide.”

Tiffany is the only child of Trump’s second marriage to model Marla Maples. He wooed her during his marriage to Ivana Trump, supposedly romancing Maples in the same Manhattan church in which he had married his wife. The New York Post famously ran a front-page headline in 1990 quoting Marla on Donald: “BEST SEX I’VE EVER HAD.” But their relationship was tumultuous. The couple got engaged after Trump’s divorce then postponed the wedding at least five times. Maples’s pregnancy ended the back-and-forth, and two months after Tiffany’s birth, 1,300 people attended the wedding at the Plaza Hotel in New York. At the reception, celebrity guests were separated from the couple’s friends and relatives by a velvet rope.

Tiffany was the couple’s only child. Newspaper articles at the time of her birth reported that Trump named her after Tiffany & Company—yes, the jewelry brand—because his purchase of the air rights above the store in the 1980s allowed him to go on to build Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. “She’s got mama’s legs,” Trump told a TV interviewer of infant Tiffany in 1994. “We don’t know whether or not she’s got this part yet,” he added, cupping imaginary breasts, “but time will tell.”

Trump and Maples divorced in 1999, and Tiffany Trump, the little girl named after air and money, was raised by her mother. They moved to Calabasas, California, a continent away from her father and eventually four half-siblings in New York. Maples has said she was essentially a single mother. “I would bring her into New York a couple times a year and let her go see her dad in the office and let her go have dinner with him,” she said in April. “I wanted to create some consistency where she could see him.” A source told the New York Post last year that Tiffany would spend about two weeks at year at Trump’s estate in Florida but that her relationship with her famous family didn’t extend much beyond that.

Tiffany graduated from her father’s alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, with a degree in sociology and urban studies in May. Her upbeat, Rich Kids of Instagram–worthy online profile depicts a lavish life of travel, parties, photo shoots, and family. (Her boyfriend, Ross Mechanic, is a registered Democrat doing an internship this summer at a startup founded by Ivanka Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner.) Tiffany has interned at Vogue but has yet to settle on a career. She has dabbled in modeling, and in 2011, she made a stab at a career as a pop star, releasing a heavily Auto-Tuned single that never took off. These days she speaks warmly, if vaguely, about her father. “I don’t know what it’s like to have a typical father figure,” she told DuJour magazine. “He’s not the dad who’s going to take me to the beach and go swimming, but he’s such a motivational person.”

It was that amorphous idea of “motivation” that she emphasized in her speech on Tuesday night. “He motivates me to work my hardest and to always stay true to who I am and what I believe,” she said at the lectern, smiling broadly at each pause. “That’s what he does: He draws out the talent and drive in people so that they can achieve their full potential.” It was almost too easy to psychoanalyze —to see a young woman eager for the attention and approval of a father she barely knows. Alas, Donald wasn’t in Cleveland to watch his daughter’s big debut. He had flown back to New York for the night.

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