The Presidential Daily Brief


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    McDormand Paves Way to Next Women’s Battle: Unions

    You know it’s a powerful moment when someone is able to introduce an unfamiliar idea into the zeitgeist with just a few simple words, and we all heard Frances McDormand loud and clear when she said “inclusion rider” during her Oscars speech. She’s right to say that while we’ve made progress, the system is still broken. Commentary like this piece from Doris Ruth Eikhof backs what McDormand said, provides nuance and gives us some concrete steps forward — unsurprisingly, an important piece of that puzzle will involve the power of unions.

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    Tired of Breathing Polluted Air? Ditching Your Deodorant May Help

    Researchers have found that a significant amount of chemicals added to consumer products end up in the air we breathe. This transforms something that seems so individual — “personal care” products — and shows us that like so much of what we buy, our choices have an impact far beyond the scope of our own tiny, seemingly insignificant domains. Although this article’s headline implies that you need to use less deodorant/toxic care products to be mindful of the planet, you could also try swapping different, nontoxic options into your routine.

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    It’s Time to Suck It Up and Do Away With Plastic Straws

    Plastic straws are a huge polluter of our beaches and oceans, which is kind of nuts considering how unnecessary they are. Go watch that YouTube video of a sea turtle with a plastic straw lodged in its nostril — you’ll have no question afterward about not really needing straws in your life. I’m not necessarily anti-straw; I’m anti–plastic straw (there are great alternatives in paper and steel) — and what’s great about this particular issue is that there’s a very simple yet tangible change you can make to have an impact.


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    Gwyneth Paltrow Launches The goop Podcast

    I just launched The goop Podcast, featuring discussions with leading thinkers, culture changers and industry disruptors. Guests include experts  — from doctors to creatives, CEOs to spiritual healers — discussing shifts away from old paradigms and the importance of launching new conversations. The first episode features Oprah Winfrey and I focusing on mother figures, the women’s movement and the triggering nature of new ideas. Topics will mirror goop’s verticals: wellness, travel, food, beauty, style and work. So stay tuned for The goop Podcast every Thursday at 6 AM ET.

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    Who Wouldn’t Sing for Her Supper With a Legend?

    I said this to him, and I’ll say it again here: It’s unfair that John Legend can cook so effing well and also sing like he does. He recently came to goop HQ to teach us how to make perfect fried chicken wings, and they were crazy good — the best element may be the spicy honey butter his wife, Chrissy, created. But you can follow the recipe yourself and let me know. While nothing can really replace the perfect fried anything, I cooked up my spin on the chicken wing: a cleaned-up, sticky/salty baked Korean version.

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    Star of ‘The Mummy’ and ‘Bedazzled’ Bravely Faces Painful Past

    The quiet courage of Brendan Fraser’s #MeToo moment is powerfully presented here. We see a familiar pattern of what it feels like to try to diminish your experience in an attempt to move forward; how difficult it is to speak publicly and feel safe; why even when you know your truth, there’s still so much complexity to navigate. It calls to mind something so important Samantha Bee once said on her show: “It doesn’t have to be rape to ruin your life, and it doesn’t have to ruin your life to be worth speaking out about.”

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    Great Storytelling Will Never Grow Old

    We’re a bunch of book nerds at goop, and I’ve noticed that I tend to be drawn to stories that help me see myself in other people and that perhaps help me tap into a larger consciousness. Obviously, I’m not alone in this — it’s that connection that so often defines great storytelling, right? It’s pretty fascinating, although it makes total sense, that when OZY took a survey of what we’re all reading, they found a common theme was people seeking out books that expressed concern for the state of our world — a super-relatable sentiment right now.

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    Can Small Shifts in Student Life Reduce Sexual Assault?

    I don’t know a single woman who hasn’t been sexually harassed, abused or molested — yes, there are levels of severity, but it’s ubiquitous. With her trademark brilliance, Jia Tolentino reports here on the specific problem of sexual assault on college campuses. The recontextualizing of her own experiences as a now 29-year-old resonates deeply, even outside the context of college. “Sexual assault on campus is frequently portrayed as lurid and dark and complex,” she writes. “But the experiences that live in our heads are often obvious and ordinary, sometimes heartbreakingly so.”

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    Marriage Can Wait — Let Young Women Grow and Learn

    Child marriage is an insidiously harmful tradition that’s also far too common. The International Center for Research on Women says a third of girls in the developing world are forced to marry before age 18, and one in nine before age 15. Photojournalist Stephanie Sinclair has been working to fight the practice for 15 years — she founded Too Young to Wed, a nonprofit photo and workshop series aimed at empowering girls who have been child brides. It’s because of this work (plus her incredible talent) that we wanted to interview her about her career and the path she sees forward.