Hi, I’m Wing Sze Tang and you’re reading The Knowhow, a weekly newsletter about ambitious women doing noteworthy things, and other stuff I find fascinating. If this issue was forwarded to you, add your email below to join the list.
If you know me IRL, chances are I’ve subjected you to some thrilling conversations about email newsletters. (They’re a trend, don’t you know. Morning Brew was just acquired for $75 million! Etc.) The rise of Substack—the platform I’m using to send you this—is one reason for the current hype, especially among independent journo types, and recently they started a mentorship program for newsletter newbies, like me.
I’ll have more to say about this later, but I was chosen to join the first cohort (!), and I’m super excited to work on growing this thing. I’ll be experimenting a bit with what I do here, including shorter formats (like today’s newsy issue). In the meantime, if you’re into smart media-industry analysis/gossip, go subscribe to my mentor Delia Cai’s newsletter, Deez Links!
What I learned this week:
“The Anxious Person’s Guide to the 2020 Election” isn’t actually reassuring, but points for getting to the point. If you like to entertain worst-case scenarios (???), read this NYT story on government officials stressing about what could happen.
Yesterday, nearly 90,000 new coronavirus cases were reported in the U.S., another record. We might not see “semblances of normality” until late 2021 or even 2022. If you’re a germaphobe, maybe you don’t need to look at these vivid infographics illustrating how the virus would spread in a room, bar or classroom.
The opposite of catastrophizing is the latest woo-laced, memeable Internet wellness craze: manifesting (basically, The Secret redux). But positive thinking is apparently not all good.
Online critics are feigning outrage over AOC wearing a $14,000 Aliétte suit on the cover of Vanity Fair. But those aren’t even the congresswoman’s creepiest detractors; this excellent profile details the death threats she gets, her moments of self-doubt, and how she views the future, no matter who wins the election.
Whoever’s handling social media for the Girl Scouts evidently didn’t read the room, tweeting congratulations to Amy Coney Barrett on her Supreme Court appointment. You can probably guess what happened next. (Here are some consequential upcoming cases where Barrett’s vote could be decisive.)
Earlier this year, Outdoor Voices founder Tyler Haney was pushed out of her CEO role at the buzzy, millennial athleisure brand; she took to IG to talk about being labelled “mercurial,” and experiencing “gender and generational differences.” Haney tells Inc. what happened, and seems to think “female journalists going after female founders” was a factor.
Let’s wrap with a ray of light. Solar’s now the cheapest form of electricity, which is good news because of the whole fossil-fuels-killing-the-planet crisis. Vogue profiles Kristal Hansley, the first Black woman to launch a community solar company; as CEO of WeSolar, she’s providing affordable clean energy to low- and mid-income families.
WHAT ELSE I’M READING
“What Was Fun?” (Vox)
“The Real Housewives of QAnon” (Elle)
Thanks for reading, and see you next week!