Hi, I’m Wing Sze Tang and you’re reading The Knowhow, a weekly newsletter featuring stories and strategies from women sparking change. As a longtime journalist, I wanted to create a space for highlighting high achievers, boundary breakers and up-and-comers across industries, from arts and culture to science, politics and sports. I hope you find each edition interesting, informative and/or illuminating in some way. If this issue was forwarded to you, add your email below to join the list! —@wingszetang
Before we dive in, a bit of shameless self-promotion: The Knowhow just turned one month old, and I’m pretty delighted to be in Best Health’s roundup of favourite newsletters written by women. See and sign up for the whole list here.
This issue is a shortie, because welp, the week got away from me. Somehow time is going in both slow-mo and hyper-speed. (Hey, remember that presidential debate? You won’t even be talking about it today because ALL-CAPS BREAKING NEWS: Trump has COVID-19.)
Whatever this week has thrown at you, it’s almost over. Carve out space to do something that makes your life a little happier. Tell me what you’re listening to/reading/watching, or anything else on your mind. I’d love to hear it (and not just ’cause checking email is my favourite way to procrastinate).
What I learned this week:
Good friends are more essential than ever in these weird/apocalyptic times, but making new ones as an adult takes intention. Psychologist Marisa G. Francois, author of the upcoming book Platonic, offers some pointers. P.S. If you’re always pretending to be fine with your closest pals when you’re actually emotionally wrecked, read this newsletter by essayist Anne T. Donahue.
What’s the one institution that research shows effectively helps address gender inequality and encourages women’s participation in the workplace? Gold star if you said early childhood education. That’s why it’s so critical that we solve the issue of access to schools and childcare in this pandemic.
The latest trend in corporate culture is fixing racism through town halls and so-called “open dialogue.” You may assume that’s a good start, but Refinery29’s Kathleen Newman-Bremang details the many problems with “listening and learning” sessions.
Miscarriage happens in an estimated 10 percent of known pregnancies, but the tabooness of the topic conceals how common it really is. Chrissy Teigen’s willingness to talk about her loss this week and her raw grief sends a vital message that women don’t have to mourn alone.
If you have no idea what QAnon is, honestly I wish I could say the same—feel free to skip ahead. If, however, you’re wondering why a growing number of wellness influencers are embracing the wild claims, wholly unmoored from reality, this Jezebel story gets into the rise of what’s been dubbed Pastel QAnon.
Can you be Instagram-famous and apolitical? For lifestyle influencers, silence increasingly comes off as out of touch. This quote about the traditional reluctance to talk politics stuck out to me: “Influencers, who are mostly women and whose content is mostly consumed by women, have long been siloed into the misogynist idea that because they write about things traditionally coded for women, they should have no opinion about more ‘serious topics.’”
American friends, have you made a plan to vote yet? Oh, and prod everyone you know, too.
TIME WELL SPENT
A shortlist of things to do right now:
SUPPORT: No Canadian charities were focusing on education and advocacy for young women with breast cancer until Rethink Breast Cancer took up the cause. To make it easy (and stylish) to show your support, the non-profit partners with cool brands on a limited-edition collection each October, with part of the proceeds (the percentage varies by item) going to Rethink. Find the whole range here, and two of my personal favourites below:
From Rethink Breast Cancer’s shop-for-the-cause collection this year: Biko Mirage Huggies in Rose Gold, $95, and the LOHN x Rethink limited-edition Rise Candle, $40
LISTEN: To literally tune out this week’s shouty presidential debate, I put on some headphones and searched Spotify for “lo-fi.” Apparently the sounds have become particularly popular this pandemic, drawing listeners in with their chillaxing, nostalgic and even therapeutic vibes.
READ: In “Tattletales from Tanqueray,” @humansofny tells the evocative life story of Stephanie Johnson, the former burlesque legend who went viral last year, over a series of 32 posts. The project was a fundraiser for Johnson, who needs urgent care for ailing health. Early on, she recalls a palm reader’s predictions for her, which had all come true, save for one: “Roberta told me that I’d come into some real big money one day. And that better happen quick. Cause I’m already 76.” The donations have since topped $2.5 million.
OPPORTUNITIES & RESOURCES
FLIK, the Vancouver-based global platform that helps ambitious womxn connect with female founders for apprenticeships (mentorship-based volunteer opps), just launched FLIK Hubs, a community for members.
Applications are now open for the new-to-Canada Bold by Veuve Clicquot Awards, recognizing female entrepreneurs. The program was created in tribute to Madame Clicquot, who took charge of the champagne house in 1805, following her husband’s sudden death, and became one of the world’s first international businesswomen. Veuve is French for “widow”—now you know.
Rihanna knows—wear your sunscreen.
New around here? Catch up on past issues:
The surprising way to treat your inner saboteur: an interview with Lilia founder Alyssa Atkins
How to break into the dude-centric world of sports media: one on one with Jacie deHoop, co-founder of The Gist
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
If you’re wondering who’s writing this:
My name is Wing Sze Tang, and I’m a freelance journalist. I’ve spent much of my career telling stories for some of Canada’s biggest magazines, like ELLE Canada, FASHION and FLARE. (Find some of my articles here.)
Thanks for reading, and see you next week!