TIME Economics

The Real Reason the Dollar Is So Strong Right Now

72967148
Purestock—Getty Images/Purestock Close-up of American dollar bills

And why it could seriously hurt American business

When is a stronger U.S. dollar not a good thing? When it causes companies to sell fewer products overseas. That’s one of the big concerns at the moment among American CEOs, many of whom are worried about what the dollar’s strength against currencies like the euro and the yen mean for US exports–and corporate profits.

They have legitimate reason to worry. Each of the five major dips in U.S. corporate profitability since 1970 have occurred following reduced sales after periods of relative dollar strength. The Fed has recently expressed concerns about whether the dollar’s strength could hold back the US recovery, which has been lackluster to begin with. Wages are still growing at only around 2 %, not enough to push up consumer spending, which is the major driver of our economy. If US exports also begin to suffer, it could be difficult for the economy to sustain the 3% a year growth figure that is needed to create more jobs.

Some economists believe the dollar’s strength reflects the fact that the U.S. is still the prettiest house on the ugly block that is the global economy. (Certainly, to employ another metaphor, it’s the strongest leg on the global stool with China slowing sharply and the Eurozone debt crisis flaring back up as Greece looks likely to run out of money next month.) But I think it’s more about central bankers and their actions. The dollar’s strength reflects the Fed’s own recent indications that it will likely raise interest rates by the end of the year.

Indeed, the dollar’s strength almost perfectly tracks Fed statements about the coming end of easy money. The tightening of US monetary policy (or even the hint that policy will tighten at some point) has driven the dollar up (and oil down) even as Europe’s beginning of its own “QE” or quantitative easing program has driven the Euro down. None of it reflects the economic reality on the ground, but rather the fact that central bankers are, as investment guru Mohamed El-Erian frequently says, the “only game in town.” For more on what the stronger dollar might mean for consumers, companies and the economy as a whole, you can listen to Josh Barro from the New York Times and I discuss the topic on this week’s Money Talking.

TIME Executives

Why It Matters Who Steve Jobs Really Was

Apple Unveils iPad 2
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images Apple CEO Steve Jobs speaks during an Apple Special event to unveil the new iPad 2 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on March 2, 2011 in San Francisco.

Dueling biographies fight over the story of Steve

In 2011 Walter Isaacson published a biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Isaacson’s biography was fully authorized by its subject: Jobs handpicked Isaacson, who had written biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein. Entitled simply Steve Jobs, the book was well-reviewed and sold some 3 million copies.

But now its account is being challenged by another book, this one called Becoming Steve Jobs, by Brent Schlender, a veteran technology journalist who was friendly with Jobs, and Rick Tetzeli, executive editor at Fast Company. Some of Jobs’ former colleagues and friends have taken sides, speaking out against the old book and praising the new one. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO and Jobs’s successor, has said that Isaacson’s book depicts Jobs as “a greedy, selfish egomaniac.” Jony Ive, Apple’s design chief, has weighed in against it, and Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of software and Internet services, tweeted about the new book: “Well done and first to get it right.”

But who did get it right? And why do people care so much anyway?

(This article comes with a bouquet of disclosures, starting with the fact that Isaacson is a current contributor and former editor of TIME magazine and as such my former boss. I’m quoted in his biography—I interviewed Jobs half a dozen times in the mid-2000s, though he and I weren’t friendly. Schlender spent more than 20 years writing for Fortune, which is owned by TIME’s parent company, Time Inc., and Tetzeli was an editor both at Fortune and at Entertainment Weekly, also a Time Inc. magazine.)

Schlender and Tetzeli have given their book the subtitle “The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader,” and its emphasis is on the transformation that Jobs underwent between 1985, when he was ousted from Apple, and 1997, when he returned to it. “The most basic question about Steve’s career is this,” they write. “How could the man who had been such an inconsistent, inconsiderate, rash, and wrongheaded businessman … become the venerated CEO who revived Apple and created a whole new set of culture-defining products?” It’s an excellent question.

Becoming Steve Jobs is, like most books about Jobs, tough on his early years. He could be a callous person (he initially denied being the father of his first child) and a terrible manager (the original Macintosh, while magnificent in its conception, was only barely viable as a product). On this score Schlender and Tetzeli are clear and even-handed. It’s easy to forget that Jobs originally wanted Pixar, the animation firm he took over from George Lucas in 1986, to focus on selling its graphics technology rather than making movies, and if the geniuses there hadn’t been more independent he might have run it into the ground.

Schlender and Tetzeli argue that it was this middle period that made Jobs. The failure of his first post-Apple company, NeXT, chastened him; his work with Pixar’s Ed Catmull and John Lasseter taught him patience and management skills; and his marriage to Laurene Powell Jobs deepened him emotionally. In those wilderness years he learned discipline and (some) humility and how to iterate and improve a project gradually. Thus reforged, he returned to Apple and led it back from near bankruptcy to become the most valuable company in the world.

Schlender and Tetzeli strenuously insist that they’re upending the “common myths” about Jobs. But they’re not specific about who exactly believes these myths, and in fact it’s a bit of a straw man: there’s not much in Becoming Steve Jobs that Isaacson or anybody else would disagree with. What’s missing is more problematic: as it goes on, Becoming Steve Jobs gradually abandons its critical distance and becomes a paean to the greatness of Jobs and Apple. Jobs was “someone who preferred creating machines that delighted real people,” and his reborn Apple was “a company that could once again make insanely great computing machines for you and me.” It reprints the famous “Think Different” spiel in full. It compares Jobs’ career arc, without irony, to that of Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story. It unspools sentences like: “Steve [we’re on a first-name basis with him] also understood that the personal satisfaction of accomplishing something insanely great was the best motivation of all for a group as talented as his.”

Read More: Apple’s Watch Will Make People and Computers More Intimate

It’s easy to see why Apple executives have endorsed Becoming Steve Jobs, but it has imperfections that would have irked Jobs himself. The writing is slack—it’s larded with clichés (“he wanted to play their game, but by his own rules”) and marred by small infelicities (it confuses jibe and gibe, twice). It lacks detail: for example, it covers Jobs’ courtship of and marriage to Laurene in two dry pages (“Their relationship burned intensely from the beginning, as you might expect from the pairing of two such strong-willed individuals”). By contrast, a Fortune interview Schlender did with Jobs and Bill Gates in 1991 gets 13 pages. Whatever its faults, Isaacson’s book at least dug up the telling details: in his account of the marriage we learn that Jobs was still agonizing over an ex-girlfriend; that he had a hilariously abortive bachelor party; that he threw out the calligrapher who was hired to do the wedding invitations (“I can’t look at her stuff. It’s shit”); and that the vegan wedding cake was borderline inedible.

Jobs was famously unintrospective, but Schlender and Tetzeli seem almost as incurious about his inner life as he supposedly was. Jobs’ birth parents were 23 when they conceived him, then they gave him up for adoption; when he was 23 Jobs abandoned his own first child. It takes a determinedly uninterested biographer not to connect those dots, or at least explain why they shouldn’t be connected. We hear a lot about what Jobs did, and some about how he did it, but very little about why.

Jobs was a man of towering contradictions: he identified deeply with the counterculture but spent his life in corporate boardrooms amassing billions; he made beautiful products that ostensibly enabled individual creativity but in their architecture expressed a deep-seated need for central control. Maybe making educated guesses about a major figure’s private life is unseemly, or quixotic, but that’s the game a biographer is in. Ultimately there’s no point in comparing Steve Jobs and Becoming Steve Jobs, because the latter book isn’t really a biography at all, much less a definitive one.

A more interesting question might be, why has the story of Steve Jobs become so important to us? And why is it such contested territory? He’s also the subject of a scathing new documentary by Alex Gibney and an upcoming biopic written by Aaron Sorkin. Was Jobs, to use Schlender and Tetzeli’s terminology, an asshole, or a genius, or some mysterious fusion of the two? It’s as if Jobs’ life has become a kind of totem, a symbolic story through which we’re trying to understand and work through our own ambivalence about the technology he and his colleagues made, which has so thoroughly invaded and transformed our lives in the past 20 years, for good and/or ill. Apple’s products are so glossy and beautiful and impenetrable that it’s difficult to do anything but admire them. But about Jobs, at least, we can think ­different.

Read next: Becoming Steve Jobs Shares Jobs’ Human Side

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Opinion

Monica Lewinsky and Why the Word ‘Slut’ Is Still So Potent

Monica Lewinsky
Amanda Edwards—WireImage/Getty Images Monica Lewinsky in Los Angeles, Dec. 7, 2014.

Lewinsky was a 22-year-old intern when her affair with Bill Clinton branded her with a ​Scarlet ​L​etter​ S. Nearly two decades later, she's still suffering the repercussions.​ Why is the word slut still so damning?

Slut.

​Tart.

​Whore.

That Woman.

​Those were the word​s​ used to describe Monica Lewinsky, the once 22-year-old intern who had an affair with the President. She is 41 now and speaking ​publicly about the impact of that relationship for the first time. When those words weren’t used to describe her, they were simply known as what defined her.

​Almost two decades later, those are the same words — though slightly updated — used daily to harass, threaten and humiliate young women and girls who deviate from the sexual (and sometimes not-so-sexual at all) norm, both at school and online.

History met the present recently at a Manhattan performance of a play called SLUT, where Monica Lewinsky watched the story of a teen girl who is assaulted, reports it, and is slut-shamed by her peers. I sat next to Lewinsky as she watched the drama play out. At the end, ​she stood up, surveyed the young faces in the audience, and spoke​: ​“Thank you,​” she ​told the crowd, “for standing up against the sexual scapegoating of women and girls.” Afterwards, girls crowded around Lewinsky to express their own gratitude for her outspokenness.

The Lewinksy scandal broke in in 1998. ​SLUT the play takes place today. In between, the word has been used by Rush Limbaugh to discredit Sandra Fluke a law student who spoke up for birth control; to debate the validity of sexual assault claims; and more often than one could count, to talk viciously about women on the Internet. (Just this week, Ashley Judd proclaimed she would sue her slut-shaming harassers on Twitter.)

What is it about the word slut that is still so potent?

​Slut didn’t begin as a bad word — or a word for women at all — but merely an “untidy” one. Chaucer (yes, that Chaucer) put it in print in the early 1300s, referring to a sloppy male character as “sluttish” in The Canterbury Tales.

But if the word was used for men more broadly it was only for a second: by the 1400s, it had morphed into a term for maids and unkempt, dirty women (like actually dirty, not sexually dirty). It wasn’t long before that notion was infused with sexual connotations. Today, the term is defined by Oxford Dictionary as a woman who “has many casual sexual partners” or one with “low standards of cleanliness” — though it’s clear that in our modern lexicon, those two might as well be one and the same.

Sure, there have been positive usages or attempts to take slut back: Kathleen Hanna famously scrawled the word across her stomach while on stage with Riot Grrrl in the 90s; there is the SlutWalk movement, an effort to reclaim the word.

But by and large one definition remains: Slut is loaded. Slut is bad. Much in the way that Lewinsky became a kind of public symbol, said the linguist Robin Lakoff, “​of all that is sexually loathsome and scary about women,” ​the word slut — and its linguistic sisters, ho, whore, tramp, and skank — is a stand-in for the same: used to describe women who deviate from the norm.

“Girls are still targeted when they cross some kind of boundary,” said Eliza Price, ​a ​16​-year-old cast member in the SLUT play, which is produced by an all-girl theater group called the Arts Effect. ​​

But that boundary can almost anything: clothing, behavior, attitude or something else. As a group of Mississippi teens described it to the author Rachel Simmons, in her book, Odd Girl Out, a girl can be a slut — or in this particular interview, a “skank” — if she sits with her legs open, wears baggy clothes, wears tight clothes, talks in slang, gets into fights, or shows too much PDA. “In other words: almost anything,” said Simmons. “‘Slut’ and its cousin ‘skank’ are used to denote girls who take up space and break the good girl rules.”

And sometimes that has nothing to do with sex. Leora Tanenbaum, the author of a new book, I Am Not a Slut, has interviewed girls and women who’ve been labeled with the word — coining, in 1999, the term “slut-bashing,” which would later evolve into “slut-shaming.” But being called a slut, she found, actually had little to do with whether or not these girls were sexually active. Rather, anybody could be called a slut, she said. The word was a catch-all to discredit women; for young women, it was a way to define them before they got the chance to define themselves.

And while words like bitch have an action associated with them — i.e., if you change your behavior you might be able to shed the label — the word slut is forever.

“Once you’re labeled a slut, it’s pretty much impossible to rid yourself of it,” explains Winnifred Bonjean-Alpart, 17, the lead actress in the play and a high school student in New York. As another young actress explained it: You can be valedictorian, class president and prom queen, but if more than one person calls you slut, all that gets wiped away.

And the Internet makes that even more the case. “In the 90s, when girls would come to me and say ‘I’m the slut in my school and I can’t bear it, what should I do?’ One of the things I would say is ‘Have you looked into transferring to another school?’” said Tanenbaum. “But you can’t say that anymore, because her reputation is going to follow her. You can’t go off the grid.”

The way slut as epithet plays out is multifold:

It’s the reason young women are so obsessed with their “number”— how many sexual partners they’ve had. It might explain why some women lie to their healthcare providers about those numbers, even when it’s not in their best interest.

It’s the reason why, on more than one occasion, as a young woman I would say “no” when I really wanted to say “yes”: yes, of course, would be considered slutty. (You can imagine how that plays into the complicated conversation we’re now having about consent.)

In one case that Tanenbaum describes, a young college woman believed that being called slut contributed to the reason she was raped. “He must have thought, ‘Well, she sleeps around all the time, so she’ll say yes to me,’” the woman told her.

In Monica Lewinsky’s case, that label is the reason she still can’t find work, and has largely stayed out of the public eye for close to a decade. As she said in her TED talk this past week, “It was easy to forget that ‘that woman’ was dimensional, had a soul and was once unbroken.”

Back in 1998, Lewinsky was condemned by the left and the right, by men and women alike, even self-proclaimed feminists (including the New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, whose columns on the scandal of President Clinton’s affair and “slutty” Monica Lewinsky won a Pulitzer Prize). Today Lewinsky would be likely to have defenders: there are simply more avenues to push back against a singular media narrative; and we have a new language with which to talk about it.

But the word still has the power to wound, diminish and discredit — as so many victims of sexual assault can attest. Which begs the question: Instead of discrediting women, can we simply discredit the word?

Jessica Bennett is a contributing columnist at Time.com covering the intersection of gender, sexuality, business and pop culture. She writes regularly for the New York Times and is a contributing editor on special projects for Sheryl Sandberg’s women’s nonprofit, Lean In. You can follow her @jess7bennett.

Read next: Monica Lewinsky TED Talk: ‘I was Patient Zero’ of Internet Shaming

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Parenting

The Grandparent Deficit: Fertility Isn’t the Only Biological Clock

Grandmother and granddaughter walk
Getty Images

There's often one forgotten variable in the decision about having kids later in life

A few months ago I was sitting in the vast dining room of an assisted-living home in Washington, D.C., watching my 5-year-old niece bounce like a pinball between tables of seniors. It was a startling sight–that small, smooth blond blur amid a hundred crinkly faces. Her audience, mostly women in their 80s and 90s, grinned as she navigated all the parked walkers, canes and wheelchairs as if it were a playground.

Sahar is a bit of a celebrity here. Far younger than most of the other grandchildren who visit, she is a rare burst of kindergarten energy in a place where even the elevators move very slowly. She comes frequently to have meals with my dad, her grandfather. He’s 81, and she doesn’t know what he was like before dementia took hold. Nor does she remember her grandmother who died four years ago, except in the funny stories my sister tells so often that Sahar refers to them as if they were her own memories.

She and my two daughters are among a growing number of kids who will see their grandparents primarily as people in need of care rather than as caretakers. They are the leading edge of a generation whose mothers and fathers had children later in life. They’ve seen us juggle our jobs, their school schedules and their grandparents’ needs simultaneously–one day missing work to be at the bedside of a parent who’s had a bad fall, another day trying to call an elder-care aide from the back row of a dance recital.

It seems naive to say this tripart balancing act came as a surprise to me and my sister, but it did. Somehow, while we were worrying about our biological clocks and our careers, it didn’t occur to us that another biological clock was ticking down: that of our parents’ health. And while medical science keeps coming up with new ways to prolong fertility, thwarting the frailties of old age is harder.

Our parents seemed so vibrant, so capable in their 60s that we couldn’t imagine how fast things would change. We knew that three or four years could make a huge difference in our fertility, but it turned out that three or four years could also mean the difference between a grandmother who can take a toddler to the beach and one who can’t lift her newest grandbaby out of a kiddie pool because of arthritis.

My daughters may face an even greater grandparent gap. I was almost 39 when I had my second child. If she has a child at the same age, I’ll be over 80 when that grandchild enters pre-K. And I’m not alone here: about six times as many children were born to women 35 and older in 2012 as they were 40 years ago.

I’m aiming to stay spry, but by the time I become a grandmother, I’ll likely be past the age that my daughter can drop her kids off at my house for a weekend. Will I be one of those exceptional octogenarians who jogs every day? Will I be able to babysit, or will I need my daughter to find me a babysitter? I don’t know. But with about half a million people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s each year, plus the usual maladies of age, there’s a fair chance I’ll need some kind of help.

If I had thought about all that, I might have gotten pregnant a few years earlier, just to give my kids that little bit of extra time with my parents in their prime. Of course, it’s not as if my sister and I could have chosen exactly when we met the men who became our children’s fathers. Nor do I regret spending my 20s and part of my 30s living in different countries, doing all kinds of jobs, soaking up the world. It was glorious, and it made me a better mother. But I do know I’d give anything if my kids could have one more weekend at the beach with my parents in peak grandparenting mode–full of silly jokes and poetry and wry observations from extraordinary lives lived fully.

And now, amid the ongoing debate over when to lean into a job or a relationship or children, my take has changed. I want to tell my daughters, “Don’t forget grandparents in the high-pressure calculus of modern life. I would like to make it easier for you if you want to lean in and have babies at the same time. I’d also like to know your children.” Who knows if I’ll get that chance, given the million variables at play, but I want them to know it’s an option.

In the meantime, I’m leaning into this new phase, one ripe with gratitude even as my father fades, losing more of himself every day. My children are discovering that they are not always the center of the world. And while my little niece may never know what my dad was like when he used to hide Easter eggs or swim after us pretending to be a shark, his white hair pluming like sea foam, she’s learning something beautiful from her mother. She sees my sister visiting him daily, feeding him, talking to him. Sahar is seeing kindness firsthand. And she understands that the thin, confused man in the bed is someone worth loving. That he is family.

Schrobsdorff is an assistant managing editor at TIME


This appears in the March 30, 2015 issue of TIME.
TIME Family

Ground Zero in the Clutter Wars: My House

A stock photo of a messy room
Getty Images

It's not easy being a purger in a house of hoarders. Here's how I coped

I do not get along terribly well with clutter — and I frankly have no interest in improving our relationship. I believe shelves, closets and drawers were invented for a reason — so they can remain completely empty. My feeling is, if Ikea’s display of its stylish new Framstå system can do it, why can’t I?

But I don’t live alone. I live with a wife and two daughters — ages 14 and 12 — and they take a less antiseptic view of things. Our home, which was originally advertised as a “sun-drenched two-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s fashionable Upper East Side,” has instead become something of a longitudinal study in the second law of thermodynamics, which, if you’re like me, is your least favorite law of thermodynamics, since it’s the one that states that all closed systems move inevitably toward entropy.

By closed systems, I don’t mean such who-cares stuff as the environment or the planet or the cosmos. I mean my personal space. And by entropy, I don’t mean molecules or thermal gradients. I mean schoolbooks and empty glasses. I mean shoes and clothes, dropped mid-floor, real-time, in such perfect simulation of the body that shed them that they look less like a mess than like a preteen parade float waiting to be inflated. I mean flyers for Memorial Day sales at stores that closed in 2006, subscription cards for magazines that ceased publishing when our children were in pre-K, discount offers for a first generation TiVo.

More and more, our home is developing what can only be described as geological strata: here are the crayon traces of the preschool epoch, which lie below the glitter of the Princess epoch, which itself was buried by the fabric-and-plastic sediment of the American Girl epoch. A thick layer of Tiger Beat precipitate is now fluttering down atop that, which, given enough heat, pressure and millennia, might at least compress itself into a useful fossil fuel.

I rage, rage against the rubbish — and do what I can to reduce it. I move about the apartment, gathering things up in what feels to me like an efficient stride-and-sweep pincer movement, but which even I realize is increasingly resembling a bustle. I collect dropped belongings and put them away in any handy drawer or armoire, a behavior I call helpful and my family members — along with most trained clinicians — call passive-aggressive. And when I’ve put something somewhere its owner doesn’t want it and therefore can’t find it, my refrain is always the same:

“There is one way to ensure that things are where you want them, and that’s to put them away yourself.” This argument has the twin qualities of both unassailable logic and a perfect, 0% success rate in changing anyone’s behavior.

One answer to our family impasse is an open dialogue, a frank exchange of feelings and a willingness for collective compromise. The other answer is the one that actually works: money.

Not long ago, my wife mentioned that she’s had her eye on a new platform bed. A platform bed, of course, would go in our bedroom — a room that on any given day is just one copy of Oprah away from needing its own Chernobyl-style containment dome.

So I made a deal: we would get the bed — and two new dressers, and two new night tables, and an upright chest, and a vanity, and discard all of the existing furniture if all of the clutter went. I would also surrender our entire walk-in dressing area to my wife and confine my clothes to my new drawers. It was the marital equivalent of land for peace.

My wife, to my delight, took me up on the deal. The clutter is now slowly being peeled back and thrown away, and the furniture delivery has been scheduled. My daughters, with the gimlet eyes of bazaar merchants recognizing a sucker with a Fodor’s guide and a wad of American money, requested the same arrangement and I agreed.

I am now buying them a new bedroom set too. In return, they promised two things: to keep the room neat and — much more important — to let me think I won.

Read next: Minimalist Living: When a Lot Less Is More

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME year of the man

More Sex—and 7 Other Benefits for Men Who Share in the Housework

Getty Images

8 reasons why it's good for men to embrace their inner feminist.

As Sheryl Sandberg likes to say, if a woman can’t find a partner, she should consider another woman—for the sake of equality, of course. Study after study shows that same-sex couples are more egalitarian, meaning they split chores, decisions and finances more evenly than the rest of us.

Us hetero gals aren’t so lucky, at least not yet. While the men in our lives may want to be all 50/50 when it comes to work and chores (and indeed, some of them are) it just doesn’t usually happen that way in practice. Gender roles run deep, and women still do the vast majority of the domestic work.

But if 2014 was the year of the female protagonist, then this will be the year of male feminist as icon. I’m not talking about men marching down Fifth Avenue (though I’d welcome it) but subtly adapting to the way things ought to be: New research shows there are more stay-at-home dads now than ever; and men of all walks are demanding more in the way of work-life balance, even if it means ridicule from their peers (or ignorant talk radio hosts).

Men are suiting up for more than just the rec football league—they’re suiting up in the kitchen. And if they’re cooking, it means they’re probably cleaning too, which would explain why proud fathers and sensitive betas are suddenly dominating the ad world, too. (Swiffer? A guy’s gotta mop the floor. Nissan SUV? It’s for shuttling kids to soccer practice, obviously.)

Now they’re entering the feminist Public Service Announcement circuit, which typically gets very active around this time of year. (It’s Women’s History Month, after all.) There is a new film, The Mask You Live In, that tackles our narrow definitions of masculinity. (It’s available for screenings in schools). There is a three-day conference—the first ever to take on “masculinities studies”— in New York City the first weekend in March. There is a campaign from the United Nations, He for She, to engage men on the topic of gender equality. You may remember the rousing opening speech to the campaign, from non-man but one of that gender’s favorite people, Emma Watson.

And now there is Lean In Together, a partnership between Sheryl Sandberg’s women’s nonprofit, LeanIn.org (where, in full disclosure, I am a contributing editor) and the NBA, to encourage men to support women at home and work. As Sandberg and business professor Adam Grant put it in a New York Times op-ed, the final in a four-part series on women and work, “equality is not a zero-sum game.” In other words: It’s good for men, too.

It’s easy to understand how women benefit from men doing their share both at home and at the office. When men chip in at home, women thrive at work (and feel less resentful and guilty). When men advocate for female colleagues in the office, women rise up. Yet beyond the obvious—that, uh, it’s the right thing to do—how do men benefit from the extra effort?

From raising healthier daughters to more sex at home, here are eight reasons why men supporting women is actually good for men.

1. Sex. You’ll Have More of It.
Call it the economics of choreplay: women are turned on by the idea of a man with his elbows up to suds. Sure, maybe they have a Mr Clean fetish, or maybe they’re just freaking exhausted, and not having to do the dishes for one night might put her in the mood. These days, women are the primary or co-breadwinners in two-thirds of American households, yet only 9% of dual-income marriages share childcare, housework and breadwinning evenly. Which means that when the first shift (work) is over, the second shift (home, dinner, laundry, dishes) begins. Which puts this next statistic into context: When couples share chores and breadwinning more equally, divorce rates go down. Men who share in dishwashing and diaper changing have happier wives, and more stable marriages.

When marriages are happy, couples, ahem, have more sex. So, the laundry: strip down and toss it in.

2. Your Daughters Will Have Higher Self-Esteem.
Engaged fatherhood is good for all kids: tots of more involved dads are better off cognitively, emotionally, socially and, ultimately, educationally and economically. But fathers have a particularly measurable impact on girls, whose self esteem develops —and then often falls—as early as middle school. Daughters with active fathers have more autonomy. They are more empowered. And if they watch their dad do chores, they’re actually more likely to aim higher. As Sandberg and Grant write, a study by a University of British Columbia psychologist found that when fathers shouldered an equal share of housework, their daughters were less likely to limit their aspirations to stereotypically female occupations (like nurse or teacher). “What mattered most was what fathers did, not what they said; no amount of saying ‘you can do anything’ is as compelling for a daughter as witnessing true partnership between her parents,” they write. For a girl to believe she has the same opportunities as boys, it makes a big difference to see Dad doing the dishes.”

3. You’ll Breed Feminist Sons.
And that will start the cycle over, as studies have found that boys who grow up in more equal homes are more likely to create equal homes as adults. As Sandberg and Grant point out, the flip is true too: sons reap rewards when their mothers have meaningful roles at work.

4. You’ll Be Happier.
This one’s for dads: Employed fathers who spend more time at home with their kids actually feel greater job satisfaction and less work-life conflict, according to a recent study. They’re also less likely to consider quitting their jobs.

5. You’ll Live Longer.
Caring for kids has been shown to make men more patient (ha!), empathetic and flexible, as well as lower their rates of substance abuse. Fatherhood has also been linked to lower blood pressure and lower rates of heart disease. But also: there’s longevity, even if you don’t have kids. Studies have found that there’s a longevity boost for men (and women) who provide care and emotional support to their partners.

6. You’ll Be More Successful At Work.
Know this, male bosses: diverse teams perform better. And when it comes to women specifically, here are a few attributes: they put in more effort, stay longer on the job, take fewer unnecessary risks, and collaborate more. (It’s no surprise, perhaps, that successful venture-backed start-ups have more than double the median proportion of female executives to failed ones.) But this isn’t just about women: companies that have family-friendly work environments are actually more productive, and higher employee retention.

7. Your Company Will be More Profitable.
Companies with more women in leadership perform better — full stop. Twenty-five percent of U.S. GDP growth since 1970 is attributed to women entering the paid workforce, and economists estimate that bringing more women into the workforce could raise GDP by 5%.

8. You’ll Get a Free Pass to the Revolution.
And free passes rock.
Jessica Bennett is a contributing columnist at Time.com covering the intersection of gender, sexuality, business and pop culture. She writes regularly for the New York Times and is a contributing editor on special projects for Sheryl Sandberg’s women’s nonprofit, Lean In. You can follow her @jess7bennett.

TIME celebrities

Don’t Tear Down Patricia Arquette for a Well-Intentioned Speech

It's important to find a way to critique her comments about the rights of others without dismissing her feminist message

When Patricia Arquette took the stage to accept her Academy Award last night for Best Supporting Actress in Boyhood, she made a brave political statement and demanded gender equality. “To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights,” Arquette said in her speech. “It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”

Her words were initially greeted with with loud cheers, especially from Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez, whose enthusiasm culminated in one of the most-shared memes of the evening.

But no good deed goes unpunished — especially on social media — and within hours of the ceremony, Arquette was being attacked by people who said she was prioritizing the rights of white women over those of LGBTQ people and people of color. These criticisms are legitimate and deserve to be heard. Still, Arquette’s heart was in the right place and it’s not right to completely dismiss one of feminism’s most visible advocates.

It wasn’t Arquette’s speech that came under fire so much as her comments in the pressroom later.

“It’s time for women. Equal means equal. The truth is the older women get, the less money they make. The highest percentage of children living in poverty are in female-headed households. It’s inexcusable that we go around the world and we talk about equal rights for women in other countries and we don’t,” she said. “It’s time for all the women in America, and all the men that love women and all the gay people and all the people of color that we’ve all fought for to fight for us now.”

Many people on Twitter, including feminists like Roxane Gay and Morgan Jerkins, wrote that Arquette’s plea was tone-deaf for suggesting that gay people and people of color have achieved equality while women have not. They’re absolutely right. Feminism has often come under fire for being a movement for white women’s rights, not all women’s rights. Comments like these make queer women and women of color hesitant about joining the mainstream movement, which can seem exclusionary and oblivious to intersectionality.

But out of last night’s winners, few used their time onstage to get political. Director Alejandro González Iñárritu begged for respect for Mexican immigrants; John Legend and Common spoke about why the messages of Selma still resonate today; and Arquette made a plea for women’s rights. The rest of the show was dull and occasionally verged on racism. On a night when the nominees were overwhelmingly white, Octavia Spencer was forced to stay in her seat and stare at a box, Sean Penn made an offensive green card joke about Iñárritu and Neil Patrick Harris managed to botch the names of both Chiwetel Ejiofor and David Oyelowo.

There was a lot to criticize at this year’s ceremonies, and the well-meaning Patricia Arquette should rank a lot lower on that list than, for example, Sean Penn.

MORE Watch Sean Penn’s Oscars ‘Green Card’ Joke That Sparked Controversy

Let’s state the obvious: the wage gap exists and needs to be closed. According to the White House, full-time working women earn just 77% of what their male counterparts earn. (That number is under dispute — the Pew Research center recently estimated it’s closer to 84%, but that’s still a significant gap.) Though some politicians might have you believe that women just work lower-paying jobs, studies show this gap persists within industries: female lawyers make 82% of what their male peers earn; physicians 77%; financial specialists 66%. And research shows the pay gap exists for women without children — women who don’t take time off to have babies and raise them.

The wage gap affects women of all races, and Arquette didn’t demand that we only close it for white women. Arquette’s message was that women ought not subordinate the fight for their own rights over fights for other people’s rights. As she wrote on Twitter today, we can fight for rights for different groups of people simultaneously; we just shouldn’t forget women along the way. Sure, her speech wasn’t perfect, but she had the right intentions.

While Gay and others had more nuanced takes on Arquette’s comments — supporting her message while critiquing her phrasing — folks on Twitter are dismissing her entirely, and that’s dangerous. Even while we recognize the problems with her speech, feminists should be careful not to tear down their best and most visible advocates.

MORE These Are the Worst Paying Jobs for Women

Last year, Lena Dunham — perhaps the most famous feminist in Hollywood — endured a similar backlash. In a strange turn of events, feminists joined conservatives in attacking the Girls creator over a section of her book in which she describes her seven-year-old self looking at her little sister’s vagina. They called her a sex offender and attacked the feminists who tried to defend Dunham’s actions as normal childhood behavior. A group of feminists even wrote an open letter to Planned Parenthood asking them to drop Dunham as a rep.

Love her or hate her, there’s no greater public advocate for feminism in pop culture than Lena Dunham. Dunham personally convinced Taylor Swift (and therefore millions of tweens) that calling yourself a feminist is okay; she wrote about her own sexual assault so that other victims would feel comfortable talking about their experiences and reporting them to the authorities; she created a show with explicitly feminist themes. Joining conservatives in attacking people like Dunham and Arquette only serves to hobble the movement.

Different women can choose to express their feminism in different ways. But when women begin to tear down their best, most popular advocates, we hurt our own cause. As Sally Kohn wrote at The New Republic after the Dunham incident: “The minute feminism becomes hypercritical and humorless, it becomes too easy for the mainstream to dismiss our more valid complaints.”

Let’s take to social media to protest the fact that Selma director Ava DuVernay was overlooked for an Oscar nomination and that red carpet interviewers insist on asking women about the dresses they are wearing instead of their work — and let’s not vilify the people actively trying to create change, even when they do it imperfectly.

This post was updated to include Monday’s tweets from Patricia Arquette.

Read next: Lady Gaga’s Performance at the Oscars Could Redefine Her Career

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME relationships

You Can Trick Someone Into Loving You — and 6 Other Surprising Facts About Love

heart lollipops
Getty Images

How to make somebody fall in love with you, get over an ex, and why you should treat your relationship like a drug addiction.

There are male dating gurus who train men in the dark art of the female putdown. They tell guys that playing hard to get is the way to make a woman fall head over heels; that women prefer men who behave like jerks, with a touch of humor thrown into the mix.

There is some truth to their claims: when we obtain what is hard to get, we appreciate it more. Sensing signs of love from a jerk may feel like more of an achievement than from a guy who constantly dotes on us (or on any woman he lays his eyes on). But these male dating gurus are not entirely right, either. Behaving like a jerk for too long builds resentment. Sometimes those negative feelings surface with a vengeance and we simply fall out of love, almost overnight.

Love advice spreads across the internet Gangnam-style, especially this time of year. But much of the advice on love – and breakups, for that matter – is little more than urban legend. Here are 7 surprising facts about the actual science of love and heartbreak.

You Actually Can Make Somebody Fall in Love With You

Dr. Arthur Aron made two strangers fall in love in a lab by staring into each other’s eyes for several minutes and taking turns answering 36 personal questions. (Things like, “What do you find most attractive in a woman/man?” and “If you were to die this evening, what would you most regret not having told someone?”) That experiment was replicated by two friends — now lovers — whose story was recently published in the New York Times. Why it works? The test creates intimacy, which can increase dopamine, one of the chemicals that floods the brain when you are in love.

You may be able to fool the brain with adrenaline, too. Adrenaline comes along with low levels of the feel-secure-and-safe chemical serotonin — just the right cocktail to fool the brain into producing feelings of love. In one famous study, a woman asked eligible strangers survey questions on a dangerous bridge and also safely on solid ground. Afterwards, she gave each of them her number. Who were more likely to call her later? The men on the bridge. Perhaps they had confused the adrenaline caused by the danger with the adrenaline caused by new love.

True Love Isn’t ‘Unconditional’

Newlyweds vow that they will love each other forever; that their love will never change. But they are deluded. Sexual desire and romantic love always fade. Scientists used to believe it would fade around the seven year mark. You know, that day you wake up next to your partner and suddenly feel like you’re in bed with a relative. But newer research shows that romantic love may fade even faster, even at just three years, according to recent research by the Pew Research Center and the National Survey of Families and Households. That doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed, of course. Just different. What keeps people together? Attachment. And altruism: a desire to keep our partner happy.

Marriage Isn’t Going to Solve Your Problems

In folklore, getting married is associated with happiness: an elegant white princess dress, a striking tuxedo, a wedding cake with marzipan flowers and the devoted man or woman you are going to spend the rest of your life with. A marriage may indeed signal happiness— a 2006 study in the Journal of Socio-Economics, which followed married couples over 17 years, found that happy people are more likely to get married than unhappy folks. But the marriage was not the cause of that happiness, these were naturally happy people. In reality, marriages do not make people happy. So don’t think a proposal is going to fix your relationship problems.

Love Hurts. Like, Physically Hurts

You want to fall in love, you say? Be careful what you wish for. Lovers might assume a broken arm may hurt more than a broken heart, but they’d be wrong. Emotional pain can feel just like physical pain by firing the very same neurons in the brain. Your heart can actually hurt.

And if you think love can’t kill you? Think again there, too. The idea of “broken heart syndrome” has been around for ages, but it’s a real condition — known as “stress cardiomyopathy” in the medical community. Heartbroken lovers with stress cardiomyopathy have two to three times as much adrenaline in their blood as people who suffer from a classic heart attack, and they have seven to thirty-four times more adrenaline than normal individuals. What that means? Taking a Tylenol actually might ease your emotional pain.

Instead of Trying to Forget Your Ex, Try Remembering Him

If Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind weren’t fiction, I’d recommend erasing a few memories. But the path to recovery from a breakup may be just the opposite: don’t try to forget. Expose yourself to just about every reminder of your ex you can think of. Did he ride an Audi S5 Coupe? Go to an Audi store and test drive one. Keep going until the store manager asks you to get lost. The reason? Our brains get bored when we feed them the same information over and over. They adapt to the stimulants and eventually cease to take note – which enables to forget, and move on with our lives. This is true even if the information overload may be torturous at first.

Drastic Changes After a Breakup Can Help You Heal

It’s called “placement conditioning”: the idea that changing your surroundings may help you recuperate from heartbreak. The reason we know it works is because it’s been tested — in drug addicts. These weren’t heartbroken drug users, no, but love can be a lot like a drug: the reward chemical dopamine that plays a crucial role in drug addiction is overflowing in the brains of people smitten with love.

What explains the need for drastic changes is chemical conditioning. If a heroin addict always takes a dose at a specific time, in a specific hangout, the brain will learn that these stimuli (room, time, people) mean the dose is coming, and it will prepare itself for the fix. But suppose the heroin addict and his pals agree to quit. The withdrawal symptoms would be worse in the old environment because there the brain knows to prepare the body for a dose. When the fix doesn’t arrive, the cravings get stronger. When you are in emotional pain and crave your ex, you are in the same situation as the heroin addict who suddenly quits his addiction. His craving will be more intense in the “heroin” environment than in a new one. So get the ball rolling: move the love seat to the other side of the living room.

Go Out and Get Kinda Drunk After a Bad Breakup. No, Really

You may have heard the opposite, and even your shrink might warn against it — if she hasn’t caught up on the latest research. It takes time for the brain to store events to long-term memory. But there is an exception to this. When you experience something terrifyingly traumatic — which a breakup can be — the trauma leads to immediate memory storage. When you recall the negative memory it may continue to activate the amygdala, the brain’s fear processing center, on every recall. But there is a way to bypass this. If you get hammered right after the trauma, your memory of the event won’t be as tightly anchored in your brain. Excessive alcohol consumption naturally protects against this. So, go get drunk as a skunk. Just don’t don’t drink an unhealthy amount or do anything stupid.

Berit Brogaard is the author of the new book ON ROMANTIC LOVE: Simple Truths about a Complex Emotion (Oxford University Press). She is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Miami, where she specializes in philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, and the cognitive sciences.

TIME Television

Jon Stewart’s Replacement on The Daily Show Should Be a Woman

After so many years of men hosting late-night shows, a woman at the helm is long overdue

Jon Stewart is leaving The Daily Show, and Comedy Central is presumably looking for a replacement. This is a no-brainer: it should be a woman.

In the past two years, there’s been so much turnover in late-night television: Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, James Corden and Larry Wilmore have all taken over old shows, or started new ones. A reader needn’t be particularly astute to notice that none of these people are women. There are, in fact, no women on late-night television at all. (Chelsea Handler was reportedly in talks to take the CBS Late Show spot, but ultimately wasn’t chosen. She has an upcoming late-night-style show on Netflix, but it hasn’t aired yet — and technically, it can’t really qualify as a late-night show in the traditional sense, since it’s on a streaming service.)

If there is any network that should “take a risk” on a female host, it should be Comedy Central. (Yes, it’s ridiculous that a woman hosting her own show is a “risk” in 2015.) The channel has done tremendous work to bolster the platforms of female comics in the past couple of years, adding shows like Inside Amy Schumer and Broad City—which was created by and stars Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson—to its traditionally male-dominated lineup.

Ratings have proven that viewers, including men, will tune in to watch these funny ladies. Inside Amy Schumer was the most watched series premiere for the channel in 2013, drawing a 50/50 male-female demographic despite tackling topics like objectification, discrimination and gender politics with a distinctly feminist tone. (Comedy Central’s audience is about 60% male overall.) Meanwhile, Broad City has earned critical acclaim and averaged 1.3 million viewers per episode in its first season. Compare that to FX’s Louie, which pulls in just over 1 million viewers per episode — despite being in its fourth season with a much better-known comedian at the helm.

The Daily Show has long been the core of Comedy Central’s lineup, and without it, the network will depend on these female-led shows to buoy their viewership. Given that, choosing a female host for this empty slot isn’t a matter of affirmative action — it’s just smart business.

That’s the dollars and cents argument. Now, for the idealistic one.

Comedy Central — and The Daily Show specifically — has long been an incubator for talent. It’s lovingly groomed Stewart, Colbert and Oliver, along with Steve Carell, Ed Helms and more, then sent them on to do bigger and better things. These men have become icons in their own right, an indelible piece of comedy history. It’s time that they do the same thing for a woman.

Read Next: How Amy Schumer Gets Guys to Think Feminists Are Funny

TIME

Dr. Tom Frieden: Vaccines Can Prevent Measles From Being a Disease of the Future

US-POLITICS-IMMIGRATION-DEMOCRATS
Brendan Smialowski—AFP/Getty Images Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, listens during a press conference on Capitol Hill on Jan. 13, 2015, in Washington

Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., is director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Every four minutes, somewhere in the world, a child dies from measles and its complications. That’s 400 children each day. For many more, an infection from measles will give them permanent hearing loss or brain damage.

In the U.S., it can be easy to forget how serious measles can be. We simply don’t see that many cases here.

But measles is one of the most contagious diseases known. It’s so easily spread that if one person has it, 9 of 10 people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected.

Now the U.S. is facing a measles outbreak. It started in Southern California in December and has spread to several states and Mexico. By the end of January, more than 100 people had been reported as having gotten measles as part of this outbreak. This number is increasing daily.

We don’t know for sure how this outbreak began, but it’s likely that someone got infected with measles overseas and then brought measles to the U.S. and spread it to others. Nearly 90% of the people getting measles in this outbreak are not vaccinated or don’t know if they are vaccinated.

A family vacation, lunch out with friends or a trip to the doctor or grocery store should not be the reason children become sick from a disease that’s almost entirely preventable.

And one thing about measles: it is so remarkably infectious that you can’t protect yourself. You can get it just from being in a space where a person not yet very ill with measles left two hours ago, or in an auditorium with just one measles patient many seats away from you.

Measles would be a far greater threat in the U.S. if it weren’t for the measles vaccine, which has now been successfully used for more than 50 years.

It’s widely administered through childhood immunization programs around the world. In the past 14 years alone, it has been given to more than 2 billion people worldwide. Since 2001, a global partnership that includes the CDC has vaccinated more than 1 billion children. In that time, these vaccinations have prevented more than 15 million deaths. The worldwide effort to prevent deaths from measles is leaving behind trained people, refrigerators for cold storage of vaccines and patterns of vaccination that will continue to make the world more secure.

Fifteen years ago measles transmission in the U.S. was declared over. But as this current outbreak shows, unvaccinated people can get measles while they are abroad and bring it to the U.S. They can spread it to others and cause outbreaks.

We can prevent another outbreak from occurring through some simple steps.

First, doctors can make sure all their patients are up to date on their MMR shots — which protect against measles as well as mumps and rubella — and other vaccines. If your children are sick with a fever, keep them at home. Or if you are sick with a fever, stay home. This protects others and works just as well whether the diagnosis is measles or flu or something else. This measles outbreak is also a reminder that adults should make sure their vaccinations are up to date. If you’re not sure, talk with your doctor, particularly prior to overseas travel.

Second, if their patients will be traveling abroad, they should make sure anyone 6 months or older receives the appropriate dose or doses of vaccine.

Third, doctors should consider a measles diagnosis in anyone who has a fever and rash and associated symptoms such as cough, irritated eyes or a runny nose. It can take anywhere from seven to 20 days after exposure before these symptoms appear. A patient with these symptoms should be isolated, specimens should be collected for testing, and the case should be reported to the local health department immediately.

Fourth, we need to increase vaccination rates, particularly in areas where parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children. We are not islands. If your child gets measles because he or she hasn’t been vaccinated, infection of a child with cancer or an infant can occur, with results that can be devastating. Understandably, many parents think that measles is a disease of the past. But unless we increase vaccination rates, it will be a disease of the future.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com