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This week:

Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun is granted asylum in Canada, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard announces her run for president, and a new film explores choosing childlessness.

New APA guidelines describe the dangers of ‘traditional masculinity ideology’

This week, the American Psychological Association issued guidelines to help psychologists address issues unique to men and boys, focusing on the detriment of “traditional masculinity ideology.” In the first report of its kind in the APA’s 127-year history, the inaugural Guidelines for Psychological Practice With Boys and Men links “traditional masculinity” — which includes “anti-femininity, achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, and adventure, risk and violence” — to homicide, suicide, homophobia, bullying and sexual harassment.

The report has been 13 years in the making and culls from more than 40 years of research. It aims to inform psychologists of how to help men break free of notions of masculinity that don’t help them. “Getting that message out to men — that they’re adaptable, emotional and capable of engaging fully outside of rigid norms — is what the new guidelines are designed to do,” the report reads.

The APA released guidelines regarding girls and women in 2007 that addressed sexual violence, pay inequality and disproportionately high rates of eating disorders. It is expected to publish an updated version this year.

How female government workers are being affected by the shutdown

(iStock/Lily illustration)
(iStock/Lily illustration)

On Saturday, the government shutdown entered its 22nd day — the longest in U.S. history. It is continuing to affect more than 800,000 government workers, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet. One State Department officer was writing mascara reviews online to cover the bills, but she was deemed essential and ordered back to work, without a paycheck. “So now I’m discouraged and depressed,” she told The Washington Post. “I’m feeling helpless, scared and worried.”

Tyra McClelland, who works for the D.C. Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, has also been deemed essential but did not a receive a paycheck on Friday. She said she’s trying to cover the cost of medicine, gasoline and her child’s lunch. “This hurts so much,” she said.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 53 percent of Americans blame President Trump and Republicans in Congress for the shutdown, while 29 percent blame congressional Democrats. Thirteen percent blamed them equally.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard announces run for president

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP; Lily illustration)
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP; Lily illustration)

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii announced on a pre-taped CNN show Saturday that she will seek the 2020 Democratic nomination for president. Gabbard, the first Hindu woman to serve in Congress, was elected six years ago. The 37-year-old was also the youngest person — just 21 at the time — to be elected to Hawaii’s state legislature.

In her interview on “The Van Jones Show,” Gabbard listed criminal justice reform, climate change and health care as central platform issues. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) became the first Democrat to enter the race when she announced her candidacy Dec. 31. Julián Castro, former housing secretary in the Obama administration, also announced over the weekend that he is seeking the Democratic nomination.

Lady Gaga apologizes for working with R. Kelly

Lady Gaga. (Mike Segar/Reuters; Lily illustration)
Lady Gaga. (Mike Segar/Reuters; Lily illustration)

On Wednesday, Lady Gaga issued a statement on Twitter apologizing for collaborating with R. Kelly — who has been roiled by allegations of sexual assault, most recently in Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly” series — on “Do What U Want (With My Body)” in 2013. She also said she would remove the song, which garnered criticism when it was released, from streaming services. Billboard reported that the track sold 2,000 downloads on Jan. 10, a day after Gaga issued the apology.

Gaga said she was going through a “dark time” as a victim of sexual assault when she recorded the song, and that she should have sought therapy instead. “I can’t go back, but I can go forward and continue to support women, men, and people of all sexual identities, and of all races, who are victims of sexual assault,” she wrote.

After Jayme Closs is found alive, investigators attempt to piece together what happened

(FBI Handout/EPA-EFE/REX)
(FBI Handout/EPA-EFE/REX)

On Thursday, Jayme Closs — the 13-year-old who had been abducted from her Wisconsin home Oct. 15 after her parents were killed — was found alive, about 70 miles from her home. Jake Thomas Patterson, the 21-year-old accused of killing Jayme’s parents and abducting her, was arrested and is set to appear in court today. Investigators said they believe Jayme was the target of Patterson, and that “he was getting rid of possible barriers to taking her,” according to Barron County Sheriff Christopher Fitzgerald. They’re now working to track the movements of Patterson and Jayme over the three months, and said they are talking to Jayme at her own pace.

Jayme’s grandfather, Robert Naiberg, spoke with the Associated Press on Sunday. “She’s doing exceptionally well for what she went through,” he said.

An NFL playoff game is officiated by a woman for the first time

Sarah Thomas. (John Cetrino/EPA/EFE; iStock)
Sarah Thomas. (John Cetrino/EPA/EFE; iStock)

In 2015, Sarah Thomas made history by becoming the National Football League’s first full-time female official. She made history again Sunday — this time by becoming the first woman to officiate an NFL playoff game. Thomas was a down judge for the match between the Los Angeles Chargers and the New England Patriots, which the Patriots won.

Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun is granted asylum in Canada

Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun. (Immigration police/AP; Lily illustration)
Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun. (Immigration police/AP; Lily illustration)

The high-profile asylum claim by Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, who was fleeing her Saudi family she said was abusive, has been answered: On Saturday, the 18-year-old landed in Canada, where she was granted asylum a day before.

This all comes after Alqunun first landed in Thailand last weekend, where she said she was abused by her family and feared for her life if she were forced to return. Thai officials initially attempted to deport her back to Kuwait, where her family was, but the case gained international attention when Alqunun locked herself in an airport hotel in Bangkok and used Twitter to demand to meet with representatives of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. Her social media campaign, along with friends’ and activists’ efforts, led Thai officials to reverse their decision. Alqunun’s father and brother denied the allegations of abuse.

In Saudi Arabia, adult women must obtain permission from a male guardian to travel abroad, marry or be released from prison. Other women have tried to flee; in 2017, 24-year-old Dina Lasloom was attempting to seek asylum in Australia when she was stopped at an airport in Manila and forced to return to Saudi Arabia. She hasn’t been publicly heard from since.

Meika Hollender. (Courtesy of Sustain)
Meika Hollender. (Courtesy of Sustain)

Meika Hollender grew up in a progressive household. Her father, Jeffrey Hollender, started Seventh Generation, an environmentally and socially conscious brand of cleaning products. After business school, Hollender teamed up with her father to bring those same ideals to the women’s sexual wellness market. They launched Sustain, a line of vagina products made with organic and Fair Trade ingredients, in 2013. Hollender’s book, “Get on Top,” a guide to help women learn about their sexual health, was published last year.

Alysia Reiner and Christina Hendricks in a scene from the upcoming film “Egg.” (Gravitas Ventures)
Alysia Reiner and Christina Hendricks in a scene from the upcoming film “Egg.” (Gravitas Ventures)

“Egg,” which opens in 10 cities and begins streaming Jan. 18, explores why women choose motherhood. It follows Tina (played by Alysia Reiner from “Orange is the New Black”) and Karen (played by Christina Hendricks from “Mad Men”), two former art school friends who are expecting babies at the same time. But their situations are quite different; Tina has decided to use a surrogate to have the baby. “If government and businesses are going to devalue women’s work and make motherhood economically feasible, why not outsource it?” she asks.

For Risa Mickenberg, who wrote the film, the film is really about women who opt out of motherhood. Mickenberg, who chose to be childless, said in an email that “writing this film, which took over 15 years to get produced, helped me make that decision.”

After seeing a targeted Instagram ad promising smoother hair and faster drying time, I impulsively caved and bought this microfiber hair turban. I’m glad I did. It has become a staple in my nighttime routine: I throw it on after I wash my hair, and within five minutes my hair is slightly damp as opposed to the usual dripping wet I’d get from a towel dry. Ever since I started using it a few months ago, my hair feels softer and smoother and healthier.

—Aviva Loeb, Washington Post designer

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