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This week:

How women are responding to the assault allegation against Joe Biden, why girls are hit hardest by school closures, and a Team Lily member’s favorite joggers.

Quick hits

Today’s featured news

Working parents face a ‘calculated risk’

Families are adjusting to the new landscape of the coronavirus pandemic — and some are finding it impossible to go without help from extended families, nannies or caregivers. As Lily contributor Soo Youn reports, most parents are trying to simply balance child-care choices and the public good. Kelly O’Connor, who’s a mother of six, has figured out a system with her sister, who has seven children younger than 5, and two nannies. “It’s a calculated risk where you balance your sanity and the kids’ education and your business,” she says.

Experts say that parents should relax expectations and also think about networks: A consistent network of people you see regularly is more important than a smaller network with different people, according to one epidemiologist. Read the full story here.

(Carlos Barria/Reuters; iStock)
(Carlos Barria/Reuters; iStock)

Women confront the allegation against Biden

Following a recent allegation by Tara Reade that former vice president Joe Biden sexually assaulted her when she worked in his Senate office in 1993, various outlets, including the New York Times and The Washington Post, examined the claims. In 2019, Reade had been one of several women to allege that Biden inappropriately touched them, but the new allegation went far beyond what she said last year: In a March 25 podcast interview, she alleged Biden pinned her against a wall, reached under her skirt and pushed his fingers inside her when she was a 29-year-old staff assistant. Lily multiplatform editor Lena Felton spoke with women voters who are struggling with the fact that the general election will likely pit two white men, who have both been accused of sexual assault, against each other. As Anna Fahr, a 38-year-old filmmaker, put it:

“It says a lot about our political system that the leading candidates … have very questionable track records when it comes to women.”

Separately, many high-profile Democrats last week endorsed Biden for president, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), former president Barack Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who in her endorsement message focused on Biden’s character rather than his policies.


For transgender students, school closures can be particularly harmful

School closures have caused much disappointment for students around the country, but they can put transgender students at unique risks, BuzzFeed News reports. For many of these students, school closures mean the end of access to essential health care and a place to be themselves. Some return to homes from campuses where they were openly trans for the first time — and are now among family members who do not accept them. To cope, students are connecting online and helping each other find housing or even mailing each other medications.

(Hagen Hopkins/Getty; Sam Yeh/Getty; iStock)
(Hagen Hopkins/Getty; Sam Yeh/Getty; iStock)

How women leaders are handling the crisis

In dealing with the pandemic, countries with the best responses seem to have one thing in common: Women are calling the shots. As Forbes reports, among these leaders is Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan. Tsai has been praised for having one of the first and fastest responses to the outbreak, and her country has only reported six deaths. Meanwhile, in Iceland, under the guidance of Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir, citizens are being offered free testing. And in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was quick to close her country’s borders, and as of mid-April, there have been only four deaths.

—Macy Freeman, former Washington Post multiplatform editor

From our staff writer

Caroline Kitchener on getting outdoors

(iStock; Lily illustration)
(iStock; Lily illustration)

The official guidance for how to get outside safely — whether that means hiking in a park or walking on the sidewalk — can be confusing. Lily staff writer Caroline Kitchener spoke to experts about how to do it right. First, it’s smart to stay local. If you do have to drive to reach a trail, don’t stop along the way. For other important tips, read the full story here.

Stat check

News by the numbers


With 1.5 billion students affected by school closures around the world, girls who live in the least developed countries — more than 111 million, according to a U.N. agency — stand to be most negatively affected. According to experts, they are more at risk than boys of never returning to school, because they already face barriers to education, including family and societal pressures. A new report by the nonprofit international organization the Malala Fund analyzed data from the 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic and estimated that as many as 10 million secondary school-age girls who were in school before the coronavirus pandemic began this year will not return.


Five need-to-know stories in 100 words or less

1. On Wednesday, civil rights groups filed a federal lawsuit challenging a recent Idaho law that bans transgender women from competing in women’s sports. The bill, signed into law by Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) in March, applies to all sports teams in public schools.

(Carlos Osorio/AP)
(Carlos Osorio/AP)

2. In an interview with Elle, Stacey Abrams — who ran a competitive campaign for Georgia governor in 2018 — said that she would accept an offer to be Joe Biden’s vice president. “I would be an excellent running mate,” she said. “If I am selected, I am prepared and excited to serve.”

3. A record number of women were elected in South Korea’s parliamentary elections Wednesday. It was the first election in which the country’s newly formed Women’s party, aimed at dismantling sex discrimination and combating sexual violence, campaigned.

(Land O'Lakes)
(Land O'Lakes)

4. Land O’Lakes removed the image of a “butter maiden” — a Native American woman depicted with a feather in her hair, kneeling and holding butter — from its packaging. The logo, which dates back to 1928, has been criticized as racist and stereotypical.

5. Rosa Parks’s name was in the news last week: White House adviser Stephen Moore was quoted comparing the civil rights icon to people across the country protesting stay-at-home orders. “I call these people the modern-day Rosa Parks,” Moore told The Post.


A single panel from Pepita Sandwich

Bella and Donna, two fictional characters created by comic artist Pepita Sandwich, are best friends trying to navigate adulthood. This week, they came to a depressing realization about the coronavirus.

Lily Likes

Things we love but weren’t paid to promote

The late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, known as much for his clothing as his controversial statements, once said, “Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.” Whatever, Karl. I recently bought a pair of jogger sweatpants and they are probably the coziest item I’ve ever owned. I wear them most days (don’t worry, I wash frequently) because I can no longer stomach the thought of jeans. These joggers aren’t perfect — they pill a bit — but hey, they cost $20, they’re a pretty color and they complete my WFH outfits. Defeat never felt so sweet.—Nneka Mcguire, Lily multiplatform editor


[bye-koo] Saying goodbye with a haiku

Made with by:

This newsletter was made while listening to:

“Thinkin Bout You” by Laura Jean Andersen

Listen to everything we’ve recommended here.

P.S. …

A quick, curated list of Team Lily’s go-to content this week

Getting divorced in the pandemic is complicated. For Orthodox Jewish women, there’s an additional obstacle.

The get process requires the husband to physically hand over the Jewish bill of divorce

These couples got engaged before gay marriage was legal in Costa Rica. Now, they can finally make their weddings a reality.

This week, the country became the first in Central America to legalize same-sex marriage

You probably know Sharon Choi as ‘Parasite’ director Bong Joon-ho’s interpreter. But she’s a filmmaker, too.

‘She’s perfect. And we all depend on her, and she’s also a great filmmaker’