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The gender divide on supporting impeachment, how revenge porn is weaponized against women, and a recommendation for fall tights.
Today’s featured news
Approximately 28 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States use hormonal birth control, but it can be a long and difficult journey to find the right one. Lily staff writer Caroline Kitchener spoke with 15 women, and heard from 70 more through an online form, who explored multiple types of hormonal birth control: IUDs, the arm implant, NuvaRing, various kinds of pills.
They told Kitchener about the various physical side effects they experienced as a result of their birth control — weight gain, changes in skin, hair loss. But the less visible symptoms, they said, were harder to blame on medication. Some experienced shifts in mood; others no longer felt like having sex. “The hardest part of the birth control journey, many women said, is trusting yourself,” Kitchener writes. Read the full story here.
For only the third time in history, the House of Representatives voted to formalize impeachment proceedings against the president of the United States. That clears the way for nationally televised hearings, which will focus on whether President Trump abused the power of his office to pressure a foreign leader to investigate one of his political rivals. Ahead of the party-line vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that members should “support the American people hearing the facts for themselves.” The White House, along with Republicans, blasted the vote and said the inquiry was an effort to remove Trump from office.
Support for impeachment is sharply divided along party lines — and by gender, according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll. Among women, 56 percent support impeachment and removal of the president; among men, support stands at 42 percent.
In at least the fourth instance of same-sex romance being stripped from an in-flight Delta movie, the airline came under fire last week after passengers noticed a scene was cut from the R-rated high school comedy “Booksmart.” But it wasn’t just the scene, an on-screen portrayal of sex between two women, that was missing. The in-flight cut, made by an outside company that works with the airline, also reportedly passed over the words “vagina” and “genitals,” an exchange about a lesbian act and talk of a urinary tract infection. The movie’s director, Olivia Wilde, addressed the reports at an awards show last week:
Passengers also protested that the airline’s cut of “Rocketman,” the Elton John biopic, was missing sex scenes and a kiss between two men. Over the weekend, the airline said the scenes were “unnecessarily excluded” and announced it would restore the scenes to both movies.
According to a report in the New York Times, two popular period-tracking apps, Flo and Clue, could be leading some women to be labeled with a hormonal imbalance they do not have. Those concerns come after the apps introduced health tools that evaluate a woman’s risk for polycystic ovary syndrome. In September, about 38 percent of women who completed Flo’s assessment were recommended to ask their doctors about the hormonal disorder, according to the app’s developer.
Although the apps — which collectively have over 40 million users — have good intentions, they could be “making a lot of people concerned they have a problem that they don’t know will have absolutely no clinical consequences for them,” one expert told the Times.
The Christmas song “Baby It’s Cold Outside” — first performed in 1949 — has received renewed attention in the #MeToo era for its lyrics, which critics say range from sexist to alluding to date rape. Now, John Legend and Kelly Clarkson are reprising the song. In this version, Clarkson sings, “What will my friends think / If I have one more drink?,” to which Legend replies, “I think they should rejoice / It’s your body, and your choice.”
Legend was also in the news last week after he and his wife, author and model Chrissy Teigen, announced last week that they are supporting Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) in the 2020 Democratic primary.
News by the numbers
That statistic comes from the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative. The topic has been in the news since Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.) announced she would resign amid allegations that she had affairs with two different current and former staffers, and after a conservative site published nude photos of Hill, provided by her ex-husband, without her consent. Revenge porn lawyer Carrie Goldberg told Lily staff writer Caroline Kitchener that this wouldn’t have happened if Hill were a man.
In her exit speech from Congress on Thursday, Hill said, “I am leaving because of a misogynistic culture that gleefully consumed my naked pictures, capitalized on my sexuality and enabled my abusive ex to continue that abuse, this time with the entire country watching.”
Five need-to-know stories in 100 words or less
1. A U.S. District Court judge blocked Alabama’s near-total abortion ban, which does not allow exceptions for victims of rape and incest and would make it a felony for doctors to perform the procedure unless a woman’s life was at risk, from taking effect.
2. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar proposed a new rule that would eliminate discrimination protections for LGBTQ individuals in all its grant programs — a move whose most immediate impact would be on the country’s child-welfare system, including foster care and adoption programs.
3. On Wednesday, following news that a U.S. raid killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the parents of Kayla Mueller, the 25-year-old American who was kidnapped by the Islamic State and killed in 2015, said the decision to name the operation in her honor was “an amazing gift.” Mueller had traveled to Turkey in 2012 and crossed the border into Syria on a mission to help those fleeing the civil war in the country.
4. When she heard that NBC News was considering allowing employees out of their nondisclosure agreements involving alleged sexual misconduct, Gretchen Carlson said she asked to be let out of her NDA at Fox News. The agreement she signed three years ago was related to a reported $20 million settlement after Carlson alleged former Fox News chief executive Roger Ailes demoted then fired her when she rejected his sexual advances.
This week, we hear from social impact strategist Ashley Spillane
Social impact strategist Ashley Spillane, founder and president of the firm Impactual, has headed up organizations such as Rock the Vote and Democratic GAIN. She recently authored a case study exploring how corporations and brands can increase voter turnout. We spoke with Spillane about the importance of voter turnout ahead of Election Day, which takes place Tuesday.
On what she aims to do in her work: “When you have a democracy where in any given election, 30 to 50 percent of the electorate is sitting out, we really have to change the culture around participation and celebrate voting and how empowered people are to cast a ballot.”
The most surprising takeaway from her case study: “All of the companies felt that doing something was good for business, whether they simply tweeted about the election or reminded their staff to vote. … A lot of companies are hesitant to do civic-responsibility programs because they’re worried it’ll be too political. But all of the polling we’ve seen and all of the case study interviews show that support amongst employees and consumers and across age ranges and political parties is there.”
Why she thinks everyone should vote: “My experience is that at some point in people’s lives, government matters, and they will need to interact with government or try to get government to do something for them. And it is so important to have voted to make sure you can engage well with people representing you.”
Things we love but weren’t paid to promote
It’s now tights season. If you’re like me and have trouble with traditional tights or pantyhose sizing (the sizes just get taller, not wider), I highly recommend Snag tights. I don’t usually cave to Instagram ads, but these are amazing. I hate control tops and feel that any tights I find at a department store roll down at the top or make me feel like I’m a stuffed sausage, but these are crazy comfy and have a ton of different sizes.
—Taylor Schena, senior designer at The Washington Post
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[bye-koo] Saying goodbye with a haiku
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