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The Trump administration’s new sexual assault guidelines for colleges, why #ThisIsNotConsent trended on Twitter, and a favorite item from The Lily’s Gift Guide.
On Saturday, Queen Elizabeth II issued a royal statement to President Trump offering words of support regarding the California wildfires. Her granddaughter-in-law, Meghan Markle, grew up in Los Angeles, and the situation in the state grew more devastating over the week: As of Saturday, the death toll was at least 76, with more than 1,200 people still unaccounted for. In the San Francisco Bay area, schools were closed Friday — the air quality caused by smoke from the Camp Fire made it hazardous to be outside.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victims, and to all those who have lost their homes and livelihoods,” Queen Elizabeth wrote. “I pay tribute to the courage and dedication of the US emergency services and the volunteers that have provided support.”
Democrat Stacey Abrams announced Friday that she acknowledged Republican Brian Kemp was the legal winner in Georgia’s gubernatorial race. By late Thursday, Kemp’s 50.22 percent of the tally put him just above the threshold required to avoid a runoff election. But Abrams, who had hoped to become the nation’s first black female governor, said Friday that her remarks weren’t “a speech of concession,” because she believes that voter disenfranchisement helped boost Kemp, who held his post as Georgia secretary of state throughout his campaign. “Concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true or proper,” she said. “As a woman of conscience and faith, I cannot concede that.”
On Sunday, the Associated Press declared Kemp the official winner of the race.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos released new rules Friday that will drastically change the guidelines for how colleges and universities handle allegations of sexual harassment. The rules replace guidance issued by the Obama administration in 2011 and give new rights to the accused, including the option for their attorneys to cross-examine their accusers. In addition, the rules define sexual harassment more narrowly than before and allow schools to use a higher standard of evidence in evaluating claims.
DeVos said that schools “can, and must, condemn sexual violence and punish those who perpetuate it, while ensuring a fair grievance process.”
Women’s rights activists and Democrats, meanwhile, condemned the rules. John B. King Jr., who served as education secretary under President Obama, tweeted: “I am dismayed with the Trump administration’s cruel proposal that will have the effect of putting power in the hands of abusers & dissuading survivors from coming forward.”
On Monday, a group of dozens of lesbian, gay and transgender Central American migrants arrived at the U.S. border in Tijuana, Mexico, where they plan to seek asylum in the United States. They were the first people from the so-called migrant caravan to make it to the border, and have taken shelter in a rented home in the city as they await their fate. “I cannot believe we actually made it here to the border,” Andy Albaringa, a 23-year-old transgender woman from El Salvador, told The Washington Post.
While the bulk of the caravan remains far from the border, U.S. authorities say they are bolstering security “in preparation for the migrant caravan and the potential safety and security risk that it could cause.”
A rape trial in Ireland — in which a 17-year-old woman accused a 27-year-old man she met at a club of raping her — drew international attention this week. Women flooded Twitter with photos of their underwear, along with the hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent, after news about a move by the defendant’s lawyer went viral. During the trial, defense attorney Elizabeth O’Connell showed the jury a pair of thong underwear similar to what the teenager was wearing the night she said she was raped, arguing it suggested the possibility that “she was attracted to the defendant,” O’Connell said. “You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front.”
A jury of eight men and four women later found the defendant not guilty, but women’s rights advocates across the country spoke out.
A report from the New York Times, published Wednesday, exposed several missteps by Facebook’s leaders in the run up to and aftermath of the 2016 election: Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, reportedly kept knowledge of Russian interference under wraps. While chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has vehemently defended the company, he and Sandberg have come under intense criticism — but the report has also renewed questions about the “Lean In” author’s brand of feminism, which made the phrase, “Sit at the table,” famous in 2013.
Post opinion writer Molly Roberts argues: “Sandberg’s failure at Facebook exposes an emptiness at the heart of the argument that made her famous. … Sandberg herself, consummate table-sitter, has offered an answer over her company’s year of horror: Keep everything exactly the same.”
For the midterm elections, which saw a historic number of women run and win their elections, The Lily decided to do something different: We live-painted a mural of an eagle with 184 feathers, one for each of the 184 women who were first-time candidates for congressional or gubernatorial seats, or sought a higher office in Congress. As results rolled in, we painted in feathers to represent the winners. As of Sunday, we had painted in 43 feathers.
Gabrielle Walter-Clay is an R&B singer-songwriter originally from San Francisco. She records and performs as Clay, and doesn’t shy from politics in her music — she just released a new single called “Orange,” which she says is a “reclamation” of a color she associates with President Trump. She’s releasing an extended play, her first complete body of work, early next year. You can follow Clay on Instagram @iamclayofficial. Below, she shares thoughts on her songwriting process and navigating the industry as a woman.
On Tuesday, Monica Lewinsky published an essay in Vanity Fair in which she explained her decision to participate in A&E’s docuseries, “The Clinton Affair.” The series, which aired Sunday, features Lewinsky’s most extensive interviews to date. In them, Lewinksy delves into the excitement she felt as a 22-year-old having an affair with then-President Bill Clinton — and the traumatic public aftermath. In her essay, Lewinsky writes about why it was so important to tell that story now and meditates on the insidious nature of power dynamics. “I hope that by participating, by telling the truth about a time in my life — a time in our history — I can help ensure that what happened to me never happens to another young person in our country again,” she writes.
Thanksgiving is almost here, and we all know what that means: The kickoff to holiday season has already begun. If you want to be a star gift-giver this year, look no further than The Lily’s Gift Guide, which features 52 unconventional items made by women, from boxing gloves to portable aromatherapy. Check out one of our favorite products below, and be sure to follow us on Instagram — we’ll be giving away items from the Gift Guide in the coming weeks.
Cost: $10 each jar
Finding a natural deodorant you don’t have to reapply several times a day can be a challenge. I tried so many before finally landing on one that I like. Lone Deodorant comes in different scents: mint (my personal favorite), lavender, citrus and unscented. Being that the deodorant is like a paste, it’s best to dab it on lightly to prevent yourself from having a thick film on your underarms. What I love most is that I rarely have to reapply, and the mint version has such a fresh smell. According to my 7-year-old niece, it makes me “smell like bubblegum.”
—Macy Freeman, Washington Post multiplatform editor
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