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The states expanding abortion access, the problem with father-daughter rituals, and how Europe’s far-right politicians are cracking down on gender studies.
Postpartum depression doesn’t only affect women. According to research, new fathers can suffer the same symptoms — and if their partners are suffering from postpartum depression, as many as 25 percent of new fathers may also experience it. But research published in the Journal of Mental Health has found that signs of postpartum depression are often missed in men. Researchers in Britain had a group of volunteers read nearly identical descriptions of situations in which the subject suffered from postpartum depression, but one described a man and the other a woman. Ninety percent of the participants identified the woman as having postpartum depression, postnatal depression or depression; only 46.4 percent identified one of those causes for the man’s behavior.
A professor not involved in the study told Reuters that because many people don’t realize that men can suffer from postnatal depression, “it is easier to minimize the symptoms, the severity … or the need to reach out and seek help.”
There’s a growing trend in Europe, according to a report in the Atlantic: Far-right and conservative governments such as those in Bulgaria, Italy and Hungary are targeting gender studies research. As far-right politicians are increasingly being elected to the European Parliament and within national parliaments, they are attacking gender studies. For example, they have banned a questionnaire about gender and bullying at schools in Italy and banned gender studies university classes altogether in Hungary. In Germany, Alternative for Germany (AfD), the first far-right party to enter the German Parliament since World War II, has said it aims to discontinue all gender studies funding and university research.
“In questioning traditional concepts of identity, sexuality, and kinship, gender studies therefore destabilizes the far right’s simple narrative of a native ‘us’ versus an alien ‘them,’” writes Eliza Apperly. “At the same time, the field disrupts the male authoritarianism integral to much of the far right’s self-image.”
Studies confirm that women continue to do more housework than men. That makes sense, given new research suggesting that while messiness has no social consequences for men, women are judged for it. Participants in the study were shown photos of clean or messy rooms and told they were occupied by a man or a woman. When they were shown the clean room and told it was occupied by a woman, they judged it as less clean than when a man occupied it. The woman was also thought to be more likely to be judged negatively by visitors. The study’s author told the New York Times that this discrepancy likely stems from the stereotype of “boys will be boys”; while both genders are penalized for having a messy room, messy men were not likely to be judged by visitors or feel uncomfortable having visitors over.
Much controversy has arisen from recent legislation restricting access to abortion in states such as Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana. But other states are expanding abortion rights. On Wednesday, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed an abortion access protection bill into law, which describes “a women’s right to choose” as “fundamental.” Maine’s state Senate also passed a bill last week allowing more medical professionals — including nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurse midwives — to provide abortions. And state legislators in Massachusetts will soon vote on an abortion rights bill that would, among other provisions, eliminate a current requirement that underage girls get consent from their parents or a judge to have an abortion.
It was a newsmaking week for women in President Trump’s orbit. On Thursday, the Office of Special Counsel recommended removing White House counselor Kellyanne Conway from federal office. The report, submitted to Trump, said Conway violated the Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from engaging in political activity. Trump also announced via Twitter that White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be leaving at the end of the month. He did not name a replacement.
Meanwhile, Hope Hicks, a top aide to the president during his 2016 campaign, reportedly will testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. The committee is investigating whether Trump obstructed the special counsel’s probe into Russian election interference. But it’s unclear whether Hicks will answer any of the panel’s questions. Earlier this month, the White House instructed her not to cooperate with a congressional subpoena for related documents.
Yesterday, on Father’s Day, fathers and daughters celebrated their special bond. But Lily staff writer Caroline Kitchener wanted to know: Why do we have so many specific rituals for fathers and daughters — such as father-daughter dances and speeches at weddings — but not for mothers and daughters?
Many of the rituals have been seen as unnecessary for mothers, who historically spent much more time with children, according to experts. But that’s changing now. Millennial dads are spending more than double the amount of time dads spent with kids in 1965, rendering the old father-daughter traditions outdated. Some experts argue that maintaining these traditions, such as the father-daughter dance, can actually end up entrenching stereotypes. They “reinforce the concept that the father is nothing but a sidekick,” one professor told Kitchener. Read the full piece here.
• The U.S. women’s soccer team made history in its opening game against Thailand by scoring 13 goals — the most ever in a World Cup game for men or women. Following controversy over the high-scoring game, some pointed out how criticism of the team was sexist. Stay up to date with Women’s World Cup news and matches here.
• A BuzzFeed News journalist investigated whether two women had been Photoshopped into a photo of a tech summit hosted by fashion designer Brunello Cucinelli in Italy. Cucinelli’s publicists confirmed that the two female CEOs had been present at the summit that weekend, but had missed the group shot, so their photos were separately taken and added in.
• France’s prime minister announced that the government intends to lift a ban that does not allow single women or lesbian couples to access medically assisted reproduction, including in vitro fertilization and sperm donation.
• New York lawmakers introduced a bill that seeks to decriminalize prostitution. New York would be the first state to decriminalize both the selling and buying of sex, but the bill’s passage seems unlikely. Separately, New York City allocated $250,000 to help women who travel from other states to obtain abortions. City officials said that the money would allow about 500 women to get abortions.
In an interview with Out magazine, Jonathan Van Ness, the hair and makeup expert on Netflix’s “Queer Eye,” described himself as “nonbinary” and “gender nonconforming.” While he does not identify as a “man,” he said he prefers he/him pronouns. Van Ness, who announced that he is partnering with the nail polish brand Essie as its first non-woman brand ambassador, shared the interview on Instagram, writing, “I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.” In the interview, he explains that “some days I feel like a man, but then other days I feel like a woman.” He also said he wants to break down stereotypes of the gender binary. “Any way I can let little boys and little girls know that they can express themselves and they can like be — like, making iconic partnerships with brands like Essie no matter how they present is really important and exciting.”
—Claire Breen, Lily multiplatform editor
I love dogs and I’ve wanted one of my own for a long time. Problem is, work and life take a lot of my time right now — caring for a furry friend full time would be a lot of work on top of my other responsibilities. Rover, available on iOS and Android, offers me a nice in-between. I can choose to walk dogs, host dogs at my own home or check on dogs at their homes. Whatever amount of dog love I’m in need of is entirely up to me. Plus, I get paid for it. Win-win.—Ross May, Lily art director