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This week:

New data on the rising trend of cyberbullying among girls, a women’s rights activist is on the run, and an exclusive look at Life Magazine photographs taken by women.

Woman credited with first viral gender-reveal party has an updated message

In 2008, when Jenna Karvunidis decided to bake a cake with pink icing as a way to announce to family and friends the sex of her first child, she had no clue her idea would go viral. The blogger wrote about the cake on her parenting forum, and the trend took off. Recently, Karvunidis wrote a Facebook post in reply to a Twitter user who referred to her as the “inventor” of gender reveals. She has “mixed feelings,” she wrote, about the fact that she contributed to a culture that puts “more emphasis on gender than has ever been necessary for a baby.”

Karvunidis also told BuzzFeed News that she was inspired by her oldest daughter — the one whose gender was revealed at that 2008 party — because she is expressing herself in nonbinary ways.

In South Korea, some women are saying #NoMarriage

Last week, a Twitter hashtag took off among South Korean women. The gist? #NoMarriage. These women, Bloomberg News reports, are pushing back against what they say are government policies aimed at boosting the country’s birthrate. Some cities hold matchmaking events, and in more rural parts of the country, single women have been asked to submit an application that includes their height, weight, employment history and a recent photo.

Some of them, including Baeck Ha-na, a YouTube star who promotes a “live-alone life,” are taking a stand. The government policies, she told Bloomberg News, “represent a deeply ingrained perception of a woman in our society as an object, not an individual.”

Cyberbullying is on the rise, and girls are three times more likely to report harassment

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

Cyberbullying is on the rise across the country, and girls are disproportionately being targeted, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The survey found that about 15.3 percent of students reported being cyberbullied — but broken down by gender, 21 percent of girls in middle and high school reported being bullied online or by text message in the 2016-17 school year, compared with less than 7 percent of boys. What’s more, experts say that “girl against girl” bullying is particularly rampant.

“Most of the time — if not almost all the time — it’s about what’s going on with other girls,” Lauren Paul, founder of the Kind Campaign, told the Associated Press. “It’s this longing to be accepted by their female peers specifically and feeling broken if they don’t.”

Women’s rights activist Gulalai Ismail is on the run

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

Gulalai Ismail fights for women’s rights in Pakistan, and her work has been recognized all around the world — she has won numerous awards and met with leaders including former first lady Michelle Obama. But for the past two months, the New York Times reports, few have seen her: She has been on the run. That’s because Pakistan’s security services have accused Ismail of inciting rebellion. Officials have raided her house several times, according to Ismail’s family, and have allegedly abducted and tortured friends to gain information. Ismail’s family believes that if she is found and charged, she could be subjected to an unfair trial and imprisonment. Despite the dangers, her father told the Times, Ismail “is my pride. I am proud of her.”

Ahead of debates, Kirsten Gillibrand accuses rivals of not supporting ‘women working outside the home’

Kirsten Gillibrand. (Stephen Voss for The Washington Post)
Kirsten Gillibrand. (Stephen Voss for The Washington Post)

Twenty Democratic presidential candidates will face off once again July 30 and 31 on the debate stage. Last week, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), who has squarely positioned herself as an advocate for women’s rights, took aim at unnamed rivals for their attitudes toward women. At a women’s labor event in Iowa City, she said: “We have Democratic candidates running for president right now who do not believe necessarily that it’s a good idea that women work outside the home. No joke.” Gillibrand’s campaign would not say to whom she was referring.

Gillibrand’s name also came up recently in connection to former senator Al Franken. In 2017, Gillibrand was the first senator to call on Franken to resign amid allegations of sexual misconduct. Last week, the New Yorker published a controversial piece on the allegations against Franken, and now several Democratic senators have said they regret having called for his resignation. Gillibrand said she stands by her decision.

An exhibition honors how 6 female photojournalists saw the world

Photographs from “LIFE: Six Women Photographers.” (Margaret Bourke-White; Marie Hansen/Life Picture Collection/Meredith Corporation)
Photographs from “LIFE: Six Women Photographers.” (Margaret Bourke-White; Marie Hansen/Life Picture Collection/Meredith Corporation)

Between 1936 and 1972, Life magazine was in its heyday, and photography was central to its mission. A New York Historical Society exhibition has excavated photos by Life magazine’s six full-time female staff photographers, putting their work on full display.

Margaret Bourke-White, Hansel Mieth, Marie Hansen, Martha Holmes, Nina Leen and Lisa Larsen captured a range of issues, from women’s roles in post-World War II America to the Soviet Union. Two curators spoke with The Lily about the photographs and shared exclusive images with us. See those photographs, and read the stories behind them, here.


• Weeks-long protests in Hong Kong over the weekend, prompted by an unpopular extradition bill, escalated when police fired tear gas at thousands of protesters. Amid the strife, a photo of a woman shouting at police went viral.

• Tinder rolled out a new security feature that will hide users’ sexual orientation when they arrive in countries deemed hostile to the LGBTQ community.

• Veramika Maikamava, a 24-year-old Belarusian woman, died while crossing a fast-moving river in Alaska. She and her husband were attempting to find the abandoned bus made famous by the film adaptation of John Krakauer’s 1996 non-fiction book “Into the Wild.”

• After failing to deliver on Brexit, Britain’s Theresa May has resigned as prime minister. In May’s last session of Prime Minister’s Question Time, Harriet Harman, the longest-serving female member in the House of Commons, honored May as Britain’s second female prime minister.

Earlier this month, Houston city council member Amanda Edwards announced that she would join the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in Texas in a bid to unseat Sen. John Cornyn (R). If elected, Edwards would become the first African American woman to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate. She joins a number of women who are running to unseat established Republican male lawmakers.

The issues she’s focusing on: Health care and economic opportunity, including student debt.

On how she would unseat Sen. Cornyn: “Galvanizing the Democratic base is going to be critically important, and I’m someone who can galvanize that base. In the prior election cycle, groups that had registered to vote didn’t turn out. We saw that in terms of people of color, we saw high numbers in people under the age of 35. … We have to make a compelling message that it will matter — your lives will be different for casting that vote.”

The importance of female voters: “Women turned out higher in the past election cycle than men. … It was huge, and it may be even higher this election cycle, given the climate that women are experiencing and willing to speak out against. I think women will be encouraged to make a strong showing, and that will be critically important.”

What it would mean to be elected as the first African American senator from Texas: “Having this shift in the power paradigm in this country happens with a person like me being at the helm. I think this is a really unique opportunity to inspire other people, to know that even if it appears to be a David and Goliath scenario, not to allow other people’s limitations or low expectations to become your own.”

There are a lot of podcasts about technology, and just when I think I’ve heard it all, “Why’d You Push That Button?” always surprises me. The show captures the nuances of our digital interactions — from becoming Instagram official with your romantic partner to why we text in lowercase. The podcast just did a three-part miniseries about how the Internet changes how we die.

—Maya Sugarman, Lily video editor

Want more podcast recommendations from Lily team members and our colleagues? Find them here.

*Have an idea for a news-inspired baiku? Send us your creation at lily [at] washpost [dot] com, and you might see it in the next Lily Lines. We follow 5-7-5.

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