This week: Bill Cosby is back in court, actress Sandra Oh stars in the spy thriller “Killing Eve,” and Lily editor in chief and creative director Amy King recommends a sleep therapy light.


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This week:

Bill Cosby is back in court, actress Sandra Oh stars in the spy thriller “Killing Eve,” and Lily editor in chief and creative director Amy King recommends a sleep therapy light.

Woman in viral photo sues former employer

Juli Briskman gestures with her middle finger as President Trump’s motorcade leaves Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty)

Juli Briskman, who famously flipped off the presidential motorcade in October, is suing her former employer for firing her after an image of the incident went viral. Akima, a government contracting firm, forced her to resign out of fear of retaliation, Briskman’s attorneys say, violating “the basic tenets of Virginia employment law.”

“A private employer can’t suppress my freedom of expression,” Briskman wrote in an opinion piece for The Washington Post.

An ‘inappropriate response’ to a female doctor in the sumo ring


When the 67-year-old mayor of Maizuru, Japan, collapsed while giving a speech in the middle of a sumo ring on Wednesday, a female doctor rushed to help. The woman began performing CPR on the mayor, Ryozo Tatami, and several other women entered the ring to offer assistance, a video shows. Eventually, male firefighters arrived with a defibrillator and entered the ring.


The whole time the women were working to save the mayor, a judge from the Japan Sumo Association was saying over and over on the public address system: “Please, could the women leave the ring.”

According to the Shinto traditions of the male-only sport of sumo, women are considered “ritually unclean,” and are forbidden from entering the ring. The Japan Sumo Association later apologized for the judge’s “inappropriate response because the situation could have been life-threatening.”

Transgender weightlifter injured at Commonwealth Games

(Hannah Peters/Getty; iStock)

Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard, the first openly transgender athlete to represent New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games, withdrew from competition today after an injury. Hubbard, 40, competed in the women’s 90 kg-plus division, and faced intense criticism heading into the Games. Several rival teams said Hubbard had an “unfair advantage,” and some wanted her banned from competition.

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg begins apology tour

(Thibault Camus/AP/Pool)

Starting today, Facebook will begin notifying the 87 million users whose information may have been obtained by Cambridge Analytica, a data firm hired by Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election. Since Facebook’s admission of the data breach, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been front and center, apologizing in interview after interview. Zuckerberg has admitted the company’s privacy practices need to change, and he’ll testify before Congress this week.

Last week, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg also began speaking out, telling NPR that “we know that we did not do enough to protect people’s data.”

She also appeared on the “Today” show, where host Savannah Guthrie asked if Facebook could provide a way for users to hide their profile data from advertisers altogether. Sandberg indicated that if such a tool existed, it “would be a paid product.”

Bill Cosby’s retrial set to begin today

(AP/Lily illustration)

The retrial of comedian Bill Cosby on sexual assault charges is set to begin today with opening statements in Norristown, Pa. Cosby’s first trial on charges of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand, a former Temple University women’s basketball official, ended in a mistrial last summer.

This time around, the prosecution will have the momentum of the #MeToo movement on its side. Judge Steven T. O’Neill — who presided over the first trial — is also allowing five accusers to testify. Last year, only one accuser was permitted to take the stand.

Sixty women have publicly accused Cosby of harassment, sexual assault or rape. While some are well known, many of the women aren’t in the public eye.

“We are not celebrities,” said Lili Bernard, a Los Angeles artist who has accused Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting her in the 1980s when she played a role on “The Cosby Show.” “People are much more interested in knowing what a celebrity suffers than people who are not celebrities.”

Columnist fired from the Atlantic over abortion comments

The Atlantic magazine fired columnist Kevin Williamson on Thursday following an outcry on social media when some influential Twitter users learned that Williamson had once commented that women who have abortions should be treated as murderers.

Williamson, who previously worked for the conservative National Review, said in a 2014 podcast episode that he was “absolutely willing to see abortion treated like regular homicide under the criminal code,” and that what he “had in mind was hanging” for women who were convicted of it.

South Korea’s former president found guilty

(AP/Lily illustration)

On Friday, former South Korea president Park Geun-hye was found guilty on 16 of the 18 charges leveled against her, including bribery, abuse of power, coercion and leaking government secrets. She was sentenced to 24 years in prison and fined $17 million.

Judges quit committee for the Nobel Prize in literature

Three members of the Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel Prize in literature, resigned last week over the organization’s refusal to cut ties with Jean-Claude Arnault, the head of a Stockholm cultural center who has been accused of sexual assault and harassment by 18 women.

The Swedish Academy does not typically accept resignations, as judges for the Nobel Prize in literature are appointed for life.

Last week, a shooter opened fire at YouTube’s headquarters in San Bruno, Calif., injuring three before killing herself. Authorities identified Nasim Najafi Aghdam, a woman in her late 30s from San Diego, as the suspected shooter. Aghdam was reportedly angry at YouTube’s moderators. She claimed the company censored her videos, leading to fewer views and less advertising revenue, her family said.

The fact that Aghdam was a woman stood out to Jaclyn Schildkraut, a professor and national expert on gun violence. She analyzed hundreds of mass shootings between 1966 and 2016 and found that just 4 percent were women.

While incidents involving female attackers are rare, Schildkraut has noticed some trends in her research, although most don’t mirror the YouTube attack:

• Women are less likely to kill strangers than men, Schildkraut said. Instead, women are more likely to commit intimate homicide, killing their spouses or their children.

• Men are more likely to use guns, Schildkraut said, and women are more likely to use more personal types of methodologies, such as poison or suffocation.

• Women who do commit mass shootings are more likely to do so at a school or a workplace.

• Women who commit these crimes are often portrayed as “crazy or depressed” in the media, when in reality, data show they are typically not “drastically different in motivation than the other workplace shooters,” Schildkraut said.

Sandra Oh wants to ‘create magic’ with ‘Killing Eve’

(Stuart Ramson/ Invision for BBC America)

In the spy thriller “Killing Eve,” actress Sandra Oh plays Eve Polastri, an American who knows she’s capable of more than her administrative role at the British spy agency MI-5. The eight-episode BBC America drama follows Polastri as she tries to track down the female assassin behind a string of murders throughout Europe.

Since leaving “Grey’s Anatomy” four years ago, Oh decided to take on only projects she’s passionate about. But those scripts were few and far between. Oh, who won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Cristina Yang on “Grey’s,” told Vanity Fair the lack of substantive offers she got after leaving the show was heartbreaking.

But when she read actress and writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s script for “Killing Eve” — based on novellas by Luke Jennings — Oh knew she’d found something worthwhile. She fell “in love” with Waller-Bridge’s writing.

“When I met Phoebe on Skype, I felt like I got her,” Oh said in an interview with Vogue. “I could get her voice. This is very vital to how I want to work. I want to have a collaborative experience with my creator. I think that’s how people create magic together.”

Carmena Woodward, left, and Evangeline Elder, right. (Kate Dash)

When Carmena Woodward and Evangeline Elder — a.k.a. Red Corvette and Vang, respectively — met in 2014, they knew they’d be friends. They were both DJs who were unimpressed with the music world: It was a misogynistic “bro fest.”

In 2017, the pair launched the Women in Music Festival, a community-oriented and women-led weekend of events in Oakland, Calif. In addition to providing a space for women to network and learn from one another, the festival aims to demystify careers in music and media. The second annual event happened this past weekend.

What takeaways do you want women who attend the WIM Festival to get when the event is over?
We want them to feel empowered. We want them to know that your path doesn’t have to be linear. We want them to form new womxn alliances and leave feeling stronger than they came.

Do you have any advice for people who might want to start a similar event in a different city? How do you continue to keep costs low for attendees?
Talk to the women in your community and ask them what they want, what they need, and how they feel about their environment. Also, do your research and brainstorm with people of all races and genders on how to build an intersectional platform. Learn other truths beyond your own, so you can curate for all women, not just your bubble. We keep costs low by allowing you to build your own festival experience. We don’t offer general passes. We allow attendees to pay for what they want to go to, and pay for what they can.

Who are some women in music who deserve more shine or attention?
Shavone Charles, [the head of global music and youth culture communications] at Instagram. She’s a force of nature and one of our keynotes for the festival this year. She’s such a boss and represents the modern woman who has multiple creative projects. We’re also a fan of Jane Claire Hervey over at Boss Babes ATX. She’s killing it with music events in her region and they have a lot in store.
Deonna Anderson, Lily contributor


Philips Somneo Sunrise Wake Up and Sleep Therapy Light

This probably sounds familiar: My phone is the last thing I look at before going to sleep and the first thing I look at when waking up. Seeking higher-quality sleep, a few of us on Team Lily have been experimenting with alarm clocks and phone-free bedrooms. I've been using and enjoying this light therapy alarm. A light, imitating the sunrise, slowly wakes me up over 20 minutes. At the end of 20 minutes, a pleasant chime sound finishes the job. I still miss my phone but will continue to leave it outside the bedroom.
–Amy King, editor in chief and creative director of The Lily

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

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