In the know: Women in the news 1/27-1/31

Know Your Value's weekly roundup of women in the news.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Actress Salma Hayek, and singer Pink.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Actress Salma Hayek, and singer Pink.AFP - Getty Images; E! Entertainment

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By Halley Bondy

New Gallup poll: women still handle main household tasks in the U.S.

According to new data from Gallup, heterosexual American couples still divide household tasks by traditional gender lines. In 59 percent of the couples polled, men perform the yard work, while 69 percent of couples charge the man with keeping the car in good condition. Meanwhile, 58 percent of couples charge women with doing laundry, 51 percent with cooking, 51 percent with cleaning, and 62 percent with home decor decisions. The gaps have slimmed considerably since 1996, however, and for the first time, men and women are tasked equally with paying the bills.

Caregiving or career? The choice no woman should have to make.

Women act as caregivers to sick or elderly relatives at a disproportionate rate to men, and women often have to give up their career ambitions to play the part. In this feature for Know Your Value, three women tell their stories about caregiving, and how they have battled with their own career ambitions in the process. Experts describe what kinds of resources are available (and sadly, not available) to caregivers, and what they can do to stay in the career game while weathering massive life changes.

Kobe Bryant became a champion of women's sports after his career

Before his tragic death in a helicopter crash on Monday, former NBA player Kobe Bryant was an advocate for women’s sports. He brought attention to the WNBA by starring in commercials for the league and attending games. He coached his daughter, an aspiring basketball player named Gianna, who was also killed in the crash. About 10 years after being charged with felony sexual assault in 2003, which settled out of court in 2005, some say he changed. “It doesn’t diminish the mistakes and the consequences that come from those mistakes, but I sure think it’s a part of his legacy of how he responded in the public light,” said UCLA coach Cori Close to the Los Angeles Times.

From violent avengers to pregnant teens, Sundance’s women met obstacles head-on

While Hollywood struggles with gender parity, the Sundance Festival in Utah flaunted progress in its film credits this week. About 46 percent of films in Sundance were directed by women, and many more of the festival’s films boasted female protagonists facing dark issues, like abuse, prostitution and vengeance against rapists. Slate rounded up a number of female-oriented films in Sundance this year, including “Miss Americana,” a documentary about Taylor Swift; “On The Record” a documentary featuring women who accused record producer Russell Simmons of sexual abuse; and “Promising Young Woman,” a female-fronted crime feature directed by the showrunner of “Killing Eve.”

The way most states elect candidates isn't very good for women

State elections have been tilting against women in the past few decades, and very subtly. Political scientists found that single-member districts — in which one person is elected to represent a district — deter women from running and being elected. Women are more likely to run and be elected in multi-member districts, but only 10 states feature those kinds of elections. While the difference seems innocuous, scientists have a few theories, including the fact that people are biased against voting for women unless they have a male team around them.

Harvey Weinstein rape trial: witness says mogul invoked Charlize Theron, Salma Hayek: “This is how the industry works

Dawn Dunning, a prosecuting witness against producer and accused rapist Harvey Weinstein, testified on Wednesday in New York Supreme Court. She told the jury that, when she was 24 years old, Weinstein sexually assaulted her under their dinner table. Later, Weinstein allegedly told Dunning that he would sign her acting contract if she had a threesome with him and his assistant. When Dunning said no, Weinstein allegedly told Dunning: “You’ll never make it in this business. This is how the industry works,” and dropped the names of actresses Charlize Theron and Salma Hayek as examples of women who had caved to his advances. Hayek has said that Weinstein sexually harassed her on the set of “Frida,” while Theron divulged that Weinstein frequently lied about her relationship with him.

Pink, Kate Winslet and more celebrities on why they've said 'no' to plastic surgery

Pink, Kate Winslet, Meryl Streep, Salma Hayek and Halle Berry are among the female celebrities who refuse to get plastic surgery in order to appear young. People.com created a roundup of their reasons: Pink said she embraces the change, and that the faces of people who get plastic surgery “can’t move;” Streep said that, when she encounters someone with a lot of plastic surgery, it feels like an “interruption” in communication; and Winslet said, “I’m an actress. I don’t want to freeze the expression on my face.”

What parents need to know about the coronavirus

The Wuhan coronavirus has swept China, and in the U.S., at least five cases have been reported. National health departments have been on alert primarily because of the recent deadly SARS and MERS outbreaks, which are also types of coronaviruses. However we know very little about the Wuhan coronavirus, its rate of infection or its outcome, according to doctors. So far, it seems to be milder than SARS and MERS. While the likelihood of infection in the U.S., doctors are telling parents to remain vigilant and make sure their children wash their hands frequently.

How Nancy Pelosi won over the progressive insurgents in her fight to run the House

After the midterm elections in 2018, it appeared as if the influx of progressive candidates and sentiment might end Speaker Nancy Pelosi's term, according to The Nation writer Joan Walsh. Instead, Pelosi weathered the storm and won the support of the House Democratic Caucus on Wednesday in a vote of 203-32. She will face off against Republican nominee Kevin McCarthy in the official House Speaker vote next January 3. Pelosi won back control by quelling protest arrests on the Capitol, and by forming a climate action committee. These moves won the support of prominent progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, thereby paving the way for dialogue between Pelosi and the new progressive wave.