Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Valentina (@valzarya) here. Serena Williams welcomes a daughter, female lawmakers back Bernie Sanders' health care bill, and Kirsten Gillibrand has fighting words for Betsy DeVos. Have a great Thursday.
• The creative power of moms. Between Angelina Jolie and her brood of six on The New York Times' front page and Serena Williams's Instagram post introducing her newborn daughter to the world, yesterday's news seemed to be dominated by moms. And not just any moms—extraordinarily successful, creative moms.
While the discussion of balancing work and motherhood is an endless—and endlessly contentious—one, a particular research finding highlighted by UC Irvine professor and writer Erica Hayasaki caught my attention. In an editorial for The Atlantic about motherhood and creativity, she uses research about rats (yes, rats) to contradict the idea that creative work and being a parent are diametrically opposed:
Science shows us that rat moms are inventive, dauntless, resourceful—essential ingredients for creativity...Prior to becoming a mother, [a rat] might have chased a cricket for food, “hither and thither, a haphazard pattern,” attracting predators. But as a lactating mom, her method is “more direct and lethal.” She captures the cricket in 70 seconds—four times faster than non-mom rats—and does not let it go.
Hayasaki, a mother of three, writes that, while "the competition between raising children and creative output is real," she doesn't believe that motherhood is the enemy of work. "I am a better mother, a happier mother, when I am also able to carve out time to write. I am a better writer, a happier writer, when I am also an involved mom."
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Food fighters. Speaking of creative women, Fortune and Food & Wine's annual list of the most innovative women in food and drink is out. Katherine Miller, founder of the non-proft Chef Action Network, takes the top slot, followed by Christine Moseley, founder of grower-buyer marketplace app Full Harvest, and Martha Hoover, whose restaurants double as vehicles for social change. Fortune
• Backing Bernie. Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT) proposed a single-payer health care bill yesterday. Nicknamed "Medicare for All," the policy would create a national insurance system and eliminate most out-of-pocket costs for individuals. Rumored Democratic presidential hopefuls Sen. Kamala Harris (CA), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA) have all endorsed the bill. Wall Street Journal
• Another bill on the Hill. Ivanka Trump isn't the only childcare advocate in the capital: Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) will lead the introduction of the "Child Care for Working Families Act" today. Politico reports that the bill "will make federal funding mandatory for lower- and middle-class families to ensure child care doesn't eat up a disproportionate share of their budget, focus on preparing 3- and 4-year-old children for kindergarten and make new investments in the child care workforce." Politico
• Wilson wins big. Australian actress Rebel Wilson has been awarded $3.67 million in damages from Bauer Media Australia after winning a defamation suit against the organization in June—the largest such payout in Australian legal history. One of Bauer's magazines had put out a series of articles branding the Bridesmaids star a “serial liar” who had “fabricated almost every aspect of her life.” Fortune
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Draper James CEO Andrea Hyde is leaving the company; Taylor Rettig is named interim chief of the Reese Witherspoon-owned brand.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Gillibrand vs. DeVos. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) writes a fiery op-ed for Cosmopolitan titled "Betsy DeVos Is Betraying Our Students." She outlines her issues with revoking the 2011 Title IX Guidance (a.k.a. the Dear Colleague Letter), an action she sees as jeopardizing sexual assault prevention on campuses. She also outlines her own efforts to fight campus sexual assault: the Campus Accountability and Safety Act. Cosmopolitan
• F in parental support. This feature digs into the irony that is the modern college experience: There are "multi-million dollar fitness centers, lobster dinners, and in-dorm flat screen TVs to attract wealthier students," but support systems for student parents go largely unnoticed or even ignored. That's a problem for the more than 4.8 million undergraduate parents on campuses nationwide. Refinery29
• Green talks, retail listens. At Recode's Code Commerce event in NYC, Forerunner Ventures founder Kirsten Green spoke at length about the changing retail landscape—including the stat that 43% of consumers feel that “owning today feels like a burden.” She would know: Her VC firm was the lead backer in Dollar Shave Club, which sold to Unilever for $1 billion, and invested in Jet.com, which Walmart acquired for $3.3 billion. Recode
• Life advice from Light. Actress Judith Light writes about her decision to quit the soap opera One Life to Live after five years on the show. "The idea of leaving what was a success on so many levels was anathema to me," she writes about the moment she signed the exit contract. But the Transparent star has no regrets: "I still have to remind myself sometimes that fear never needs to control my choices. Something powerful rises up in me whenever I put the fear aside and move ahead in spite of it." New York Times
ON MY RADAR
Nun with a chainsaw becomes symbol of post-Irma cleanup: 'She rocks' NPR
How Anna Nicole Smith’s billionaire in-laws secretly lobbied the courts Bloomberg
Williams-Sonoma CEO Laura Alber: ‘I do not believe Amazon is killing retailers’ Recode
What do we want? A Plan B vending machine! When do we want it? Now! Refinery29