Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Rep. Maxine Waters wants supporters to “push back” on the Trump administration, a new report puts a number on the casualties of #MeToo, and single mothers in Japan are suffering. Have a mindful Tuesday.
• Where is ‘singlewomenomics?’ Throughout the tenure of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, we’ve all heard a lot about “womenomics,” his plan to bring more women into the country’s workforce. The initiative has been something of a mixed bag so far: Japan has succeeded in steadily increasing the share of working women over the past few years, though critics say that many of these female workers have moved into lower-level jobs.
This heartbreaking Bloomberg story adds an important new wrinkle, revealing one group of women who have been left behind by Abe’s reforms: Single moms.
Their ranks are growing; households led by a single mother rose by about 50% between 1992 and 2016. Yet the story notes that, “fewer than half of them receive alimony, and even if they can get a job, the odds are stacked against them. Working women earn roughly 30% less than men doing a similar job in Japan, and about 60% of women who work hold part-time, contract or temporary jobs where pay is lower and benefits can be non-existent.” In fact, the average single working mom is actually worse off financially than one who does not have a job.
The repercussions—both micro and macro—are devastating. The Bloomberg article leads with the story of a 4-year-old boy who was beaten to death on Christmas Eve by his mother and her two boyfriends. And child abuse, while a growing and deadly serious problem, is not the only issue faced by the children of single parents. They are generally poorer and less educated, and have far fewer prospects than their two-parent counterparts—a trend that Japan, which desperately needs a vital young workforce, can ill afford. Then there are the mothers themselves, who have few options for escaping this cycle of violence and poverty.
“Your choices become very narrow when you don’t have money,” Orie Ikeda, a single mother of two, tells Bloomberg. “You must put up with a lot of small things.”
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Breaking up the boys’ club. Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has hired its first female senior investing partner, (finally!) ending its all-male general partnership. Katie Haun, a former federal prosecutor who advises startups on the cryptocurrency industry, will become its eleventh general partner as the firm pushes into the crypto sector full-time.
• Pushing back. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) told her supporters to “push back” by heckling members of the Trump Cabinet in the name of reuniting the immigrant children separated from their families due to the president’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. Her comments come after Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders were confronted publicly in restaurants last week. Trump responded with a tweet insulting Waters’ intelligence and claiming that she called on people to harm to his supporters. (She did not.)
• 417. A new report finds that the #MeToo movement has so far ousted at least 417 high-profile people. Of that group, 193 were fired or left their jobs; another 122 have been put on leave, suspended or are facing investigations. And—notably—69 people have faced “no repercussions.” “The eagle eyes are out for this,” said Davia Temin, whose firm Temin and Co. did the research. “Women understand a little better their collective power, and they’re using it.”
• A coroner’s commitment. Dana Hutcherson, a candidate in the Jefferson County, Colorado coroner’s race, has pledged to not misgender trans people after death. The 34-year-old was inspired to run for the first time after Celine Walker, who identified as a woman, was killed in Florida and misgendered by the local sheriff’s office. The role of coroner, the oldest elected office in the U.S., is increasingly important as trans and non-binary people fight to have their identities recognized in life and in death.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Valerie Casey has joined Walmart as head of design. Most recently, she consulted on projects with Mozilla and Magic Leap. Cindy Eckert has returned as CEO of Sprout Pharmaceuticals. Emily Chiu, currently a principal at Square, was just appointed to the board of Barnes & Noble, Education, Inc.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Behind Big Blue. Meet Hillery Hunter and Stefanie Chiras, the women leading two teams behind IBM’s new supercomputer. Hunter’s group built out the machine’s memory and speed, while Chiras’s is in charge of taking it to market.
• Little pink pill lessons. In the past last two years, Cindy Eckert sold her startup, Sprout Pharmaceuticals, to Valeant for $1 billion; sued Valeant; and regained control of ‘female viagra’-maker Sprout—at no cost. She also launched The Pink Ceiling, a cross between VC fund, incubator, and consulting firm that’s focused on “making other women fucking rich.” Watch her talk about what she’s learned along the way:
• New POV. Young Jean Lee is making Broadway history as the first Asian American woman playwright to have her play appear on a Broadway stage. Straight White Men opens June 29 at Second Stage Theater. It explores themes of race, gender, and identity, often from an outsider’s perspective.
Women's Media Center
• Alexa, make it stop. A dark new pattern is emerging in abuse cases. Smart home tech (think Internet-connected locks, speakers, thermostats, lights and cameras) is enabling harassment and violence by domestic abusers. While no official stats exist, experts say reports of these technologies being used by abusers have spiked in the last 12 months.
New York Times