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Felicity Huffman, VA Sexism, Nancy Pelosi: Broadsheet March 13

March 13, 2019, 10:35 AM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman allegedly bribed their kids’ ways into college, Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want to impeach the president, and V.A. medical centers are not serving female vets. Have a wonderful Wednesday.


V.A., heal thyself. Just a week after Sen. Martha McSally’s Congressional testimony about being raped by a superior officer while serving in the Air Force, the armed forces and their treatment of women are back in the news.

This time it’s a New York Times investigation into what happens to female vets who seek care at Veterans Affairs medical facilities. The former service members describe experiences that range from the insulting (assumptions that they’re the wife of a vet) to the uncomfortable (sexist or harassing comments) to the downright dangerous (one Women’s Trauma Recovery Center had to be moved to a female-only facility after women said they feared for their safety.) For some female veterans, it’s been enough to force them to abandon the V.A. altogether—a benefit they earned through their service—and instead turn to private medical care.

It’s also worth noting that V.A. hospitals are generally not well equipped to serve the particular needs of women, including pregnancy and motherhood. And I was shocked to see that female veterans are more likely to be diagnosed with at least one mental health condition (over 40% compared with 25% of men), suggesting that they desperately need the help they are not getting.

Finally, consider that this problem is likely to become even bigger in the future: Women currently make up about 10% of vets—but account for 16% of active duty service members.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. The NYT points to the Jesse Brown V.A. Medical Center in Chicago as a possible way forward. The facility's vast majority of doctors and staffers are women, exam rooms and waiting areas are women-only, and programs include a weight loss group and art therapy. Former Army sergeant and current patient Lori Brown tells the Times that at the facility: “I can allow myself to be who I am in front of the doctor or nurse and not be intimidated by men." New York Times


Out of control. British PM Theresa May suffered another devastating loss last night as Parliament again voted down her Brexit plan. Today, the body will vote on whether to pursue a no-deal Brexit. If that fails, as is expected, a third vote will take place on Thursday to delay Britain's departure from the EU. And then? We haven't a clue. Under May's watch, Brexit has jumped the rails—that much is assured—and it's now careening into the unknown. Politico

Buying admission. A college admissions bribery scandal is unfolding, ensnaring some big names in entertainment and business. Actors Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin (our colleague Ellen McGirt christened the situation: "Aunt Becky and her kids with the bad grades"), Midwest Television owner Elisabeth Kimmel, and boutique marketing firm CEO Jane Buckingham are among those named in court records as having paid bribes to secure their children admission to elite colleges; one tactic was to ensure the students would be recruited as athletes, even if their athletic ability didn't merit it. Even Loughlin's Instagram-influencer daughter is caught up in the scandal.  Fortune

Because you're (not) worth it. In a wide-ranging interview, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says that she's not for impeachment—because President Trump is "just not worth it." It'd be too divisive for the country, she says, although she does believe Trump is "ethically, intellectually, politically" and "curiosity-wise" unfit to be president.  Washington Post

'Too masculine?!' In 2017, an Italian appeals court ruled that a woman couldn't have been raped because her appearance was "too masculine." All three judges who made that decision were women. That reasoning was revealed Friday, prompting hundreds of people to protest in Ancona, Italy.   Washington Post

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Cruise, GM's self-driving unit, hires Dropbox's Arden Hoffman as head of HR.


DeVos loosens the divide. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos took a step Monday toward easing the separation of church and state in education—specifically, by declining to enforce a law that "bars religious organizations from providing federally funded educational services to private schools."  New York Times

Girl, read this profile. Are you familiar with the phenomenon that is Girl, Wash Your Face? The self-help book is only part of the media empire launched by influencer-cum-preacher Rachel Hollis. This profile has the details on Hollis's growing business and how she's responded to criticism—from the right and the left. New York Times

The real history. A cool app for Women's History Month: Lessons in Herstory. The augmented reality app lets you scan the pages of a popular U.S. history textbook—one that's susceptible to the stat that only 11% of history textbook references are to women—and learn about an important woman from that same time period. If the textbook is teaching you about President Zachary Taylor, for instance, the app will add Cathay Williams, the first African-American woman to enlist in the army during the Civil War. Fast Company

Today's Broadsheet was produced by Emma HinchliffeShare it with a friend. Looking for previous Broadsheets? Click here.


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