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Asking the Hard Questions About Universal Child Care: The Broadsheet

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Israel tangles with two U.S. congresswomen, YouTube is hit with a lawsuit from LGBTQ creators, and we visit some interesting arguments about paid family leave and universal child care. Have a wonderful weekend. 

EVERYONE’S TALKING

– Support for working women. In Fortune, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America CEO Deanna M. Mulligan writes about why she believes companies must offer paid family leave

“I have personally seen the positive impact paid family leave provides employers and employees alike. The former more effectively attract and retain talent, and the latter benefit from greater financial security,” Mulligan writes. 

It’s an argument most Broadsheet readers are probably on board with. So why doesn’t the U.S. have it yet? 

There may be some clues in this piece by New York Times writer Claire Cain Miller on a tangential issue: universal child care. She asks why the U.S. has long resisted it. Besides political obstacles, she finds that Americans’ self-perception is standing in the way. Although both parents work in two-thirds of American families, most Americans say it’s not ideal for children to have two working parents. 

The disconnect between ideals and reality has historical roots, going back to turn-of-the-century widows’ pensions designed to keep (white) women at home even without husbands who work. “The resistance to public child care has never been mainly about economics. It has been rooted in a moral argument—that the proper place for mothers (at least certain ones) is at home with their children,” Cain Miller writes. 

I highly recommend reading the whole NYT story for more on the misguided morality standing in the way of affordable child care. Together with Mulligan’s piece, it is a stark reminder of how critical it is that we confront these issues and at last find a way to provide modern, working families with the support they need to thrive.

Emma Hinchliffe
emma.hinchliffe@fortune.com
@_emmahinchliffe

ALSO IN THE HEADLINES

– Entering Israel. President Trump said that Israel would “show great weakness” if it allowed Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar into the country. Israel seemed to comply yesterday, saying it would bar the two freshman congresswomen, who support boycott efforts against Israel in protest of its treatment of Palestinians. This morning, the story took another twist when Israel’s interior minister said it would approve a humanitarian trip by Tlaib to visit her 90-year-old grandmother, who lives in the occupied West Bank.  Fortune 

– YouTube showdown. YouTube’s troubles over its treatment of LGBTQ creators escalated yesterday when a group of those stars sued the platform and parent company Google over alleged discrimination. The suit alleges that LGBTQ users are being subjected to “unlawful content regulation, distribution, and monetization practices that stigmatize, restrict, block, demonetize, and financially harm the LGBTQ+ plaintiffs and the greater LGBTQ+ community.” YouTube, led by CEO Susan Wojcicki, says that all content on its site is subject to the same policies. CNN

– Over-invested. Maria Butina, the Russian spy who is serving 18 months in prison and is known for her efforts to influence Republican politics, also had a relationship with the CEO of Overstock.com. Patrick Byrne says he is still “fond of” Butina; the company issued a press release that drew attention to their relationship amid reports of Byrne’s involvement in the federal investigation of her activities. New York Times 

– 60 Penneys. Even as JCPenney faces the risk of delisting from the New York Stock Exchange with shares hovering around 60 cents, CEO Jill Soltau says she feels confident the turnaround efforts will succeed. “We are not simply running a business—we are rebuilding a business,” she says. Fortune

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Anna Wintour now has even more responsibility at Condé Nast, taking on oversight of Vogue International as global content advisor, in addition to her existing roles, U.S. artistic director and Vogue editor-in-chief. SoulCycle co-founder Julie Rice left her post as chief brand officer of WeWork. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

– Future of fintech. For Fortune, Kabbage co-founder and president Kathryn Petralia writes about regulation of fintech companies. Banking is changing fast, she says, and fintechs need different regulations than the old guard. Fortune

– Two if by sea. As climate activist Greta Thunberg travels by boat from Europe to New York for the UN Climate Summit, her scrupulousness is inspiring other climate-conscious travelers. The case for avoiding airplanes: Fortune

– Reflecting on Jamal. Hatice Cengiz, the fiancée of Jamal Khashoggi, the journalist who was murdered last year—allegedly at the direction of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman—gives a long interview to The New Yorker about how she met Khashoggi through her work as a researcher and the trauma of his death. The New Yorker

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ON MY RADAR

The hazards of writing while female The Atlantic 

Why we need more black women workspaces Zora

Four women sue Danny Masterson, Church of Scientology for alleged sexual assault cover-up Vanity Fair

Our children have my last name. No, my husband doesn’t mind Glamour

QUOTE

“After literal centuries of women whispering into hoop skirts and screaming at the sky and burning their bras … seeing other women’s work, it’s no longer competition.”

-Actress Betty Gilpin in an interview with Natasha Lyonne