The Week in Women: A trans superhero, harassment in the writer’s room and the apparent plot to nab Stormy Daniels

Actor Nicole Maines attends the #IMDboat At San Diego Comic-Con 2018: Day Three at The IMDb Yacht on July 21, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb)

The weekend is finally here, and we’ve got big plans to get through our reading list, and definitely won’t end up spending the next 48 hours watching Netflix. So this week’s newsletter is devoted to writers and writing. Let’s take a look back, shall we?

Lauren Groff, author of a new short story collection titled Florida, politely refused to answer the dreaded work-life balance question during an interview with Colleen Walsh of The Harvard Gazette. Walsh asked how Groff managed to publish five books in 10 years, while also being a mother to two children. “I understand that this is a question of vital importance to many people, particularly to other mothers who are artists trying to get their work done,” Groff said. “But until I see a male writer asked this question, I’m going to respectfully decline to answer it.” It’s probably safe to say, then, that we are never going to be hearing Groff’s thoughts on the matter.

Nearly two-thirds of women writers have experienced sexual harassment on the job, according to a survey of more than 2,000 members of the Writers Guild of America West. Around one-fifth of the guild’s active members participated in the survey, which found that a “significant amount of the harassment writers experience occurs in the writers’ room.” In many cases, the WGA said, writers found their complaints about misconduct were shut down by higher-ups. Moving forward, the guild has called for Hollywood companies to take “urgent” steps to “ensure a respectful culture with zero tolerance for bullying, harassment and assault.”

A transgender comic book hero is coming to TV for the first time. It was announced at Comic-Con that activist and actor Nicole Maines will play Nia Nal, also known as Dreamer, in the fourth season of CW’s Supergirl. Maines previously made headlines in 2013, when she was denied use of the girl’s restroom at her high school in Maine. The following year, the state supreme court ruled that the school had violated her rights. Maines isn’t taking her new television role lightly. “With great power, comes great responsibility,” she said, borrowing the famous Spider-Man quote. “I’m nervous because I want to do it right.”

Here’s something that should probably never be put in writing: a secret plot to target the adult film star at the center of an investigation into the president’s personal attorney. Emails leaked by a whistleblower inside the Columbus Police Department in Ohio appear to show detectives and vice squad officers conspired to arrest Stormy Daniels during a performance earlier this month. At the center of the plot was vice detective Shana Keckley, whose emails included details about when Daniels was coming to Columbus and maps showing where she would be performing. Keckley also appeared to coordinate the effort to target Daniels and fabricate a cover story: That the detectives were working a human trafficking investigation, and Daniels just happened to get caught up in it. You really can’t make this stuff up.

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