The Week in Women: Monica’s grief, Melania puts her foot down and a ‘giant sisterhood’ of politicians may be on the way

A photograph showing former White House intern Monica Lewinsky (L) working in a White House office as President Bill Clinton looks on submitted as evidence in documents by the Starr investigation and released by the House Judicary committee September 21, 1998.

Like your extended relatives with Opinions™, we’re wading into politics this week. Let’s take a look back:

Around 120 women MPs from parliaments across 86 countries gathered in London recently to celebrate 100 years of women’s suffrage in the U.K. — and to consider a proposal to forge a “giant sisterhood” that would serve as a resource and support system for all women in politics. Internationally, women make up just 24 percent of all elected parliamentarians in the world. Penny Mordaunt, British international development secretary and minister for women, suggested during the gathering that women working in the political sphere should be given access to a WhatsApp group that would provide information and connections that can help them succeed. Sisterhood and emojis? We are so here for that.

Monica Lewinsky wrote an Op-Ed for Vanity Fair explaining why she decided to participate in the new docuseries The Clinton Affair, which takes a deep dive into the infamous scandal. Lewinsky participated in 20 hours of interviews, in part because the process forced her “to acknowledge to myself past behavior that I still regret and feel ashamed of.” More than shame, she said, she found herself contending with grief. “Grief for having been betrayed first by someone I thought was my friend, and then by a man I thought had cared for me,” she wrote. “Grief for the years and years lost, being seen only as ‘That Woman.’”

Cassandra Levesque, a 19-year-old who once led a campaign to end child marriage in New Hampshire, was elected to the state House of Representatives as a Democrat in the midterm elections. As recently as 2015, the average age of New Hampshire state legislators was 66 years old. Levesque says that she intends to refocus the legislature on bills that benefit the state’s youth, including measures to make college more affordable. Levesque herself is taking online political science classes at Southern New Hampshire University, and is continuing to serve as a Girl Scouts leader. Excuse us while we stand in a corner and feel inadequate.

Deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel is rumored to have made numerous enemies in the White House, but it took a push from Melania Trump to see her booted from her position. Ricardel reportedly quarreled with Trump’s staff over various matters pertaining to the first lady’s recent trip to Africa, prompting Trump to make the unprecedented move of announcing in a statement that Ricardel “no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House.” A few days later, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders revealed that Ricardel would be transitioning to a new role within the administration — outside of the White House. Observers have taken this as a sign that Trump is able to influence key personnel decisions in her husband’s administration. *Silently prays that Mike Pence gets on Melania’s bad side.*

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Previously in The Week in Women

Sadness after another deadly mass shooting, RBG bounces back and an unusual legal challenge

A synagogue shooting victim remembered, latest Louis C.K. show has a new twist and Brazil elects a far-right president

Ethiopia’s first woman president, Meghan’s first royal speech and a ‘Golden Girls’ cereal craze

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