In many ways, 2017 was worse than we could have anticipated. President Donald J. Trump failed to have even a semblance of a conscience, our government seems like it’s in shocking disarray, we’ve gone backward on climate change, we’re more divided across party lines than ever, every time we open our newsfeed we’re faced with another person — usually a man — who has used his power and privilege to undermine or abuse women… I could go on.
But that doesn’t mean we haven’t seen some really incredible moments in 2017 too. On Jan. 21, 2017, the Women’s March, a protest against President Trump’s inauguration and misogyny, became the largest single-day protest in U.S. history. In many ways, it signaled the determination of women to resist the ugly changes that were sure to come.
Here are a just a few wonderful things women accomplished since the Women’s March.
Jan. 28: Banning the ban
Just days after the Women’s March, Trump issued an executive order that acted to immediately prevent people from seven Muslim-majority countries from coming into the U.S. — including green card holders. It was blocked by federal judge Ann Donnelly and several other female judges in the hours that followed.
Jan. 30: Sally Yates
Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates refuses to defend Trump’s executive order travel ban. She was fired later that day for her decision.
Feb. 7: She persisted
After silencing Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who was reading a letter written by Coretta Scott King criticizing now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell accidentally coined a new phrase for the resistance, saying, “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”
March 15: Fair pay
After their players were unable to secure fair pay from USA Hockey, the U.S. women’s national hockey team announced they would boycott the world championship. Shortly thereafter, they were able to negotiate increases and went on to win their eighth world title.
March 17: First black female neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins
Nancy Abu-Bonsrah accepts a position at Johns Hopkins Hospital and becomes their first black female neurosurgeon.
June 4: Wonder Woman crushes the box office
Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins, earns more than $100 million its opening weekend, making it the highest-grossing superhero movie of all time. It went on to earn over $821 million worldwide.
Aug. 16: Taking down Confederate statues
Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh makes a middle-of-the-night order for all the city’s Confederate statues to be removed after a white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, North Carolina, lead to the three deaths, including a young counterprotester, Heather Heyer.
Aug. 17: Black female-driven comedy gold
Comedy Girls Trip makes $100 million at the box office. It is the first film produced, directed, written by and starring black Americans to do so.
Sept. 2: Woman in space
Astronaut Peggy Whitson sets three records: most space walks by a woman at 10 space walks, cumulative time in space by an American at 665 days (and more time than any woman ever) and the first woman to command the International Space Station twice. But that’s her second International Space Station first. She was the first woman ever to command the International Space Station back in 2008.
Sept. 17: Award-winning comedy
Lena Waithe becomes the first black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing for Netflix’s Master of None. “The things that make us different — those are our superpowers,” she said in her speech. “Every day when you walk out the door and put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world, because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren’t in it.”
Sept. 25: The Affordable Care Act lives
The Affordable Care Act avoids replacement after Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) confirms that she will vote no on the Graham-Cassidy bill.
Sept. 30: Stand for Puerto Rico
San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz becomes the face of Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricanes Maria and Irma when she criticized the U.S. government and President Trump for ineffective relief efforts. “If anyone is listening, we are dying,” she said.
Oct. 5: #MeToo
Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey write an explosive story about years of abuse and sexual harassment at the hands of Harvey Weinstein, a major producer in Hollywood. The piece leads to Weinstein being fired from his company and sparks the hashtag #MeToo (originally started in 2007 by Tarana Burke), which women use to share their experiences with sexual misconduct, harassment and assault. Several other stories of misconduct in Hollywood and other industries come out, including accusations against actor Kevin Spacey, comedian Louis C.K. and journalists Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose.
Oct 9: Malala Yousafzai at Oxford
Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban five years ago while attempting to go to school in Pakistan and became a vocal supporter of education for women, started classes at Oxford.
Nov. 7: Don’t boo — vote
Voters fight back with some telling choices across the country.
Voters in Virginia elected the first two Latinas, Elizabeth Guzmán and Hala Ayala; the first Asian woman, Kathy Tran; the first openly lesbian woman, Dawn Adams; the first Asian-American Pacific Islander, Kelly Fowler; and the first openly trans woman, Danica Roem to the House of Delegates.
Andrea Jenkins became the first openly transgender black woman to win public office when she was elected for city council in Minnesota.
Seattle elected Jenny Durkan, its first openly lesbian woman and the first woman to be mayor in almost a century.
Twenty-three-year-old Crystal Murillo beat a 79-year-old incumbent for a city council seat in Aurora, Colorado.
Vi Lyles became the first black woman mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Sheila Oliver became New Jersey’s first black lieutenant governor.
Nov. 8: Women running for office
More women are running for office than ever before, with Emily’s List reporting more than 20,000 women having expressed their interest in running since the 2016 election.
Now — how are we going to make 2018 even better? We could start with organizing and volunteering to get people to vote.