2017 Wasn’t The Year of the Woman, But It was the Start
Many believe that after a single tweet reignited a national movement to uplift women and all
victims of sexual assault and harassment, 2017 became forever marked as The Year of the
Women. While this could be a reasonable assessment given the countless Ls white patriarchy
took this year after numerous attacks on women’s rights by the Republican Party, 2018 could
forecasts a bigger year with the potential to shake sexism in all of its societal and political glory
to the core.
Now there were countless moments that made me want to absolutely gush with pride as a
woman of color in 2017. From sexual assault advocate and grassroots organizer, receiving her
much-deserved recognition for starting the #metoo movement decades before former Hollywood
socialites like Rose Mcgowan and Alyssa Milano reignited the social media conversation.
Countless women and men shared vulnerable stories that they felt their power taken by sexual
predators or creeps, but took their power back by simply stating me too.
While we witnessed week after week, a new Hollywood exec, actor, or media mogul being
ordered off their pedestal, we also witnessed women like Cardi B, SZA, Tiffany Haddish, and
Issa Rae living their absolute best lives on breakout or breakthrough years, solidifying their
integral roles in leading the culture.
A key standout moment also struck in Alabama, where 98% of black women showed up by the
busload, after weeks and weeks of campaigning and organizing to vote in Doug Jones the
state’s first Democratic senator since 1997. Their voting power ensured that his competitor Roy
Moore, an accused sexual predator, would not take office, and established a new era in political
“When you have rhetoric coming out about possible pedophilia, and when you’ve got rhetoric
coming out about slashing critical resources to education and the programs that help sustain
homes in the African-American community, black women are always going to show up for their
communities” stated Dejuana Thompson, co-founder of Think Rubix, a strategy firm. “When
black women show up for their community, every other community is empowered.”
Their voting presence echoed a similar strategy with over 95% showing up at the booths for
Hillary Clinton in 2016, 2008 and 2012 for Barack Obama. Despite these voting numbers, black
women are often forgotten for political opportunities and leadership. In 2017, black women held
only two statewide offices, mayors of just seven of the nation's largest cities, and hold 271 state
legislature seats according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers
University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics.
But will 2018 signify the Year of Women expanding to a political takeover with women running
for office in record numbers and a growth of women donor funding campaigns. Since Donald
Trump took over office one year ago, organizations have received over 22,000 women
interested in running for office. Since this past November, the number of female House and
Senate candidates have nearly doubled since 2016.
This past year has been amazing for eight black women who have either joined the ballots for
primaries or are advancing in general elections.
This month will mark as an anniversary of two major and polarizing events: Donald Trump’s
inauguration as the 44th president of the United States, and the Women’s Annual March on
With so much at stake in political discourse on women’s issues and despite the numerous
efforts being made to undermine our rights, one thing is for certain. We are on the edge of
bringing about a new age and generation of unapologetic, emboldened, leading women.