6 Times Women Took on the Patriarchy in 2017

January 2017 marked the beginning of the Trump presidency and humanity’s long, slow descent into hell. At every turn, women’s rights, healthcare, and choices were being limited by lawmakers in power. But it’s not until things get hard that you figure out exactly how strong you are, and there were plenty of times this year that women showed us their strength shouldn’t be underestimated.

The patriarchy may have tried to crush women this year, but these moments and many more prove we’re not going down without a fight.

The Women’s March and Women’s Convention

Women's March

Photo Credit: Katie Bordner

On January 21, millions of people in the U.S. and around the world participated in the Women’s March on Washington or one of the sister marches. An estimated 4.2 million Americans took to the streets to protest sexism, discrimination, and bigotry in all forms in what’s been called the biggest demonstration in U.S. history. Internationally, an estimated 300,000 people took part in over 200 marches in countries all over the world and even Antarctica.

Nine months later, in Detroit, the leaders of the March held the Women’s Convention where 4,000 people, mostly women, gathered to rally around the most critical issues and plan for the future.

The #MeToo Movement

Over 100 men in Hollywood, music, politics and journalism have been outed for sexual harassment and assault since the New York Times released their report on Harvey Weinstein in October. The brave women and men who came foward with allegations finally brought consequences to many powerful men who once seemed untouchable, sparking a shift that could change our culture forever.

Women Ran for Office, and Won

After the presidential election left many of us devastated and hopeless, a huge number of brave women decided to take matters into their own hands and run for public office. More than 4,500 women signed up through She Should Run, an incubator which helps women prepare to run for office. As we saw in the most recent elections, it seems to be working. The 2017 elections saw many women run for office for the first time and win.

Miss Peru Contestants Protested Male Violence

In November, the contestants of the Miss Peru pageant protested violence against women, using their platform to bring attention to an issue that’s often ignored. Rather than sharing their body measurements on stage, as is customary, they shared facts about violence against women in Peru. The women also answered questions about which laws they would change to better protect women.

A Pakistani Women Faced Her Attacker in Court

Khadija Saddiqi, a 22-year-old Pakastani law student, was attacked by a classmate and former friend while picking her younger sister up from school last year. Her attacker, Shah Hussein, stabbed her repeatedly in the throat, arms, breasts and back after Saddiqi ended their friendship.

With the support of her family, Saddiqi took the case to court and won, despite a national conviction rate for assault of “almost zero.”

Taylor Swift Stood Up for Herself and Women

This summer, Taylor Swift went to trial over a 2013 sexual assault incident in which former Colorado DJ David Mueller groped her during a photo op. Mueller sued Swift, who he blames for the loss of his job and substantial salary. Swift counter-sued for assault and battery and a symbolic $1 in damages. Swift not only won, she also gave us some of the most quotable and empowering responses on the stand and donated money to help other victims defend themselves as she did.

Photo Credit:Cody Williams


Marie W
Marie W4 months ago

Thank you for sharing

Lesa D
Lesa D8 months ago

baby steps...

Leanne K
Leanne K9 months ago

Conflicted BIG TIME about the Peru beauty contestants.. good for them and good the subject gets a platform.. but seems a bit mixed up. It does seem like a present day belief that you can be judged on looks but not judged on looks.. and that, i feel, is the biggest con that these young women will one day realise.. not because they will have delved into the subject but through their personal experience... experience of being treated as highly valued and watching a decline as your experience grows. Many young women expect it to continue and openly scoff at feminists but they will have a change in tune...

Rosslyn O
Rosslyn O9 months ago

To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man’s injustice to woman. If by strength is meant brute strength, then, indeed, is woman less brute than man. If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior. Has she not greater intuition, is she not more self-sacrificing, has she not greater powers of endurance, has she not greater courage? Without her, man could not be. If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with woman. Who can make a more effective appeal to the heart than woman? ― Mahatma Gandhi

Marianne C
Marianne C9 months ago

Every time women have previously tried to reclaim our own latent power, and become again the force for social justice we can and should be, we've been sidetracked. We either had to again support the very social order that was holding us back because there was a war, or a Depression, or a recession, or a natural disaster. But once we had pulled together for the good of the country, we were once again moved back to second class -- if even that.

Let's hope this time, women will reclaim their own inherent power and never let it go again. A society in which life is only good for men is not a successful society.

Elaine W
Elaine W9 months ago

Hopeful progress for human rights.

Clare O
Clare O9 months ago

Happy Christmas!

Chad A
Chad A9 months ago

Thank you!

pam w
pam w9 months ago

Yes, Karen S, Martin's another male from Utah who stands for a ''president'' who gropes women and brags about it. Two of a kind?

Winn A
Winn Adams9 months ago