9 Women Who Made 2017 A Safer Space For Us

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For American liberals, 2017 will be remembered by a number of depressing events — health care uncertainty, particularly regarding the battle to fund children's health care; legal clashes over a travel ban that seemed to target Muslims; an uptick in non-criminal deportations; the first term of a president who bragged on tape about sexual assault; and, of course, said president's continued tweeting. Despite the circumstances, however, there were plenty of women who managed to make 2017 a safer space — for all of us.

The term "safe space" is triggering for some, especially those in the alt-right camp and of alt-right-adjacent persuasions. Like the word "feminist," the idea of a safe space had become, in the not-so-distant past, a phrase many avoided — no one wanted to be slapped with the "manhater" or "snowflake" label.

That was before Congress put children's health care funding in jeopardy, before immigrants became the scapegoat du jour, before the nation elected a man accused by more than a dozen women of sexual assault (accusations he denies) — before 2017.

The final three months of this year were dominated by a deluge of #MeToo stories that didn't just topple high-profile men in Hollywood, media, and politics; they also gave voice to millions of women while stripping away the chimera that sexual harassment and assault are rare occurrences.

That revelation is just one of the ways women pushed the country toward a more equal and just — which is to say, safe — space in 2017.