In a more typical year, January might mark a time of resetting the clock and resolving to engage in new, more healthful habits. However, considering that 2016 was ultimately a disappointing year for many Americans, perhaps especially for voters who hoped to see Hillary Clinton take the reins of the country in 2017, it may be hard to be proactive. But this year, with the election results, there's the pressing question of what every woman should do before the inauguration. The answer, I believe, is studying our own history of advancement and taking those lessons to heart.
If this month's concerns centered around raw food diets (no thanks) or learning a new language, the steps to success would be clear. However, what precisely is the protocol for those of us who feel not only disappointed by the election of Donald Trump, but also terrified about the increasing threats to our basic reproductive rights? After all, in an interview on 60 Minutes just after his victory, President-elect Trump suggested that Roe v. Wade could be overturned in the near future and that he very much intends to appoint pro-life judges.
As with any complex issue affecting a generous and diverse population, there is no handbook for what women in America should do. It's also worth noting that many women are probably happy about a Trump presidency; after all, the majority of white women voted for him.
However, even though those of us who are disappointed and worried about a Trump presidency may have different concerns in mind, that doesn't mean we shouldn't work together. We must prepare ourselves for the fight that lies ahead in the next four years. While there are countless individual actions that can be taken in preparation for a Trump presidency, I think it's especially crucial that we as women draw on the history of feminism and women's protests as a model of resistance. We have the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, and can move forward with the knowledge of historical trial and error.
It feels all too fitting that the women's Inauguration Day march on Washington can signify the beginning of a new time of women's resistance, a feminism in the time of Trump.
"The Women’s March on Washington, a protest planned for the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration in Washington,... https://t.co/z74be2r2ur— UniteWomenOrg® (@UniteWomenOrg) December 28, 2016
It's important to have grace with ourselves, and remember that there will be days where our energy is depleted, and the most important task at hand will be eating breakfast or making it to work. But the rest of the time, we will need to arm ourselves with an increased literacy of what women have lived through and already achieved in order to fuel our fire.
That is why before Trump appears to make his inauguration speech, I encourage you to check out one of the many helpful feminist reading lists. See which pieces of feminist literature and history you've read, and which you should pick up from bookstore.
There is not a shadow of doubt that the next few years feel daunting to many of us women, but arming ourselves with our own history provides palpable hope. Women are fighters by nature and necessity. We've made it this far and we'll continue to power through.