Opinion

New year to turn a hopeful tide for women

“Respect my existence or expect resistance.”

This was just one of the phrases inked on thousands of posters seen at women’s marches across the nation on Jan. 20.

Starting this year off with a battle cry for gender equality inspires one to muse about what lies ahead. There’s been much discussion of 2018 being the “Year of the Woman.” While this term is certainly reductive – implying women’s rights only merit a single year of advocacy – there is nonetheless hope that this will, in fact, be a year of great strides toward gender equality.

For starters, we have an unparalleled deluge of women running for local and national offices. According to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers, 397 women are running – or are likely to run – for the U.S. House of Representatives in the upcoming midterm election, with 79 planning to run for governor.

Stirred to action by Trump’s reactionary policies, such as granting employers the right to deny insurance coverage for contraception, women are tenaciously entering the battleground. It’s plain and simple – no one understands the needs and struggles of women better than women. Though running doesn’t guarantee election, this is a strident move toward equality.

Even outside of Washington, revolutionary women are coming to the forefront. Several of the nation’s largest Fortune 500 companies have recently named women as chief executives, and there is no telling what they will accomplish in 2018. Bozoma Saint John, former marketing executive at Apple Music, was sought after to be the new chief brand officer for Uber in June 2017. Meanwhile, Rosalind Brewer, former CEO of Walmart’s Sam’s Club and first African-American or female to ever be a Walmart CEO, took on the role of chief operating officer for Starbucks in September 2017.

We’re seeing women’s stories on the bookshelves this year, too. Meg Wolitzer’s “The Female Persuasion,” the story of a young college student on the cusp of her future; Meaghan O’Connell’s “And Now We Have Everything,” a memoir on unexpected motherhood; and Michelle Dean’s “Sharp,” an investigation into the lives of some of history’s most brilliant minds, including Susan Sontag and Nora Ephron, will all hit bookstores within the next few months.

While, luckily, female authors and stories aren’t necessarily a new development, these books boast a unique nuance and specificity in dealing with the female experience.

The strongest defense against prejudice is knowledge, and the biggest impact we can make in the world of women’s rights is shining a light on women’s stories. By voicing their concerns in the political arena, guiding some of the nation’s biggest industries and writing about their experiences, women are infusing themselves into the contemporary culture on every front. Year of the woman? No, let’s make this the century of the woman.

Dana Munro is a sophomore majoring in musical theater.

Featured photo is a file photo from The Miami Hurricane.

January 28, 2018

Reporters

Dana Munro


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It’s the play Miami Hurricanes fans will never forget — and Florida State fans are trying to forget. ...

Miami Hurricanes fans might recall their favorite college football players in past years dreaming of ...

The new quarterback is usually the ones fans gush over. For the University of Miami, last season it ...

Debate all you want, but University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clearer than ever Wed ...

Last year, when University of Miami tailback Mark Walton attended the Atlantic Coast Conference Foot ...

An ACLU report authored by UM sociologists documents racial and ethnic disparities in Miami-Dade Cou ...

Following the summit between Trump and Putin, reaction from politicians, pundits and former intellig ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

University of Miami law and political science professors weigh in on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee. ...

Research bioclimatologists with the UM Synoptic Climatology Lab counsel cities on how to manage risi ...

Miami junior wide receiver Ahmmon Richards was among those named to the watch list for the 2018 Bile ...

University of Miami junior running back Travis Homer was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Wa ...

Six former Canes competed on NBA Summer League teams, with three averaging at least 10 points per ga ...

Quick Hits gives University of Miami volleyball fans an opportunity to get to know the new student-a ...

The University of Miami's volleyball team earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association (A ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.