The events of Jan. 20, 2017, seemed to be a given: Polls, public opinion and the apparent steady flow of history itself had aligned, setting the date for a woman to be sworn in as president. A year later, such female leadership resonates only as a fever dream. During a year’s orbit around that orange fireball at the center of our system (the sun ― did you think I meant someone else?), the story of a woman in charge of not just the East Wing, but the West itself, has been usurped by a very different kind of triumph for women.
The narrative so many thought would unfurl over the year was about a woman elected to the highest position of power in the world. In this narrative, a woman was subject, not object. At the center of the story was a woman who was the embodiment of the active voice, not the passive one ― someone defined by doing things of consequence, not someone to whom things are done. Regardless of what you thought of this protagonist, these were the facts of the tale many believed was about to begin.