"Everyone I spoke to said something about moving forward. More than ever I saw the resilience of women.”
On the day after the election, New York photographer Dorie Hagler set up her camera in a busy location and got to work.
Hagler has made a project of taking photos of women on days that are significant to them, like Mother's Day, Equal Pay Day, and International Women's Day. She calls it "Me & Eve." The day after an election in which Donald Trump, a man who has harassed, demeaned, disrespected, and demonized women, became the president-elect of the United States felt just that: significant.
So Hagler picked a bustling, public place — in this case, Grand Central Station in New York — and set up her camera, laptop, and small printer. Usually, she photographs average women to give them the opportunity to be seen and heard. After she takes their picture and gives them a copy of it for free, she asks each woman to share something memorable that happened in her life that wouldn't have happened if she wasn't a woman.
On this day, however, she asked a more election-related question: "What now?"
The responses she got, Hagler says, were "surprisingly hopeful."
"Everyone I spoke to said something about moving forward. More than ever, I saw the resilience of women."
1. Like this woman, who called for people to "rise up in the face of racism, fascism, and misogyny."
2. And this woman, who wished she was old enough to vote.
3. This woman shared a conversation she had with her sons.
4. And this woman shared her frustration with negative stereotypes about women.
5. This woman had a message of resilience and resistance.
6. And this woman had a message of hope.
7. This woman expressed what a lot of people are feeling right now — a fear of the unknown.
There is no simple answer to "what now?" but one thing is clear: We are not powerless.
Hagler's intent with this project is to let everyday women be seen and heard. If there's one thing we've learned from this election, it's that women should to be seen and women should be heard. A woman who was, arguably, the most qualified presidential candidate in recent history lost the election to a man who was the walking talking epitome of sexism — and while there's no one factor that led to her defeat, it's clear that sexism and misogyny played a part in it.
So, what now? Now, more than ever, we need to normalize the idea of women in power. Now, more than ever, we need to call out sexism when we see it. Now, more than ever, we need to implement hiring practices that give women equal opportunity to men. Now, more than ever, we need to question our subconscious biases. Now, more than ever, we need to let little girls and little boys know that women can be great leaders.
Not all women voted for Hillary Clinton, but roughly 54% did — and she won the popular vote by more than a million votes. People were ready for her to bust through that glass ceiling. By vehemently opposing sexism and misogyny when we see it now, maybe the next time a woman runs for the highest office in the country, she won't have to do it while jumping through twice as many hoops as her male counterparts and being held to an impossible standard.
President-elect Donald Trump is the hand we've been dealt for now. We can hope for the best, but we also can't stop trying to make progress on our own. For the next four years, women should be seen and heard from those walking to work in Grand Central, to those in the oval office. Make it happen, America.