The year 2017 has been marked by a shift in the balance of power and a recalibration of roles and status. A new power is asserting itself in the world, and traditional holders of influence and authority are on the defensive. They are struggling to protect their status and legitimacy while the institutional order that represents traditional arrangements of authority and influence is imploding.

2017 has been called “the Great Reckoning” and “the year of the women’s march,” while Time magazine identified “the Silence Breakers” — women who spoke out against the systematic abuse of power by men — as its person of the year and the Merriam-Webster dictionary declared “feminism” to be its word of the year. No specific event made the year that concluded so monumental in this long overdue accounting. The election as U.S. president of Donald Trump, a man who bragged on tape about the ability of powerful men to abuse women as they chose, was not the trigger. Other White House occupants have committed equally disturbing acts of abuse against women.

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