My Facebook feed, on election day, was a study in contrasts. There were “Make America Great Again” hats on one side and primary-colored pantsuits on the other. The Hillary Clinton supporters in my feed, many of them women, were especially pronounced. For one thing, there are a lot of them. And many of the Clinton supporters I know clearly felt compelled to share what November 8 meant to them: They often appeared in selfie form, grinning and wearing “I Voted” stickers, ready to watch history affirm what all little girls are told: A woman can be president. A woman will be president. Someday.
It hasn’t happened yet. After Hillary Clinton’s defeat in the 2016 presidential race, American women are back to wondering whether a woman will be elected president in their lifetimes. And Facebook, resistant as ever to acknowledging its role as the world’s most powerful media company, hasn’t exactly caught up with the news.
The result: My Facebook feed this morning is a disorienting mesh of hope and anguish. It’s still filled with so many of those pantsuit selfies—along with the Clinton-supporting dads who took their daughters to the polls to witness history, and even the guy who found in his closet the nearest approximation of a Clintonesque pantsuit to wear to work yesterday—all mixed in with stunned reactions to the outcome of the race. (The Trump supporters I know have been mostly, though not entirely, restrained in their Facebook celebrating.)