This year, Svea Vikander has decided that she and Evla, her 3-year-old daughter, will be the focal point of her family’s holiday card. She decided to relegate her husband and son to a smaller picture below.
The card comes with a message that she said sums up the year: “2016 … is never going to happen again.”
Ms. Vikander said the card, illustrating her hope for the future, was one small thing she could do to reaffirm her place in the world, on behalf of herself and her daughter.
She is not alone in wanting to make a gesture, after the election of Donald J. Trump, who was captured on audio using vulgar terms to describe women and bragging about grabbing them sexually. Since the election, Mr. Trump and other Republicans have talked about limiting abortion rights and ending free access to birth control.
Some women view all of this as more than a partisan political setback, and they say they are taking small steps in their everyday lives to fight back. On Facebook and Twitter this week, I asked women to tell me if they’ve noticed any changes within their own lives, and a mix of strangers and acquaintances responded.
One woman said she’ll try something small: She will return mail that is addressed to her husband but doesn’t mention her, too.
Another woman broke things off with her boyfriend after he said he wouldn’t be able to support her efforts to be a better advocate for minorities — she is one herself.
And multiple women said they are applying a greater sense of urgency in teaching their children the importance of consent in sexual matters after absorbing from news reports that many of their fellow citizens seem to have a cavalier attitude toward misogny and sexual harassment.
Several women shared stories of the small ways they’re navigating the workplace after the election, from refusing to skirt around men clustered in hallways at a work conference to speaking up more often in meetings.
“I am more vocal and less apologetic,” Tara D’Haenens, who works at a medical center in South Bend, Ind., said in a Facebook message. “I no longer think of being nice as quite the compliment that I used to believe it was.”
In Ms. Vikander’s case, putting herself and her daughter front and center seemed like a small way to make her stance known. It sounds subtle until you consider the reach of a holiday card: Close friends, extended family and work colleagues will be on the mailing list. Her husband supports the message.
“I feel like wielding it to reaffirm the importance of women is an act of some kind,” Ms. Vikander, 32, said of the card. “I wanted to emphasize that women are disproportionately affected by the changes the Republican Party espouses, especially with regard to reproductive rights and safety.”
I heard from others sending gentle reminders to loved ones: One woman, a wife and mother of two sons, told me that she has reminded the men in her life that she was not a personal maid service.
Other women who were interviewed said they too are working to address issues of cultural inclusion and consent with their children, and are showing them how to speak up for themselves and others.
Rachel Lee, a professor of gender studies and the director of the Center for the Study of Women at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that as a mother of three, she has told her daughters, who are half Asian-American and half white, to search for “potential allies” in overturning America’s status quo, which she believes centers on the dominance of white males.
Ms. Lee, 50, also said she reminds her daughters that they are not powerless.
“They should support those who are feeling very much under attack: undocumented ‘Dreamers’ and those girls at their schools wearing the hijab,” she said. “These are concrete actions that can change gender dynamics and that are bottom-up.”
Another prevalent theme for women, particularly among minorities who overwhelmingly voted for Hillary Clinton, is re-examining how they engage on social media, a place where feelings of angst and anger have clashed in the days following the election.
Monifa Porter, 43, a product manager who lives in Oakland, Calif., said she is taking a second look at how she discusses issues on social media after ending a friendship with a former college roommate over words they exchanged after the election.
“His reaction was effectively: ‘I’m a good white person, I work very hard, my professional life is about protecting minorities,’ ” Ms. Porter, who is black, said of her friend. “Academically and out of anger, I responded that this is about all white people, and whiteness is a category that must be interrogated.”
The solution, Ms. Porter said, might be found in logging off of the web. She said she is examining how she can leverage her network of friends and professional contacts to make small, in-person changes in her community. She hopes white men and women who are motivated for change will do the same thing — and will address the racial dynamics of the election, while they’re at it.
Of course, just fewer than half of all Americans who voted are celebrating Mr. Trump’s win. Many women chose to vote along party lines rather than for a candidate who would have been the first woman to serve as president. Race and differing levels of education further divided female voters — 53 percent of white women voted for Mr. Trump, while 94 percent of black women voted for Mrs. Clinton. And some of the president-elect’s female supporters have struggled to understand or accept how race played a role.
In addition to everything else that divides women, there is a wide perception gap over how they’ve been treated by Mr. Trump: 87 percent of voters who chose him were not troubled by his espoused views on women,according to exit poll data.
Still, those who are bothered by it — 65 percent of people who voted for Mrs. Clinton say they were — want to approach their relationships with deeper awareness after the election.
Stefanie Taylor, a midlevel executive who works for a retail company and lives in Elgin, Ill., said in an interview that the election made her realize how few women were present in her meetings. That she is often the only woman in the room has become harder for her to overlook.
“I was thinking that, statistically, these were the men that voted to take away funding from Planned Parenthood,” Ms. Taylor said. “The organization that allowed me to get cervical screenings and breast exams and allowed me to get an education and take care of my health care. Those were the things that were creeping up into my head over the next 48 hours.”
Ms. Taylor, 33, noticed another change in her dealings with colleagues: “My patience is thinner.”