WHY I'M VOTING FOR HILLARY
Because I can’t find a reason I shouldn’t. I am voting for Hillary in large part because she is a woman. I would not vote for anyone male or female who was not qualified or who didn’t share my democratic goals and ideals.
For the first 82 years of our “democracy” only white men ran for office because only white men could vote solely because they were white men. Black men (not women) were granted the right to vote 146 years ago. 139 years -7 generations - later the United States voted a black man into our highest office. Yes, I voted for Obama in part because he is black. I have never heard anyone say “Sure I’d vote for a white guy, as long as he was as qualified as….” What? Some other white guy? Why must we add a qualifier when hiring or voting for a woman?
Women have had the right to vote for 96 years - 4.5 generations. Must we wait another 50 years, another 4.5 generations - until my great granddaughter is 10 - before the U.S. electorate votes for a woman because she is a woman? If women don’t vote for each other no one else will. I don’t think Hillary cares if you vote for her because she’s a woman. I don’t think she would feel that this negates or diminishes her hard work or achievements.
When Obama was elected black men and boys everywhere experienced for the first time the fulfillment of the U.S. claim - as yet untrue - that anyone can be president. Women and girls have the right to witness and be inspired by one of their own reaching the top job. Why would U.S. voters not vote for a woman because she’s a woman? Why don’t we believe that our partners, mothers, sisters, friends and daughters need a female leader to represent and fight for them? Why does it seem to some people beside the point, or greedy, or whatever criticism they might level at us, that we women might want to be fully, actually represented in government?
I dare not underestimate the importance of being represented in government by someone who shares as many of my viewpoints, experiences, and concerns as possible. The political scientist Karen Bird defines political representation as “the activity of making citizens’ voices, opinions, and perspectives ‘present’ in the in the public policy making process.” I want my voice, opinion, and perspective to be present when policy and legal decisions are made. It’s not some fond wish for some abstract ideal of equality. I want people in government who know what it’s like to be me--and to be my daughters, and my mother, my friends and neighbors and colleagues and the unknown women I encounter every day. I want people who can put themselves easily into my shoes because they have walked in very similar shoes all their lives. As urgently, I want that same thing for women with whom I might not seem to have much more than womanhood in common: Across class, race, and national borders, women need to see themselves in government, and to be heard there.
I’m voting for Hillary because she is a woman not solely for the sake of the U.S. but for all of the world’s women and girls. Women vote for politicians who fight for the civil liberties of every other oppressed population (with the noted exclusion of women of color) but very rarely for ourselves.
I know black women who feel that because of her white privilege, white feminism and the racist policies implemented by her husband Hillary does not represent them or have their best interests at heart. As much as I, another privileged white feminist, am capable of understanding -which I know is very little - the experiences and points of view of black women, I get the disconnect they may feel with Hillary and I respect it.
Do we not advocate for ourselves because it feel selfish? If so, is that because we've been brought up in a culture that finds women (especially black women) who raise their voices in their struggle for equality and against sexism unattractive, rabid, vulgar, and anti-male?
The National Organization for Women (NOW) has 500,000 members. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), has 5,000,000. That’s a difference of 4,500,000. Men and women care more about and are more comfortable advocating for the rights of animals than those of women. I love my dog but I love women more.
I’m going to vote for myself, my friends and our daughters. I’ve decided I will not be concerned with how my voice, opinions and vote are perceived by others. If you are uncomfortable being vocal about your belief in the equal rights of all human beings, then don’t, that’s your right. To be alone and anonymous in a curtained voting booth is a different story. I will not betray myself or any other member of our most underrepresented and disenfranchised community by not voting for a woman because she is a woman.
Article by Anna Quick Palmer