Voting for a woman because she’s a woman

There were many moments on this blog and on Facebook where I treated the Clinton Presidency as a foregone conclusion, which are both depressing and embarrassing to look to now.

Here is my naive and impassioned status from Nov 8, 2016:

 

I can’t vote for Hillary Clinton, but if I could, I would vote for her because she’s a woman.

“I’m so sick of people supporting her just because she’s a woman.”… “You shouldn’t vote for a candidate based on their gender”….” sexism goes both ways you know.”

I’ve seen enough comments trying to paint the joy of voting for Hillary because she is a woman as reverse sexism.

If I could vote, I would be voting for Hillary Clinton because she is a woman.

As Julia Gillard said in her speech after losing the prime ministership, being a woman “does not explain everything about my prime ministership, nor does it explain nothing about my prime ministership… it explains some things.”

We are allowed to hold multiple reasons for supporting a candidate.

I would also be voting for Clinton because she is the most qualified person to ever run for President of the United States of America.

I would be delighted to vote for her because I agree with the majority of her platform, and because she has actual policies and plans to implement them and the expertise to do so.

I would be honoured to vote for her because she has spent her life trying to better the lives of others. (Even IF she has sometimes also worked to make her own life better. And unless you spend 100% of YOUR time working for others, that’s not a valid criticism)

I would be excited to vote for her because I believe, if people can look past the shortage of “charisma” as it is traditionally defined, with all of our help she CAN begin to mend the wounds in this country, and try to move hearts and minds in the right direction. I would love to vote for a person wise enough to recognize and acknowledge that implicit bias is a problem for everyone, and understands the damaging power of and therefore refuses to use the words “radical Islamic terrorism”.

I would not vote for Hillary Clinton if she was not the better candidate. I would not vote for a woman purely because she was a woman, to the exclusion of all else. I openly admit I would have voted for Sanders in the primaries. Her womanhood does not trump all the other reasons for voting for a candidate.

But at the end of the day, if the two candidates were identical on paper but for their gender (always a flawed hypothetical, and clearly in this case they’re far from it), I would vote for the woman because she’s a woman, and because we need the ceiling broken, and because too many superior women have been passed over for average men already.

So, if I could, I would be loudly and proudly voting for her because, among other reasons, she is a woman. A woman who is utterly qualified and capable, and is running against a man so unqualified that it’s painful to think he still posed a genuine challenge.

I would be voting for her because she is a woman who has had to work impossibly hard just to make it to this point. Men cannot begin to comprehend- hell, even I cannot fully comprehend as a woman born of a different time- just how hard Clinton has had to work, just how much grit this took. That grit will probably come in handy.

There are genuine reasons to dislike Clinton, which I do not mean to dismiss (which I’m sure you will share in the comments). I do not wish to delegitimize these arguments, as much as you probably think I do.

But by the same token, you may not dismiss this reason for liking her. I like her because she is bold, she is brave, she is resilient, she is irrepressible, she is woman.

I’ve seen men criticise videos of older women crying after voting for Hillary Clinton, sobbing inconsolably over the fact that “I voted for a woman!”

If you don’t understand why that would feel important to a woman, this is because you do not understand what it is like to be a part of the gender that has been consistently underrepresented throughout history. You do not understand what it is like to be part of a gender that is the other, that is not the norm for leadership. You do not understand what it is like to look at the list of male presidents and see not one who matches your own gender, something that like it or lump it, defines you in our culture.

You do not understand 227 years of being unviable, unelectable, unemployable, irrational, belittled, objectified, raped and beaten, because of your gender. Because you are what you are.

So tonight, the United States of America will elect a woman and I will cry because she is a woman and I will drink until the early hours of the morning and I will dance in the streets. Because she is a woman.

Tonight, I’m going to be reverse sexist.
If you don’t like that then you can get fucked.

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