Other than the fact Putin seems to want Trump in the White House (which seems like it would lower…
Brendon Carpenter

To clarify, I have not said or suggested it is sexist not to vote for Clinton — though as to the question of whether you yourself are sexist, you almost certainly are, as am I, and as is everyone who grows up in a sexist society. Just as we’re all racists. The question becomes the extent to which we force ourselves to face these facts and deal with them.

I appreciate your reluctant pragmatism (much as I worry that too many will think “I’m in a safe state, who cares,” thereby tipping blue states purple), though I would ask you to consider that voting for Stein is not a particularly feminist act. Others in the comments here have pointed out various reasons why this is so. Stein herself is not a great feminist (this needn’t be an indictment of her; it’s simply a fact of limited relevance), and of course voting for her is little more than a form of protest — a point on which I don’t imagine you will disagree with me. It seems to me that a much more feminist act would be to throw your support behind the only woman in the nearly 250-year history of our country who has had anything approaching a realistic chance of becoming president. A woman who is deeply flawed, who fails to fit the picture-perfect ideal of the shining champion of womanity that would of course prove to the patriarchy once and for all that women deserve an equal spot (spoiler: this woman doesn’t and will never exist. She’s a fiction created to keep us complicit in our oppression) — as though that spot is ours to earn rather than our birthright as putative moral equals to men. A woman who has had to work twice as hard and be twice as good as her peers to get half the credit — and ten times the criticism. Boy, embracing her, accepting that flawed but impressive human for who and what she is, in spite of all the cultural baggage of gendered expectations we don’t even see as gendered, in spite of the subtle subconscious tics we ingrained when we evaluate women and men, in spite of how grating and uninspiring and naggy and bossy and shrill and power-hungry she is? It seems to me that’s one of the ultimate feminist acts.

This is not *solely* because she is a woman (though that’s certainly a major piece of it) — it’s also because, imperfect as she is (just like all of the other human candidates who have preceded her, and all who will follow), one thing she has been consistent about, something even her critics have to acknowledge if they are being honest, is that she has always tried to look out for women. Unlike countless other politicians, she hasn’t made a habit of sacrificing *women* on the altar of political expediency. Other things, you could certainly make a fair argument. The environment. American jobs. The minimum wage. Peace. You could make a not-unfair argument that at times she has sacrificed these and other important ideals for expediency. But she hasn’t done it to women. She’s always protected women. And she’s just about the only politician for whom you can say that.

Now, none of this is to say that you have an obligation to make the most feminist choice. Of course you don’t. You have the right to value other things more highly than gender equality — as I believe you in fact earlier indicated you do. You and I may differ in that regard, and that’s ok. We’re both entitled to value the things we do (just as we’re entitled to argue in favor of those things and try to convince others of the value of our perspectives). But it does grate on me when people suggest that voting for Clinton is not a feminist act, or that voting for a different candidate is equally feminist. In this election, in this world, in this reality, that is simply not true.

But if nothing else, I’m glad we can at least agree that she’s preferable to the tire fire that is Donald Trump.

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