I Voted For Hillary Clinton. Just Because She’s A Woman. And That’s OKAY.
Really. It is.
Yes. As a white woman, I’m clear how entitled that kind of choice is for me. I actually agree with the position Kinfolk Kollective takes on not voting for Clinton as some sort of quasi-feminist solidarity. And no, I didn’t wear white and throw back to suffragettes who didn’t give a shit about intersectional anything. I don’t even believe Hillary Clinton, who might arguably be the most qualified person to ever run for President, is the best woman for the job.
But since when have we ever elected the best woman for the job?
Hell, we never even really could. The closest we have ever come is casting a ballot for a third party (not gonna happen) or token VP.
Today was the first day there was actually a clear shot at shattering the glass of the ceiling. For the first time in our nation’s history, the name of a woman was one of the top two choices on a ballet. Even then, at my precinct, she was the second on the list.
So I fed into the false dilemma and picked. It was as simple as that.
We have a screwed up two party system and an electoral college most citizens can’t even comprehend. We get stuck with only a few choices on the ballot or a protest vote or abstention. And whatever you chose to do with your vote is yours and yours alone.
But me? I narrowed it down to a few very clear premises. It was never going to be GOP because bodily autonomy trumps domestic or foreign policy. And even though I clearly disagree with some of the bullshit policies, gender actually mattered to me.
Just like it has mattered in every single election we have ever held in this country. If it didn’t, this illogical dilemma would have shown up long before 2016.
For perspective on my point, take a look at the Presidential portrait gallery. Until Barack Obama took office just eight years ago, every election has been a choice between which white man would lead.
Obama’s portrait won’t be included until he leaves office in January. Can you imagine if the next portrait moved us forward in progress instead of whip-lashing back into history? Why not show our great grand children this really is the land of diverse, inclusive opportunity.
So I voted for a female candidate for President.
It was emotional to say the least.
It’s more emotional now. Because polls are closed and lines are still long and projections are already coming in. Honestly, I don’t even know if my vote is going to make a difference. It is very possible that we might once again see an elitist white man in the White House again.
I’d like to feel confident that isn’t going to happen. But as a woman, I simply can’t. There’s just too much history, too much legacy and too many current events that give me pause in early celebration. There’s lived reality.
As recently as this morning, images started circulating that reminded me coverture is still a pretty common theme. Take a good long look at the photos of a major party candidate — and his son — peering into the privacy of their wives as if it was no big thing. Anyone who believes these women controlled their vote is buried in denial of patriarchy.
Then there was the ballot and the long list of GOP. Republican candidates on the local, state and federal level who stand on a platform to strip female autonomy. I stood staring at the choices in a baptist church in red country and the realization hit me. “A lot of people who walk into this precinct will choose racism, sexism and bigotry.”
I’m afraid to turn on the television and watch the results while at the same time thrilled I even had a choice — finally.
Hillary Clinton might not win this campaign. In spite of, or worse — because of — the other candidate running. That is a sad expectation I have to acknowledge as a very possible reality.
I hope I’m wrong. At the same time, what does it say about our nation that I even question the outcome of this election? What does it say that this is the contest that is pitched as equal for female candidacy?
Tonight, the citizens of the United States of America may vote a woman in as President. And if that happens, I’ll be overwhelmed. And if it doesn’t, I won’t be surprised.
And that alone is why I voted for Clinton.
Because she’s a woman.
If you don’t know why that’s okay, maybe take a course in critical thinking.
Elizabeth Grattan is a broadcast talent and writer who has covered current events, human interest and social justice for over twenty-five years. Her loves are laughter through tears, old ball caps, reasonably priced blended reds and her dream come true little man. Find & friend Elizabeth on FB or follow along on Twitter.