RE: My Gen X Hillary problem: I know why we don’t “like” Clinton

On Salon.com Hana Schank published an article on her experiences of sexism throughout her tech career and how she recently switched her support from Sen. Sanders to Sec. Clinton.

She makes some valid points about sexism in both days gone by and today, and helps people like myself understand her view. And as she has shared her explained her perspective and the perspective of her demographic, I’d like to explain mine.

I’m 19 year old white male student. While sexism and racism aren’t likely to plague my existence, I’ll be the first to acknowledge that both of them still exist and negatively affect the lives of many.

I agree with most everything in the first half of the article. Sexism in the 90’s wasn’t as open and institutional as it once was and in 2016 it is even less so.

My main gripe with the article is her interpretation of the guy in the Iowa town hall saying to Clinton “ I’ve heard from quite a few people my age that they think you’re dishonest, but I’d like to hear from you on why you think the enthusiasm isn’t there.”

To this she commented:

It was subtle, but there was something in his tone I recognized. It was not a tone you would use to speak to someone who was a former secretary of state and senator. It was the tone you reserve for that dumb chick in your meeting who probably doesn’t know what she’s talking about. It was a tone I’d heard countless times over the course of my career, and in that moment I suddenly saw Hillary Clinton in an entirely different light.

She says this made her look back on the condescension she’d experienced in her career, and reading her stories, I think shes right about the sexism towards female business owners and and tech workers. However, I disagree with her assessment of the young mans tone.

Now, I’m a progressive, like a lot of people my age are. I support Bernie Sanders, I think Bush was a terrible president, Obama hasn’t tried hard enough and Clinton is willing to fake any position if it’ll get her five more votes and I feel that that’s what she’s doing in her current campaign.

If I had a change to ask Bush about the Iraq war, or Obama if he feels that he “Changed the way the game is played” by giving the republicans everything they ever asked for, or Clinton about her dishonesty, I don’t think stop those same “flecks of condescension” in my voice and phrasing.

Moving to another subject:

I suspect that the millennial women who are supporting Bernie may simply not have gotten to a place in life where they’ve experienced this kind of chronic, internalized, institutional sexism. In order for someone to ignore you at a senior level, you need be old enough to have reached that level, and most millenials aren’t quite there yet. They’re still where I was in my early 30s, hopeful that we’ve come through the other side to a post-sexist world. Because nothing says “sexism is dead” like a woman voting for Bernie.

Again, there’s truth to her words. Sexism in the workplace affects women more as they age. Older men are seen as “experienced” or even “dignified” whereas older women are seen as old.

Still, I don’t believe she’s quite on the money with this.

Obviously, this article focused on largely on sexism, so that’s the viewpoint here. But this isn’t a one issue campaign. Most Sanders supporters of both genders are on his side not because he’s a man, or even that they think he’d be better for women. Many of them support him because they believe that his policies are better.

Many female Sanders votes might not get to experience the sexism aimed towards a woman owning a business, because they’re too busy working at a minimum wage job to pay their student debts.

She finishes with the paragraph that really made me feel like I needed to respond.

As much as we may want the battle to be over, the truth is that there is still much more to fight for. I understand that Hillary may not feel to voters like the perfect candidate in the same way that I don’t feel to clients like the perfect technology consultant. I understand what it’s like to be the most qualified person in the room and still be overlooked in favor of the charismatic guy just because, well, you’d rather have a beer with him. And I know that until the world sees what it looks like for this country to have a female president, we’re going to forever be finding reasons not to vote for one. I’m done finding those reasons. I’m voting for Hillary.

While I’ve never met Ms. Schank, I have no reason to assume she isn’t a nice person and, given that her continuing success, I’m sure she’s a very competent consultant, so I don’t think this is an accurate analogy.

Hillary doesn’t feel like the perfect candidate in the same way that the Republicans don’t.

Like Rubio, she speaks almost exclusively in rehearsed soundbites that a political consultant wrote for her.

Like Cruz, every expressions on her face and every bit of emotion she shows feel deliberate and planned.

And in many of her speeches, perfect example being the one she gave on super Tuesday, she has a tendency to spew cliche after cliche, like “breaking barriers” and “ so that every American can reach their god given potential”, which then form a speech that rivals Trump in its lack of substance.

The reason I want Hillary Clinton to lose the primary is not that she’s a woman. It’s that she’s a slimy politician whose only real passion is becoming president.

And for the record, before Bernie Sanders started his campaign, most progressives, myself included, were wishing that Sen. Warren would run. Elizabeth Warren is just as much a woman as Hillary Clinton is. The difference is that one wants to end government corruption and hold powerful people responsible for their crimes, and the other is corrupt and wants to maintain the status quo.