I self-identify as an Angry Feminist. I firmly believe that women deal with some impossible standards, and much of what Hillary Clinton deals with would simply not be an issue if she were a man. I don’t care if she’s unlikeable (or, as she’s more often called, a b*tch) or unhip — that has no bearing on her ability to be President. I think she’d do a decent job leading our country. If she wins the Democratic nomination, I will vote for her in November.
But in the primaries I am absolutely feeling the Bern.
Sanders, though, has my political heart. I agree with him on pretty much every issue, and I do love how downright decent the man is. His campaign, one that focuses on the issues rather than mud-slinging, is inspiring. I would be proud to have him be Commander-in-Chief and start working on some of the income inequality issues plaguing this country.
I’m not here to persuade anyone to vote for Sanders, or explain the very real difference between democratic socialism and communism, or proclaim how unregulated laissez-faire capitalism is destroying this country and the middle class, and no other candidate onstage will do much to counter that. I’m just working through some feelings about wanting so badly to elect a woman and supporting Sanders anyway.
Let’s get this out of the way – the idea of the “Bernie Bro” supporter should not be a deterrent to voting for Sanders. The liberal/progressive white guy with misogynist attitudes did not suddenly appear out of thin air in 2015 and throw his support behind Sanders. See: Bill Maher’s entire career. See: Abe from Mad Men. See: most celebrated atheist thinkers of the 20th and 21st centuries (I’m looking at you, Richard Dawkins). See: most of the liberal white boys you met in college. I’ve known for years that political affiliation has next to no bearing on how one feels about gender equality, but it feels like the media is a) not only discovering this now, but b) misinterpreting it to form some weird narrative concerning male Sanders supporters specifically.
Yes, many people are making sexist comments about Clinton’s run for president. Yes, some of them happen to be feeling the Bern. The cause and effect relationship here is totally skewed.
Oh — and I’m not voting for Sanders to attract boys. My boyfriend is a Clinton supporter, so if that’s my motivation, then I’m doing it wrong. The idea that not voting for Clinton makes me anti-feminist is dumb. It’s not worth discussing further.
I want to vote for a woman. I did in 2012 (Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party is pretty dope), and I wish in the primaries that I could do so again. I know I’m going to get sh*t for wanting to vote for a woman specifically. Shouldn’t I want to vote for the person most qualified for the job? Sure, but America has never had a female leader, which is insane. And if you’re going to tell me people won’t vote for a woman just because she’s a woman, you can save your breath, because that’s a very real sentiment among a wide swath of voters.
Margaret Thatcher led the UK back in the 1980s. Germany has Angela Merkel. Sri Lanka had a female prime minister in f*cking 1960. 70 different countries around the world have had female leaders, and yet America — the land of opportunity and freedom, the “city upon a hill” that leads by example — has elected none. It’s ridiculous. And it has nothing to do with women not being ready for the job. It has to do with very real systemic sexism, with a society that still genuinely believes men are just more competent and better-suited for certain kinds of jobs.
I like Hillary Clinton. No, I would not want to get a drink with her. But there are a lot of people I don’t want to get drinks with who are very good at their jobs. I respect Clinton, and she’s eons better than anyone the Republicans are currently offering. But Sanders speaks my language, prioritizes the issues I find most important, and is a candidate I can truly get excited about. In the primaries, I’m 100% #teamBernie.
Also, not that it matters, but Sanders is Jewish, so his presidency would be pretty damn historic as well.