Why I Changed my Mind

In my last post I said that I couldn’t vote for Hillary because of her lack of support for some socialist policies that I believe will be extremely helpful for this country. In the few days since then I have changed my mind, which is something I was always open to doing.

This summer I’ve been taking an online course in Global Women’s and Human rights. We’ve talked a lot about violations of these human rights and recently we discussed the effects of war on local populations. We first looked at a blog run by an Iraqi woman called Riverbend that was online from 2003-2007. She chronicled how the treatment of women deteriorated following the U.S. invasion and Iraq went from being #1 in women’s rights amongst Arab countries to a mess of contradictory laws that curtailed and confused the existing laws.

After that reading we watched the PBS documentary “Women, War and Peace” a look at the effect war has on women, children and their communities on a global scale. In this documentary Hillary made several appearances to talk about the atrocities, what we can do about them, and what she has done and continues to do in order to address the issues. Watching this documentary I thought to myself, these don’t sound like the words of a woman who would “annihilate Iran if they dared attack Israel.” So I did some research. While Clinton did make the threatening remarks, she has been supportive of Obama’s nuclear deal. I will stress that her thoughts on this are not perfect and stem from an immense distrust of the Iranian government, but I do hold out hope that the voices of the people can bring her towards a more peaceful, creative position.

Additionally I discovered that according to statements made on Monday (7/13) she is intent on ensuring a living wage for American workers, for raising taxes on the extremely wealthy and ensuring that the money made by the employees for the companies makes it back to the workers.

Beyond that there is this Facebook conversation I was briefly engaged in recently. I was on a thread for liberal/progressive discussion of politics, the following is what happened:

M: I feel that it is time we had a woman president. She may not meet everything we want, but it is a huge step forward in terms of representation of half our population.

S: i will never vote for any candidate based on their genitalia

V: Why? Old white men got us where we are today.

Me: It has nothing to do with genitalia and everything to do with that fact that in the 250 years of our country’s existence, half of our population has gone unrepresented in the highest position of power.

S:  “it has nothing to do with genitalia” vs. “i feel it is time we had a woman president” .. yep.. sure doesn’t.. that’s obvious.

S:  if hillary and elizabeth both ran, you wouldn’t even know how to vote then..

Me: I would vote for Elizabeth hands down. Why are you generalizing and making sexist statements?

S: you said it’s time for a woman to be president and I’m the one making sexist comments? how about YOU stop making sexist comments.  just because you don’t think it’s sexist.. doesn’t mean it isn’t sexist.. surprise.

N: Now you are being disingenuous, S. This country has never had a female president, ever, and women are still underrepresented in government. Of course some women would love to see a female president, the same way black people were thrilled to see a black man become President.

S: hasn’t ever had a native american president either.. is it time for a native american to be president? and, if not, why not?

N: Were African Americans racist because they supported Obama over Clinton? Of course they weren’t. And sorry, but I’m not going to play semantics with you S. I’m just pointing out that many women feel strongly that it is time for a woman to be President. It has nothing to do with sexism, no matter how much you say it does.

S: if i said it was time to elect a latino president and he would get the latino vote automatically, would that be racist?

V: No

N:  No, S. It wouldn’t. You are proving my point.

S:  ok then.. im not the jackass whisperer, somebody else can try if that want.

Me: I’m a trans woman. I do not have a vagina, so for me it has nothing to do with genitalia and everything to do with representation and lived experience. I would vote for a Native American, I would vote for a Latino candidate, and because we haven’t had a female president in the U.S. despite that many other developed countries have I will vote for a woman.

S: im out.. no need to bother talking to me cause i ain’t hearing anything any of you have to say. you have shown me how you guys think and i’m scared for the country.

The problems with S’s statements are many. From assuming I’d vote for someone based on genitalia, to saying it’d be racist if a Latin candidate automatically received a majority of the Latin vote, to saying I’d be unable to choose between Warren and Clinton “because of genitalia” This conversation made me realize that it is time we had a woman president. Many other countries have had one, and the sexist statements made by S and people like him are never going to go away while we wait for the “perfect” woman who does everything the men want.

So in short what we have is an imperfect candidate, like all candidates. Clinton may not share all my views on war and the economy, but she shares enough. She advocates for women’s rights as human rights, and she is representative of a huge section of our population(50+%.)

That is why I changed my mind.

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