Editor's Note: Everyone, welcome PRUtoo as our newest guest blogger. Many of you who comment have come to know her as a thoughtful, brilliant commenter who helps make us one of the best comment sections anywhere on the Internet. I am grateful she offered to guest blog! - Spandan
Chances are very good that during this primary season, you've had one or ten thousand off and online conversations about who you “like” in the Democratic primary. Chances are also very good that you've run into a Berniebro or ten thousand off and online, too. Some of whom may have preambled their attack on Hillary Clinton by posing the question, “Why are you supporting her?”
You may have listed a litany of her accomplishments. You may have waxed poetic about her experience, and therefore, unequaled qualifications to become our next President. And, at the end of it all you may have said, “And, she's a woman!”
Chances are very good that last item was met with complete dismissal of everything you said prior. And chances are again very good that you were then treated to a completely derisive and insulting assessment of your reasons to vote for Hillary Clinton. “You're just voting for Hillary Clinton because she's a woman!” Or, the more crudely offered, “You're voting with your vagina!”
On that latter point, I feel compelled to say, don't do it ladies! Polling places are public places, which are known and notorious germ farms! Do not pick up a ballot, grasp a pen or touch anything in a polling place with your vagina! Don't do it! That's gross! Use your hands, and make sure to bring a little bottle of hand sanitizer with you, for after! HAND sanitizer!
Phew! Glad that's settled.
Now, on to voting for Hillary Clinton because she's a woman.
The dismissal and derision many of us have been met with, for daring to be excited about the possibility of seeing our first woman President elected in our lifetimes, has been stunning to me. I've lost count of the number of women I've heard say, “I'm voting for Hillary Clinton, but it's not because I'm a woman, or because she's a woman,” before launching into their personal list of reasons. It's a sort of preemptive apology for being a woman who's voting for a woman.
Let's cut to the chase. I'm here to tell you, if you are voting for Hillary Clinton because she's a woman, like you, well go for it. You get to want that.
You. Get to. Want that.
After 240 years, and 44 men elected to the Presidency, you get to want to see a remarkably experienced and qualified woman shatter that highest of glass ceilings. Women bring a different view and experience of life to the table. You get to want to elect someone who is a woman, like you. Someone who has experienced the world as a woman, like you. Someone who can bring a woman's experiences and views to the most powerful decision making platform in the world.
You. Get to. Want that.
No doubt, there are those who scoff at the idea that women experience the world differently than their male counterparts. Well, it's true. We do.
One of the strongest and starkest examples of that difference in experience has been written, in different ways as part of the #YesAllWomen campaign, but can best be summed up as:
What men fear most about going to prison is what women fear most about walking down the sidewalk.
And that difference is based entirely on gender. Gender does matter. It makes a difference. Sometimes it makes a BIG difference. Different experiences and ways of experiencing the world are part and parcel of the diversity we, or at least those of us on the left, have long understood to be of value. Our experiences can be a simple result of the way we look – man or woman, white or black, young or old – and how we are treated.
Of course, gender is not all that matters. If simply being a woman were all it took for women to vote for a woman, then John McCain's cynical substitute, to attract “the woman vote,” would have made all the difference to his campaign. It didn't.
None of this is to say that anything Hillary Clinton has undertaken and achieved in her life is simply because she's a woman. Frankly, her achievements may well be despite the fact that she's a woman! But it cannot be denied that she's had to work harder and longer and tougher and smarter to even be able to want to run for the Presidency of the United States. Should she win, she will prove that it can be done. And you, as a woman, get to want that. You get to want to support a smart, hard-working woman. You get to feel confident in knowing that her experiences, as a woman, are the icing on the cake of her historic candidacy.
So, the next time someone asks you why you are supporting Hillary Clinton, don't preemptively apologize. Offer your personal list of reasons, or not, and don't omit the part about being excited to vote for a woman. You get to want that!
Should some jackass then accuse you of voting for Hillary Clinton because she's a woman, just look that jackass dead in the eye and say:
Because, You. Get to. Want that!