exciting, informative, snarky, and very likely fabricated tales of life as an american expat in london

you and i will be undefeated by agreeing to disagree

by Jen at 7:31 pm on 18.03.2008 | 2 Comments
filed under: like a fish needs a bicycle, mutterings and musings

I’ve been feeling a bit guilty lately about supporting Obama over Hillary in the presidential campaign. In fact, in many ways, i feel like a bit of a traitor.

I mean, I know why I like Obama better (I have this silly thing about voting for someone I can actually believe in, and for me Hillary’s vote for the war was indefensible). I’ve written here before about the thought process which ultimately decided who got my vote.

But I cannot ignore this feeling that I’m somehow letting down the side. Undermining the all-important work and sacrific of generations of feminists before me which *got us* to this pivotal and incredibly symbollic point. And the unvoiced fears of what happens if Hillary doesn’t win – the fear that her loss will be used to corroborate every naysayers argument that ever was.

The country just wasn’t ready for it. Back to the drawing board. Try again in another 50 years.

If Hillary doesn’t win, when will we next have a *real* contender for first woman President of the US? Hillary has become (you should pardon the tongue-in-cheek expression) our “great white hope”.

I heard a podcast the other day which postulated that younger women who are supporting Obama are only doing so because they want so desperately to believe we live in a gender-neutral la-la-land, when nothing could be further from the truth.

Now I’m certainly not naive enough to believe that the political world I live in is genderless. But the inescapable fact remains: I don’t want to vote based on gender identity. As someone else I know put it, “I resent having to stop every time I’m annoyed with [Hillary] to examine my feelings and make certain I’m not buying in to some repressed, societal sexism.”

And more to the point, I don’t want to vote for Hillary because she’s a woman, for the same reason I don’t want people to vote *against* Hillary because she’s a woman. If I truly believe her gender shouldn’t be a factor for those who would vote against a woman for President, then I have to believe it shouldn’t be a factor for me. In other words, if I vote based on gender, I am not only acknowledging that gender bias exists (because of course it does), but also validating it by giving it more merit than other, much more important factors.

That’s not naivete. I simply don’t think you get where you want to go by pointing yourself in the wrong direction.

And I’d like to believe that the ultimate goal of feminism is about women having all choices available to them in equal measure.

I’m grateful for the choice to have a female candidate, and I will continue to fight for the right to ensure that choice continues.

But given the choice? I choose Obama.

wilco – side with the seeds

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



  • 1

    Comment by Erin

    20.03.2008 @ 08:14 am

    I have found myself feeling the same way, thought maybe not to the same extent. I’m still mostly undecided, yet when I really start to think about voting for Obama, my heart does this funny little flipflop and I feel really guilty… Perhaps I’ll just end up flipping a coin in the end! Then? I can blame fate.

  • 2

    Comment by vanessa

    22.03.2008 @ 12:35 pm

    well for me it’s this. Backinthe day when I rose up my fist every night tofight the power and wanted a different kind of leader, clinton was in office. I voted for him b/c he was the least evil. He was fine and so on. Hil would be the same vain. but if I think of someone who embodies my FEMINIST THOUGHT of equality for menand women as well as poor and rich and black and latino and white etc, well, Obama does. He speaks my language. It’s like finally he speaks my language. It’s like being back inthe fold of theory and though and policy and he says stuff that I’m like- hell yeah. Hil- she’s a woman and she’s done really well. I would never say we are in a gendered neutral world. As much as I wouldn’t say we are in a color blind world. But this isn’t a race about a white woman and a white man. this is a complex race and it’s a race about someone who differes slightly on policies that to my little mind are important ( ie immigration) and of course the big stuff like Wars and military force. Hilary needs to step down imho.

RSS feed for comments on this post