On June 16 Oprah Winfrey endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, noting that “regardless of your politics, you cannot be a woman in the world and not see that this is a monumental time for women breaking the ceiling. Talk about breaking the ceiling!”
It’s true, and that’s what makes it so tempting to vote for Clinton just because she’s female. A woman as president?! It’s a thrilling and empowering idea. But that’s wherein the danger lies.
Feminists who ascribe to the original intent of feminism believe every person should have access to all the rights given to them by God. That’s a gender-neutral statement, and that doesn’t mean women deserve special treatment. So a true feminist believes people shouldn’t be advantaged or disadvantaged based on gender, race, or any other identifying characteristic and would not vote for person based on one of these categories alone. A true feminist would vote based on conscience.
After all, it was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who famously said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Although he clearly hoped people would not make negative assumptions about his children because of their race, the opposite is true too; a thinking, principled electorate should not assume positive or good things about a person based on race, religion, or gender alone—even if that person is shattering a glass ceiling.
So if you agree with Clinton’s stances on social and political issues, vote for her. If you disagree, don’t vote for her. But don’t check her box simply because she’s a woman and because it would be a major moment in history if a woman—any woman—were elected president.
A responsible voter will analyze the candidates and their platforms, then cast a ballot supporting the candidate with whom they agree on issues, ethics, and more. Because Dr. King also said, “Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction.” And that, friends, is what informed voting is all about.
• Another interesting read on Clinton and feminism here.