I had an online back and forth with a woman tonight who is passionate in her support for Hillary Clinton. She had that Hillary video posted and I commented in exactly the same way I did in that linked post that I thought it was a "sad attempt at 'forced inspiration.'" (If you share a link on Facebook, people might comment.)
She countered, "Oh goodness. 'Forced inspiration is Obama's entire game.'"
Then she added, "Also, it saddens me so much to hear another woman sickened by the candidacy of the first potential female president. We women have faced so many obstacles in this world, and it makes me so sad that those obstacles are put in place by other women."
Okay, now. You know on the right sidebar how it says that the opinions here are those of the individual poster and not of the entire group? Please take heed because I'm 'bout to go off, and my opinions on this matter are my own and no one else's. Today is not a good day to fuck with me, because I got opinions like a mutha and I ain't afraid to blog the shit outta them like it's my JOB. (Oh wait, it is!)
First of all, I'd love to point everyone to my response to these allegations, but I can't because my comment has been deleted. I also can't because the exchange was on Facebook and not everyone has access, so let me just show it to you and you can read it for yourself:
Second of all, "sickened?" When did I say I was sickened by Hillary Clinton's candidacy? She must have me confused with some other hater.
Note: This not about which video was lamer.
Now, I have already written at length about how I could not support Hillary Clinton. It was hard for me to rehash some of that stuff, but I did it anyway. My decision is intensely personal, as all political decisions are, and I didn't enter it lightly. My bedside table is stacked with books about Hillary and Bill Clinton that I checked out from the library. I read Peggy Noonan's book, The Case Against Hillary Clinton (A Republican's wet dream, take with heaps of salt) as well as more "flattering" tomes about the Clintons penned by more sympathetic biographers. The one I am waiting to read it is Bernstein's A Woman in Charge; my library will ping me when it's available. If she is going to be our next president, I want to know as much as I can about her.
I already voted in my primary--I voted for my first pick, John Edwards. If I hadn't, I would have been undecided until late the evening before Super Tuesday when it was the watching world that convinced me that Obama would make the best leader.
In picking Edwards, I was voting for change. Turn Washington upside down, shake out all the rubbish, flip it over, and start again change. To my mind Hillary doesn't stand for that kind of drastic change so the natural progession for me was to decide to put my support towards Obama. I am a progressive, she is too centrist among other things. For me, I cannot throw my desire for radical change out the window and suddenly vote for a woman because it's a woman's turn or a it's historic decision or she wears impeccably-pressed pantsuits or whatever the reason may be. No, I am for overhauling the system full stop, and, thankfully, there is another choice besides Hillary Clinton.
When I said the Hillary video was "sad," I was not saying that supporting her is "sad," or her campaign is "sad," or that her supporters were "sad," and I certainly did not expect to be admonished for betraying my gender by not voting for a woman. It's true--in the entire history of our country, we've never had a woman president. Because for the 20 years since I cast my first vote I have only ever been presented with male candidates, I have learned to look at the issues first. Gender wasn't an issue then because it wasn't a choice—there has never been a viable female presidential candidate. Now that I have a choice, it's STILL not an issue because I am still voting issues and values and my conscience. And my conscience dislikes Hillary Clinton intensely.
It is undeniable that she is divisive. UN-DE-NI-A-BLE. She is not described that way for naught, and she only has herself to blame. What this country needs right now is unity and healing, and when I look at the entire world to see how they are viewing us, what the world thinks matters. We are all citizens of the world, not just the United States. I think we are ready for a bold president who will represent Americans as a caring, open-minded, open-hearted people.
Finally, the woman also wrote at the end of her response to me: "What is 'sad' is me breaking the news to my almost 5-year-old daughter that a woman has NEVER been president, even though we make up half the population."
Since I'm feeling a little, oh, feisty, I could respond to that by saying that politics aside, there has never been a television show about an Asian "Huxtable" family. It sure would have been nice to see Asians represented on TV the way I grew up: in an educated, well-off household of 4th generation Americans whose grandparents didn't even speak Korean. But no, we are all dry cleaners or bodega owners or manicurists. I can't think of many Asians that have ever been nominated for an Academy Award (Ken Watanabe, Ang Lee and...?) And yet somehow, we must endure. At least there have been female UN Ambassadors, Surgeon Generals, and Secretaries of State. What do Asians get? Long Duck Dong from Sixteen Candles, the guy from Heroes who has to talk with a put-on accent, and "Me love you long time." Quick! Who's the Secretary General of the U.N.? Anyone? I rest my case. But I digress.
I have two daughters ages 5 and 3. They were born post-9/11. You bet this election is important to me and that fact has a lot to do with it. My girls are watching the goings-on with curiosity. After the first rounds of primaries and caucuses were over, my 5-year-old--knowing her father and mother supported Edwards exclaimed, "Why does Barack Obama have to win everything? Can't he let someone else win just once?" As we drive down the street, she reads the yard signs. She knows who Hillary and Obama are and we have broad, "little kid appropriate" discussions about the election.
Am I going to sit her down and tell her that never has there been a woman president and boy isn't that shameful? No. No I am not. I don't need to have a five-year-old's sympathy because we've never had a woman president. If she asks, I will gladly tell her, and I will tell her that Hillary Clinton is trying to be that person. Right now she knows that boys and girls have an equal shot at everything they attempt in life from writing stories to making cool Lego creations to winning a soccer game. My daughters both know that they can be whatever they want to be.
As I said in my response above, do I want my daughters to see a woman president in their lifetime? Do I? Of course I do, and I mean it when I say that I won't hesitate to vote for Hillary Clinton against the Republican candidate. I will just hold out my enthusiastic support for a woman candidate when a better example for my daughters is running.
So please, lady (ANY lady): do not try and shame me into supporting Hillary Clinton. Check your hypocrisy at the door and do not put words into another woman's mouth that she did not speak. (Isn't that "an obstacle put in place by another woman?") Do not imply that I am betraying my sisterhood by not voting for a woman. This sister stood up for Hillary Clinton when her husband made a fool of her. Repeatedly. This sister is a thinking, feeling, informed, and opinionated woman who knows how to think for herself, and most importantly is raising her daughters to be the same.
I am at peace with my decision. You can take that to the...White House.