Monday, September 1, 2008

Voting for Women

Well, in case it wasn't glaringly obvious, my husband and I are supporting Obama this election. Perhaps it was the Prius in our driveway that gave it away?!?

At the start of this whole election process a year and a half ago, my pick was John Edwards. He was not the most dynamic candidate but I felt that he best represented my progressive values. While I loved the idea of having a woman or minority as our president, I strongly feel that the Democratic process only works if people vote for the person who most closely represents what they are looking for in a leader and in our society. I felt that Hillary Clinton tended to vote for things that she thought would be politically popular. (The war? She is a bright woman-- how could she have thought that was a good idea?!) With Obama, I loved his charisma and life story but I didn't think he was as progressive as the others.

By the time Rhode Island's primary rolled around, Edwards was out and I was struggling with whom to vote for. I was pretty sure that I preferred Obama but I was starting to feel very angry about some of the sexist comments I was reading and hearing about Clinton. (After all, I don't recall anyone calling the other candidates a "bitch" or "ugly" or saying that they were "having a meltdown" when they got angry.)

As the parent of a young daughter, I have thought a lot about what this election means for the world my children will grow up in. The day of the primary, I walked into the booth, looked at my ballot, and checked off Clinton's name. I reasoned that we needed to take a long look at ourselves and what it means to be a woman, particularly a "liberal" woman, in our society. Given all things being relatively equal with Clinton's and Obama's policy leanings, my vote was a vote against sexism. I'd like to think that with enough liberal women in government, my daughter might have the opportunity to seek public office without being asked by Katie Couric if she needs to take vitamins to make it through the long campaign season.

Now that Clinton is officially out, I find myself angry at McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate.* Not all women are created equal in the realm of politics, and I find his choice to be insulting and manipulative. Just because I voted for Clinton because I was angry at how she was treated as a woman doesn't mean that I will vote for someone because she is a woman. John McCain, I'm not that stupid. (As an aside, I will be interested to see if Palin is subjected to all the sexist venom conservative pundits unleashed on Clinton or if they'll reign it in for the sake of their agenda.)

As many of you have read, Palin is an unapologetic right-to-lifer who is currently under investigation for ethics violations in Alaska. She believes in drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, thinks "creationism" should be taught in schools, and counts her stint as mayor of a small Alaskan town and her year and a half as governor to be enough experience to put her next in line for the presidency. Sorry folks but this ain't the woman for me.

I'd like to think that in the next four years, I will live in a country that hasn't stripped me of my right to get an abortion. A country that will reinstate a health insurance program for middle-class American children like Vivi. Or one that won't indoctrinate our public school children with religious theories. Or, at the very least, will finally do it's job and lead the world in environmental protection by cutting our disgustingly voracious appetite for oil.

It's hopeful but right now, that's all I've got. So this November, this mama is for Obama.

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*I did not, by the way, think that Obama necessarily should have chosen Clinton as his running mate. His nomination makes it his choice.

3 comments:

  1. There is a rumor going around that Palin actually didn't give birth to her son. Its actually her grandson. Crazy, huh?

    I'm not thrilled about this election. I was a Huckabee fan.

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  2. Thanks for checking out my blog!I've heard that rumor and it's pretty ridiculous! The NY Times just reported that Sarah Palin's 17year old daughter is 5 months pregnant. Hmmm... looks like people don't even have to make this stuff up!

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  3. It's kind of sad that this is the first time I'm posting to your blog. I have been following you for a while since a friend at church suggested you when I asked about resources for parents trying to raise their children to be socially aware (i.e. progressive), good to the earth, etc. I love your stories about your little girl, and your struggles. And needless to say, I agree with you politics straight on! ;-) Clinton supporters voting for Palin? Insulting indeed. Thanks for being out here!

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