Forced Loyalty? Should Women Feel A Responsibility To Support Hillary Clinton?
Is anyone else not looking forward to election season? Unfortunately it’s here and only a matter of time before presidential hopefuls flood our televisions and social media feeds with promises to look out for the “little people.”
When Hillary Clinton announced her presidential bid over the weekend, I thought two things: she finally made it official and here comes the “girl power” rally. Now please don’t misunderstand, I don’t dislike Hillary Clinton. I simply wish voters–minority voters in particular–could have a little bit of breathing room to digest information about candidates without being expected to side with someone who looks like us, or has our same reproductive organs.
Thankfully it doesn’t look like Hillary or her camp are fixing their gaze on women voters (at least not yet), but rather, working class individuals who are often forgotten.
My question is do women have to show loyalty to the female candidate?
Obviously the answer is no, but you would be surprised how many folks practically expect you to do so. When President Obama first came to the scene with his bid, several of my Black friends jumped on his bandwagon without even knowing about his experience. As you would expect, many non-Blacks felt minorities who supported Obama only did so because of the color of his skin.
I guess you can’t win any way you slice it.
As for myself, I had my eyes set on a different candidate and took my time going through promises and experience before deciding on my presidential vote (hint: he’s currently in office). As awesome an historical moment as it was to have an African-American candidate, I refused to blindly follow someone because he was more likely to understand my struggles as a Black person in America. Don’t get me wrong, that is very important, but shouldn’t be the only thing that takes my focus.
“Ladies, it’s time to rally behind Hillary! It’s our duty,” wrote one of my friends on Facebook.
“So you’re voting for Hillary right?” questioned one of my girlfriends after church. Geez, can I finish thinking about the sermon I just heard before we get into a political discussion?
Didn’t she just announce her desire to run? Why do I have to sign away my allegiance right now?
Call me crazy or anti-feminist, but I don’t think it should be expected for any woman to automatically vote for Hillary (if she makes it this time) just because she’s a woman. Yes it’s awesome she wants to be a “champion of everyday Americans,” but wasn’t she back-tracking last summer on comments she made about being “dead broke?” I only kid. Everyone can and will put their foot in their mouth, but you get the point.
In all honesty, I’m tired of politicians in general as everyone has their hand in the cookie jar. But then they’re quick to point the finger at the other guy. Unfortunately, voting can come down to the lesser of two evils.
Regardless of where your loyalties are, it’s important to focus on candidates as an individual and not just their party. Even if it takes time to dig a little deeper, at least you can say you truly made an informed decision.
Having a female president would be a historic occasion worth celebrating. Lord knows how much we fight for equality and acceptance around the workplace. Women can do a job just as good–if not better in some cases–as a man. While I’m all for Beyoncé’s call to run the world, I don’t think that means we follow someone to the Promised Land without first doing a little background check.
Do you think women should automatically vote for Hillary because she’s a woman?