I voted—without cringe or caveat—for Hillary Clinton today, and it was more heart-wrenching, more personal, and even higher-stakes than my two votes for Barack Obama (my vote for John Kerry was forgettable and lackluster, of course).
I understand the position of young, first-time voters who are so woke they can’t stomach voting for Hillary Clinton; I also understand millennials who cloaked their misogyny by rejecting Hillary early on, but who changed their minds; I also understand older women who initially rejected Hillary for the very same sexist reasons, but who changed their minds; I understand people who aren’t misogynists but never changed their minds; I understand misogynist trolls; I understand people who won’t vote, I understand people who will vote third party, and I understand my father, who voted for Trump today. I understand all this because voting is intensely personal and should represent what you believe.
Voting for the first woman president of the United States gave me a very genuine chilly thrill, because this is what I want—I want more complicated women to watch and discuss and consider. I want more women who aren’t exactly personable, who like making money, and who work really hard. I love these women.
I particularly love, and will vote for, women who intend to defend my right over my body, who will fight for my right to earn as much money as men, who pledge to provide me with healthcare, and who at least think global warming and the threat of unrestricted gun use are both real.
My vote today goes out to my mom, who’s hiding in her cabin in northern Minnesota to avoid the mounting anxiety (she’s more the squeeze and move-on type, but she called me in tears a few times these past few weeks from pure election stress; living with a Trump supporter is complicated). There’s no electricity up there, so she’s waiting for us to call her when news comes in.
Like millions of other lucky young people since 1920, my mom was the first person who brought me to the polls. She took voting seriously because, in part, she could clearly and efficiently delineate her beliefs, and someone listened. Voting was always a very private, personal decision, so this article will probably make her nervous.
And still, I can’t wait to call my mom from a bar tonight, when Hillary wins.