I was ecstatic upon learning of Hillary Clinton’s race for President, not meaning that I was planning on voting for her, but that a woman was running for a major party nomination. This has been done before, but not in 40+ years, so it was exciting to experience for myself.
She then became the first woman to win a major party nomination and run for President; and many women around the country see this as a sign that our country is moving forward, as do I, but I am not a huge fan of her. It’s hard as a feminist in this election to say you don’t like Hillary Clinton—I have been made to feel like I’m betraying my own gender for having supported Bernie Sanders—but, as I found out after researching her more thoroughly in the past two years, she is not an ideal candidate.
She defended her husband during his numerous sexual assault allegations and supported his 1994 crime bill that aided his mass incarceration, something she now is against. We, of course, do not know exactly what happened in Bill Clinton’s case, but the consensus in our country is that he is guilty, and his wife has never apologized or spoken out against him. Whatever reasons for her changing views on so many issues or defending her husband, she is speaking out now against police bias, assaults on college campuses, and Trump’s own remarks. While I do not think this makes up for her past or prove she has changed, it does send a message to voters about what she will stand for.
The media coverage of this election, even the debates themselves, are back-and-forth jabs and insults at the other person. This is not new in politics, but many of Trump’s comments on Clinton and other women have been sexist: At the first Republican presidential debate, Trump was offended by a question asked by host FOX Megyn Kelly; he later said in an interview, “There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” He has repeatedly judged women on their weight, looks, and status. And who can forget the “Trump Tapes,” where he admits to kissing women without their permission because he’s a celebrity, later defending his behavior as “locker room talk.” When asked about equal pay for women, he said “You’re gonna make the same if you do as good a job.” I interpret this as a man’s worst work is still better than a woman’s worst work.
Our country is now stuck deciding between the lesser of two evils: a woman who has a questionable past and not the best representative for women, or a man who currently shows his narcissistic, misogynist, racist personality out right. In the end, we have to decide who is safer and what we’ll be telling ourselves and the world by electing one of them. If she does win this election (fingers crossed), instead of having won on her own merits, it will be soured by the people who will say it was because she was up against a deplorable, unqualified candidate.