I know, I know ... some of you might say, “Shouldn't you wait for the debates before making that decision? Shouldn’t your vote be based on platform and not gender?” The answer to both of those questions is a resounding YES!
To those who argue that announcing I’m voting for a woman this early in the game is sexist, I say: Male candidates have a built-in advantage – they're men.
America has never enjoyed a female president. It’s not because there haven’t been qualified women; it’s because men in power have kept women from running and winning. Female candidates face egregious misogyny that no male candidate has ever had to endure. The endless derogatory comments about their emotional temperament, criticism of their clothing, hair and make-up choices, and the impossible standards expected of them from sexist media tells me that any female candidate with a solid platform, who can hold her own while being torn down by misogynists in her own party, the press and the Republican Party, IS the best person for the job.
Another reason I’ll be voting for a woman is that women understand women’s issues in a way that men cannot. Abortion is not a “women’s issue.” It’s an economic one that affects all of us. Women understand what it’s like to be dismissed and under-appreciated in the workplace based on genitalia. Women have a deeper and more personal understanding of the failures of patriarchy because they’ve lived it their entire lives.
Right now, we have six women running, four of whom I consider to be qualified and viable, and more might enter the race. I want to see what these female candidates have to say and how they run their campaigns. I assume there will be some mistakes along the way, but purity and perfection aren’t and shouldn’t be the goals. A strong, empathic leader who will work for the good of the people is what American voters need.
Male candidates have dealt with all kinds of scrutiny, but not one of them has ever been put through the patriarchal ringer. Not. One.
There will be a number of qualified Democratic men running and if one makes it to the general election, he’ll have my vote. But the fact is male candidates have it easier than the women they're running against. Male candidates have a built-in advantage because they’re men. They’re automatically taken seriously and don’t have to answer silly questions about how they can be a good president and a good father/grandfather/husband/uncle/brother/human.
Male candidates won’t have to convince anyone they’re likable. They’ll have the luxury of focusing on policies and platforms and won’t be forced to suffer the same nonsense as their female counterparts. Their precious time won’t be wasted by reporters asking them which clothing designer they prefer.
Men start the presidential race on second base. A woman who can stand strong alongside a viable male candidate while working with a patriarchal disadvantage has already proven she's the most qualified person in the race.
It's not about gender. It's about qualifications.