When people—especially at my college—see the bumper sticker on the back of my car, or hear that I voted for Trump, they usually run for cover. I’ve been called racist, sexist, homophobic, and basically every other terrible adjective in the book.
“How can you call yourself a feminist?” they ask. “You didn’t vote for the woman who could have been the first female president!”
And they’re right, I didn’t vote for her. Because, as women, we deserve better. As feminists, who believe in the empowerment and independence of women, we deserve better. Here are three reasons why.
Reason #1: Hillary Clinton showed the world that she couldn’t win elections without cheating.
Women around the world have fought for the right to vote and to take part in government and legislative policy for centuries. Activists like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Alice Paul faced prison sentences as well as emotional and physical abuse while protesting for women’s suffrage in the United States. Women were publicly humiliated and shamed, all for simply wanting a say. And despite these setbacks, these powerful women made a real difference.
We have come so far and proven so much to the world—a world where not all countries allow women these rights. And whoever becomes the first female president of our country will represent that lengthy, grueling journey. Whoever gets to call herself the first U.S. Madame President will embody all that it means to be a strong and independent woman. They will represent women and girls everywhere and our constant fight for equality in what has historically been a politically male-dominated nation.
So, don’t you think that the first female president should be a person worthy of representing the amazing things women have done and can do?
With the election of Hillary Clinton to the office of the President of the United States, we would have been glorifying the corruption that follows her everywhere she goes. By choosing her, we would have been condoning what I believe are treasonous actions that put our entire country at risk. Most importantly, she resorted to an abuse of position and power to influence the democratic process within her own party.
Is that the kind of person who deserves to be remembered as a strong woman?
Reason #2: Hillary Clinton doesn’t empower women—she uses them.
A true feminist believes that women are just as capable as men, both in their careers and in their daily lives. The first woman president should be someone who believes this, and who empowers women—it should be someone who shows little girls that they are just as capable as their male counterparts. But Clinton doesn’t share this belief, if her actions say anything about her character.
By paying her female staff less than her male staff and rising to fame on the coattails of her husband, she hasn’t shown the world that women are independent icons. She has played into the weaknesses of our society for her own advantage—regardless of what was most beneficial for women as a whole, and for the millions of American girls who saw her as a role model in the 1990s.
On the contrary, Donald Trump’s life has shown his immense respect for women in the workplace. He has a history of paying his female staff adequately and without prejudice, as was revealed by Michael Cohen, a top executive for his company, who said in an interview with CNN that Trump is “not a gender-based payer. He’s really a performance-based payer, meaning if you do the job, he doesn’t care if your name is Mary or it’s Joe.”
Isn’t that the kind of belief system we want the Commander-in-Chief to have when the wage gap comes up in government affairs?
We don’t need someone who is a woman running the country—we need someone who empowers women leading our lawmakers into closing the wage gap. And if that’s not a fellow lady, so be it.
Reason #3: We can do better than Hillary Clinton.
When the right woman comes along to lead the country, we’ll know. And she’ll go down in history as a successful leader who changed the world. But Hillary Clinton would not have done that.
She has a history of being anti-feminist and, hypocritically, anti-woman.
According to Kathleen Geier, a renowned feminist journalist, Clinton endorsed “one of the most anti-woman policies in American history”—a 2002 welfare reform bill that would have increased the minimum number of working hours for welfare recipients from 30 to a whopping 37, an impossible number for many single moms.
Additionally, in the late 1980s, Clinton served on the board of directors for Walmart, where she failed to even acknowledge the women with sexual discrimination claims against the company. Her work in foreign policy even left women in countries like Iraq and Honduras in even worse positions than they were when she started. Clearly, she has done little to actually advance the situation for women around the world.
I’m not saying that Donald Trump was my favorite pick for president. I didn’t even vote for him in the Republican primary. But given my choices, the decision was obvious. The first Madame President should be someone who shows all that women can be—and we can be pretty awesome without cheating our way to power.
We don’t have to settle for someone who pays her female staff less than her male staff, and who leaves fellow ladies out to dry when she can help solve their problems. One of us will be the right person to show the world how qualified we are to do even historically male jobs—it just wasn’t Hillary Clinton.
Everything that a feminist believes in is based in the simple concept that women are just as capable as men, and Clinton’s actions have only demonstrated that she doesn’t believe that we are just as capable. She showed the world that women can’t win without cheating and that they aren’t worth as much as men. And that’s not being a feminist at all.
It is clear that Hillary Clinton isn’t a feminist. So, as a feminist, why would I vote for her to represent the women of America?