I can hardly think of a better role model for my daughter.
I have long been inspired by Hillary Clinton's rise to this pivotal point in her political career. She is poised to potentially become the first woman president in US history.
Part of me still hopes she will be — even though she wouldn't be my first choice.
She has spent years breaking down seemingly-impossible barriers built against women in politics. She endures the constant sexism of the media and other candidates with grace and candor. While pundits bicker about her outfit choices, she shows them what really matters by doing her damn job, and doing it well.
She was the first woman senator of New York and a powerful force as Secretary of State. I can hardly think of a better role model for my daughter.
I must, undoubtedly, bow at the feet of such a tremendous feminist force in this political landscape.
She is the type of woman I hope my daughter looks up to: a successful feminist role model if ever there were one. She is strong in the face of adversity. She does not cower when criticized. She knows that her words and actions are powerful, and is not afraid of those who would call her “bossy,” “grating,” or “shrill” — when really she's just being a leader, like all of her male counterparts.
It is powerful for a growing girl to watch a woman like her thrive.
I must, undoubtedly, bow at the feet of such a tremendous feminist force in this political landscape. I understand why feminist heavyweights such as Madeleine Albright and Gloria Steinem endorse her so wholeheartedly, calling on fellow feminists to rise up and join Hillary Clinton in making history.
Truly, she lives a full feminist life, breaking glass ceilings like it’s nobody’s business. She has flourished in a political landscape designed to crush her.
But for all her sweeping inspiration as a feminist role model, for myself and for my daughter, I still cannot choose her to be my next president.
It is not Hillary Clinton’s storied past that has turned me against her. She has made no unforgivable misstep in my eyes. She inspires me no less today than she did before this presidential race. If anything, I am more keenly aligned with her policies now than ever before.
However, I won’t be voting for her in the primaries and would be glad to see another name on the democratic ballot come November. It’s not that she isn’t a good choice. It’s simply that, in my eyes, she is not the best choice.
My feminist leanings do not oblige me to vote for her if I do not find her to be the best fit for the job.
While part of my skin crawls to think of placing another old white man in the oval office instead of the first woman POTUS, the fact is that I am more politically aligned with Bernie Sanders than I am with Hillary Clinton. No amount of girl-power can change that. While Madeleine Albright may call out a special place in hell for me because I’m not helping out my fellow woman, I don’t feel feminism entitles Hillary Clinton to a blind mob of followers.
Regardless of the outcome of this race, I am grateful for Hillary Clinton.
That same feminism which she hopes will propel her into the presidency also comes with a flip-side. I cannot choose her simply for her gender, nor even her great strides for feminism throughout her career. As a feminist, I must choose the candidate I think will be best for the job, regardless of gender. Unfortunately, I know Hillary Clinton is not that candidate for me.
If she ends up with the Democratic nomination, I will stand behind her wholeheartedly. I will be overwhelmed with pride to watch our nation elect a woman to the highest position in the land for the first time in history. I will likely hold my daughter and weep with joy that she will grow up in a world where the most powerful face in our country will be that of a woman like Hillary Clinton.
Unlike much of the Bernie Sanders camp, I would gladly vote for either Democratic candidate. I do not for one moment discredit her accomplishments because there is someone else I am more inclined to vote into office.
Regardless of the outcome of this race, I am grateful for Hillary Clinton. I am glad for the career she has had thus far, glad for the world she is leaving for my children — one where my son and daughter can dream of becoming president. The road to the White House is paved for women because Hillary Clinton poured the pavement herself, while all around, rocks were thrown her way.
The path is still treacherous, but the road is there for future generations to traverse.