Picture this: Six friends having a mid-January, post-New-Year’s “how was your break” breakfast. We are a group of women ranging in age from mid-30s to early-50s, with jobs in advertising, media, law, medicine and publishing. We are all feminists, all mothers and, I was thrilled to discover as the conversation rolled around to the Presidential election, all firmly on Team Hillary.
“She has a likability problem,” said one.
“She doesn’t have the charisma that Bill or Barack have,” said another.
“Her campaign messages just aren’t as exciting as #feelthebern is.”
“If Bill’s Teflon, then she’s Velcro. Nothing sticks to him, and everything sticks to her.”
Here we were, firmly in Hillary’s corner and yet worrying that she’s not likable enough? That she’s not charming enough. What could be more exciting than the prospect of electing the first female President of the United States? Were we being typical, apathetic Gen Xers? It felt like déjà vu, 2008 all over again — only worse this time.
It’s been a pretty disheartening few weeks for those of us on #TeamHillary. After months of thinking former Secretary Clinton had the democratic Presidential nomination in the bag, she barely squeaked by with a win in Iowa and only had 14% to Bernie’s 84% of voters ages 17-29. And, as of this writing, she is down 30 points in New Hampshire.
Look, I get it. Bernie’s working that whole “new guy“ thing, even though he’s been in Congress since 1990. Not to mention the ongoing media frenzy over her “shouting,” her “likability problem,” her emails, that Elizabeth Warren video (even though, as recently as December, Elizabeth Warren praised Hillary’s Wall Street plan). Oh, and in case you missed it (how is life under that rock?), feminist icons Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright both made cringe-worthy statements about young women who support Bernie over Hillary.
To quote Queen Bey, “You know you that bitch when you cause all this conversation.”
But I’m not giving up. And Hillary does have the women-over-45 votes on lockdown. But where are our voices? The thing is, so many of us are having these conversations with each other over coffee and emails and text messages, but we are not doing enough to truly show our support for Hillary. We just aren’t. We need to get out there and do some shouting ourselves. And not at young women who support Bernie. No. Nope. We need to shout our reasons for wanting to see not just a woman in the White House, but our reasons for wanting THIS woman in the White House. For wanting Hillary. For me, it goes beyond her stance on key issues like women’s reproductive rights, LGBTQ equality and gun control, just to name a few. For me it’s personal.
I want Hillary for president because she has faced down her critics for years and has not backed down.
I want Hillary for president because she’s been working on behalf of women and children for her entire career.
I want Hillary for president because she’s fucking smarter than all of the other candidates. Yes. She. Is.
I want Hillary for president because the vitriol that will come at her for her entire time in office will continue to expose the sexism problem in our country.
I want Hillary for president because younger generations will see a powerful man standing behind and supporting his powerful wife.
I want Hillary for president because I don’t want Ted Cruz, Donald Trump or Marco Rubio appointing Supreme Court judges.
I want Hillary for president because nobody can mansplain the president.
I want Hillary for president because a certain person in my life (who I do love dearly) calls it “going Wellesley” when I start talking passionately about politics.
I want Hillary for president because she probably hated the phrase “Simmons to bed, Wellesley to wed” as much as I did when I was a student at our shared alma mater .
I want Hillary for president because I recently learned that my son’s baseball coach has them doing “GAP drills,” and GAP apparently stands for “grow a pair.”
I want Hillary for president because I have a tween daughter who already identifies herself as a feminist.
I want Hillary for president because she’s a feminist.
I want Hillary for president because it’s time.
Until that moment in the diner, I had really taken for granted that Hillary would breeze through the primaries. (I guess she and I had something in common!) Hearing my friends cast doubt on her ability to win made me realize it was time to stop being complacent. It was time for me to go all Wellesley on everybody and remind them of how we have to step up and take action to show our support. Our conversation continues, mostly over text and emails, but also more publicly on Facebook. And we all sucked it up and finally donated to the campaign. I’ll report back after “bowling with Bill” next week.
(Photo: Google Image Search)