My typical response to being called a “vagina voter” is the following: “Perhaps, but so what? Men have been voting with their penises since the dawn of time. But now that women have the opportunity to vote for another woman, suddenly it’s a bad thing.”
I’ll admit that at first, I actively pushed back against this label. It’s objectifying, condescending, and belittling – nobody ever accuses a man who is voting for another man of voting with his penis, does he? Well, except me. But I do that purposefully, to point out how absurd it sounds. Of course on one level it’s completely false. If I was truly voting for Hillary simply because she’s female, I would also support Carly Fiorina, Sarah Palin, and Michele Bachmann.
But the more I’ve thought about it, the more I embrace it. Am I voting for Hillary because she represents me? Because I think it’s far beyond time for a woman to be President? Yes, I absolutely am. She also happens to be the most qualified Presidential candidate in history. So go ahead and call me a “vagina voter” because I am voting for the candidate who will speak for and support women. The one whose detailed platform includes dealing with campus sexual assault, education, health care, LGBT equality, equal pay, the right to choose, affordable childcare…you know, all those “women’s issues” that are often all but ignored by male politicians. So yes, I am voting for Hillary because I believe she’ll push the issues that are most important to me to the front of the national debate. If voting for my own self interest makes me a “vagina voter,” then that’s what I am. Unapologetically. I’m owning it.