For a while now, I've been a casual feminist. I've got Roxanne Gay's Bad Feminist on my nightstand. I follow Gloria Steinem on Twitter. I rant about Donald Trump being a misogynist on Facebook to my 653 closest friends. But in all honesty, until recently, I looked at feminism as an intellectual exercise. It's great to have a movement to get equal lady rights, but the contingency of men out there who really don't think much of women can't be that big, right?
It is. When nearly half the country is ready to support Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton as our nation's leader, a megalomaniac who has a long history of saying really shitty things about women, there is clearly still a problem with sexism in America. He's proud of his strong daughter, but has also said he'd probably date her if he wasn't his daughter, clearly highlighting that he values women as sex objects that are designed to bring satisfaction to men, instead of, you know, being people. (Note: saying that you're proud of a strong female daughter as a man is totally ok; saying you'd bang her under different circumstances is creepy.)
Why is anyone listening to him? It blows my mind on a daily basis that anyone who is a sane adult would support a man who has vocally supported banning Muslims in a country founded on religious freedom, building a wall to keep immigrants out in a land where almost none of the population's families have been here more than a couple hundred years, and suggested that a foreign government hack into the email of his opponent which is totally illegal and possibly treason. His entire platform is not to make America great again, but to make it wholly un-American.
Why are people supporting him? The only thing that I can rationally point to is that a woman president is too scary for many men in this country.
Are guys really so afraid of people with vaginas that they'd rather elect Donald Trump than an intelligent woman? I know it comes down to more than that. There's policy (which has largely been unreported this election cycle), but in the same way that race was so not the issue in 2008 for conservatives, I'm sure gender has no sway in this race. (If my dripping sarcasm wasn't clear, I'll be explicit: gender and race played heavily in 2008 and now in 2016, and that is wrong.)
I won't claim that Hillary Clinton is without fault. She's a person. We're all flawed. What I am saying is that I'm not overly bothered by her flaws. She's smart and has spent years in public service. I'd like to see her win.
I listen to a lot of radio shows, and had the chance to hear Blackish creator Kenya Barris on Fresh Air with Terry Gross. He talks about his son not knowing that Barack Obama was the first black president. His son is young enough that Obama is the only president he's known, and Obama is black. It's kind of beautiful in his view, but also scary because he wants his son to know how important it was for a black man to become president.
When my husband returns from deployment with the Navy, we want to have a baby. No matter the gender of our possible offspring, I want the kid to know a world with a woman president, and not see that as strange or groundbreaking. I want it to be normal. I'm tired of almost exclusively white men running the country. I'm ready to be a fully-fledged feminist, because clearly the country needs more people standing up for women's equality.
We have a chance this election to do something monumental. Let's do that. Let's not elect a man, who in my opinion is a misogynist, xenophobic, racist liar who can do no good for this country.