Difficult to Understand Women not Supporting Hillary

Being comfortable with my sexual orientation as a gay man occurred long after being comfortable labeled a feminist. Wikipedia says "Feminism is a range of movements and ideologies that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve equal political, economic, cultural, personal, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women".

As a teacher in Harlem, administrative aide to Bella S. Abzug (D-NY), Director of the White House Conference on Handicapped Individuals/Implementation Unit, I took to the streets to protest all inequality and learned there is no perfect politician. So it amazes when women who want and should have their voices heard at the highest levels of government actively work against a highly qualified woman who can break that final glass ceiling.

Perfect people don't exist; we are all flawed. But in my experience working with and for women it often seems women are the toughest on their own. Often the first to find fault with another women who steps up to lead looking for a flaw/excuse to not support them. Finding that flaw they willingly participate in putting off their goal of having women as leaders, be it in business or politics.

Women found reasons - she is divisive, strident, and loud - to not support Bella Abzug when she ran for the Senate. Those are some of the same perceived flaws some women are using to convince themselves not to support the most brilliant and prepared person to run for President in decades. They readily abandon her putting off the opportunity to finally make this 'a more perfect union' with the excuse she isn't perfect.

Hard to get an accurate measure of where women are because polls are all over the place. The Washington Post had a page one story about its poll showing a dramatic drop in women's support for Hillary. This after another poll showing 74% of Democrats view Clinton Favorably. Another poll touted by every media outlet found Sanders leading Clinton 52% to 30% in New Hampshire. Two days later one says Sanders only leads Clinton by 7% and another by WBUR has Clinton down only 4%. Where is the headline 'Clinton gains 18% on Sanders in three days!'?

What was unfathomable to read in the Post were some women's comments listing their reasons/excuses for not supporting Hillary. Sylvia Gale, a one-term New Hampshire legislator, who stood with a sign 'Feminists for Bernie' said, "I've never been ashamed to call myself a feminist but because Hillary has gotten a lot of coverage in the mainstream media and other media as being the women's candidate, I guess I just wanted to say: Not for all of us." Gale must realize it is only because feminists like Hillary, Bella and others she even had the chance to run. She could be bitter about losing after one term and might ask herself whether it was women who deserted her. Another, Elise deMichael, a retiree who supports Sanders, "agreed how exciting it would be to see a woman inaugurated". Then added "But it's got to be the right woman, Hillary is so divisive. It breaks my heart for her. I'm sorry she's not likeable." So she is abandoning a highly qualified woman to support someone less accomplished who many others consider divisive. That might be the reason not one of his current Senate Colleagues or former House colleagues have endorsed him. Maya Chenevert, a community college student who works as a nanny said "In 2008 I was only 13, but I was super excited about Hillary. I am actually amazed that I'm not going to vote for her, because 13-year-old me would be so disappointed." When asked if she wants to see a woman in the White house she added, "of course but I would rather wait another eight or twelve or sixteen years for another woman to run." So Maya when you turn forty chances are you still won't have adequate childcare, maternity leave or equal pay for equal work. Maya goes on to say "Bernie Sanders will make it affordable for her to become a Physician Assistant". She should understand Bernie isn't promising to make her graduate school free and Hillary's proposals would give her the same chance to get an affordable or free undergraduate degree now.

I hope Maya, Sylvia, Elise and others come to understand while Hillary may not be perfect, she will stand up and fight for their rights like no man ever could. We have the opportunity to elect a brilliant, accomplished and totally prepared woman to be President. Twenty-two other nations have or have had women leaders. We in the United States are far behind. None of those women were perfect but people understood to make progress, ensure equality, and let children, boys and girls, know they are equal, the time to elect a woman had come.

Women may want to heed the words of former Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) speaking on the importance of electing LGBT leaders, "If we aren't at the table we will forever be on the menu".