If you're a woman voting for Donald Trump today, I'm fascinated by you. Well, actually, more floored than fascinated. But why should I be? There's nothing about this election that's been politics as usual. Recently, I clicked on someone's Facebook page and saw that not only was she a vehement Trump supporter, she was also of the opinion that a woman should never be president.
I'm going to assume she knows what Donald Trump has said about women. Like you, she's heard his boasts of sexually assaulting them, his derogatory comments about their bodies, his public shaming of them if they dare to challenge him. Yes, she knows. You do, too.
Yet, she's still supporting him and so are you. And I truly cannot figure out why. How do you cast your ballot for a candidate who makes lewd comments about his own daughter? If you want to dismiss "Busgate" as locker room banter, okay. I'll even give you that. But how do you vote for a man who has been accused of sexual assault by dozens of women? Can you really dismiss them all as liars and frauds? Even if just one of them is telling the truth, isn't that enough to sway you?
Because I'm stumped, I'm digging a little deeper. And when therapists dig, it sometimes makes folks uncomfortable. But if you're tough enough to bear a little discomfort, maybe you're wise enough to consider these may be very real -- and heartbreaking -- reasons you're not voting for Hillary.
Happily Ever After:
The Clintons have had many well-documented challenges in their marriage. Among other things, they were able to hold their marriage together despite Bill's very public infidelities. He had affairs with young, attractive woman but ultimately chose his wife. The Clintons now seem devoted, and Bill is supportive AF. I need to ask: Has your husband not chosen you -- or your marriage -- in ways both big and small?
Hillary's resume is one for the ages. And she has no plans to stop adding to it. Could it be you're envious of a woman who has accomplished so much? Perhaps you're a tad bitter about the way your life has turned out while, comparatively, Hillary's seems -- and is -- incredible.
Because the beauty and talent of most celebrities feels almost otherworldly, admiring them isn't threatening. We know we'll never look like (or be as hilarious as) Chrissy Teigen or sing like Beyoncé. But Hillary isn't otherworldly at all. She came from a hard-working, middle-class family. She's no more physically attractive than the Average Jane. But she catapulted herself into the international spotlight without making a sex tape or playing tennis like Venus Williams. She's regular. In many ways, she's like you and me. Is Hillary a living reminder that your dreams and goals got lost along the way?
Jealousy and Insecurity:
Is your husband voting for Trump? Are you secretly relieved he isn't admiring and supporting another woman -- even one he'll likely never meet? Then, phew, you're safe! But if the idea of your spouse supporting a female candidate feels threatening to you -- or you're too scared to choose Hillary no matter how your spouse is voting -- know you have some serious work to do on yourself and your marriage after today.
She Doesn't Need A Man:
Where was all this hatred and rancor being spewed in Hillary's direction when she was First Lady? Well, perhaps that felt comfortable enough for you because she got to the White House via her husband's success. Maybe what feels uncomfortable is she's now getting there in her own right -- distinctly and separately from her man. The only coattails she's riding into the Oval Office on are ones from her own pantsuit.
Then I Must Be Okay:
Maybe Donald Trump's treatment of women feels familiar to you. Maybe it normalizes whatever skewed and unfortunate experiences you've had with men. If this powerful man says and does these things, then how bad, really, was your father, or grandfather, or creepy neighbor? Or, worse, how bad is your husband? But abuse and name-calling are never okay, and never will be. Know that.
Hatred and Self-Loathing:
Sadly, some women simply hate women because they hate themselves. I don't mean they wake up saying, "I am a worthless piece of crap. Am I even entitled to the oxygen I breathe?" No, not at all. This is waaaay more insidious than that. This is more like a core belief passed down by mothers and grandmothers who also hated themselves. Were you taught that women are somehow lesser than men? Or, equally as damaging, that women -- including yourself -- are not to be respected or trusted? Are you bequesting that self-loathing to your daughters and granddaughters? Isn't it time stop that legacy in its tracks?
Hillary's kind of old. She's a 69-year-old grandmother of two. We don't like aging in this country, and we especially don't like when women age. But, guess what? If you're young and lucky enough, you'll get old. If you're older, why not embrace your wisdom and life experience instead of loathing the aging process? Whether Hillary reminds you that you're already old, or that you're going to be, why not stop buying into the patriarchal idea that older women are an unsightly pox who should be hidden away?
Ladies, today you can do better. Make a choice for yourself and for all women. And, please, make it bigly.