My mom, my Nana, and my aunt are all ardent Hillary Clinton supporters, as are some of my friends -- who assume that I'm one too. And they all seem to express surprise, shock, and/or disappointment when I let them know otherwise.*
Recently, I twittered that "On some innate level, I feel guilty for not supporting a female candidate." Justin gave me some grief over this sentiment, and I explained, "I feel like it's a tiny betrayal of my gender, the whole sisterhood thing. It's not going to make me change my mind, though," and that "I would like to one day see a woman president."
It's hard to work through this cognitive dissonance, but in reading an article in the Post, I think I'm starting to figure it out.
Do you vote for a woman to shatter the glass ceiling and further the cause? Or do you make an empowered, individual decision that is not confined by gender?
"It's like I'm ruining this great opportunity for women by not voting for her, but honestly I'm not too worried about that," Keller said. "I don't think gender is a good enough reason on its own to vote for or against anybody. I'm sure there are going to be other women in my generation, soon, who are able to run for president. This isn't like our only chance."
Her stance is what some professors on campus refer to as an "inevitability attitude," and they say it marks a generational divide. Women who experienced Wellesley in the 1950s and '60s, such as Clinton, enrolled at a time when some Ivy League schools still refused to admit women. They believed, intrinsically, that they would have to scrap and claw for every opportunity in an unfair world. Wellesley functioned as their cocoon, a place for camaraderie and support before they were sent off as graduates to break barriers and challenge stereotypes. As feminists, they were linked by a cause.
The women of that generation now vote resoundingly for Clinton, poll numbers show, as if still bound by the urgency instilled 40 years ago. It's an urgency that their daughters, products of a less-sexist time, sometimes lack.
So, I'm not the only one who is torn. But having company doesn't make it any easier.
*Don't get me wrong: If Hillary wins the nomination, I will undoubtedly vote for her in the general election. There is no Republican running that would make me change my mind, and, after the 2000 election, I came to realize that voting for a third-party candidate is essentially a waste.