Though the upcoming presidential election is more than a year away, multiple Democratic candidates have already officially joined the presidential race and it’s likely more will join. Quite frankly the idea of researching each candidate to determine who I’ll vote for in the primaries is already overwhelming. However, despite the multiple platforms I’ll need to review, I fully intend to do my research this election cycle. Though many of the Democratic candidates seem like great presidential contenders, there are important differences, however small, between their platforms that should be recognized. But in the midst of googling the minutiae of each candidate’s policy and platforms, I’m also going to consider the candidates gender. Simply put, I want a woman for president.
I know that I shouldn’t base my vote on gender alone; that should be obvious. Just like I know a good policy should not be ignored, I know women are flawed and may not always have good policies and may not always be the best at their job. The goal is not to blindly support women but rather support people who will better the country. So, if Bernie Sanders or another male candidate is undeniably the most competent, knowledgeable, respectable candidate, I’ll absolutely vote for him.
But I’d be lying if I said didn’t want a woman for president. The shattering of the glass ceiling is long overdue, and considering the numerous female candidates running for office, I’m confident at least one will prove their superior ability to aptly serve this country. Further, I want my gender to be represented in the White House, and I want a woman to have the opportunity to change the United States.
In essence, women and men, and non-binary individuals as well, are not that different. But because of our society, gender is crucial in shaping that person, and I want to see how a person at least partially shaped by sexism and discrimination approaches the variety of problems plaguing the United States and the world. For instance, in light of the recent Gag Rule Trump just implemented, I can’t help thinking that women know how important abortion rights are because they’ve had a pregnancy scare or an abortion themselves, or know a close friend who has, and know how important abortion rights are and how dangerous Gag Rules are. This is not to say that all women support safe and legal abortions, or are always fully cognizant of structural inequality and oppression (i.e. Elizabeth Warren and her claims to Native American heritage) or even take on a progressive agenda. Women, whether in office or in any other situation, are still subject to faulty beliefs and problematic actions. Further, men are more than capable of taking on the empathetic, progressive, action-oriented perspective that our next president should have.
So again, it’s not that I’m looking to refuse a male candidate the Oval Office. But previous, successful male candidates have certainly been flawed, and people have been voting them into the presidential office for centuries. So unless a male candidate can prove he is beyond a doubt the better presidential candidate, I’m going to vote for a woman. I want to be represented, and in some small way, I believe having a woman president will prioritize uplifting and advocating for further marginalized groups.