Women Voting for Hillary Clinton
Melissa Nunez – General Assignment Reporter
Taxes, military, immigration and funding for education are all issues Lauren Barry, junior elementary education and interdisciplinary studies major, said were important to her in the upcoming presidential election. She said that the aspect of gender will not be a deciding factor.
She said the assumption that women should vote for Hillary Clinton based on their gender is not fair and is a stereotype by association.
“If she is not a good presidential candidate, then we cannot vote on someone just based on their gender,” said Barry. “I do not plan on voting for Clinton and I think it would be great to see a woman president, but I am not going to vote for her just because of her gender.”
Barry said the premise of women voting for Clinton based on gender could even inhibit the future possibility of another woman being elected into office: that if women voters do not pay attention to other aspects of her campaign, elect her, and she does a poor job, the populace may assume future generations of women would have the same poor performance as well.
Casey Wilcock, junior education major, agreed, saying being informed on the presidential hopefuls beyond their gender is a vital aspect of the election, although, the inclusion of gender in one’s decision is admirable, but the ideology should not be forced upon other women.
“I think you should not base it just off of gender. You should pick her being informed on the topics that she supports,” said Wilcock. “If you want to vote for her because she is a woman that is great, but you do not have to vote for her. You should not have to be forced to vote for her just because she is a woman.”
Wilcock said a woman in office would be a progressive step for the women’s movement and she assumes that is why women are voting based gender, but the other issues, such higher education financial aid, should be researched as well.
Cassi Meyerhoffer, Ph.D., sociology professor, said telling women to vote for Clinton on the basis of gender is problematic because it silences them as responsible voters educated beyond the scope of just their gender.
Meyerhoffer said, while a woman in office with that much power would certainly change perceptions of how they are perceived in society overall, the fact that Clinton is a woman does not guarantee she would promote women’s issues beyond that.
“I do not think having a woman president is going to necessarily change the lives of women in America,” said Meyerhoffer. “I think when I was younger I definitely thought that it would be so cool to have a woman president and now seeing what has happened with the presidency of Barack Obama, having it not really improve the lives of black people, there is this part of me that just thinks it does not really matter.”
Meyerhoffer added many women wanted to vote for John McCain because of his female running mate Sarah Palin, but a candidate like Palin “is about as anti-feminist as you could get.” She said voting based factors such as gender may seem proportional with the groups issues, but with an example like Palin, it could possibly work against them.
“If you’re only voting for people based on gender, or sexuality, or race, you are not necessarily benefiting your group,” said Meyerhoffer. “It could even work against you, so you just have to be careful.”
Photo Credit: Melissa Nunez – General Assignment Reporter