If you’d asked me a year ago whether or not I would vote for Hillary Clinton because she was a woman, I would have said no. I didn’t vote for her in 2008. It’s not that I thought she was a bad candidate, it was that I thought Obama was better. And, a year ago, I might have been convinced to feel the Bern.
But as I watch more and more sexism being heaped on to her, I find myself wanting to vote for her more and more.
It’s not that the sexism has gotten worse than it was in 2008, though this year there just is more because she’s the front runner. It’s that I’ve gotten older.
I was 23 during the 2008 election.
I experienced sexism. In fact, I’d just left a job with a misogynist boss who treated all of his female employees like his personal secretary. He once told me I shouldn’t be eating a cookie because I was going to India so people would see me in a bathing suit.
The sexism I experienced at 23 was different. I was treated as incompetent. As flighty. As a sex object. As dumb and ditzy. I am none of those things. (Well, arguably the sex object part…)
I wasn’t perceived as being as smart as I am because I was a young woman. My interests were seen as shallow. Any mistake I was was seen as proof that I was scatterbrained. That is the sexism that is heaped on young women.
This election season I am older. At 31, the sexism I experience is different. It’s still there, it hasn’t lessened. It’s just changed. Now it isn’t about ditziness, it’s about shrillness. It’s not about being flighty, it’s about being a bitch.
I am now perceived as bossy and difficult. Whenever I stand up for myself, I am seen as aggressive. When I make decisions, I am seen as emotional. When I want a raise, I am demanding. That is the sexism heaped on older women.
These are the same allegations leveled against Clinton. She’s shrill. She’s bossy. She’s difficult. She’s aggressive.
When women stop being seen as the ideal of female sexuality, when men no longer value in us because we’re no longer supple and young, we start to become a threat. Rather than something that is insignificant but nice to look at, we become obstacles.
Suddenly, I want to vote for Clinton. I want to vote for her to say fuck you to all the people who have maligned her, but who have maligned me.
And who will continue to do so. Because I’m not getting any younger.