By Amanda Krzyzanowski
It is easy to be enticed by the idea of having a woman in the White House. It is always a great idea to have female leaders, because woman should be making decisions and also because girls need female leadership role models. While I concede that these are great reasons to have a woman in the White House, they alone are not reasons to vote for a woman. The woman needs to be proactive for women’s rights. She needs to be the best candidate for women and she needs to have policies that will help the nation. Hillary Clinton does not have this. Her appeal is that she is a woman, and don’t let that fool you.
Let me be clear that I am not opposed to affirmative action. I even think the idea of quotas for women in office is a good idea in some places, maybe even in the United States. Having female CEO’s, Congress women, Presidents and so forth are all crucial things for the American population.
Hillary is not a viable female candidate that will do what is necessary for women and the population. Hillary is all talk and no walk. She has at the very least a sketchy record on pay gap for her female staffers and at the worst a record of belligerent pay issues.
She has not worked hard for female equality bills and has chosen not to vote on key pro-choice bills. She also has a tendency to change her stance on issues if there is corporate money against them or if it becomes unpopular. This is a problem for her when there seems to be a popular war against women going on. She may stand with women during the primary when women’s issues are popular but become less passionate in the general election when she is trying to gain right-leaning and mainstream support.
What we do have are two candidates that are better for women than Hillary Clinton: Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders.
Jill Stein is by far the best candidate for feminist voters. Not only does she have a platform that strongly supports feminist issues, she’s been clear about what issues she supports and has not wavered on them. She obviously is also a women. Voting for Jill Stein is voting for women’s rights as well as for having a female in office.
We can gain further insight into the candidate with votesmart.com, fantastic website with candidate issues, voting records, bio’s, speeches, and even funding records. VoteSmart provides all of the information you need to make an informed decision on who you want to vote for. I also recommend the League of Woman Voters as they provide charts comparing candidates as well. Ballotpedia is also an option that is becoming available, although I do not know about the independence of this site yet to verify that it has no corporate bias.
Jill Stein does not have a voting record, so we cannot compare her voting in the past to her campaign, but we can take a look at here answers to political determinance test that VoteSmart does. Unfortunately, Jill Stein has not done the political quiz for her 2016 campaign, but she did for 2012, and has not likely changed on the major issues that the quiz asks. Hillary has not responded to the quiz for 2016 or any previous years either, so we must compare Jill’s quiz to Hillary’s voting record. Bernie Sanders has not done the quiz for his current presidential run, but has done it previously as a senator from Vermont.
Jill Stein’s answer to Pro-Choice is clear:
Real choice must include more than the choice of whether or not to have an abortion, and must begin with an informed choice about preventing unintended pregnancy. By providing all women with reproductive health care and family planning, as part of a program of health care as a human right, we can greatly reduce the need for abortion. Giving women real choices for education opportunities and good paying jobs will also reduce unintended pregnancies. Abortion is a necessary health care option, but will decline as women’s choices expand upstream of unwanted pregnancy.
Bernie Sanders only states that he supports a woman’s right to choose. Hillary, in her campaign, has stated that she is pro-choice.
Bernie Sanders not only speaks of improving women’s lives through equal pay, paid family leave, and of course access to healthcare and contraceptives, but sponsors bills and has a proven track record of voting for women. Unfortunately, the administrative priorities section does not include women’s rights issues as a priority in either Bernie or Jill’s forms. Hillary has not made these issues a priority for her administration either. Luckily, Jill Stein does state that she will make healthcare for all a priority in her platform. Bernie Sanders has also supported single-payer healthcare, and sponsored a bill for this.
Single-payer healthcare takes care of access to contraceptives, access to family planning, STI checks, breast exams and a majority of the services provided by Planned Parenthood. Abortion under single-payer healthcare is complicated and not determined yet, but would likely be more accessible even if it is not covered. To top it off, Bernie has a plan for equal pay and family leave. Both Bernie and Jill Stein are doing work to improve poverty rates for the population, much of which are single mothers. Female access to income and increased economic equality is the first step to working toward an egalitarian society. Hillary Clinton does not show support for improving poverty in the United States.
It is unfortunate that our political system is directed by two main parties that are mainstream and controlled by a bias media. Jill Stein has not gotten media coverage to allow people to know that she exists or is running for president under the Green Party. Many women will choose not to vote for Jill Stein because she is a third party candidate or because they do not know who she is. When feminist support Hillary Clinton it saddens me that they are unaware there is a much better female candidate that should have the feminist vote. If they are unaware of Jill Stein, Bernie Sanders is still a much better candidate for women than Hillary Clinton. He is consistent and supports women’s issues much more strongly than Hillary has in the past.
I can’t help but be reminded of the outrageously awful argument that women should be in leadership because they are inherently peaceful. This is egregious argument. It implies that men and women are not equal and therefore do not deserve equal rights. It also somehow places women as the only option in nurturing children because men are only violent. If you are voting for Clinton just because she happens to have a vagina you should justify it in a much better way than as a feminist value.
Should Hillary get a point because she is a woman, yes. But that being the only reason to vote for her is ludicrous.