For the Record

"Vagina Voting" is a euphemism for the profoundly misogynist argument advanced by overpaid members of our lazy and stupid national media which posits that women will want to vote for Hillary just because she's a woman. It treats women as a monolithic group (the foolishness of which is explained here, for a start) and necessarily presumes that women are failing to weigh with seriousness a candidate's policies, positions, and, presumably, even her party affiliation.

When a woman, as Kate did here, talks about Hillary's femaleness as a potentially deciding factor in whether to support her, it has nothing to do with "Vagina Voting." There's absolutely no reason to presume that an intelligent, rational, progressive woman who says she's leaning toward Hillary because she's a woman hasn't already taken into consideration all the political implications of that decision.

And if you are making that presumption—if you hear a woman you know to be politically astute saying, "I'm leaning toward Hillary now because she's a woman," and you say, "Well, choose her because she's got the best policies, not because she's got ovaries!"—you need to stop and ask yourself why you feel compelled to issue that caveat, despite its manifest insult to the intelligence of any woman at whom it is directed.

It's absolutely legitimate for Hillary's sex to be one's deciding factor, and no less legitimate than citing John Edwards being a millworker's son who knows what it's like to be working class as one's deciding factor. Though, strangely, no one accuses anyone of overlooking all his policies if they honor his background thusly.

Hillary is arguably the least progressive of the three Democratic front-runners (and I say arguably, because it's a mixed bag; she's more hawkish and corporate-friendly, but she's also got the most ethnically diverse campaign staff and the most women among both her paid campaign staff and senior staff of any Democrat in the race), yet it would be absurd to suggest that she could not reasonably be the first choice of progressive women (or men) totally irrespective of her sex, merely by virtue of people having different legislative—and cultural—priorities.

And given that women, the LGBTQ community, and people of color have been under assault from the GOP political machine for my entire lifetime and long, long before—and given that the Dems ain't always much better—it's the worst kind of condescending horseshit to suggest that the cultural priority of repudiating institutional misogyny by supporting the female candidate (of three pretty damn good candidates) isn't a legitimate or thoughtful position. There's a big goddamned difference between telling little girls they can grow up to be president someday when there's never been a female president, and telling them while holding up a picture of Madame President.

This issue is rich with nuance, and I don't think its complexity could be illustrated any more clearly than with this: When we do inaugurate our first female president, at long last, I will celebrate. I will cheer. I will blub.

No matter who she is, no matter what party, no matter whether I did not vote for her and never would have in a million fucking years.

And then I will set to work holding her feet to the fire just like anyone else.

Maude Bless America.

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