I am not politically unaware. If fact, I was a political science major and used to be heavily involved with local and state politics. I eventually withdrew from the political circus when the ‘up close and personal view’ became too disillusioning. So, while I still remain very interested in politics, work on and support causes dear to my heart and never fail to vote, I have become much more of an observer of the political election process. And I rarely write about politics until something gets my goat. Which is now.
Gloria Steinem and Madeline Albright decided to reprimand all women who do not plan to vote for Hillary Clinton. Ms. Albright going so far as to say there was a “special place in hell” for women who do not support other women.
Gloria Steinem has since apologized for inferring that young female voters are only “boy crazy” but the message was still that she still believes that Clinton is the best choice for female voters. Because apparently being female is the most important agenda political concern? (unless that woman is Sarah Palin or Carly Fiorini, I presume) If you're only argument is that your candidate has the same genitals or sexuality as me, then you have already lost the argument.
Personally I am pretty tired of the ‘one issue fits all’ mentality. I am particularly tired of people who reduce entire populations down into base stereotypes and one dimensional characterizations.
- I once knew a woman who said something I thought was pretty gay offensive. Her response? “Well, I have another gay friend who did not find it offensive.” Oh that’s right, because every gay person thinks and feels exactly the same way on “gay issues”.
- I once got into a discussion with a blogger because she emphatically stated that “southern black poor people don’t vote in their own best interest.” What? First of all the blogger is a wealthy, educated white woman living in California. What the hell would she know about poor black people in the south? And why would she assume that every poor black person has the same ‘best interest’? I politely suggested to her that perhaps some poor black folks actually voted based on their own individual values rather than their economics. That perhaps there were still a few people in the world, rich and poor, who care about other things over their own financial situations. And further, what is important to one person might be different than what’s important to someone else. It’s not rocket science. It’s treating people as individuals rather than homogeneous labels.
People seem to think I should support any gay (or pro-gay) candidate just because I am gay. Any female candidate just because I am a woman. Any progressive candidate just because I am socially progressive. But I don’t. Those things are only a part of the things I care about politically. I would love it if a candidate embraced every plank in my personal platform, but that rarely happens. And so I have to choose based on my own personal priorities, and sorry, being gay or female does not top my list.
I would be happy to discuss who I will be voting for, and why, with anyone who is interested. I would be happy to hear how other candidates are the best fit for your particular set of principles and priorities. But please stop telling me how to vote if you know nothing about me except for some demographics. I am not a statistic. I am more than my genitals or sexuality. I am more than one dimension.