Gender should not trump political agendas in upcoming election
3 mins read

Gender should not trump political agendas in upcoming election

On April 12, one of Hillary Clinton’s top advisors announced that she would once again run for president, aiming to become the first female president of the United States.

I don’t like Hillary Clinton and I never have. I think many of her policies are backwards, and I especially do not appreciate her support of Israel’s unrelenting aggression in Palestine.

Last summer she voiced her support for Israeli military action in Gaza, in which thousands of innocent people were murdered in daily mass bombings of civilian areas. As a Palestinian, I cannot and will not support such behavior, nor will I ever vote for a candidate that refuses to acknowledge our basic human rights.
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However, since her recent announcement, I have been disgusted with a lot of the commentary I’ve been reading online. Rather than focusing on Clinton’s policies, a clear obsession with her gender is certainly pervasive.

CEO and Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association Wayne La Pierre said, “Eight years of one demographically symbolic president is enough.”

The assumption that a white male should be the default qualities of a leader or someone in a position of power is appalling. Not surprising in the U.S., but still appalling.

This reinforcement of patriarchal supremacy is maddening — it is already hard enough to be a woman dealing with rampant sexism in this world, and the fact that so many ignorant, sexist men do not understand how challenging it can be is truly insulting.

Implying that a woman is incapable of making sensible decisions because she is a woman is horrendous and shamefully ignorant.

Men have much more political power than women, and this undeniable imbalance of power is the result of sexist ideas that are upheld by society. Western hemisphere media sexualizes women while at the same time shaming them for their sexuality.

In the U.S., women are expected to believe they have more freedoms than women in less privileged parts of the world, but how can that be? How can anyone believe that when the reality of life as a woman in this country is unequal pay, the constant threat of violence against women, the perpetuation of negative stereotypes regarding gender and policies made by predominantly white men that dictate what we can and cannot do with our own bodies?

La Pierre’s comment simply meant that he had trouble with the fact that a black man has been in the White House for eight years, and the possibility of a woman doing the same is the worst possible outcome.

Being black and being a woman are both stigmatized – imagine being a woman of color in the U.S. How can anyone believe this is a country where everyone has equal opportunities, when so many people in power think this way? We are not living in a post-racial age, we are not living in a society where men and women are treated as equals. To think otherwise is simplistic and narrow-minded.

This upcoming election season, people should educate themselves on the policies of each respective candidate rather than looking at race and gender as qualifying factors.