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I’m a Feminist Who Hates Hillary Clinton

The 2016 American election isn’t fun or cute or relatable, and it tragically cannot be made into a funny Top Ten Things-type article. However, this election is incredibly important, and whether you’re an American deciding who to vote for or an outside observer who’s terrified of the burning sh*tshow that is U.S politics, it’s important to be well informed.

 

Right now, there are a lot of articles about the candidates and a lot of articles trying to get young women to vote for Hillary for feminist reasons, articles that send messages like “Hillary’s feminism is a game changer” and “if you’re a woman, it’s practically a sin not to support her.” Here’s my issue with that particular narrative: Hillary’s feminism, if it can even be considered that, is a special breed of upper-class white feminism, and does nothing to benefit the women who need help the most. The brand of feminism trumpeted by Hillary is neither radical nor revolutionary; indeed, it is absolutely self-serving and will not benefit the vast majority of women.

 

Let’s make one thing clear first: I absolutely despise Donald Trump. He’s a racist, irresponsible, narcissistic oompa loompa who brags about assaulting women, and he shouldn’t even be able to run for president as he has no political background. However, hatred for Trump doesn’t equal support for Hillary, and while she (like just about anybody) is a step up from “The Donald,” I still think Hillary is only in the race for herself, and is absolutely willing to step on other women if that means winning.

 

Okay, so let’s back up: What has Hillary actually done that calls her feminism into question?

 

Well, let’s start with her support of wars in various Middle Eastern nations: Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. While a tendency to seemingly favour military occupations as a means of boosting economic ties, basically trading lives in developing nations for money, is concerning in and of itself for a wide variety of moral issues, there is a feminist angle to it as well. The lives of countless civilians have been impacted in some form or another by the war mongering of diplomats like Hillary, and Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya are all still trying to recover. To claim to have the best interests of women around the world at heart while simultaneously supporting needless wars that ruin the lives of civilians seems rather counterintuitive, and that’s because it is. Hillary’s track record shows that she has put the interests of one woman, herself, ahead of the lives of others for years, and that the suffering of men, children, and yes, women in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya meant little to her as long as she gained the financial and political benefits of supporting military intervention.

 

Hillary is also one of the people directly behind the 2009 coup in Honduras, where a democratically elected president was ousted and the country quickly became consumed by violence. Today, it is considered to be the world’s murder capital, something directly attributable to Hillary’s foreign policy of meddling in the affairs of other nations. The women of Honduras suffer some of the worst violence of all, as murder is the leading cause of death for young women there. In this case, Hillary’s “feminism” has done nothing but harm Honduran women, who are at incredibly high risk for domestic abuse, murder, and human trafficking after the 2009 coup.

 

Hillary’s policies have not just been destructive for women of colour around the world; they have impacted American women as well. When she supported her husband’s 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, she gave her now infamous quote of “they are often the kinds of kids that are called superpredators — no conscience, no empathy,” in reference to children in gangs. While at first her support of “tough on crime” legislation and the war on drugs may seem positive, it was largely African-Americans who suffered from overt racism, false convictions, and mass incarceration due to the new legislation. Many African American families still have loved ones unjustly behind bars today, and Hillary is one of the forces behind those families being torn apart. Furthermore, her statements about “superpredators” directly contributed to the myth of black youth as violent offenders, a myth still claiming lives in 2016. To be fair, she has apologized for her comments, and her husband has said much of the legislation passed regarding “tough on crime” laws was a mistake. However, those apologies do very little to help the lives of those already affected. It is women of colour who often need feminism most of all, suffering from the largest wage disparity and highest rates of discrimination, yet African-American women have seen their families and communities torn apart by Hillary’s words and actions. Who is Hillary’s feminism for, if she is harming those who need feminism the most?

 

For LGBTQA women, another group that is often marginalized and still faces tremendous discrimination, Hillary’s feminism again proves to be lacking. Hillary was against same-sex marriage until 2008 – some reports say even until 2013 –  and was also one of the politicians who signed DOMA, the policy that ruined the lives of many LGBTQA servicemen and women. While many would argue that Hillary has changed, as she is now an open supporter of LGBTQA rights and promises to do much for equality, the reality stands that Hillary’s track record tells another story, one that is borderline homophobic. Yes, she has now changed her views, but at a time when it is incredibly politically convenient for her to do so. Her form of feminism appears to be a shape shifter, one that supports marginalized women when Hillary can gain something from it, but not when her support as a feminist is needed the most.

 

In her personal life, Hillary has yet again proven herself to have incredibly questionable feminist morals. Back in her days as a lawyer, she defended Thomas Alfred Taylor, a man accused of raping a 12 year old girl. In her defense of the accused rapist, Hillary accused the young girl of seeking out older men, in effect using the well-known technique of victim blaming on a child. Taylor would serve under a year in prison thanks to Hillary, and his victim would forever be denied justice. When it came to her husband Bill, Hillary took his side and blamed the women he had affairs with, never considering that perhaps her husband was at fault as well. She called Monica Lewinsky a “narcissistic Loony Toon” and called Gennifer Flowers “trailer trash.” While her emotional response to her husband’s affairs is understandable, a feminist wouldn’t openly disparage other women while supporting a man who played an equal role in the indiscretion, yet Hillary did just that. Trump has been decried by various media outlets and politicians for his comments in 2005 about assaulting women, and rightfully so. However, if Trump’s past is relevant to the 2016 election, then so is Hillary’s, and her defense of a child rapist and insulting commentary on other women paint a stark picture of a woman who only claims to have other women’s interests at heart.

 

As an intersectional feminist who believes that feminism should be about supporting and helping all women, be they women of colour, queer women, disabled women, or anybody else, I think Hillary Clinton stands as the embodiment of a feminist who supports nobody but herself. When given opportunities to help the women who most need feminism, who could benefit tremendously from equality, and who truly need somebody like Hillary to be their voice, Hillary has consistently chosen the option that is the most self-serving. Many people reading this might question why her past actions hold relevance, as today Hillary stands as to very likely be the first female president of the United States and has pledged to help women in a variety of ways both at home and around the world. However, I feel that despite what Hillary says, her past actions tell another story, and that is one of self-interest and harm to women in need. If Hillary has acted against women’s interests in the past, than what is to say she won’t do it again in a heartbeat if given the chance? And, because of her past actions, is Hillary really the woman we want to set the precedent for other women in leadership roles? Instead of just hoping to have a female president, I believe we should ask for more, and that asking for a female president who actually cares about other women, who actually tries to help the feminist cause, and who actually works to make the world a better place, is a reasonable request. It is 2016, and I believe that, come November, Hillary Clinton will become America’s first female president. As a feminist, this breaks my heart, because I believe that the women of America, and the women of the world, deserve so much better than a president who behaves in a morally reprehensible way and acts only to serve herself. As a feminist, and as a person who generally values decency, I hate the morals of Hillary Clinton, and from the bottom of my heart I feel that both America and women around the world deserve better.

 

 

Editors Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not reflect the views of Her Campus or Her Campus at UVic. If you would like to write a rebuttle or opinion of your own contact us at u-vic@hercampus.com.

Born and raised in the beautiful Victoria BC, Alexandra is currently attending the University of Victoria. Currently, she is working towards a B.A in History, with a minor in applied ethics. Alexandra is the coordinator of the UVSS Food Bank and Free Store, and volunteers for AIDS Vancouver Island, the Together Against Poverty Society, and the Students for Literacy Foundation. She is passionate about social justice, and enjoys having a job that enables her to serve as an activist for economic equality and sustainable food initiatives. Alexandra is currently a member of Girls on Boards, a G(irls)20 initiative, as well as the IMPACT! Youth Sustainability Leadership Program. Alongside her passion for activism and volunteering, Alexandra is also an avid writer, a dog lover, and a huge fan of brunch. Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlexandraAges
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