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Sex is Not a Deciding Factor

It was already a terrible day; I forgot my coffee I made that morning at home, my calculator’s battery died in the middle of statistics class, and I had a full day ahead. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, I was stopped right outside the building I have statistics in.

“Do you consider yourself as someone who supports other woman?” a well-dressed woman with short brown hair and blue eyes questioned me.

“Uhh…yes” I answered as other girls passed by me giving me the look of pity. They probably knew what was happening before I even did.

“So, you would like to see women prosper and defeat things like the glass ceiling and the gender pay gap?”

“Yes. But I really have to get to…” After that question I somewhat figured out where this conversation was going, but she cut me off before I could finish my excuse.

“So, we can count on your vote for Hillary Clinton?” she smiled while handing me a brochure smothered in red, white and blue with vote for Hillary written in bold on the front. I smiled back, said, “excuse me” and walked away completely confused. While walking away I heard her opening line again; she had found her next victim. 

Don’t get me wrong. I have absolutely nothing against campaigning for a candidate you truly believe in; grassroots level campaigning is essential to good politics. I’ve accepted brochures and handouts from many people expressing their opinions on campus, so it was not what she was doing I have a problem with. It is her message.

Her indirect questions indicated that if I voted for a male or did not vote at all I would basically be saying gender inequality is acceptable. I cannot help questioning how she came to this conclusion. And my biggest questions of all; how many more women are out there that have the same thought process?

The inspiring voice of Madeleine Albright briefly turned into a questionable whisper for many people who heard her speak at the rally in New Hampshire on Saturday Feb. 8. In between all the perfect points Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state, made about equality not quite existing yet in the professional world she added in a statement that got many people buzzing. “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!” she said. I help women. I help people, more importantly. I don’t look at gender when I see someone in need of help, and I definitely do not consider a candidate’s sex as a deciding factor on my political views.  When I first heard Albright’s words, I felt guilty for a split second; I wondered if everything I thought and knew was suddenly invalid. 

I am immensely proud that there are women breaking manmade walls in the professional world and am grateful to be in a country that has continued to embrace the progress towards gender equality, but I also consider gender equality to be learning about all candidates and then making a decision based on their platforms and merit, not based on gender. THAT is also equality. Can you imagine what would happen if men voted for men, and women voted for women?

As a society dedicated to reaching perfection, we should be picking the candidate to help us achieve that goal. Whoever you vote for, vote because you believe what they stand for, vote because you can see them leading our country successfully, don’t vote because they are the same sex as you. 


Amritha Nair is a double major in Psychology and Business Management at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a member of many organizations on campus including greek life and numerous philanthropic organizations. Her writing has always been an outlet for her; her favorite pieces to write are short stories and poems that usually reflect personal experience or are inspired by other works of art. Other than writing, Amritha loves to swim, shop online, read, and binge watch shows on Netflix. Her heart lies with her family, close friends, and ice cream. You can follow her on twitter and Instagram at amrithanair16!
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