My 7-week-old daughter is in the crook of my left arm as I write this. As a new mom, my notions of feminism are being tested. I am home on maternity leave, gratefully, but I am acting out a gender role I didn’t expect. Sometimes I feel like I have lost my voice. As a writer, it’s making me feel disconnected.
(Hang on, dirty diaper.)
On June 7, I will be voting for Hillary Rodham Clinton in the California Democratic primary, probably with my daughter in her carrier, since the daycare I had to apply to a year in advance, which is the only affordable option in my neighborhood, doesn’t start until the following week.
I, like so many others, was swept up by the Obama campaign in 2008. It was contagious. I spent a month in Alliance, Ohio, where I stayed with an 84-year-old woman who would go door-to-door with me. Eight years later, I initially was worried that Clinton didn’t inspire that same enthusiasm. “We need a revolution,” everyone keeps repeating. But history has shown us that many of our biggest benchmark changes have been brought about by establishment Democrats — FDR, LBJ, JFK.
Every day I discover more and more how much I agree with HRC — on education (she will push for universal pre-kindergarten for every child), on women’s rights (she has a long record of fighting to close the wage gap and supporting Planned Parenthood) and on gun control (she is courageous enough to call for repealing immunity for a multibillion-dollar industry in order to prevent another school shooting).
She is nuanced. She makes up her mind based on what is in the bill, not on the generalized bigger picture. She doesn’t take the easy road out, like the other Democratic candidate who opposes free trade. She is humble enough to say that we are a small part of the world’s population, which is a great example of her diplomacy. So while she works tirelessly to effect change and increase job growth within our country, she does not take a singularly nationalist point of view on the topic.
(Hang on, there’s crying and I can’t figure out why.)
It’s unfair that Clinton is occasionally held accountable for her husband’s actions while in office. Nonetheless, she deflected the negative opinions of her and won the New York Senate seat, and she just continues to do her job. I want a president as resilient as she is.
When HRC got married, she did not immediately take Bill Clinton’s last name. She did a few years later, to help him win an election. She, too, was probably finding her notions of feminism tested, on a much larger scale. My mother did not take my father’s last name. I always loved that she had her own identity. I also did not take my husband’s last name, and am constantly explaining to the pediatrician’s office that I am not Mrs. Blum.
However, I respect that HRC ultimately became a Clinton; at the time, it was more important to win an election than to dwell on what people called her.
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SHOW ME HOW
I don’t need a “revolution.” I need a competent president and leader. Clinton is the most experienced person at the table. She can multitask. She cares deeply about the issues. Her diplomacy and practical experience will win out against that candidate from the other party whose opinion of women scares me and whose best thinking involves extorting money to build a wall. My father was born in the Soviet Union, and my younger brother was born the day the Berlin Wall came down. I cannot imagine explaining to my daughter why we live on one side of a wall.
(The rocking-her-on-my-knee thing stopped working. I have to go …)
Did I mention Hillary Rodham Clinton supports paid family leave and affordable child care?
Anna Harari is a Los Angeles-based writer-director-producer.