Now that we're well into election season, a lot of unfair accusations have come out about why women support their 2016 presidential primary candidates of choice. In February, Gloria Steinem suggested that many Millennial women are voting for Bernie Sanders because "the boys are with Bernie" and young women are not yet "radical" enough to vote for a woman. Many others have implied that women who vote for Hillary Clinton are just doing so because she's a woman — the charge of supposedly "voting with your vagina." Both of these accusations characterize women voters negatively, and reduce extremely complicated issues down to single deciding factors. But the bottom line is that women — just like everyone else — have good reasons to support the candidates that they do, and to ignore those reasons is to do everyone a disservice.
Lots of intelligent, sophisticated reasoning has gone into most women's voting decisions in this election. There is a lot at stake regarding the 2016 presidency, and many people of all genders have thought long and hard about how they can make the biggest impact. So, I spoke with eight women about why they support their candidates of choice during the 2016 primaries. Regardless of what candidate they've chosen, what's clear is that their thinking cannot be flattened to "voting with their vaginas" or wondering "where are the boys?"
"I'm a lifelong Democrat with student loan and medical debt, so naturally, Bernie Sanders piqued my interest at the start of this election season. I even donated to his campaign. However, as months have passed, Bernie Sanders has failed to convince me that he would be able to achieve, as President, the goals he's laid out in his candidacy. His approach to universal health care and education is simplistic and, upon scrutiny, underestimates the cost of these endeavors. In debates against Hillary Clinton, Sanders has been weak on foreign policy and appeared unprepared to answer questions that require complex, considered answers.
"I trust Hillary Clinton. Her unique and extensive political experience is unmatched by any candidate in this election. On every issue, she holds a well-reasoned, thoughtful position. To those who don't consider her to be 'progressive' enough: a true progressive knows that at the end of the day, politicians must work together to find reasonable solutions. That's what I believe Hillary Clinton will do as President."