Voting as a Millennial Woman

As a woman, more specifically, a Latina millennial woman, I am expected to vote for Hillary Clinton. A female presidential candidate with an open border policy and an agenda to close the wage gap sounds nice. But let’s be real for a minute. This election is not about electing the first female president.

Do not get me wrong. I get it. It is about time we see a woman as a main party candidate on the presidential ballot, but this election is not just about women’s issues. This election is about electing a president who will represent every single person — women, men, the rich, the poor, the LGBT community.

There is this preconceived assumption that as a millennial woman I am some radical feminist who is undoubtedly rallying behind the first woman presidential candidate, however, voting for Clinton simply because she and I are both women would be throwing away my vote. I am not playing the ‘woman card’ this time.

I value my right to vote. I value my right to vote for causes that matter to me. I value being a woman, but when it comes to electing the first female commander-in-chief, Hillary Clinton is not my ideal candidate. I can only hope that my fellow millennials are not voting for Clinton just because she is a woman.

On the other hand, we have Republican candidate Donald Trump. We have all heard the degrading comments he has said about women (refer to the tape from 2005 that surfaced a few weeks ago.) He has also said terrible things about my fellow Latino community (refer to his presidential announcement speech when he called Mexicans “rapists.”)

While Trump is notorious for speaking his mind, we cannot pretend Hillary Clinton is a saint. She may be an advocate for women and issues I hold close, but Clinton’s had her fair share of mistakes (refer to her 33,000 deleted emails.)

Both candidates are flawed, and there is no denying that. Since researching and understanding why voting is so important, I find that I struggle with associating myself with one political party — especially this election.

I connect this to growing up in a conservative home, then turning 18 and realizing the freedom I have to vote for whoever I think is best to represent our country. While I consider each candidate’s views on gender equality and LGBT rights, I also take into consideration their views on other issues like abortion, education, immigration, etc.

A recent study by theSkimm showed that 46 percent of millennial women say they feel disappointed about this election. In a time when millennial women should be celebrating a giant step towards gender equality, only 11 percent of millennial women say they are voting because they strongly believe in a candidate.

While this number is small, we have to take into account that America elected these candidates — which is why millennial women are disappointed. We know that we can do so much better. Regardless of who our next president is, we need to remain hopeful and try and do better next time.

So what do we do now? Well, from one millennial to another millennial, we vote. We use our voice to vote for the candidate we believe will stick to their word and call for change. As for me? I will be voting as myself — not just as a millennial woman.

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