The political vagina monologues

Hillary Clinton has a vagina, and much like Mitt Romney’s faith, it has mystified and dominated the political sphere of the news as of late.

Being a woman and running for president can’t be easy. In fact, it must be tricky having to tiptoe the line that separates ignoring one’s womanhood — to the point of becoming an asexual robot — from exploiting that womanhood for special treatment.

In Hillary’s case, she’s doing little of either, but everyone — from her opponents to her husband — seems to be finding a way to make her status as a female an issue.

Recently, after a rather tense debate, Bill Clinton’s remark on Hillary’s opponents was that “those boys have been getting tough on her lately.”

Nothing else could have so quickly evoked an image in my mind of Hillary, as a little girl in a fluffy pink dress, being spat upon in a sandbox by an older male bully. Bill later said that his remarks were a result of his Southern vernacular, as opposed to his distinguishing a gender divide in the presidential elections — but the damage was already done.

Barack Obama has also been caught in the va-jay-jay debate, most recently in an interview he gave to Newsweek. When asked if Hillary Clinton gets or deserves special treatment based on her gender, Obama failed to make gender a non-issue by responding that he thought Hillary wouldn’t “suggest” that she should be treated differently. I’m left to think that Obama either thinks that Hillary secretly hopes for better treatment as a woman, or, despite her not asking for it, she receives special treatment, or both. In this sense, elections are much like a local pub, and Hillary is the girl wearing the slutty top expecting free drinks.

At this point I have to ask, “Why?” Why does it matter, and why is it an issue?

In an ideal, free world, we would elect our president based on qualifications, merit and vision. We would ignore the presence and difference of reproductive or gender-identifying organs and vote for the person who would really do the best job leading our nation. However, the realist in me has stopped wishing on stars for that type of equality since I took my first gender studies class.

The truth is, aside from their position as an accessory to the first lady, ovaries have never been part of the reproductive system of the leader of the free world. Although it was an issue that most danced around for the longest time, the reality that “one of these things is not like the other” was eventually going to pop up. We’re all going to have to decide if we should consider the possibility that PMS could be responsible for the veto of a bill some day or just ignore it.

I choose to ignore it. I’m not voting for Hillary Clinton because we’re the same gender, just as I’m not going to vote for Obama because his opposite gender allows me to think he’s a stone-cold fox. For as little faith I have in America’s ability to ignore a vagina, I have a lot of faith in its ability to find a wiser reason to vote for or against a candidate.

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