You may have heard that millennials are just not interested in Hillary (even though you may not have heard that Hillary actually has a huge lead among African American millennials).
Well I’m here to share what I’ve been hearing. Not a day goes by that I don’t see enthusiastic support for Hillary among my millennial peers. I spoke to a few of them who want you to know that they are excited by Hillary’s candidacy and they’re tired of that support being reduced to just a gender issue.
Take Los Angeles-based blogger and actress Amelia Champion, 34, who recently published a piece called “I’m With Her” on her blog Clotheshorse LA. Taking a departure from her usual fashion-based articles, Amelia writes that she was “tired of seeing posts about how cool Bernie Sanders is” and felt it was time she spoke up about the candidate she is supporting.
“I’m with her because she is me…I’m with her because I constantly hear sexist, cringe worthy things said out in the open and we all go along with it because they’re just kidding right? I’m with her because at the end of the day “cool” isn’t even what I look for in politicians. I look for strength, leadership and experience.”
Amelia said she wrote the post because we live in a culture where being “liked” seems to be very important, and that can often prevent us from expressing our opinions.
“I passionately believe that it’s incredibly progressive and important to have a female president. I think Hillary is the woman for the job and I am comfortable with people knowing that. I’m an influencer and I felt that it was time to use my influence for something more meaningful than guiding people to the right sweater,” she wrote in an email to me.
Nineteen-year-old Logan Dallas, a sophomore at USC, is tired of hearing that she’s only supporting Hillary because she’s a woman: “Crediting women for having political power and positions is ultimately counterproductive if the validation is given solely based on gender. We should value women’s political opinions because they hold intellectual and tactical value, not because of gender.” Instead, she’s supporting Hillary as the most qualified, accomplished and determined candidate.
She also has thoughts about why some people have a negative opinion of Hillary: “It is easy to be influenced by criticisms calling Hillary ‘shrill’, even though Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump do the same thing as men and don’t gain equal press for it,” she told me in an email.
In New York, filmmaker Komal Minhas, 25, is sick and tired of what she describes as “shock media” outlets telling her that Hillary “can’t even get her own gender on board.”
“I call bluff,” said Komal, who is the producer of the highly-anticipated forthcoming documentary “Dream, Girl.” “I support Hillary. My friends support Hillary, male and female. They are not all posting it on social media or crying it out to the world because they don’t have to. This is about the long game, not the first few primaries. Remember, she won New Hampshire in 2008, yet Obama took the nomination.”
Komal lists Hillary’s foreign policy knowledge, her record on gun control, healthcare and women’s reproductive rights, as well as her stance on LGBT issues and national security as reasons enough to vote for the former Secretary of State, saying she’s not looking to elect anyone based off a trending hashtag or “sexy slogan.”
Even Lauren Chouinard, a 25-year-old Bernie Sanders supporter, is tired of seeing the sexist treatment Hillary is given in nearly every media article. Lauren is quick to point out that she respects Hillary for her intelligence and leadership skills, and can’t stand the way she has been treated online.
“Over the last few weeks especially, I’ve seen a lot of comments about Hillary that are unrelated to her ability to lead. Comments about her appearance, her age, her relationship with her husband… these are all things that should not be a part of the conversation. I have not once heard similar things said about any of the male candidates, both Democrat and Republican,” she pointed out.
What I have learned from each of these young women is that we cannot just look at media perception or portrayal of a candidate, especially someone like Hillary who has spent so much of her adult life facing these attacks.
I think Komal Minhas summed it up best about what excites her about a Hillary presidency:
“A woman who enabled me and my peers, alongside many other women of her generation and ours, to rise to positions and places of real influence and power.”