Sometime soon, I will finish my observations about my trip, but I wanted to comment about something someone said to me during the tail end of the Democratic campaign.

I mentioned that I was supporting Obama. She replied that true feminists support Clinton. (This pissed me off, but for a variety of reasons this was not a person I could be snippy with.)

"It is so important to get a woman in the office. It doesn't really matter who. Then after the glass ceiling is broken, *then* you can vote for this woman or that man without reference to gender."

I made non-commital noises, but what I wanted to say is...

Hell, no. I'm from the South, and I know the danger of that approach. You do that and you get anti-ERA, anti-abortion rights Senator Paula Hawkins from Florida (who fortunately was voted out after one term, after a campaign in which, among other things, she implied that Mexican-Americans were less patriotic than Cuban-Americans). You get that State Senator from Kansas who thinks the 19th Amendment should be repealed.

You get Katherine Harris.

Elected officials hold power. Never, ever forget that. This is not a game. Getting the best person -- regardless of gender -- into the office is what matters. Would, all things being equal, I vote for a woman over a man? Of course. But things are not -- and rarely are -- completely equal.

Do I think Clinton falls into the same class as the women mentioned above? No, definitely not. But there are good and sufficient reasons for me to support her opponent, at least by my standards, and I refuse to be a gender-based voter.

It all comes down to who will be the best President. I made my choice, and it's not her.

(Actually, it was John Edwards. Oh well.)


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