2016 is barely in it’s toddlerhood, and I already hate the election. I live in the most conservative county in the nation, and I am not very conservative.  Or at all conservative really.  My dad, on the other hand, holds the opposite views from me. During the last Presidential election, my dad and I unfortunately got into a conversation about who I was voting for.  I said I would absolutely not vote for a candidate that was not pro-choice. He believes that women should never have abortions, even if they become pregnant from rape or incest. He said to me what I imagine most white, middle-aged, middle-class conservative men think: “So, you’re voting with your vagina?”

And he said it in such a way that implied that I am an idiot for voting with my vagina.

If I were 20, I might have backpedalled.  I still would have voted however I wanted, but I would have been too afraid to be perceived as stupid to say what I really thought.  Now that I’m over 40 I can safely say, “Yes. I’m voting with my vagina.”  Which is what I told my dad. My lady bits largely dictate my life experience.  And I will neither minimize nor apologize for that.  

My vagina has ushered three children into this world, and participated in a ton of orgasms. It has also bled and bled and bled, because it knows how to get rid of what it doesn’t need anymore. Because of that vagina, I have been minimized.  I have been told to be quieter.  I have been told that I am hysterical.  I have been judged for having sex.  I have been judged for not having sex.  I do not walk outside in the dark, or in a parking lot at the mall, without wondering if today is the day I’ll be raped or mugged.  Every way I navigate in the world is informed by my experience of having female parts.  And every woman will tell you the same thing. In fact, renowned feminist author Naomi Wolf wrote an entire book last year examining the scientific connection between the brain and the vagina.

You bet your ass I am voting with my vagina.  Because it is a first-class citizen, and it will act accordingly.  And my vagina really wants another vagina in the White House; this time wearing the pants instead of acting as arm candy to the person with the pants.  I have been waffling, though, between Hillary and Bernie.

Gloria and Madeline tell me I must vote for Hillary simply because she is a woman. Honestly, as much as a I want a woman as the leader of the free world, simply having a vagina is not qualification enough.  If it were, then Gloria and Madeline would also be stumping for Fiorina, a woman who co-opted a children’s day at the botanical garden to push her own anti-woman agenda.  No, having a vagina doesn’t make you smart anymore than having a penis does.

Honestly, I have no idea which box I’ll pick on Super Tuesday when I vote in the Democratic primary.  I change my mind a dozen times a day based on what I read and what the candidates say.  I do know this for sure, though; I think either Bernie or Hillary are a far better bet for causes that pertain to my vagina than any of the candidates in the Republican primary.

Brandie is a two-time breast cancer survivor who credits writing and her other creative endeavors for helping her be happy to be a survivor instead of six-feet-under. She is a Masters’ Level Intern at a counseling private practice where she counsels cancer survivors, survivors of family violence, and other adults and couples. She teaches yoga and Ayurveda classes in McKinney, Texas, and nationally for Patti Digh’s Life is a Verb Camp.