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Friday Femorandum: The Highest, Hardest Glass Ceiling

30535583262_80bb893dd3_zThere have been a lot of dizzying highs and crushing lows this election season, which has pitted a tax-evading white nationalist and self-professed pussy grabber against a woman who has endured 30 years of sexist, partisan attacks and emerged as perhaps the most-qualified Presidential candidate in US history.

If you haven’t voted, vote–not just for Hillary, but down the ballot, in your state and local races (if you live in Washington, check out our Pro-Choice Voters’ Guide for our endorsements in your part of the state!) If you don’t vote, your  voice doesn’t count, and right now, we need every pro-choice, pro-woman vote we can get.

As a break from all the terribly troubling news about FBI leaks, voter suppression, and ever-scarier Trump rallies, here are some stories about why Hillary’s supporters say they’re with her.

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At the Atlantic, Chimamanda Adichie punctures the myth that Hillary Clinton’s fans aren’t “enthusiastic,” in a piece titled “What Hillary Clinton’s Fans Love About Her”–including her dedication, her history, her wonkishness, her enthusiasm, and her grit. But still…

Because Hillary Clinton is a woman, she is judged too harshly for doing what most politicians do—hedging sometimes, waffling sometimes, evading sometimes. Politicians are ambitious; they have to be. Yet for Hillary Clinton, ambition is often an accusation. She is held responsible for her husband’s personal failings, in the gendered assumption that a wife is somehow an adult and a husband a child.

There are millions of Americans who do not have the self-indulgent expectation that a politician be perfect. They are frustrated that Hillary Clinton is allowed no complexity. And they love her.

Angry Asian Man has a piece by LGBTQ and API activist Glenn D. Magpantay, who writes that he’s proud and excited to support Hillary because her values reflect his values, because she’s intelligent, impressive, and genuine, because he’s voting for his community, and, yes, because she’s a woman.

As a man, I want to vote for a woman. It’s about time we had a female president. I want my sister and nieces to see that they can be anything they want to be. I want my son to see that women are equal to men and can achieve leadership at the highest levels. This should be the norm. Having a female president will send a powerful message to so many people.

30460701710_323046e646_zAt ShareBlue, Matthew Chapman, who has autism spectrum disorder, notes that Clinton is the only candidate in the race who has a comprehensive plan to help people like him–including nationwide childhood screening, requiring insurers to cover occupational therapy and accommodation, and launching a national school-to-work transition program called Autism Works.

Every time I read her policy document, the one thing that leaps out at me is her empathy. She never once, as many people do, refers to my struggle as an “illness” to be “cured.” Nor does she simply seek to make it easier for society to deal with me. She seeks to ensure that I can deal with society. That I can live my life with independence, pride, and fulfillment.

Also at ShareBlue, Melissa McEwan writes about the irrepressible fact that women who vote for a feminist, female, major-party nominee are etching their names in history.

Hillary Clinton has made history already. By becoming the first female nominee of a major party, she forever changed American politics.

It is an achievement so momentous, I can barely put into words its significance. I still cannot even talk about it without tears spilling from my eyes.

And yet: The historic nature of her candidacy is treated as though it is barely remarkable. A footnote. An aside. Expected.

Which, in some ways, makes me quite angry. But then there is this: The fact that Clinton made shattering a 227-year-old glass ceiling look inevitable is testament to how thoroughly she has changed the landscape.

All she had to do was be extraordinary.

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Finally, at the Huffington Post, a woman records her mom after driving her to the polling place to vote, and asks her why she’s crying. “I got to vote for a woman for President,” she says.

All pictures, by the way, from Hillary Clinton’s Flickr pool, which is a breath of fresh air all by itself in these final few days of the most divisive national campaign most of us alive today have ever seen.

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