Spunky is the word that’s used to describe Faye most often. When she’s running down the sidewalk, or loudly (and proudly) introducing her cousin to shopkeepers, or swinging from the highest heights on the playground, other parents nod and exclaim, warmly: “Whoa, she’s a spunky one!”
Spunk, as defined by Merriam-Webster’s, means “courage and determination.” It’s a word that indeed suits Faye perfectly; she’s brave and persistent and dogged. Like most two-year-olds, she’s plucky and spirited, nearly all of the time. But it’s notable that I’ve never heard a boy called “spunky.” And definitely never a man. It’s a word used almost exclusively for girls and women. And while often meant kindly, I think it’s also a commentary not just on courage but a certain kind of recklessness, too. Tom-boyishness. (To use an outdated phrase.) Unladylike behavior. (To use another.) When people call Faye spunky, I know they’re admiring her fearlessness, like I do. But consciously or not, they’re also remarking on her noisiness and physicality. It’s a compliment, but like many words applied to women and not to men, it comes with a subtle side of judgment.
This election, I’m voting for Hillary Clinton. She’s experienced; she’s qualified; she’s smart; she’s worked very, very hard to gain skills that are crucial for a challenging job that operates on the world stage. Many of our past and present nominees for President have not achieved what she has, neither have they had to do so in the face of structural and personal sexism and intolerance. In short, I’m voting for her not only because I respect her resume but also because I respect her guts and her grit. And guess what those adjectives are? Thesaurus-approved synonyms for spunk.
This November, I’m voting for someone who will bring spunk to the Oval Office. Not because I think spunk is all it takes, but because if spunk is what my daughter has, then I want it to, someday, be considered Presidential.
If you haven’t yet registered to vote, you can get started right here.
Bravo, Erin for speaking out.
Yesss! Thank you!!!!
Love your blog- bought your book. This is were we diverge. I simply cannot vote for someone who really hasn’t integrity. I simply Won’t vote b/c we are Women. Taking money from other countries that give 2nd class citizenship to Women has no vote from me. I as well will vote for the Integrity of our Supreme Court. I am not with her.
I agree. And that doesn’t mean that I will vote for Trump as so many commenters are assuming.
I’m with her!!!
I don’t understand a woman who has heard his ugly rhetoric would ever consider voting for him.
Feisty is another word that only seems to be applied to women. Quite belittling.
I’ve been much like Faye growing up, and I believe I was able to keep some of that spunky-ness until now – that’s also why my blog is called Spunkyrella! I agree, that a woman who knows her stuff and isn’t afraid to say so, will most likely be told to stay in her place, to not budge or speak up! Faye will b going places that’s for sure! And how exciting for my American friends to hopefully make history with President Hillary Clinton soon! I am with you 🙂
As CEDG said. Love your blog, also bought your book. But lies, lies, and more lies. Then there will always be this comment.
U.S. House Oversight Committee hearing on May 8, 2013. Regarding Benghazi. Her words. “What difference at this point does it make”. If anyone is interested in the full testimony you can find it on PolitiFact.
That will forever stay in my mind. Ask the four american family survivors what difference it makes.
She is just not president material. Neither is Trump. Either way we go we will be in trouble.
To criticize Hillary Clinton for the statement “What difference at this point does it make” is to ignore the context of the statement. It’s a great sound bite if you want to make her look like a careless candidate, but she’s making the point of “what difference does [the exact motive] make?” She’s not saying that it doesn’t matter that people were killed, she’s saying that it’s more important to bring terrorists to justice than to parse through exactly why they acted the way they did. Quote in context:
Clinton: With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided that they’d they go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator. Now, honestly, I will do my best to answer your questions about this, but the fact is that people were trying in real time to get to the best information. The IC has a process, I understand, going with the other committees to explain how these talking points came out. But you know, to be clear, it is, from my perspective, less important today looking backwards as to why these militants decided they did it than to find them and bring them to justice, and then maybe we’ll figure out what was going on in the meantime.
THANK YOU. I have been posting the same sort of thing with the context of the statement on other blogs, and will continue to do so. The motives of those who cherry pick these comments to paint a picture of a cold, callous woman are more suspect than anything Hillary Clinton has said.
I’m with her.
The passion we feel about someone that is running for President of the United States will bring reply, after reply after reply.
The great thing about it, we can reply and reply and reply. We have that right and we can speak our mind because we live in the Unites States.
Molly, you can defend Hillary Clintons statement and I can criticize her statement. Because we both can.
Thank you, Molly–misrepresenting what she said doesn’t do anyone justice at all. I’m definitely with her.
Agreed. Marie, absolutely right on the greatness of being able to speak our mind and have differing opinions. Let’s try our best to start with the full facts and context as basis for why we are swayed one way or another.
Agree both are terrible choices. Donald well what can I say. And Hillary incompetent, continuing the Presidents ineffectual plan to contain Isis, inability to handle top secret info appropriately among so many other things. First time in my life I am not sure I can vote. And for the record I would like the first woman president to be a woman of greater integrity than Hillary. President Obama exhibited this as our first black President. He was a man of integrity. Just confused may vote fo my dog. She has greater intelligence than both candidates put together on a good day. Okay just kidding.
This is as Paul Krugman would say a case of false equivalence! Everyone is entitled to their own opinions of course, and you may hate Hillary for whatever reasons. But, equating Hillary with a bloviating buffoon who is a racist, misogynistic ignoramus is frankly irresponsible.
And this is exactly why I am an Independent. If I voice my opinion on anything about Hillary and it is not what her supporters believe I am attacked and if I voice anything about Trump his supporters are all over me. I have many things against Hillary as I do against Trump but I chose not to do what you did and call her names but since you need me to be specific. She lies, she was careless and irresponsible with government emails and she has no plans except the ones that failed in controlling Isis and she is responsible for the dears of Americans in Ben Ghazi. However I don’t hate her or Trump evidently that is your bag. You don’t know me. I am not irresponsible. Attacking others will get you no where in life. Be kind and let others have their opinion without calling people irresponsible. I have not determined which evil I will vote for but I will most certainly do it responsibly and with integrity and without degrading others.
I am truly sorry that I offended you! Let me rephrase and say that before drawing comparisons between Hillary and Trump and dismissing them as equally bad, it behooves us all to look at evidence at hand. She had seven investigations against her on Benghazi, not one found anything against her. Sure she was careless with the emails, but the FBI recommended no charges against her. Data shows that she does not lie more than the average politician. Compare that with Trump who stoops to a new low every single day. Most establishment Republicans distance themselves from him, and the Koch brothers have not endorsed him. You are incensed at being called irresponsible, and yet you have worse things to say about Hillary. Regardless of who you vote for, I wish you well, and I certainly do not wish to degrade you.
I am truly sorry that I offended you! Let me rephrase my sentence as, before drawing a parallel between Hillary and Trump and dismissing them as equally terrible, it behooves us all to objectively weigh the evidence at hand. Hillary was subject to seven investigations on Benghazi all of which found no wrongdoing on her part. She was careless with her emails, sure, but the FBI recommended that no charges be brought against her. Data shows that she does not lie more than the average politician. Compare that to Trump who stoops to a new low every single day. Most of the establishment Republicans distance themselves from him, and the Koch brothers have not endorsed him. You are incensed at being called irresponsible, and yet you have worse things to say about Hillary. I certainly do not wish to degrade you, and I only hope you will choose wisely. Regardless, I wish you well.
First in my first comment I didn’t even go into Trump because everyone knows. And I mentioned a few of Hillary. But when you called me irresponsible then I listed Hillarys problems. All I ask is respect others opinions. You are not the savior of America and don’t degrade people because they don’t think like you. I have not decided who I am for but people like you who won’t allow others to have or explore other opinions really upset me. Have your opinion but let others have theirs and no you won’t persuade me by your comments to vote for Hillary. My research , values and facts will.
@Aroha, your comment struck me as a great example of the type of thoughtful dialogue I often find on this blog (both from the author and in the comments section). I commend your ability to stand your ground while still being respectful on this very emotional topic.
(And for the record, #ImWithHer)
*stands and applauds*
Not American so can’t vote obviously, but if I could I’d be with her too.
yes! i know you will get critical comments (i see them already trickling in, so it goes!) so i just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the risk and writing this.
I just have respect for you Erin because you are not deleting the comments from people who disagree with you (me being one of them). As long as people don’t resort to low tactics, I think it is fair that everyone be allowed to say their piece. This really opens up areas of different perspectives. Personally, I will be voting for Gary Johnson, the libertarian presidential candidate this year. His views are more in line with mine, particularly concerning our $20 trillion national debt. If there is anything that I might add to this conversation is that personality and gender and race are not necessarily to things that matter most when deciding who to vote for. I think that a lot of times in politics we hear promises that sound very appealing until the consequences catch up. A lot of our current problems (healthcare, welfare, education, jobs) have been made worse by popular appealing policy. In most cases, it ends up hurting the people who need it the most. Unfortunately, the study and history of economics is largely unknown to the voting public. For those who want to learn about the amazing and unyielding truths of economics, I highly recommend Thomas Sowell’s “Basic Economics”. That book changed my life.
Been watching the election campaign from a far. There was a great essay in Lenny a while back about how women are criticised or told they are only voting for Clinton because she is a woman. It really annoys me.
More than that though I am annoyed by the Sanders-supporters telling everyone he is more of a feminist than her. (Which generally just sounds weird to me and not like an ally at all. Could he not be a great feminist without having to diminish all the things Clinton did all her life?)
I sincerely hope Bernie or Bust does not screw this up for those of you over there.
I’m with her, but more than anything else, I’m with the hope that this country can turn itself around. Hil is the only one that can do it.
Great post!!!! I am Romanian living in Chile so I am obviously only a spectator to this election but I hope Hillary wins!!! And clear the path for all the highly prepared and educated women who choose to be in politics. Angela Merkel is such a strong example. As is Margaret Thatcher and so many more in Europe (unfortunately not so in South America even though there are serveral women president). It is high time that the US had a woman for president!
Aside from from the fact that I 100% agree with you (have been with her since she launched her campaign, because she is seriously SO qualified) I want to let you know how much I respect you using your platform here to comment on such an important election.
I can imagine what a difficult decision that is to make, since your blog is about everyday lifestyle choices and little joys more than current events, and anytime a blogger gets political there is a risk of alienating readers. But speaking honestly about issues you feel are important shows a lot of integrity, and I applaud you for that!
Well said, Katharine! I agree. Erin, you’re a good egg for giving voice to this topic—especially considering how easy it would’ve been to say nothing and keep to the usual content. I admire you and your decision. xx
I wish I could vote for her too … but sadly I am a South African living in Cape Town! Here’s to Hillary.
Beautifully written post.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this. I’m 100% with her for all the reasons you gave so eloquently above.
The alternative to Hillary is an appalling prospect for most Canadians. The result of your election will affect us and most countries around the world. Please give a thought to us when you vote.
I have three blogs I check religiously. Every single day for years I read posts from these three blogs because they are an escape from the news, politics, etc. In an increasingly polarizing election, I can understand your need to want to express your opinion, and obviously you have the right to do so. I have you three (blogs) in my bookmarks bar so I can get to you asap every morning. Last week I deleted the other two because they posted about politics. Again, these are people I have followed through children, career changes, new houses, and new husbands. This week I say goodbye to you as well. I’ve bought your book, I’ve followed you through marriage and pregnancy, and I find your posts a calming oasis on the internet. Some people are going to read this and think that I’m over-reacting, that you have your opinion, and I have mine, and can’t we all just get along? They aren’t wrong, and maybe this is an over-reaction, but I just can’t anymore. I can’t watch another woman I respect fall victim to this woman. My feelings would be the same if you were voting Trump. I just can’t deal with it in the place I go for refuge from these goons. I’m sure I’ll return eventually, maybe after inauguration. I’m not trying to shame you, and I’m not trying to sound holier-than-thou, but you should know (and perhaps you already do) that this is tricky, and at least for me, its a subject I don’t care to read about on this form of media.
If this blog was solely about fashion, or child rearing, or finance, etc. I could understand your disappointment, but this is a lifestyle blog where we come to hear the voice and thoughts of someone we’ve grown to love and admire as a friend. I hope you come back sooner rather than later. Your voice and sentiments matter.
I’m going to try to be positive when I say this: for those commenters or readers who are saying that they will no longer read this blog due to Erin’s (rightful) decision to talk about politics or who she is supporting are everything that is wrong with America right now (okay, that didnt work… and maybe a bit hyperbolic).
We have become a nation of “self-curators” wielding a delete button for any opinion that counters our own. This has left us as one-sided storytellers, individuals who self-select to the point where the only opinions we hear are the ones that confirm our own. That sort of echo chamber of our own making makes us shortsighted, uninformed and lacking in critical thinking.
You don’t have to support Clinton to value the voice of one’s opinion. To see what others are saying and take their thoughts into consideration. Like the conversation above, context is abundantly important. Lets stop reducing ourselves to soundbites and start exploring all sides of the issue so we come from a place of education and information.
And disclosure, I love this post because I AMA with her. But I wasn’t initially and that decision did not come easily or without a look into what the other side had to say. Go Erin for voicing your opinion out into this weird and wild world.
/steps off soapbox
Even if this was a topic specific blog; everthing is political, your socks, your children and your finances soooo much. It is only when your are privileged enough that current policies or future change of policies will not have any significant impact on your daily life.
I live in Germany. I am European. But I am terrified you guys will elect Trump just as you should be worried about all the right wing action going on in the EU (not to mention current events in Turkey etc.).
#imwithkatherine …. sorry but not sorry. 🙂
There is no “refuge” from this election. Every single person on this planet is going to be affected by who is elected as US president in November. You say that you have followed her through marriage and pregnancy – well, what is more important to her daughter than ensuring the political stability of the nation that lives in? What you are asking for is the extreme privilege to not care – and you must already be EXTREMELY privileged, if you think there is any sort of equivalency between Clinton and Trump. That makes me think you have very little to lose, if Trump becomes president.
Our nation’s problems are very real, and hiding behind your hands for a few minute while pretending that life is all only about “pretty” things does not get you anywhere.
Bravo, Erin, for standing up like this.
Yes! This was a fantastic post. You’re a awesome writer- and I’m with you and with her- Thank you!
I join other commenters in urging us all to seek out reliable sources and complete context before jumping to the conclusions HRC’s ideological opponents would like us to. And thanks, Erin, for broaching this topic in such a personal way. I’ve always rejected the words “spunky” and “feisty” for the same reasons. Cheers to your and your daughter’s (and HRC’s!) bravery and brilliance.
The subtleties of language. Beautiful.
And yes, I’m with her, because she’s with US!
” but like many words applied to women and not to men, it comes with a subtle side of judgment. ” Very well put.
I’m happy you’re with her. I’m with her too. And thank you for writing about it in such a personal and beautiful way.
Perfectly expressed- I’m with her as well.
This is beautifully written! Cheers to an eloquent and reasonable piece on this election. #Imwithher too! 🙂
So, I live in a part of the country where all of my democratic friends were on board with Bernie Sanders. I have always been down with Hillary since day one but political conversations can get so mean–even from people who love you and whom you love. I’ve wanted to say “I’m with her” but I don’t want to deal with the fall out. It’s been an emotionally exhausting summer and I’m just so tired.
I’m really proud and empowered by you–someone with a much greater audience and with much more on the line than me to go public. Thank you so much!
I urge you: don’t be afraid to speak your mind. I know it can be hard; I’ve been an outspoken Hillary supporter since last Fall, and being a liberal Millennial from California means I was and am surrounded by Bernie supporters. Sometimes the conversations get rough. Sometimes they get personal. So many of my fellow Hillary supporters were afraid to speak their mind, for fear of backlash from Bernie supporters. Don’t let that fear silence you. You have every right to shout I’M WITH HER as they do to demand that you FEEL THE BERN.
That said: Bernie’s legacy is not over, but his candidacy for POTUS is. It’s time we all gather up the most valuable pieces of his campaign and push onward towards a Democratic presidency that will prove to the world that this country values equality, intelligence, love, and unity over fear, hatred, xenophobia, and selfishness. That’s what this fight is about now.
Thank you so much for your thoughtful urging, Stacy. 🙂
Just imagine this comment is full of those “applause” emojis.
I’m grateful to you, Erin, for using your platform — which is personal, but also well-curated — to speak unabashedly about such an important election. As someone who is just a handful of weeks away from bringing my first child (a daughter!) into this world, I am thrilled to think that she will never know a world where women cannot achieve such greatness, as Hillary Clinton has done and I believe she will do as POTUS. Her being a woman is only the sweet cherry on top of the enormous sundae of qualifications Hillary has to tackle this vitally-important job. Donald Trump is a nightmare of which I hope my daughter (and future children) learn only about only through the blurry lens of history — and not their lived experiences.
I’M WITH HER!
I respect your opinion but I am absolutely 100% NOT with her! I’m voting for Trump!
I believe in a plurality of opinions (yay democracy!) and am always curious about the choices of others. I live in Europe and don’t know anyone supporting Trump, which is why I would love to hear your view on him and why he has won your support, if you are willing to share. Thanks in advance!
Brava! What a beautiful expression of support for your daughter, Hilary, and all women! I’m so glad you’ve written this– a gesture which speaks, I think, to your own admirable ‘courage and determination.’ I must say, I am saddened by the couple of commenters citing this post as a reason for terminating a long and supportive relationship with your blog. I would have hoped, given how thoughtfully you share and reflect on your own values in this space, that even those readers who don’t plan to vote along with you this fall could recognize that they nevertheless hold many more values in common with you (and, I imagine, Hilary) than not. I am still hopeful that for every one of those comments, there is at least one reader who is thinking more critically about the subtle, but still damaging gendered double standard that has surrounded this election thanks to your words.
Thank you! #I’mWithHer
Erin, we are also with Her! As a new mother to a daughter we are so incredibly excited to raise a feisty, rambunctious, and yes spunky woman. Let’s hope that these terms indeed can be qualified as presidential.
I was going to let this post go by without commenting but it’s too important not to comment, if only to say that I stand in solidarity with you and with her! For those that think a lifestyle blog is no place for politics: civic engagement or lack thereof affects our lifestyles so profoundly. So many of us come to this blog because Erin leads a life that attempts to improve her immediate and greater environment. What other choice could have more of an impact than our choice for president?
Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Well said, and thank you!! *many applause emojis*
I love America! We have FREEDOM to vote as we please. I am NOT with her. BUT I think no less of those who vote for her. Please everyone vote!! Remember people died for the right. Represent yourself but also listen to others respectfully. Reading dissenting opinions is interesting and sometimes eye opening. Democracy Rocks.
So am I, and I’m hitting the phones tomorrow. Thank you for speaking out!
Thank you, Erin! This makes me even more proud to be a small part of this space from time to time. Cheers to you and spunky women everywhere!
I’m also with her! Deal me in! Whatever! As a previous pro-Bernie support, I am now 100% committed to HRC for president!
Me too! Thank you for sharing where you stand – we are lucky to live in a country where we are able to do so. Xo
I’m glad you wrote this post, and damn, lady, that was brave to keep the comments on! (Which I won’t be reading. Nope.)
I have been so impressed with the (mostly) civil discourse. Man, it’s hard to find these days on the internet. But a respectful readership has been built here and I’m excited by it. 🙂
Well, maybe (probably) Erin has to deal with other kind of comments we don’t, since the comments are moderated I’m guessing she is our wall against a not very civic dialogue!
I appreciate this post so much, Erin! Thanks for sharing and speaking out. XO
#Imwithher too–but even if I weren’t, beautiful post!
Thanks for speaking out. Either Clinton or Trump will become the next US president in January. I urge every eligible US voter to please register and make your choice. I was, and always will be, a Bernie supporter, but I’ve done my research and Hillary Clinton is intelligent and extremely capable; Trump is neither. I’m with her and for the sake of our country, I hope others will be too!
YES. Thank you for bringing this important thought on life into all your important thoughts on life. Politics is personal; the personal is political. Thoughts like this belong in the blogosphere.
Just wanted to say I’m glad that you posted this. It’s nice that your blog is more than a place for beauty and fashion and lifestyle things. 🙂
Thank you so much for posting this. I wrote something similar on Cup of Jo last week, but I do so appreciate your precarious positions as business owners putting yourselves out there like this, and so I commend you for speaking out. It’s been a scary year for politics and I’m absolutely terrified at the prospect of a Trump presidency, so we all must do whatever we can, however small, to ensure this does not happen.
Yes we’re all entitled to our own opinions, and we will all vote for who we want. But can I just say this: people who are voting for Trump (or not voting, or voting third party, which both are passively helping Trump win) are doing it from a position of privilege. If Trump is elected, the fallout for me personally will not be huge: I’m not poor, I’m not a (recent) immigrant, I’m not gay, I’m white, I’m Christian. Is Hillary perfect? No. Is our political system in need of some changes? Yes. But Trump is not the answer to those problems. So when you vote this November, please think beyond yourself, and consider the people that will be horribly adversely affected by a Trump presidency.
A long-winded way to say #ImWithHer, as well.
Thank you, Mary Kate, for talking about privilege! It seems to me that the more privilege one has, the easier it is to say things like, I’m not going to vote because I hate both candidates, or, Third party!, or, I can’t stand to hear about all this political stuff. I am white and identify as Christian, so as unjust as it is, those parts of my identity, among others, afford me quite a lot of privilege and safety if Trump gets elected. On the other hand, I’m gay, I’m female, my wife is black, and we have a biracial daughter. I’m scared for my family if Hillary doesn’t get elected. Can we talk about the Supreme Court, too?
Please stop calling others names and labeling them and generalizing. Not everyone who supports Trump is privileged. And someone who is not wanting to vote has that right. I haven’t decided I am an independent. But I really don’t like that this discussion about a female president has taken to labeling others. This is the US and we have a choice. Say what you want about your choice and how exemplary you are for choosing your candidate be it Clinton or Trump but stop attacking the people that decide differently than you. Erin did that. She stated her thoughts but did not throw in disparaging remarks about those who don’t think like she does.
I’m sorry you felt attacked by my comment. That wasn’t my intention. I’m struggling to see where I called people names. Talking about privilege is a difficult subject, especially for those of us who have a little, or a lot. I stand by my belief that those of us with privilege need to get over that. That it is critical that we think about how our varying degrees of privilege impact how we view the world, politics, and other people. We didn’t ask for the privilege that some of us get; it’s been systematically set up so that some of us are safer than others. Period. It’s time to change that. Period!
I guess I feel that being privileged has become a bad word in our culture and in that sense you were labeling those who support Trump as privileged. I believe that this election season is difficult for all. In my opinion and this is just mine, I believe we have not been give the best choices. I am struggling. Unfortunately I don’t see Hillary as being the beacon of light as some do and I have great problems with Trump. In reality all who live in this nation are privileged if you have ever been to third world countries. All I wish is that we would respect each other’s choices. Attack the candidates if you must but not another’s choice. And that last statement is not for you. It is for all of us. And don’t presume or generalize. Thanks. Have a great day!
There was no name calling. Saying that an action comes from “a position of privilege” is not name calling but helping the discussion move forward. The wording is not stating privilege for the individual but the privilege that exists to do so that is institutionalized and often one that is unaware and overlooked. You are right to not want name calling and labeling but that is not what was happening here.
But it was suggested that you all know why a Trump supporter makes his or her choice. Y’all have no idea why another person makes their choice. So in that sense it was labeling and being privileged in this society has become a bad word. So yes name calling. Done. Have a great day. And no that is not moving the discussion forward. I am sure the people who support him wouldn’t view it that way.
It’s not presumptuous to assume that people who vote for Trump do not feel threatened by him, just as Hillary voters do not feel threatened by her, and so on. Privilege is not a dirty word and never has been, and its widespread use among progressives has never been an attack, only an attempt to raise awareness about the lack of privilege that others experience. I fully understand why people get upset when it is pointed out to them; after all, even when guilt isn’t helpful it’s kind of the default emotional response to seeing the unearned advantages you have over others. But as obnoxious as the phrase “check your privilege” has become, it’s clearly not an attack, but a call for self-reflection and empathy. How could that ever be an insult?
Sophia, I have to disagree with your assessment. This is a democratic nation that is grounded on principles. One of them being that when you vote, it is your choice. It sounds to me like many people dislike both the candidates from the major parties. Their unfavorably ratings are unprecedented. I often hear people say, “I am voting for Trump because I don’t want Hillary to win”, and “A vote for a third party is a vote for (whichever candidate they don’t want to win)”. Over and over many people have been voting in this strategic way. But the point of voting is not to vote against someone. We can vote for someone we believe in, and if in good conscience you do not support any available candidate, choosing not to vote is still a good choice. I know this is against popular belief, but I do think it needs to be heard by those not comfortable with who the media says are our only options. I am voting for Gary Johnson, the libertarian presidential candidate, because I believe in his views, and respect what he accomplished as Governor of New Mexico. I think that he is worth looking into if you are not happy with the two party system currently in place. He is taking votes from both sides because he offers a reasonable and sane alternative. As a side note, I don’t think this has to do with privilege…this has to do with being able to vote according to your conscience. And that translates into opposing things like oppression. I don’t agree with Trump’s views on immigrants, Muslims, minorities and women etc.. Just because I am white and straight doesn’t mean I am not affected by others hate, discrimination, and violence towards people different than them. It is horrible, and I don’t partake, nor would I stand by and watch it happen. I just don’t vote out of fear…I vote for what I feel would be best for our country.
Sorry, I just have a hard time understanding… voting for a libertarian has no chance of counting–just like, sadly, Bernie didn’t (and was never) going to have a chance (I am a Bernie supporter and was well aware of this). So yes–voting for the lesser evil (Hillary) is really the only option I see so we do not have the next Hitler running the United States. It is Hillary or Trump. That is it.
I think we just simply disagree. I just posted because more people need to know that there are other options even if though have been largely silenced. Lesser evil is still evil…and I am not going to support it.
This line really hit me: “Not because I think spunk is all it takes, but because if spunk is what my daughter has, then I want it to, someday, be considered Presidential.” Yes. This. Beautifully stated! Thank you!
Time and again, Erin, I have been grateful for what you share here and how you share it — from potting herbs to where t-shirts are made to non-toxic cleaning products to parenting to gun violence. Beyond the content, one of the reasons I value your blog so much is the integrity you bring to it. Thank you for your post today; really, a thousand thank yous. Steady on.
At parent /teacher conferences, when our daughter was in first grade, she had two teachers, both female. One told us that our girl had “leadership qualities”, the other told us that she was “bossy”. I’m not sure what we were to do with that information, but I can guarantee that our son, who is now a young officer in the miltary, was never described as spunky or bossy.
Thanks for speaking up. Great post.
Thank you for taking a public stand for Hillary. You say your precious child is “spunky”. Her mother is “spunky” too. I hope you are proud of the job you are doing in raising her, because you should be.
Readers will slam you, and Hillary (boy, have they ever). They will threaten to stop reading your blog.
Nevermind them. You are a very good writer, it’s their loss, and most of all Love Trumps Hate.
Carry on, dear heart.
Thank you. Love this. I’m with her too. (Spunky indeed!)
Yessssss. Love this, love her, love you. I bawled my eyes out throughout the convention.
I did, too, Haylie! I casually started watching it expecting to be a little bored by usual political rhetoric, but I boo-hooed all the way through both Obamas’ speeches, and shed a few tears during Hillary’s as well.
This election year strikes me as more than about liberal vs. conservative views on the usual issues. When we have two strikingly different candidates, it’s about values and temperament, and HRC possesses what I think we need– kindness, thoughtfulness, diplomacy, and knowledge. That she is a woman is just the icing on the cake, though I don’t overlook the momentousness of the barrier that fell when she was nominated. I do think she puts up a front and doesn’t have the candor and openness that would make it easier for her to connect with people, but I can live with that, and I believe that she will make smart decisions that benefit the American people.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this very important election. You have a perspective I value.
Erin, thank you for writing this! Beautiful and thoughtful as ever, and yet again a reminder of how much our words, moments, and actions matter. I’m with her, and hope my son also grows up with a world where spunk is unquestionably presidential. We’ll all be better for it.
Thank you for posting this. I was with Bernie and am not thrilled with Hillary but I cannot understand how anyone can say she is not qualified. She is over-qualified. I will gladly vote for Hillary over Donald Trump.
Thank you, Erin! Thank you. #I’mWithHer
Merci! Je suis avec vous! Je suis avec elle!
I admire your integrity Erin to stand publicly for your beliefs is setting the best example for your daughter. I have been in politics over 45 years and I am voting for Hillary not just because she is a women but because she is a capable highly qualified educated compassionate person. She is a leader formed by the background that no President in history has had. She brings skills that no other President has brought to the office. She can make hard decisions while maintaining her character and she has proven herself with international relations. As a human she is fair, compassionate and a great champion of our personal rights. She has the utmost bravado! I am proud of her strength and continued integrity in the face of hate. As a women candidate she is facing a new level of misogynist attacks evident from the comments here and the senseless false attacks online that make zero difference which is obvious from the voices of our country. . She will persevere and I believe be our Presidency, to that which she was born to lead.
I urge you all to take a moment to research and consider Dr. Jill Stein’s platform.
I was curious about Jill Stein until I learned she’s never held elected office before — not even at the local level! To me, this is a basic prerequisite for the presidency. She also has also made some strange comments on vaccines & WiFi recently that do not hold up to scientific scrutiny. I like the Green Party but I’d like a president with experience in government.
I wrote this in another blog, but I am sharing here as well;
I am an American. But I was born and raised in Venezuela.
Twenty years ago, a man ran for president promising change. He was charismatic, bombastic – a true and powerful charmer. And he said what people wanted to hear: that our troubles were the fault of a few: of the oligarchs, of the immigrants, of the politicians. He said that he was going to change it all – that if we gave him all the power, that he was going to change everything. That he was going to get rid of all the politicians, and that he was going to return Venezuela to its former greatness. His rival was a very successful governor, but lacked the charm and charisma of Chavez, and he did not stand a chance in the general election. Chavez won on a landslide.
He did everything he promised, and more.
Twenty years later, Venezuela is in the midst of a major humanitarian crisis, where premature babies die because there is no electricity nor incubators in hospitals, and people have to resort to Facebook to find cancer and anti-seizure drugs, common antibiotics, and basic supplies and over-the counter medications such as Tylenol. (see http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/16/world/americas/dying-infants-and-no-medicine-inside-venezuelas-failing-hospitals.html?_r=0). In the meanwhile, the daughter of Hugo Chavez is worth about $4.2 Billion dollars, according to Forbes.
Twenty years later, I am again terrified. Because I am seeing the same thing happen all over again. Fascism is opportunistic – it doesn’t matter if it’s right or left – and when you have lived through something like that you are eerily attuned to certain nuances in the media, in the people, in the political discourse that many miss -shielded by the privilege of living in a first world country, where your safety and your rights are taken for granted.
What I am seeing now is that an extremely dangerous man is running to rule the most powerful country, with the biggest military in the world. I have seen the horrible humane catastrophe that Chavez created in a tiny country that had little power other than some oil. I cannot fathom to imagine the future if the presidency were given to such a man, and without any resources to check his power – after all, both chambers of congress belong to his party and he would have the power to turn the SCOTUS for generations to come.
I am nothing but frustrated and horrified about some commenters that say that they “don’t want to vote for politicians” or rather vote for a third candidate that has no chance just to make a “principled stand”. Welcome to the real world people. Making a principled stand is the easy moral choice when you are likely the last to suffer the consequences. That is also the reason why there is so much government dysfunction: people love to take stands, whereas is about guns, abortion, healthcare, immigration – because it is easy to have the “high moral ground” instead of acknowledging that the other side may have a point, may be worth listening to – and hopefully reach a compromise.
I know what Trump is, I have lived through it, and saw my grandfather die because we could not find oxygen thanks to it https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/22/donald-trump-hugo-chavez-political-similarities
The choice is clear, #Imwithher
Wow, Andrea. Powerful. Thank you for sharing this perspective.
I appreciate your perspective, but wish to emphasize that it never, never, a waste to vote for a third party candidate. This country has a highly corrupt two party system, and we are once again about to reap what we have sown. Over and over again you will hear the Democrats saying–we are better than the alternative. We as a people are better than that and deserve more than that.
Very well said. I appreciate your bravery. It isn’t a wasted vote. It isn’t privilege. It is standing up for what you believe is best, even if it isn’t popular. I voted for libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson back in 2012, I am voting for him again in this election. He is actually making unprecedented headway because more and more people are believing that there actually are more than 2 choices.
Thank you, Erin!
This post is a breath of fresh air in a blog landscape with heaps of hyper-curated lifestyle dribble that likes to think it exists outside of the political. Every women intuits (if they don’t consciously admit, like some of the commenters here) that everything about our lives is political. Your posts on simplicity and sustainability have always been political. The thoughtfulness with which you describe use of space, city living, travel, decor, historical preservation, faith, the labor of parenting, your clothing, etc etc = ALL POLITICAL. Life is fraught, messy, complicated precisely because of politics. Politics are more than just elections: they are about emotions. They are about what gets shared (or doesn’t get shared) around the kitchen table.
I not only stand with her (at times begrudgingly but I’m working through it) but with you and your commitment to values over market share. This reader appreciates your realness.
Kaitlyn, this is so beautifully put. Thank you for your eloquence and for reminding us of such a crucial point: “Politics are more than just elections: they are about emotions.” Nothing exists outside of the political. And I, too, appreciate Erin’s realness in acknowledging that fact. xx
Thank you for being willing to share your thoughts on this touchy subject. As a mother of two young daughters, I will also use my vote to support the candidate who best represents the type of future I want for my children. As a woman of color, I will use my vote to speak against the hateful vitriol, divisiveness, and race-baiting that is exhibited by Trump and his supporters.
Erin, you are an incredible voice for women that aspire to be everything that they dare to be. I want to genuinely applaud you on your decision (difficult or not) to voice your political opinion for the upcoming election. Thank you for having the bravery and, yes, the spunk to post this. What an incredible gift this will be to all of our daughters and sons when they get older that, win or lose, we had the courage to vote for someone who has exuded these fine qualities their entire career and that they, too, should show courage, bravery and spunk in the face of whatever they embark upon. I’M WITH HER.
I’m with her too. I don’t live in the US but I fear for the world’s safety if someone as deranged as Donald Trump becomes president of the most powerful country in the world. Thank you for speaking up, Erin. Every demonstration of moral courage is a vote against the inhumane and ignorant positions taken by a dangerous zealot like Trump and his ilk.
Hey I can’t vote yet but I believe in all my US friends that they will elect the right one….
Erin I love your blog and simplicity. I feel, living with simple and less is always difficult and I salute you for that.
I love that all my favorite bloggers are taking a stand this year, though I’m a little concerned that they all seem to agree with each other. I thought I was well rounded! I don’t want to be in an echo chamber! But, still, I agree with you. I may be an #IguessImwithher voter, but at the end of the day, it’s still with her.
It’s so interesting to read all these replies. Lots of great discussion happening.
I was raised in the Religious Right. I remember going to a George H W Bush campaign as a little girl and screaming so loudly, sure that this “side” was the only one to root for. Now, as an adult, I see a LOT more nuance in politics than perhaps I was taught exists. My faith is still very important to me; in fact, being a follower of Jesus is the lens through which I view politics. I have no idea how to cast my vote this fall. I’ll be honest, I’m hoping that when I wake up on November 9, Hillary is our new president; yet I still have reservations about voting for her.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Erin.
Thank you, thank you!! I’ve got to say, I’ve had a hard time in this election understanding why some people view voting for Hillary as the “lesser of two evils” option. I’m so excited to vote for a candidate whose platform is so incredibly detailed, research-focused, and progressively minded! (Seriously, check out her website, you can read in SO much detail about her positions on every issue.) She obviously cares so deeply about tackling hard stuff that really makes a difference in people’s lives, like lead in our water infrastructure (I live close to Flint, so I know how much of a big deal this is!), routine use of antibiotics in our agricultural systems (antibiotic resistance is scary, y’all!), etc, etc. This is the first election where I’ve been moved to donate and sign up to volunteer!
Thank you for posting this ! It upsets me when people decide to not read a blog because of an occasional political post. We live in America where we enjoy the freedom to discuss our beliefs. This election is too important to not voice these opinions. Hillary is incredibly accomplished, intelligent and prepared. How someone could vote for Trump is truly beyond my understanding . Yes Hillary has her issues but no more than any other policitian. Trump’s integrity is far more frightening. Frankly, Trump moans like a five year old about his treatment by the media, when in fact Hillary has experienced far more scrutiny. #imwithher
Thank you again for voicing your opinion !
I am with you on this, Erin!! I will also be voting, using my absentee ballot. Thanks for your clarity, Robin in Umbria
Me too! And thank you for saying so on this decidedly (mostly) not political blog. It’s so disheartening when people act like democracy should be kept private.
I just discovered your blog and I absolutely love it! I also will be voting for Hillary in November. Thanks for expressing your thoughts on this!
Just stummbled across this. Boy what I would do to have this time back. We were right ya know? With all our fears and worries about what if he won and how would he be. We sure hit nail the on the head didn’t we. I read through some comments, lesser of two evils, Not my Hillary! These men have nothing on her not even close. It’s funny she did so much and worked so hard and something that men created and caused, that could has happened to men with no regards. Has caused HER a dark cloud. Women are the worst, women point their fingers at her and look down at her. Scoff at her name. Why? Are women just mysinginst as men or worse even? Thank you for sharing. I wish I had seen it earlier. Take care.
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