After watching last night’s Democratic debate in Brooklyn and waking up to a feed full of stories about “Bernie Bros” and claims of sexism on Bernie Sanders, I am left with a pit in my stomach.

I grew up with a mother who raised me as a feminist. I believe in equality for women. I know what it is like to be put down in a male-dominated industry.  I know what it is like to not be taken seriously. I’ve experienced sexual harassment both in the workplace and on the streets. Women’s rights are so incredibly personally important to me, so that is why I must speak out.

I have watched media outlets and the Clinton campaign use her gender, MY GENDER, as a political tool throughout this race and quite frankly I have had enough. If Hillary has been a victim of her gender in any sense, it is in regards to her marriage to Bill. His political ambitions came first and now it may be too late for Hillary to have a place in the White House because many Americans believe that the Clinton brand of politics, using corporate favors and pandering to groups they actually don’t support with policy, is the old way of doing things.

I fervently want a female president. I did not support Secretary Clinton in 2008. She was unable to use her gender in that election because she was running against Obama, but she was more than happy to question his qualifications and I did not hear an uproar from his campaign or the media that she was being racist. Yet, in this election, Bernie was responding claims from Hillary’s campaign that he was not qualified, and so he questioned Clinton’s qualifications.  Now we’re calling him a sexist.  Clinton repeatedly interrupts Sanders and goes over on time in the debates, but he is “mansplaining.”  Come on! Most of us can see straight through these ridiculous accusations, but I am not seeing many people speak up about it.  

Hillary Clinton’s record when it comes to women is downright disgusting, yet she has never been questioned about it on the national stage.  She has stayed married to a sexual predator and has helped to silence his victims. She defended a child rapist and blamed the victim, a 12-year-old girl. She knowingly used tampered evidence in a trial. The Clinton Foundation happily takes money from countries with atrocious human rights records for women.  I do not believe Hillary has fought for women. I believe she has simply used women (and minorities- but that is another article) to get votes.

This strategy to get women voters isn’t working for young women like me, so she discounts us. We aren’t even considered real voters in a sea of these supposed “Bernie Bros.” She has fought for herself and her power. My male friends who are Bernie supporters believe in women’s rights. Some even identify as feminists. They have gotten a completely fictitious “Bernie Bro” label and us female Bernie supporters have been subject to ridicule by Madeleine Albright and Gloria Steinem, who I once considered feminist icons. Having different opinions than one another and having those opinions be heard fairly is a foundational element of feminism.  

Since I believe in equality for all genders, Hillary does not get a free pass on these things because she is a woman. She does not get to deflect serious policy so that she can try to smear the squeaky clean Senator Sanders with unfounded, unreasonable claims of sexism.

Hillary undermines the real sexism that I and millions of other American women experience on a daily basis.

We all know that Donald Trump is horrible to women. If Hillary does become the nominee and wants to discuss this in the general election, it will be more than fair game.  It will be fair game for Bernie as well.  Bernie is a supporter of women and needs to be uplifted. Male allies are critical for the success of the feminist agenda.  Bernie actually has a more liberal policy on abortion than Hillary.  He is a bigger proponent of paid family leave, which has a huge impact on women. Bernie supports economic policies that benefit women, who are the biggest victims of poverty in this country next to the children that those women are raising.

Enough is enough. Do not fight a fight on behalf of the parts between my legs. Yes, a female President is a step in the right direction, IF that President represents the needs of the people. I do not believe that Hillary is that candidate and her vagina is not going to change my mind. Hillary is not a victim. Shame on her for victimizing herself at the expense of the real victims of sexism.