I want to second what Katie Halper and Auguste have said, and expand on it a bit. One thing the media can be counted on doing in the next few months is giving inordinate attention to that handful of Clinton supporters who've said that they won't support Barack Obama in the general election, but will instead vote for John McCain. That they're small in number won't matter--it's the kind of horse race story that a media desperate to keep this thing close won't be able to get enough of, and you can be assured that they'll do whatever they can to make it seem like these people are legion.

Like Auguste, I want to be clear about who this is: If you're a feminist who feels the Democratic party isn't looking out for you as regards sexism, and so you're looking at supporting the Green Party, then I can understand that. I can't say I agree with it, but I can understand it, and I agree that a vote for Cynthia McKinney is not the same as a vote for John McCain, even if you live in a swing state. The same goes for people who plan on writing in Hillary Clinton's name. If you honestly feel that Clinton or McKinney are so much better on women's issues than Obama that you cannot vote for him or the party he represents, then I can understand that. Your vote is your own.

But if you claim to be a feminist and you're voting for John McCain in November over Barack Obama, then I say what Auguste says:

I’m here to tell you that, under the “my vote is my own” principle, a vote for McCain is not a vote against the Democratic organization. A vote for McCain is a vote for McCain. If you vote for McCain, there’s no need to use Roe v. Wade as a cudgel, because you’ve just cast a vote to support misogynist policies across the board. Losing Roe v. Wade shouldn’t scare you any more than the silver standard should have scared someone who voted for William Jennings Bryan: It’s your political position. It can’t not be, because you had free choice with your vote.
In short, if you vote for John McCain, then under no logical rubric can you call yourself a feminist, because you voted for everything that feminism opposes. It's no longer about whether Obama or the Democratic party did enough to woo your votes if you vote for McCain--it's about turning your back on feminist values and giving the finger to people who are, imperfect though they may be, your allies. Your vote is your own here, too, but you're going to catch all kinds of hell for this one, and I won't be apologetic about it either, because while McCain's policies might not cause me that much personal harm, they'll be harming my daughter and my lover and every woman in the US and more than a few around the world.

A vote for John McCain is not a protest against sexism--it is an embrace of sexism, plain and simple.

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