Male Privilege Is Saying You Won’t Vote For Hillary If Bernie Loses The Nomination

Last weekend, Salon published an article by Shane Ryan titled “Just let the Republicans win: Maybe things need to get really bad before America wakes up” — and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

Back in college, I used to get in a lot of arguments about this exact issue with a lot of male anarchists and socialists. They reasoned that it wouldn’t really be so bad if George W. Bush won again, because then things would get so bad that the people would band together and incite a glorious revolution. “That’s real nice for you,” I’d say, “but I have to worry about protecting my right to an abortion if that revolution doesn’t pan out like you think it will.”

When Bush was elected, twice, there wasn’t a revolution and I didn’t lose my right to choose, but I did have that right eroded with that so-called “Partial-Birth Abortion Act” bullshit. This time, we’ve got even more on the line than we did then, and I will admit it — I am scared as hell.

Reading things from people like Ryan sets my teeth on edge. Like many other male Sanders supporters I’ve seen, he suggests that perhaps staying home will send a message to the Democratic establishment that they can’t just pander to actual leftists during a primary campaign, and then go back to business as usual after an election. He also suggests, like my college radical friends, that things will be so terrible that there will be a glorious progressive revolution when we see how badly the Republicans run things.

But! If Hillary lost because progressives abstained from voting, it’s possible that Republican incompetence would be laid bare, and that they’d run the country into the ground over the next four years. If that’s what it takes to show the people that a leftist political revolution is the only viable way forward, it will have been worth watching Hillary bite the political dust. Come 2020, we could be looking at a landscape where progressive politics can finally gather enough momentum to sweep the country, and usher in a new era of FDR-esque reforms.

Worth it for who, exactly? The only reason right now that Planned Parenthood has not been defunded is because President Obama will be vetoing that legislation. Fuck you, that is important. Millions and millions rely on Planned Parenthood for medical and reproductive care. For them to lose federal funding would be an unmitigated disaster.

I admit it, I am at heart a single issue voter. Protecting the right to a safe and legal abortion is my absolute, number one issue. Especially right now, given that the next President will likely be choosing at least one Supreme Court justice, and that will determine whether or not Roe v. Wade is overturned. Every single Republican contender has vowed to overturn it; hell, two of them, Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee, say they plan to outlaw abortion without them.

Should this happen, it is not going to be easily fixable. This is an either-or situation. Either we keep our right to choose or we don’t, and if we lose it, it’s going to be incredibly difficult to get it back. Bernie Sanders not winning doesn’t mean that fighting against income inequality is done forever, or that we will never see universal health care or free public college. A Republican winning means that we will lose our right to choose for a very, very long time. A president is around for four years–Supreme Court justice is a lifetime appointment. I don’t see how “making a point” is worth that. It’s certainly not worth it to me.

I’ve seen several people — all cis men, mind you — suggesting this as a strategy for achieving the kinds of real change they would like to see happen in Washington. As much as I desperately want to see similar changes, I am not willing to give up my right to choose in order to achieve them. These idealistic fellas don’t have to consider this — their bodily autonomy is not at stake. A Republican presidency just wouldn’t be as bad for them as it would be for me and other women – it wouldn’t be as big of a risk. That is a luxury the rest of us just don’t have.

To boot, I’m sorry, but it’s entirely unlikely that this “revolution” will actually happen. Not to be a defeatist, but I just don’t have that much faith in the American people, and I’m not going to place my uterus on the bargaining table in some vain hope of a better tomorrow.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a Sanders supporter myself! I’m a socialist! I would like him to win the nomination and the presidency. Hell, I voted for Ralph Nader twice! But I did that because I lived in New York and Illinois, which were definitely going blue with or without me. Trust me, I respect wanting to hold true to your ideals, I understand the idea that “the lesser of two evils is still evil.” I get all of that.

But if Bernie doesn’t win the nomination, you bet your ass I will be voting for Hillary Clinton, and I will be doing all I can to ensure that she wins the Presidency. And you know what, dudes? You’re gonna need to do that as well, OK? You’re gonna suck it up, and you’re going to fight for us, because this is a goddamned emergency situation and we need you.