Never in the 23 years since we started publishing BUST has there been a more high-stakes, important, and exciting presidential election. And because so much is riding on getting women to the polls, we’ve asked some of our favorite high-profile feminists to write about why they support Secretary Clinton’s bid for the presidency. We told them, “Be as candid, snarky, fierce, and opinionated as you wanna be,” and they did not disappoint. Read on, get psyched, and go vote!
I am so ready for Hills, it ain’t even funny. You know that old chestnut, “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it”? I think about that saying a lot. As a woman of color, I grew up surrounded by images of people who looked nothing like me. Now I know some of you might be shouting at the page, “Hold up, Steph—Hills be a white lady!” I know, y’all—but she is a WOMAN.
She has agency and control—and hips. Power, a brain, a voice, and for a long time, probably got her period every month. And she has refused to let anyone—man or woman—define her by her gender, her role as a mother, her haircut, her relationship with her husband, or her sexual self. She has moved through the political world and made a name for herself as a M#$%#%F#*$*$G FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH. And just by her presence, she extends her hand back to women everywhere and says, “Come along with me, we can do great things. We can rule the world.”
The Cosby Show, A Different World, Angel Heart
From a young age—ever since my eyes were opened to the struggle, courage, and world-changing evolution that came from the freedom seekers of the late-’60s and ’70s—my heart and soul have longed to also participate in a generation that dared to change the world with such significance, to live a life of meaning and enduring contribution. Could this be our time?
We best believe the world is watching. For what we do shall indeed affect the global community. Which of course is truly what we are. From San Bernardino, to Paris, to Orlando, to Dallas, to Minneapolis, to Brussels, to Baton Rouge, to Iraq, to Nice—are we not in this together? The uncertainty of these times requires radical thinking and participation. No excuses. No rich white daddy is ever going to save us. When your great-great granddaughter asks what you did, what will the answer be? Did you hand the keys over to some drunk uncle?
Orange is the New Black, ?The Color Purple
I stand for Hillary because she’s on a mission to make this place better for all people. She understands that America is already great, but we can do more. She’s a champion for the middle class, minorities, immigrants, elders, and children. Hillary understands the importance of education and will work toward students receiving debt-free and tuition-free educations. During the Democratic National Convention, she stated the following: “We will reform our criminal justice system from end to end, and rebuild trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”
That’s the kind of leader I want. I rock with her view about a woman’s right to choose what she does with her body. She is a woman—an experienced woman. A woman who is ready to serve her country and who has been serving her country for years. There’s no reason not to be with her. I just really want my young homies to get out there and vote. If you don’t vote, you are still voting. Your voice is still being heard, believe it or not. It just might not count for the greater good. Let’s make it count for our generation and the generations to come.
NARAL ?Pro-Choice America’s ?Senior Vice President of Campaigns and Strategy
This. Is. It. This is our moment. After 227 years, “first lady” will forever mean something different. Generations of trailblazing women have laid the groundwork so that one of us can now ascend to the White House. It shouldn’t have taken this long, of course. But Hillary has shattered ceilings and scaled obstacles throughout her career without losing sight of what really matters. She knows that women’s rights are human rights, that what some dismiss as “women’s issues” are economic issues, and that access to abortion allows us to build stronger families, a stronger economy, and a stronger nation.
Hillary gets it. Her opponent? Not so much. Up against Hillary is Donald Trump and his campaign to Make Misogyny Great Again. He has called women “pigs” and “dogs,” and thinks women should be punished if they have an abortion. He wants to defund Planned Parenthood—and would even shut down the federal government if he doesn’t get his way. With his backward agenda and repeatedly sexist treatment of women, Trump shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the White House.
Hillary Clinton, however, is the real deal. She will kick ass and take names when we elect her to lead our country. And I couldn’t be more proud to work every day from now until November to make sure she’s elected so that my daughter can grow up knowing that anyone—regardless of gender, religion, or race—can be president.
Mean Girls, Party Down, Masters of Sex
This hilarious-but-getting-less-funny-and-more-scary-by-the-second sideshow of an election has become about so much more than the usual fare. It’s impossible to make this thing simply about issues or ideology when one of the candidates seems to be running not just for president, but for Sociopath of the Year. And he is KILLING that campaign, amirite?? I don’t believe I’m being overly dramatic when I say this thing has become a straight up Battle of Good vs. Evil. And if you watched both conventions, like I did, it seems starkly clear who is representing the “good” side. Hillary and the Democrats are being human beings, preaching, among other things, tolerance and inclusion and standard-issue good will toward your fellow citizens. You know, the shit you’re meant to learn in pre-school.
Let’s stick with this school analogy for a second. If Donald Trump were in high school with the people who today are most likely to vote for him (white men who earn less and are less educated), he would not be their friend. No way. He would have made their lives miserable. Donald Trump would be the bully at school who made fun of them for being poor, for wearing ratty clothes, for needing to eat the school-provided lunches because their parents couldn’t afford to buy groceries for each meal. Donald Trump would have teased them mercilessly if they were on welfare, if they fell behind in their classes because their home lives were too chaotic and they didn’t have a quiet place to study—chaotic because their parents or caregivers were straining under the unlivable condition known as being poor in America.
If this were a high school movie, the audience would cheer when the Donald Trump-like kid finally gets his ass kicked. He’s the fucking rich-kid bad guy!! Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, was handed nothing in her life. She had to work 10 times as hard as any man to get to where she is today—probably 100 times as hard. And that, to me, is so much more American than a guy who was handed everything on a hideously gaudy, gold-plated platter adorned with tusks ripped from a baby elephant that Eric Trump just killed.
I believe we will come out of this victorious, celebrating the much-deserved win of the far-overdue first woman president. But whatever you do, VOTE, everybody. Because even though I believe voting for an asshole gets you two stamps on your Asshole Club punch-card, not voting at all, because you think this psycho has no real chance of winning—well, that makes you the person responsible.
Activist ?and Humanitarian
The Clinton Foundation
I’m very biased toward my mom—just feel like I should get that out there. She’s my role model as an advocate and as a mom. She’s always inspired me and supported me—as a little girl, a teenager, an adult, and now a working mom. My mom always made sure I knew I was the center of her world, while also making sure I understood what she was doing to make our world a better place for kids in Arkansas, in the U.S., and across the globe. She talked to me about her work with legal aid in Arkansas—and listened to me worry about saving the whales or my spelling test the next day (while grilling me of course on how to spell “encyclopedia”). She shared her hopes and concerns in advance of the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, where she would famously declare, “Women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights.” I remember watching her speech and feeling so proud of how fierce she was—and fiercely graceful. When she got back from Beijing, she talked about all she’d learned, while asking about what I’d learned in school and how things were going with ballet (she knew autumn was peak stress time before Nutcracker parts were announced).
Now I am a mom. And while my kids Charlotte and Aidan are still too little for me to ask about their days at school, I do ask Charlotte about her days at the park and we read together every night. I can’t wait to have the same conversations with Aidan when he’s a bit older. Following my mother’s lead, I already talk to my kids about what’s happening where we live and around the world, as well as what I did that day. (I’ll tell them tonight about this piece I am writing now.) I try to explain how my work or life connects, or doesn’t, to the headlines—including campaigning for their Grandma. I appreciate my mom even more now as a mom—and I didn’t know that was possible.
My mom makes me fiercely proud to be her daughter—for her example to me and equally for her determination to break down the legal, normative, and cultural barriers that still hold far too many girls and women back and down around the world. It’s never been about my mom—it’s always been about all of us. Her belief that every child deserves to be valued, loved, supported, and given a shot—and her work over more than 40 years to make that belief a reality—that’s what drives her, and that’s why I am going to do everything I can to elect her as our 45th president. She’s more than ready—and I think we are, too.
Sarah Sophie Flicker
Performer, Activist, and Writer
I’m with her because I care about communication, discourse, and holding space for many truths. Beyond the racism, sexism, xenophobia, and toxic masculine violence put forth by “he who shall not be named,” I want my three kids to learn that there is no “us vs. them,” and that leadership means leading for all people. I want them to know that magnanimity is powerful and that binaries only divide us.
I’m with her because I am a feminist and I care about reproductive justice, paid family leave, affordable child care, paid sick days, a $15-dollar minimum wage, climate change, the Supreme Court, the right to abortion, black lives, violence against women, mass incarceration, immigration, health care for all...and so much more.
We’ve only had white male presidents—and one excellent black man—and a woman leading this country would be a monumental paradigm shift. Women and people of color are woefully underrepresented in this country and it’s high time our governing body reflects our population.
I had the opportunity to tell Hillary Clinton recently, “My whole life, I’ve just assumed there would be a female president. And I knew she would have to work harder and jump higher. But God, Hil.” (I called her Hil, which was rude, but I was trying to be funny.) I said, “God, Hil, I didn’t think it would take this long!” And yes, it’s personal. I certainly identify with a woman who is a real woman, not, you know, a governor of Alaska for five minutes who’s hot and who Bill O’Reilly wants to bang. I’ve watched Hillary getting beat down by D.C. in the same way I get knocked down by Hollywood. And of course, I’ve been watching how she picks herself up by, as my friend Cher would say, “her big girl thong.”
Watching the discourse that’s happening now with Trump, you can’t even believe that Hillary and Obama were supposedly “fighting each other.” Because, even in their most heated debates, nobody was saying, “Mexicans are rapists.” You look at today’s landscape and you go, “How did we get here? Hillary, make it better!” And as someone who has done comedy in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as around the world, I admire anyone who goes around the world listening and learning. It’s something Trump obviously isn’t capable of unless he’s golfing in Scotland and hitting on his daughter. (Allegedly!) I also love that she’s running now at this time in her life, because she’s so qualified, even Obama has to go, “More qualified than me, more qualified than Bill.” She’s so badass and smart and has dealt with so many situations—she can really handle anything. I have been ride or die with Hillary since ’92. So I’m super, super excited. Trust me, if and when she wins, I’m going to be sobbing like Oprah did on the shoulder of that random man after Obama won. I am just gonna pick a random woman who maybe has on a nice pant suit, and cry on her shoulder, like Oprah did.
Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, The Julie Ruin
Bernie Sanders is a revelation. He started us thinking about Socialism as a real option (yeah!) and pushed the Democrats further left than I ever thought possible. But this November, I will be voting for the Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton. Not voting, or writing someone in, would make me an apathetic supporter of the other candidate. You know, the one whose main agenda reeks of ethnic cleansing? If he is elected, families will be split up via mass deportation and people will be denied entrance to the U.S. based on their religious faith. As a white atheist, I have no business forcing Mexican Americans and Muslims to pay a very, very steep price so I can pat myself on the back for maintaining some weird sense of leftist purity. When I look at Trump, I see him building walls while kids starve, and feel the possibility of internment camps looming. He wants to go back to those “great” times of slavery, hatred, and women being objects. I can’t sit idly by and let that happen. I’m ready for Hillary.
Novelist and Essayist
Sons and Other Flammable Objects, The Last Illusion
Dear Me on Election Day: I hope you have good news today. I hope it all worked out. I hope it was in the bag. I hope it was obvious long before today that the 45th president of the United States would be Hillary Rodham Clinton. I hope I am either drunk or hungover, in a good way. I hope I no longer have to wake up in the mornings, from terrible sleep full of nightmares from all the traumas of this election, in a sweat, entering TRUMP into a Twitter searchbar, to see, What did he do now? I hope I no longer have to fight old acquaintances on Facebook. I hope I no longer have to block a half dozen trolls on Twitter daily. I hope all the little girls on Earth are thinking they can be president one day, and all the old ladies are amazed they lived to see this. I hope the Bernie bros are past their ire and the Trump supporters have snapped out of their insanity. I hope the media can focus on other things. I hope the world feels a few breaths calmer. I hope we never have to think about Donald Trump again.
I am full of hopes because today, I am not happy. I’m writing this on the afternoon that Trump brayed, “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks! Although the Second Amendment people...maybe there is.” It has been a season of never-ending attacks, mainly misogynistic in nature, but stopping at nothing. The traumas have felt endless.
But, Dear Me on Election Day: for the next four—or hopefully eight—years, I will know it was worth it. Because all the greatest battles on Earth were hard-won, every revolution met with resistance, every movement unleashed tremors. I hope you are having a great day and resting easy for once—because like her, you earned it. I hope and trust we won—and that She’s With Us.
Actor ?and Director
Jawbreaker, Charmed, ?Grindhouse
There are some people meant to be world changers, and Hillary Clinton is one of them. People think that the vilification of Hillary started when Bill Clinton ran for president and she came under scrutiny as a potential first lady. I submit that she’d been vilified long before then. Hillary dared to dream big as a girl and that doesn’t sit right in our male-dominated culture. When a girl wants more than her circumstances, she’s consistently knocked down. I, for one, am incredibly grateful that Hillary has been a boss lady since she came out of the womb. The values, ethics, and bravery she’s shown in the face of true hatred is nothing less than astonishing. Her power to rise above the misogynists is stuff of legend, as well it should be. There is no one more qualified than she is for the White House because she literally had to be, because of one simple fact: she’s a she. (A crime to many, that she thing.) This is a game-changing time for us women, and it is time to pay Hillary back for everything she’s done. All you have to do is vote. So do it.
Model, Actor, ?Designer, and Activist
From the outside looking in, people assume Hillary Clinton and I have absolutely nothing in common. But I’m here to set the record straight and let them know why they are dead wrong. Here is my Top 10 List of what I have in common with hopefully our next president:
1. The F Word. We both proudly rep the F word and I am not referring to the one most would assume. Rather, I mean the one that my entire platform is dedicated to: Feminism.
2. Our Boxing Gloves Are On. We both find ourselves defending the F word to so many people who simply put, do not get it. Our definition is very similar, it’s simple and not overly complicated...we support equal rights for women.
3. Judged, Shamed, and Disrespected. If you read the comments on both of our social media handles, you will get a small glimpse of the terrible, offensive, and hurtful words people say to us daily. Which brings me to my next point...
4. Clap Back Queens. Both of our clap back games are on point. Whether she is responding to Trump’s BS or I am responding to someone who comes at me, be prepared, we are quick on our feet and not to be messed with.
5. Super Woman Strength. We’re both tough as nails and have to channel the strength of 50 armies every day when we face the world.
6. Mom Boss. We both can relate to being full-time mothers, juggling our work as parents (a job that never ends) while managing our professional and public lives.
7. Dirty Laundry. We both have dealt with having private matters exposed in the most humiliating ways and have come out on top.
8. Serious About Activism. We are both huge activists. Most are quick to judge my brand but do not understand my platform and know little about all the work, time, money, and effort that I invest in promoting gender equality and being an advocate against derogatory labeling, victim blaming, and slut shaming.
9. Our Time Is Now. Even though we were both publicly perceived as being in the shadow of men at one point, we both have moved square into the spotlight and have owned that place ever since!
10. Pussy Pride. We might say it differently, but we both have pussy pride. In this election, I am not going to separate my pride in being a woman from my politics. Judge away, but it is time to have a woman president of the United States of America. #ImWithHer because women are the foundation of the family, the backbone of America, and the most unstoppable, resilient beings on this planet.
In closing, for those of you who will read this and say, “How dare you, Ms. Amber Rose, compare yourself to Hillary Clinton,” I respectfully direct you to reread points numbers Five and Six and ask yourself if you think I give a F$%k. But for those of you who relate to me and my cause, please join me in supporting fellow mom, advocate, and woman-on-a-mission Hillary Clinton, in her campaign to be the next president of the United States.
Tracee Ellis Ross
No matter your party affiliation, no matter your beliefs, the fact that a ceiling has now been broken is an extraordinary historic achievement that we should all celebrate. We have come so far and now this moment begs for action and involvement. For the very first time, a woman is about to become president of the United States, and not just any woman. Hillary Clinton is perhaps the most qualified candidate this country has ever seen and undoubtedly our best choice for president in this election. I feel so proud to be alive at this time. I feel fired up. I feel excited. #ImWithHer.
Journalist, Activist, and Feminist Icon
Hillary Clinton’s victory goes way beyond the obvious “first” of a presidential nominee from a major party. That could have been a Thatcher-like figure who succeeded partly because she didn’t represent most women. Hillary Clinton has been supported by voters from the majority of this country who have been excluded because of sex or race or both. Her candidacy is a long overdue move toward democracy.
Poet, ?Director, and Actor
Joan of Arcadia, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
I want to tell you a story. A story about a woman. Once upon a time, there was a young woman not unlike most young women—inquisitive, strong-minded, and hungry for the experience of life. The young woman lived and learned in every way she could. She went through different lifestyles, social circles, fashions, and political beliefs. The young woman, like most young women, came out of college with an ambitious fire burning inside of her, feeling like she had so much to offer the world but wasn’t sure exactly how to manifest it yet. The young woman, like most young women, quickly entered a world built and run by men, which was the only world that had ever existed. She had to learn how to navigate their businesses, how to succeed at their jobs, how to interact and vote and even speak as they wished and in ways that pleased them. As the woman became less young, like most women who become less young, she noticed how differently she was understood, valued, and treated in this world built by men. As the woman became more famous, superficialities began to overshadow the woman’s experience and intelligence and any mistakes she made seemed to leave stronger impressions on the world than those made by men in her same position. The woman, like most women, grew a thicker skin, became more cautious, tougher. For this, she was also criticized and vilified, as the world built by men could only accept women in ways that did not threaten them, that were familiar to them. The woman, like most women, became a mother and continued to make change in the world she loved while still working within a system built, written, and run by men. As the woman became less young and more powerful, like most women who become less young and more powerful, she became more polarizing and the world was divided between those who could see only her shortcomings and those who saw themselves in her resilience.
One day, the woman, unlike most women, decided to run for the most powerful job in the land. And suddenly, unlike any woman ever in the history of that land, the woman—whose life had included flaws, scars, mistakes, revolutionary acts, wisdom, and will, like most women—became the first woman ever to be officially nominated for that job. Now imagine you are the woman. We are all the woman. How do you want the story to end?
Executive ?Director of Women, Action, ?& the Media
We live in arduous times that require both the vision and execution of this election cycle’s most qualified candidate. The reality is, no one is better equipped to stand up to extremist hardliners and get things done in congress than Secretary Clinton. She has the leadership experience and the relationships needed to develop solutions to our nation’s greatest challenges, which include gun violence, pay inequality, criminal justice reform, and reproductive rights. Clinton is the candidate who is best prepared for global leadership and collaboration. The diplomacy experience she amassed as Secretary of State is unmatched by Donald Trump, as is her commitment to breaking economic and gender barriers in the United States and beyond.
In a country where women and especially women of color still lack equal pay for equal work, we must elect a candidate who consistently prioritizes parental leave, paid sick leave, and caretaker credits. As part of a generation saddled with student debt, and wages that don’t increase significantly with the rising cost of living, I’m betting on a candidate who is prioritizing student debt relief so people like my partner and I can afford to build our families. And in a political landscape where my human rights are threatened by attacks on comprehensive reproductive health care, pay inequity, and racist state violence, my life and countless other lives depend on this election.
Beyond the critical importance of countering the hate-and-fear-fueled campaign Trump is waging against progress, I’m ready for Hillary because improving women’s lives uplifts our communities. I’m with her because it’s on us to ensure that love will trump hate in November.
Comedian ?and Activist
Co-Creator of The Daily Show and Founder of Lady Parts Justice
I was a Bernie supporter. I campaigned for him and introduced him at public events until he endorsed Hillary, and then I followed his lead. The reactions have been many. I got a few death threats on Twitter, but the more common, and also more condescending reactions, came from the self-righteous morality police who criticized me for being a sellout and not “voting my conscience.” This says more about what is weighing on their “conscience,” or rather, what isn’t, than anything to do with my choices.
You see, the big thing I want out of a political revolution is that it empowers the disenfranchised who have been left out of this broken system, and gives them the chance to lead it. That means women and people of color. That means immigrants and LGBTQI folks. That means a working class that deserves a living wage. We have to understand that our role as revolutionaries is to push the existing system to become more equitable, while creating and supporting politicians who can help shake up that system to create the America we want. Hillary Clinton listened and was pushed by the message of this revolution. If you want to continue the process, vote for the person who hears you when you roar. America is a living democracy. That means we all have to participate in it. Every. Damn. Day.
Voting for Hillary keeps us on a progressive path. Electing her means we have a set of ears willing to listen. Making sure we fill those ears with demands for a better future is up to us. Donald Trump has no ability to listen, and worse, doesn’t seem to have a conscience. So when people lecture me that they are “voting their conscience,” I now simply say, “Me too. I am voting for the candidate who has one.”
Collage by Johanna Goodman
PHOTOS: GRAY HAMNER (STEPHANIE BEATRIZ); AMANDA MARSALIS (LIZZY CAPLAN); AMBER MAHONEY (SARAH SOPHIE FLICKER); MARRY ELLEN MATTHEWS (KATHLEEN HANNA); ANNIE LEIBOWITZ (GLORIA STEINEM); MICHAEL LAVINE (AMBER TAMBLYN); DANIELLE ST. LAURENT (LIZZ WINSTEAD)
This article originally appeared in the October/November 2016 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
More from BUST