It does not amaze me to find my e-mail blasted with information about the Virginia Governor race between Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe. Just this week McAuliffe and former president Bill Clinton glided onto James Madison’s campus, with lines bursting from the door as everyone held onto their ticket firmly to their chests. It amazed me as I drove by, wishing that I would have the time to spend hours waiting in line for such a momentous event. Half the people I know have begun volunteering for “Team Terry” and this, it appears, is the final stretch before voting behinds for the next governor of Virginia, and quite frankly, I am pumped.
As soon as I graduate I am planning to move to Northern Virginia, hoping that the state I have decided to spend my next few years in (or permanently? Let’s not get too far ahead!) will begin to set the stage for a progressive and inclusive environment. This does not seem to be a particularly important event to attend in the minds of many individuals at JMU, but for me, this is about my very livelihood that I would prefer to be the happiest for a great time period.
What I’m looking for is an ideology for change in the way my sex is treated, Terry. It must not be a surprise, Ken, that I am disinterested in what you have to say.
- I want to walk out of my house at night and think about where I’m going, only.
- I want to be offered the same paycheck as my male colleagues.
- I want the option to have a child.
- I want insurance-paid access to all medication necessary to keep myself healthy.
- I want to get married to the woman I love.
Terry, I know these are a lot to ask out of a governor, but I need those things to be fixed. Pronto. I refuse to live in a country that cannot even begin to understand what equality of the sexes means. I want you to be my advocate. I’m not speaking for everyone, I know that not all women wish for the same check-list. But I am sure some women agree with me and want the same things for themselves, and more. We deserve more than the platter we were handed, still dirty.
This is not just some candid letter to a governor candidate. This is my call to action for everyone in charge, and for myself, to pick up my own platter and drop it on the ground. No, I will not clean up the mess someone else made on my life. I want something new, a change, and I know I will have to look for it myself, but I also know I will need help. I will need help from a straight white male with enough privilege to get himself through a political campaign and enact real change. I will not be complacent. I will not wait for this change. Come Tuesday November 5th I will be at my voting location as soon as they open to beat the line (so I won’t be late to work) and I will cast my vote.
Everyone who is registered better get there as well. There are no excuses, the locations typically open up at 6 AM, well before your 8 AM class, and well before anyone has to show up to work. A single vote can change the race, and sometimes that race is more crucial than the day itself. If you cannot remember where you need to vote, visit https://www.voterinfo.sbe.virginia.gov/PublicSite/Public/FT2/PublicPollingPlace.aspx and make fly your feminist flag!