My Vote

I know all of our life experiences affect how we vote.  

This is what’s affecting me:

Being physically abused and domineered by men (at times) is affecting how I vote. 
Seeing women belittled by men throughout my life is affecting how I vote. 
Seeing women being treated as ‘less than’ in life, work, home, and religion is affecting how I vote.

Hearing black people (and all of NYC) cheer and shout and bang pots and pans when we elected our first black president is affecting how I vote. Because it’s time for another first. And these firsts literally create a new existence for all those that come after. 

Seeing firsthand the mistreatment of LGBTQ is affecting how I vote. 
Seeing people of color and people of religion continually treated without equality and, instead, with fear is affecting how I vote.

Despising racism, sexism, bullying, hateful rhetoric, and violence more than anything else is affecting how I vote. 
Knowing what endurance, thick skin, hard work, and resilience it takes to be a successful woman with meaningful work is affecting how I vote. 
Being oppressed, silenced, judged, and mistrusted at times because I am a woman is affecting how I vote.
With my vote, I’m doing my best to stand up for the value and worth of every human being. 
But it’s also a shame to me that this type of vote even has to exist – that votes this year are needed to protect THE VERY BASICS of humanity. How I wish that all these values of society were a given. Because clearly there are other major issues within our political system that need to be addressed.

Regardless, sending my best to the hopeful Madame President – that she can lead us well and that her good qualities will shine. There’s no other woman that can say on her Facebook profile that she’s a “wife, mom, grandma, women+kids advocate, FLOTUS, Senator, SecState, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, presidential candidate.” And that’s extraordinary. #ImWithHer  

I know my experiences are different than yours. I would love to hear: What personal life experiences or values are affecting your vote this year? 

P.S. Sending lots of love and friendship to you all during the next few days. I know this election has been plain nuts for all of us, no matter who you’re voting for. May we all breathe easy if we can. And if there’s something we can probably all agree on and celebrate, it’s this: this election has been a wake up call for all of us. XOXO


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  1. Katy DeBardelaben November 5, 2016 at 12:02 am - Reply

    Love this and love you, Mara. So much to love about this post. Just shared it on Facebook as it so eloquently puts words to what I've been feeling but unable to articulate. So glad you are voting even while being out of the country!

    • mara November 8, 2016 at 5:40 pm - Reply

      Glad this resonated! Really, I just can't imagine any woman HASN'T been mistreated at times because she is a woman. I think this is the story of all of us. And I look forward to advocating for more and more change in the years to come.

  2. Catfish November 5, 2016 at 3:19 am - Reply

    My experience: I work with students who are immigrants and refugees. Many of them are Muslim, coming from Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Children who are refugees have already lost one home;I vote to offer them welcome.

    • mara November 8, 2016 at 5:41 pm - Reply

      Beautiful. I can see why this would inspire you to vote!!

  3. Michelle Bunt November 5, 2016 at 7:51 am - Reply

    I personally do not support either candidate and if I were a US citizen I would be abstaining from voting for that reason. As a woman I really wanted to be able to support Hillary. I agree that it is time for a woman to hold that office and I really want to get to see that happen. I am opposed to the values of Donald Trump…his racism, sexism and inciting of fear that is so devisive, however I am also opposed to many, many things that Hillary stands for. All I can say is I believe we have a hard road ahead of us no matter who is elected (it affects not just Americans but actually every human in this world) and whatever the outcome, we need to pull together and be the voice of love and peace in our corner of the world.
    Also – not sure if you have seen this song written by Sara Bareilles about the upcoming election but the lyrics are powerful and the song absolutely beautiful and soulful I know you guys will love it 🙂

    • mara November 8, 2016 at 5:50 pm - Reply

      Yes – we do, indeed, have a tough road ahead of us no matter what. I love that you said we need to pull together and be the voice of love and peace. YES. All of us! Worldwide.

      Also, for me – I kinda see all politicians as having some dark moments. It could be that the system itself fosters this. So I do feel that our overall political system needs some major improvements.

      AND…!! We just LOOOOVE that song!!! I had heard it before. But since you reminded us of it, we've been listening to it basically non-stop since. I just can't get enough of it. Such perfection.

  4. Mara November 6, 2016 at 1:34 am - Reply

    I do not like either candidate and have been praying about my decision and for our country. It's a scary, scary time for our country.

    With that said – I will be voting for Trump.

    Hillary is responsible for 8 deaths in Benghazi. Which she has waved her hands claiming that people should "get over it."

    The FBI is 99% sure six (SIX!!) foreign countries hacked into her server and retrieved confidential and classified documents because she doesn't under how to work e-mail and what confidentiality means. We may never know how many military, FBI, CIA, government workers she got killed by her actions!

    And that's an issue of national security. Hillary has proven that she is unable to protect this country.

    She is married to a sexual predator – which makes her a hypocrite every time she attacks Trump.

    I don't find Hillary inspiring. I don't want her to represent me as a woman. She embarrasses me and angers me.

    I'm not with her.

    • Emily November 6, 2016 at 3:48 pm - Reply

      Donald Trump IS a sexual predator. This is not hearsay or rumor. You are voting for the candidate that IS the predator.

      It is your right to vote for who you see fit, but please do not use sexual assault in your argument – it is insulting to all of us who believe that issue is of top importance.

  5. Jessica Wang November 6, 2016 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am voting for Evan McMullin. He is of my same faith. Is is why I support him to be the President.

  6. DanandEmily November 6, 2016 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    #imwithher for all the reasons you just wrote about! As the mother of two black children, I cannot vote for a man who is racist.
    As a woman, I cannot vote for a man is is sexist.
    The list really could go on. This voting season has been a bit tense for me because a majority of my friends and extended family are voting for trump and they are refusing to see the damage he is going to create for our country. They are constantly trying to convince me to vote for Trump! I have had to really do stance myself by staying off Facebook and kindly telling my loved ones that I will not be discussing politics with them. I also have been focusing on letting go of my negative energy about the election by getting out in nature (it has been the loveliest fall here in Utah) and spending much needed time with my kids!

    • mara November 9, 2016 at 2:04 am - Reply

      I'm so glad you've been finding some ways to manage your energy. Good for you! And, waiting here tonight in Ecuador with a beating heart…. Sending love to you!

  7. Anonymous November 6, 2016 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    Agreed to everything you wrote!

  8. Anonymous November 7, 2016 at 11:45 am - Reply

    As a Foreigner, I can't even understand how Trump is a candidate. How Christians can vote for trump (who is clearly against everything Jesus stood for) and the misogyny against Hillary… Because how many male politicians had made mistakes,were responsible for lives and deaths and that was never an issue…Whoever is the president will make daily choices who will kill other people… it comes with the work… It's not only about war and tough international issues…is the health system (who will get treatment or not), it's about black lives matter, it's about blue lives matter, it's about the shootings in public places,climate change, it's about so much more… We cannot close our eyes to it. And even more…it's about the safety of the whole planet… Please be responsible on your vote for the rest of the world as well…
    And by the way, Hillary is not responsible for the faults of the men in her life…

    • mara November 9, 2016 at 2:05 am - Reply

      I love everything you said. thank you!

  9. dublinerinDeutschland November 7, 2016 at 4:59 pm - Reply

    Great post. I am really hoping that Trump won't win tomorrow, that would be bad for the world not just America! #ImWithHer

  10. Anonymous November 7, 2016 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    I love constructive and kind debates! I too cannot support either candidate. But I will be voting for Hilary over Trump. My friend is a secret service agent – on the campaign trail – worked next to and side by side with both candidates over the last few years, and has worked in Secret Service for the better part of a decade. He said to me…if two Idiots can be elected for president- I can do anything in this world. If that wasnt a wake up call by someone who is dedicated to serving and protecting each-I dont know what is. It is amazing to me that we are going into this election with those people as our option, and who will represent. Our system has failed us and I am saddened.

    • Em November 8, 2016 at 7:16 am - Reply

      This surprises me – I worked a job that required me to sign a confidentiality agreement – most people would argue that my (previous) employers were far less "important" and "powerful" than the people the Secret Service protect, yet I cannot legally say a thing about them (my former employers) – it would suprise me very much if Secret Service agents were allowed to share the names of the people they are protecting, let alone their opinions on them…are they restricted in what they share? I assume they see many interesting and questionable things – do they not sign ironclad confidentiality agreements? I am truly curious by the way 🙂

    • Anonymous November 8, 2016 at 5:19 pm - Reply

      this person doesnt have social media, nor publicly speaking about the election.

  11. Jessica Clark November 8, 2016 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    I'm voting third party.
    As a woman I would love to vote for a woman president, but I can't vote for Hilary. I'm against abortion, and that issue alone makes me not want to vote for her. I don't like how she supports her husband, who had a history of attacking women. There are things she had done I see as criminal.
    I won't be voting for Trump because he is horrible,sexist, and only thinks about himself. I will say this about Hilary that if she wins at least I know what we are getting into, with Trump I'm not sure, whatever fits his mood at the time, which is very scary.
    I'm voting third party even though they won't win the election, I just want to make a statement that I won't vote for "the lesser evil" and that I think the United States is better than that.
    With that said, I think whomever wins we should support them and be united as a country and as people, and have less hate.

    • Anonymous November 9, 2016 at 12:08 am - Reply

      Which third party candidate are you voting for who aligns with your views on abortion?

    • Dustin C November 9, 2016 at 3:05 am - Reply

      I voted for Evan McMullin (sorry I'm under my husband, too lazy to change the account)

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