The First Rule Of Hillary Club

130529144309-emily-davison-funeral-horizontal-large-galleryRecently I was added to a secret group. It’s a group of women (and men) who are #WithHer. And by with her, I mean with Hillary. But even more than that, they are with every HER that is part of the group.

Members run the gamut between long time Hillary supporters (raising hand) to those who swung their legs down onto her side of the fence after watching the debates to those who have been life-long Republicans who are broken-hearted, disgusted, or tired of the party they feel has abandoned them. Not just abandoned them, but actively thrown them under the bus. Then backed that bus up over them for good measure.

It’s a place of positivity, of sharing, of leaning in and shoring up. In the few days I’ve been a member I’ve read countless stories of mothers, grandmothers and daughters, of women across religion, class, color, age.

There are stories of women who fought their way out of abusive marriages. Women who have had to battle sexism in the workplace, in university. Stories of the little girl who had to fight to get the shoe salesman to sell her the boy’s shoes she wanted and women who had to reassure medical school boards that their husbands didn’t mind the fact they would be more ‘important’. Women who weren’t allowed to have a bank account in their own name…until the 1980s. Women who have been and still are held to different standards.

You read one or two or ten of these stories and they send a little trill up your spine. Sisterhood is powerful. Then you keep scrolling.

And scrolling.

And scrolling.636053770725830396-hillary

There are hundreds. Stories of sexual assault, stories of triumph, stories of woman after woman after woman putting her head down and doing whatever needed to be done to keep a roof over her head, to keep her kids safe, to keep food on the table, to stay alive. There are stories of fathers telling their six year-old daughters they could be anything as well as stories in which a father tells his daughter that despite her own sexual assault he’s still going to vote for a candidate who has been accused of doing the same to someone else’s daughter.

It’s bad enough when your political party throws you under the bus. When a family member has their foot on the gas? Is it any wonder the group is secret?

Another reason? Women who live in red states, who are terrified of announcing public support for Hillary Clinton. Women who in past elections have had their homes targeted. Who have been harassed because of a bumper sticker. Women who have been screamed at and yelled at, disowned by relatives, harassed online by ‘well-meaning friends’, accosted by strangers.

Over their vote.

And so they are doing what women have been doing since the beginning of time. Meeting in secret, like a coven of witches. Playing their cards close to their chest, keeping their heads down. They are staying out of the public eye, not because they don’t feel strongly or passionately, but because they are ensuring their safety, whether that safety is real or metaphorical.

The first rule of Hillary Club is it’s a safe space for women who have been threatened or intimidated for their choice, their voice, their support, their sex.votes-for-women

Less than one-hundred years after American women were granted the right to vote, there are thousands and thousands of women who need to keep their votes, and therefore their power, secret. Secret from husbands or fathers or relatives or bosses who at best, simply don’t listen, but who at worst, could do serious damage. One woman told a story of her own mother, whose mail-in ballot is controlled and overseen by her abusive husband. She is not the only one, not by a longshot.

There is a reason why ballots are secret. The fact that women are being harassed for holding a political view which dares to differ from their spouse or family or neighbors or employer or church is only one of them. And so just like our great-grandmother witches, women are keeping that power to themselves, unleashing it when they need to.

The need for secrecy is both surprising and yet not at all so. Women know their right to a ballot is powerful. Men know it too. It’s why it was withheld for so long. It’s why when the electoral map showed how the race would turn out if only women voted, #repealthe19th started to trend on Twitter. Smart men and women know they need to factor women’s issues into their politics. Smart men and women know that ignoring the power of those ballots is a risky venture.

b901114b65485711eb231144d41b3597At the end of the day , Hillary Club is overwhelmingly supportive and strengthening, blessedly free of words like Benghazi and Wikileaks and Bill. There are political discussions, pros, cons, concerns and discourse. No one believes Hillary Clinton is the Messiah. No one believes she is perfection wrapped up in a white pantsuit, her nod to the suffragette movement. No, Hillary Club is like hanging out with 100,000 of the best friends you’ve never met all in one place, with one common goal. But don’t be fooled. That goal is not only to elect Hillary Clinton, but to say, my voice matters too and my vote counts. Ignore it at your peril.

The last time I checked, there were 125K members of this secret group. And it was growing by about 6,000 an hour. And this is only one group. There are others.

If there is as big a gender gap in the polls as they are predicting, don’t be fooled. It’s not because the Democrats are recruiting the walking dead to cast a vote. No. For hundreds of thousands of women, the vote for Hillary Clinton is not rigged, but righteous.



26 thoughts on “The First Rule Of Hillary Club

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  1. I just heard on NPR that one wild card in this election is all the normally Republican women who say they are going to vote for Trump in polls–but there is anecdotal evidence that many are secretly going to vote for Hillary. That someone would actually be afraid to state a different political opinion than her husband just boggles my mind, but there you go.


    1. Talk about the ‘silent majority’…I’m too outspoken and passionate about certain things. Not only could I image hiding a different political opinion, I can’t imagine having one. For me reproductive rights is a deal-breaker. I could not fully embrace the concept of someone thinking of me as a true equal if they thought others should have a say over what I do with my body. But I was floored by how many folks are physically and psychologically screening their vote in terms of harassment etc. Though it does explain a little where all the support for HRC was during the primaries–which only led to some hard-core Bernie supporters refusing to believe the race wasn’t fixed. But in truth, if there are this many people who didn’t publicly announce support, it makes sense. Especially if you think about how many people actually vote in the primaries. Not many. Some of these primaries were decided by fewer people than are in the Hillary Club…..


  2. I’m with you on this and ready to look the group up. It is true – I dare not say anything political on facebook as many of my family are with Trump. Just one week left! Let’s hope there is some reconciliation after this – though with Trump, we’re expecting a lawsuit.


      1. I’m 67 & have experienced first hand sexual discrimination & harassment in the workplace and in job hiring. I went to one interview my senior year in college & was told “We don’t hire women.” Was a Hillary volunteer in the 2008 primaries when my late husband was in bed from chemotherapy. I need to be added.


  3. I watched Hil in the third debate on one side of the screen and the Twitter feed on the other. Watching comments as they came in. Many were amazed she kept her cool. I just shook my head. She`s had thirty plus years of practice keeping her cool while being belittled, talked down to, and in the end, called nasty. It was inspirational to see her completely unflappable. I`ll take her brand of nasty any day.


    1. Every woman above a certain age (and probably most below it too) know exactly what it is liked to be talked over, discredited, patronized. It is why so much of this rhetoric resonates with us so deeply.


  4. When you serve the public and you are human you make mistakes and we all wish, based on experience, we had done things differently…that is called learning from which wisdom derives. Hillary Clinton is a wise and intelligent woman who has earned the right to be our President and all women deserve being represented in this role. The reality is, we live in a misogynist, patriarchal, fascist/bigoted “On Nation” under a misogynistic version of “god”…divisible….with liberty and justice for the white male currently represented by a narcissistic sexual predator…and who cares? I DO!!!! VOTE for HILLARY CLINTON


    1. Yes, this is it in a nutshell. I’ve never pretended or claimed that Hillary Clinton is without fault. There are things she’s done in her career which I’ve flat out disagreed with or that have made me uncomfortable. But….she is a human being, and we are complex and we make mistakes. You will never convince me that a woman with a nearly 50 years of service helping women and children and families, the disabled, the poor–before she ever knew she would be in the public eye–you will never convince me that is not who she is at heart. I can’t even begin to imagine the difficulty in making decisions at the level she has been at, life or death decisions that are never going to please or help or be good for everyone. I wouldn’t want to, nor could I. But I sure as hell want someone who can on my behalf.


  5. This made me cry out of recognition and the relief of being reminded I’m not alone. I can check off more than one example here that applies to me. This is powerful and important and HOW have I not known about this group? Thank you for writing this.


    1. The fact that this means so much to so many people, nearing 160,000 now and the only reason it has slowed is because the ‘vetting’ process is being upgraded to avoid fallout–is staggering. There is something very wrong right now in the United States if there are this many people who can’t freely, passionately, and happily campaign and show support for their preferred candidate. There is enough fault to go around, but man, there is a lot that needs to be fixed. Until then, you are definitely NOT alone.


    1. Absolutely! I was joking about riding out the last few weeks in a nice, cushy echo chamber, but this goes beyond my wildest dreams. Not only like-minded, but positive and supportive! It’s been seriously uplifting.


  6. I’m Canadian and do not vote but Canadian women are largely supportive of Hillary. We worry about ALL of us if Trump we’re to win


  7. What it’s like to read hopeful comments written prior to Nov. 2016 ….
    Never before experienced the kind of pain felt at the 2016 election results. Had been disappointed before, but had never shed copious tears or been unable to eat for days afterward. Now, almost nine months later, the sadness has been replaced with anger and determination to be a thorn in the side–ass, tongue, eye, etc.–of the current admin and any fool who supports it.
    I’ve never wanted so badly to meet someone, talk with her, and to tell her how we felt, than I wanted to meet HRC.


    1. I hear you. I think I’ve reached the lava cooling stage of my rage. But that just means it’s hardening into something rock hard and permanent. Now, I just have to figure out a way to use it to stand on rather than as something to hurl.


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