Lesbian Poet Eileen Myles Endorses Hillary Clinton
The poet, who also recently authored a feminist manifesto with her girlfriend and Transparent showrunner Jill Soloway, reveals that she voted for Clinton in the 2008 primary election. Myles lends her support this time around because Clinton "makes sense" as an experienced diplomat and politician. Had Clinton been in the office for the past eight years, "we'd have better health care right now," posited Myles.
In the conversational yet poetic piece, Myles addressed critiques often levied by Clinton’s detractors, including the State Department's handling of the 2011 Benghazi terrorist attacks, controversy surrounding the former Secretary of State's use of a private email server, and Clinton's support of Republican Sen. Barry Goldwater as a high school student. Myles admits that she identified as a Goldwater supporter herself, before her own views shifted. Clinton's similar evolution only strengthens the poet's support, she wrote, because it proves that "my candidate is teachable."
Myles summarily dismissed the so-called controversy over Clinton's private email server, arguing that the thousands of messages released by Clinton's campaign from her many years in public office simply reveal "what a nice person she is." "I haven't looked hard into what is so wrong with those emails," wrote Myles. "It sounds stupid."
Myles even tackled criticism that Clinton has receieved for referring to young black men as "super-predators" in the 1990s. "She was talking about gang violence in the '90s and she said there were super-predators in the black community," explained Myles in her essay. "Truly bad phrasing, even bad thinking but not the same as young black men [equal] super-predators."
Myles took particular issue with what see sees as a sexist double-standard implicit in many Clinton critiques when compared to her Democratic rival candidate Bernie Sanders. While Clinton is criticized for every “time after time she changes her tune,” it is Sanders who simply repeats “that same Wall Street song over and over,” wrote Myles. The poet argued that Sanders has written — "not while he was in high school but when he was a grown man" —about women's supposed desire to be gang raped, and contends that the Vermont Senator opposes funding for Planned Parenthood, though his campaign site indicates otherwise, while On The Issues notes that Sanders has a perfect score from pro-choice advocacy group NARAL.
"So where are all the vociferous sexism charges?" Myles asked. "Older men get lovable and older women get monstrous. We give [Sanders] a pass."
Myles is no stranger to the presidential election. She ran as a write-in presidential candidate in 1992, running against the first President Clinton — Hillary’s husband, Bill.
Though it’s not the only reason she supports Clinton, Myles ended her piece by alluding to the historical nature her presidency could have:
“I trust her. I don’t think Hillary has horns though she does have a vagina and wouldn’t you want it sitting on the chair in the Oval Office (not to get all weird) because things will never be the same. She will see something no woman in America has ever seen and then all of us will see it.”