Vote

I am told, I must vote
I must vote because I am female
Because I was born with estrogen coursing through my veins
Because many before me died so I could cast my opinion on that tiny slip of white paper
White because no matter how far we seem to grow white is still seen as right, whilst black is night, dark, to be feared
I must vote for the white men in the dark suits who all claim to want what’s best for my future when really they want what’s best for their own
I must listen to them squabble about how to educate, how to nurse, how to live when their own world is so far from my own
I am Generation Rent, Generation Debt, Generation Equality, even though my own personal privileges mean such labels no longer define me
I worry that the casting of my vote might discriminate someone else: who will push forward for more mental health funding? Who will help those who wish to go to university? If we cut zero-hour contracts, will we have to cut the majority of our workforce?
One black suit claims he will do the opposite of the other black suit. The middle one pleads impartial: he will be the smooth road in between
But there is no smooth road. There is no in between.
Supposedly we are now a joint government but all we see are One.
The next “One” will spend two years making new promises, and then the next two years explaining why those promises were not met.
Anything that changes drastically shall be cancelled out by the following “One”.
We shall swing one way, and then the next, circling crises we refuse to agree on.

The debates swarm around my head, infuriating my fellow citizens, making me question what it is we should really be worrying about.
I walk past homeless familiar faces in my city and I wonder if they will cast their mark, if their opinions will be consulted
I see nothing of myself in the promises made in daily headlines, myself who perhaps does not need the promises others might do, but I cannot find them either.
I must vote.
I am told.
Because I was born with estrogen cursing through my veins and it would not be fair to the many who died for my right to sign that ballot.
I will vote. Something. I may not pick a party; I may score the whole thing through. But I will vote for the lives of those who died so I could add my voice to the crowd.
If only I must vote because there were something to vote for.

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