I haven’t written here since MAYDAY.US came into my life and shook it all up. Nine months, two epic crowd-funding rounds, and one tumultuous midterm election later, everything feels different — and yet exactly the same.

I’m not talking about the issue of reform. I’m talking about me. Some part of me was convinced that a push like the one I experienced for MAYDAY in 2014 would level me. I anticipated giving it everything I had, and so I thought that by this time there’d be nothing left but the need to catch my breath. Instead, I put everything I had into MAYDAY, and it gave me everything back — new friends, deeper wisdom, and a totally different kind of commitment to mending this broken dream of a democracy.

So when I read news about a poll predicting that in 2016 Democrats need to win over unmarried women who respond to messaging about “fixing a broken system,” I didn’t feel vexed by the first signs of buffoonery of yet another election cycle. Instead, I got angry. I am an unmarried woman, and I have spent five years fighting for the reform that we so desperately need. How dare these pollsters construe some elaborate mechanism for selling me a watered-down version of my own truth?

Because that is exactly what is going to happen. In the name of giving my demographic a “voice” in the 2016 election, an intricate and expensive campaign apparatus will come to life at the hands of an expert political class. It will attempt to charm me with its understanding of my burdens and fears, and it will stoop to scaring me with horrific predictions for what could happen if I don’t act to support it. It will pretend to be just like me, and it will even have faces that look just like mine — but it won’t be me. It won’t be mine.

The real women who care about the future of this country are not “paid for by” anyone. What we care about hasn’t been poll tested, and when the election is over, our voices won’t be silenced with the airwaves.

Instead of asking ourselves if we’re “ready for Hillary” or anyone else, we should be asking the candidates: “Are you ready for us?”