FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Real Feminism Vs. Realpolitik in Texas
Do Women’s Liberation and Feminine Parasitism Have to be Synonymous?
Wendy Davis needs a man like a fish needs a rich bicycle that will pay its way through fish law school and take full custody of its spawn.
Hard luck stories provide emotional cover to incompetent fools. These are the type of bad, faithless people who should not be elected to any office greater than being a local dog-catcher. We discover that as people have begun to delve into the tear-jerking reproduction of Les Miserables being presented as a Curriculum Vita by Texas Gubernatorial Candidate Wendy Davis. The good news story here is that we learn of these inconvenient truths about poor Wendy Davis before she gets empowered to make any important decisions. After all, it probably isn’t wisdom to entrust great power to somebody because you feel sorry for them.
Let us start from a position that all intelligent people with female relatives want these near and dear ones to be treated with fairness and decency. Yet the political opprobium created by Women’s Rights debates gets used for far too many dishonest purposes. The efforts among media outlets to portray Wendy Davis as a Modern-day Joan of Arc for the sake of partisan politics is yet another example of this sort of snake-oil pleading based upon so-called Women’s Issues.
The disingenuous hagiography of Wendy Davis begins with a passage that could have come straight from the worst excuses you’ll hear from a heroin addict at a Narcotics Anonymous Meeting. At age 18 she found herself married and pregnant. I remember being told by my parents that if I slept with somebody I’d be marrying her if she turned up pregnant. You don’t just find yourself married and pregnant – no matter what you were drinking or smoking the night before. What happened here is that Wendy Davis didn’t like the outcomes of her personal decisions and therefore took a walk on the personal responsibility that came along with them.
Predictably, Wendy Davis was dishonest about this part of her life while pitching her candidacy. She claimed to have divorced her first husband at 19; she actually signed the paperwork at age 21. She claimed to have spent the entire time living with her parents in a trailer while raising her daughter. She made this claim once under oath in a court proceeding.
“I had a baby. I got divorced by the time I was 19 years old,” she testified in a recent federal lawsuit over redistricting. “After I got divorced, I lived in a mobile home park in southeast Fort Worth.”
I’m left wondering why this is even relevant to a recent Federal lawsuit over redistricting. Why should where the average Texan casts her vote have anything to do with what Wendy Davis did with her gaullimaufry of betrayed former family members? This once more represents a dishonest appeal to emotionalism that was probably intended to obscure important facts that didn’t support her case.
So then Wendy Davis actually did have a fairly rough time of it for about three years. She worked two jobs, one at a doctor’s office and one as a waitress at a diner. Her father then introduced her to a family friend who just happened to be an attorney. She married the gentleman and moved into his house and then helped herself to his largesse to pay for her continued education.
Wendy, of course, puts this into a more sympathetic light. “It was community resources. We paid for it together,” Wendy Davis said. When she was accepted to Harvard Law School, Jeff Davis cashed in his 401(k) account and eventually took out a loan to pay for her final year there. As Good Old Jeff would soon discover, community resources tend to result in some unfortunate version of The Tragedy of The Commons.
Wendy then expressed the predictable gratitude of Long John Silver after he struck Hispaniola’s colors and ran up The Jolly Roger. “It was ironic,” he (Jeff Davis) said. “I made the last payment, and it was the next day she left.” Umm, Jeff, that’s not irony. What you experienced was parasitism disguised as female empowerment. The parasitism is stripped-down and explained as follows:
…after Davis’ husband finished paying for her Harvard education, she left him, and he was granted parental custody of their 14-year-old daughter. “She said, ‘I think you’re right; you’ll make a good, nurturing father. While I’ve been a good mother, it’s not a good time for me right now,’” Davis’ ex-husband, Jeff Davis, said. A former colleague of Davis’ told the Dallas Morning “Wendy is tremendously ambitious,” he said. “She’s not going to let family or raising children or anything else get in her way.”
So then Wendy Davis spends a few years parroting GOP-friendly positions in a non-partisan elected position while pushing a disingenuous poor, poor, pitiful me narrative. Then, as a state legislator, she grabbed the opportunity for media adulation by filibustering a late-term abortion bill. She is thus reborn as a liberal, feminist candidate for the Texas Statehouse.
Asche Schow asks the important question with regards to Wendy Davis’ brand of feminism: ”Is that feminism? The ability to shirk one’s responsibilities in order to get ahead in life?” Perhaps her willingness to tell her paraplegic opponent in the upcoming high-stakes race that he hasn’t walked a mile in her shoes tells the answer to this inquiry. The Gubernatorial Election in Texas will provide that state’s electorate an opportunity to address that very question as well. Such are the dilemmas when real feminism is contrasted to realpolitik.