A valiant champion, a female warrior, and a fearless leader -- the woman in reference: Wendy Davis, and even after much controversy, she is still the most popular woman in Texas. A year ago, Wendy Davis was just another female State Senator from Texas, little known to the world outside of her legislature. Then on one auspicious day, everything changed. Wendy did something practically unheard of in the Texas State Senate: She stood up against her mostly male colleagues and commenced her epic 13-hour filibuster in her now legendary pink sneakers.
The news of the filibuster quickly spread and thanks to digital technology, a live stream was broadcast, allowing thousands of people to watch her take a stand. A crowd gathered inside the State Senate building and both men and women cheered on Wendy and her heroic actions.
Cecilia Richards, President of Planned Parenthood, was also amongst the crowd, firing them up to continue cheering, keeping the chambers so loud that a vote could not be taken, because the voices of the Senators could not be heard. The number of viewers watching the live stream went from thousands to hundreds of thousands -- 182,000 to be exact -- and Twitter exploded with the hashtag #StandWithWendy.
What exactly was Wendy Davis trying to prevent: the passage of Senate Bill 5, a severely restrictive anti-abortion bill. In essence, the bill further limited the right of a woman to choose what she can and can't do with her own body. It is quite a wonder that even in 2014, what women do with their own bodies is up for discussion. Unfortunately, less than a month after Wendy's 13-hour filibuster, the Texas legislature passed Senate Bill 5.
This is not to say that Wendy's efforts were wasted. Wendy Davis stood for the right of every woman in Texas to make her own decisions about her body. That means something. And with her new popularity in hand, Wendy is now running for Governor of Texas. Of course, Republicans are trying every method to tarnish Wendy's reputation, including making very personal attacks on her.
An article in the Dallas Morning News by Wayne Slater ignited the anti-Wendy fire by seeking to make "corrections" to Wendy's biography, though the article may have been slightly misguided, to say the least. Slater implied that because Wendy, a woman and a mother, decided to pursue a higher education, starting out at a community college, than attending Texas Christian University, and then Harvard Law, she is a negligent mother.
Gaining admissions to Harvard Law School is extremely difficult and with two children, one a toddler, even more so. Wendy deserves every credit for her hard work and persistence and her then husband deserves credit, too -- he supported Wendy and helped her pursue her dreams. To criticize Wendy for choosing to attend Harvard Law School, well that's just old world gender bias in all its glory. To Wendy, and all the women and mothers out there who pursued an education and made many sacrifices in order to make a better life for themselves and their children, a round of applause please.
Further criticism of Wendy includes the fact that she only lived in a trailer for a few months instead of a few years. So how bad was her life really? Sorry to disappoint all the folks who hoped Wendy lived in the trailer for a little longer. Plagued with other such corrections, Slater is in hopes that readers might be swayed to vote against Wendy.
This is unlikely and the implications of a Democrat winning the Texas Governor's Race are huge. Clearly, Republicans are aware.
Historically, Texas is a strong Republican State. Now, however, the Texas landscape seems to have shifted. Firstly, over the last 10 years, the Texas demographic has changed drastically. Texas flourishes with immigrant families from all backgrounds and generally the minority vote goes to the Democrats. Secondly, the Castro Brothers -- Julian Castro Mayor of San Antonio and his twin brother Joaquin Castro, who represents Texas's 20th congressional district -- are both forces to be reckoned with. They are extremely popular Democrats in Texas, and their popularity is on the up and up. Couple this with Wendy Davis and her supporters, and the Texas Republicans have a huge problem on their hands. Texas is swinging. You go, Texas.
In sum, Davis haters can say what they want, but Wendy isn't going anywhere, nor are her supporters. If anything, all this media attention brings Wendy back into the spotlight and reminds all of why they fell in love with Wendy in the first place.