Wendy Davis, kickass American hero, has lost the Texas gubernatorial election. I know I shouldn’t be surprised. For starters, she’s a Democrat, and Texas hasn’t had a Democratic governor in almost twenty years. To top it off, she’s a female, and a mother, and one of the thousands of women in this country who’ve had an abortion. It’s pretty devastating that basic facts of the female experience are political liabilities, but the fact is that while women can and have been elected to the gubernatorial office many times, it’s tough to do so without being characterized as a workaholic mommy, or a man-hater, or being bombarded with that bullshit question about “having it all.” As if a person’s entire life experience could be reduced to such benign stereotypes. That’s not to say that being a woman is the reason she wasn’t elected. People may simply not agree with her plans for the state. Maybe they did agree with her, but they were afraid of what change would bring. That’s what free elections are all about, so I can’t really speak for Texas voters, but the reality is that her loss means that thousands of women have lost their shot at having a say in what happens to their own bodies. Keep reading »
The Texas Supreme Court threw out a ban on “creepshots” this week, saying that it’s “paternalistic” for the government to “regulate the defendant’s mind” in a case in which someone takes illicit photos of another person, in public, without the subject’s consent.
Jenny Kutner at Slate points out the very real fact of the matter, which is that thinking lascivious thoughts about someone and making them the unwitting subject of a pornographic photograph are two clearly distinct things. However — and I don’t know if this is an unpopular opinion or not — I personally agree with the ruling for reasons other than what the court put forth. The language of the proposed law stated that it would ban “improper photography or visual recording.” Considering we live in a culture in which some people clutch their pearls over spaghetti-strap tank tops and others believe that nothing is “improper,” it’d be hard to set a standard for what exactly “improper” would mean in this context that wouldn’t be too broad. Vague language kills laws with good intentions all the time. I’d love to see a law banning creepshots that would be specific enough not to put street photographers (ahem — *raises hand*) at risk of fines or incarceration. [Slate]
First, let me say that I’m a fan of Wendy Davis. I look forward to reading her recently debuted memoir, Forgetting to Be Afraid, and I admire her amazing energy, her dedication to public service, and her impeccable choice in footwear while filibustering for 11 hours in the Texas Senate last year. I’m way thrilled that she’s running a tough race to become the first Democratic governor of Texas in two decades.
No, my problem isn’t with Davis at all — or even with the way she candidly detailed her abortion experiences in her book.
But we have come to the point where, like rape, and domestic violence, and so many other “women’s stories, there’s the ‘good” story—the acceptable one, the defensible one, the OK to discuss one — and the others. Women still have to justify their choices about their bodies, their sex partners, and who they allow (or don’t) to punch them in the face. Keep reading »
Texas State Senator Wendy Davis had an abortion 17 years ago, she revealed in a memoir being published next week. In her book Forgetting To Be Afraid, Davis shares that in 1997, she and her husband terminated a second-trimester pregnancy after they learned the fetus, a daughter, had serious brain abnormalities. Keep reading »