This was hard for me to write. My heart was soaring last night as the cheers in that room began to swell from the sea of orange. Wendy Davis inspired me. I was invigorated and enlightened to the fact that there are politicians willing to barter my body for votes. I am loathe to tint this victory with any negativity, and yet...
At what point must a female Senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?
It was brave. It was a bit of grand-standing, to be sure, but also awesome. The room erupted in applause that rumbled and grew into a cheer that lasted until the midnight deadline had passed. Since, that quote has been retweeted and repeated may times. I feel that I understand her message and the sentiments behind her words, but I don't think her they were fair, and my feelings of joy were mixed with discomfort.
It's clear that the whole "special session" was an incredibly shady move that was meant to silence dissenters; mainly women. It was and is infuriating. It also was and is legal, and Wendy Davis and other female senators were recognized and given the right to speak. What's more, there were male senators in that very room stepping up to defend Senator Davis, the democratic process, and access to safe, legal abortions. Is she not belittling their contribution? I think that Senator Van De Putte's words and the ensuing reaction underscores an us-vs-you that is fallacious and ultimately damaging to both genders.
I will defend with every last breath a woman's right to make choices regarding her own body. I will fight almost as hard for honest, open discussion. Abortion needs to stay legal, safe, and accessible. Full stop. But the fact of the matter is that it takes two people to make a human life. No one, male or female, has any right to tell me what I can do to my body, but that doesn't change the fact that men absolutely have the right to participate in the discussion. Of course, I would prefer they do it thoughtfully and respectfully and from the same understanding that I have ultimate authority over my own body. I don't think that generalizing rhetoric that incorrectly paints an entire sex as the enemy is going to help us get any closer.
Thoughts? Am I overreacting or misinterpreting her quote?