Wendy Davis, Misogyny Magnet

Nothing will benefit the Democrats more than Republican men who disdain her

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Eric Gay / AP

Senator Wendy Davis listens as the Texas Senate debate an abortion bill before the final vote, on July 12, 2013, in Austin.

A Wendy Davis run for Texas governor may be just what the Democratic party needs as it gears up for the 2014 midterm elections.

And that’s not just because the pro-choice state senator’s June filibuster –11 hours of talk in which she couldn’t lean on her desk,  have a drink of water, cede the microphone or change the subject (she was penalized just for putting on a back brace) — was so much more hardcore than Republican Ted Cruz’s recent “Green Eggs and Ham” reading gabfest in the U.S. Senate.

It’s not just because her own personal story – an absent father, a sixth-grade-educated mother, a teen pregnancy, followed by life as a single mom in a mobile home, then community college and, at last, Harvard Law School – gives the party that backs her impeccable “real people” credibility.

It’s a whole lot more simple than that.

MORE: Wendy Davis Eyes Texas Governor Run

Blonde, strikingly pretty, outspoken and female, Davis is, to put it bluntly, invaluable as bait. In her short tenure on the national scene, she has elicited an almost Pavlovian response from anti-woman blowhards.

First, Fox News commentator Erick Erickson called Davis “Abortion Barbie.” Then, a twitter poster, @jefflegal, expressed his support for a gubernatorial bid by the Republican Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott by dismissing Davis as “Retard Barbie”—a rather artless insult that might not have gotten much attention, had the attorney general not tweeted back,  “Jeff, thanks for your support.” And just last month, Abbott’s top political advisor, Dave Carney, stepped into the Davis-bashing fray again by tweeting an article from a conservative Texas blog that promised in its headline to explain “why Wendy Davis is too Stupid to be Governor.”

There’s every reason to expect that, as a misogyny magnet, Davis, whom The New York Times has described as an Austin “fashion icon,” will be the gift that keeps on giving all through the upcoming campaign season. Her hair, her clothes, her pink sneakers; the fact that she’s unmarried; the fact that abortion is the issue that brought her to national prominence—all these things sexualize her to a degree that’s unusual for female politicians (as it any accident that Sarah Palin was always dripping with kids?) and they open her up to a very specific, and very ugly, form of woman-hate.

The more hits Davis takes, the better is will be for the Democrats. It was, after all, a consistent pattern of gender-based disrespect that helped land Democrats their 2012 election victories in the U.S. Senate and the presidency.  A long pile-up of Republican insults to women’s dignity, particularly in the area of reproductive rights, led President Obama to win the women’s vote by a 12-point margin. Women don’t always vote as a unified block; they’re by no means unanimous in their support for abortion rights, or for any of the pro-family social policies that tend, unhelpfully, to be classed together as “women’s issues.” But they have, in recent years, tended to come together in a common understanding when the “yuck factor” in politics – the macho posturing, the questionable remarks that cut away at women’s hard-won public dignity – just gets to be too much.

Abbott, sensitized by outrage that followed his Twitter thank-you, has tried to backpedal, tweeting his supporters to “Stay positive. ” The admonition, however @Barbie-worthy, hasn’t done much to mollify his critics. The Republican party’s effort to rebrand itself to women doesn’t seem to be working out too well, either. A new United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection poll just this week found that 33 percent of the women surveyed felt that the party had drifted even further away from them since the 2012 election. Only 14 percent of women—and just 11 percent of women younger than 50—said that Republicans had moved closer in perspective to them.

Message: we Barbies are no dummies. You can’t change a legacy of policies that insult and hurt women through the power of positive thinking.

130 comments
dswilli
dswilli

LOL the tenor of this bird cage liner is that Republican men are picking on the girl. Sort of flies in the face of your "strong Democrat woman" talking points doesn't it?

RachelCook
RachelCook

What is all this late term abortion crap in the comments? Less than 12% of abortions are conducted after the first trimester. I think you all need to learn to do some research before you spew your opinion.

glr
glr

I have never heard anybody deny that this is true:     If men got pregnant, there would not be even a whisper of debate in society over whether or not men have the right to abortion.    If anyone does deny this, he's lying and knows very well, same as the rest of us, if the typical man had to sacrifice his body, his lifestyle, his career, his future plans, his freedom, and his money in order to give birth to a helpless, crying, stinking, human being that he then would be 100% responsible to care for 24/7 for the next twenty years--or he could have a quick, painless medical procedure to make it go away before the fetus is even aware that it exists, men would be absolutely outraged if someone were to suggest taking that option away.   Even men who personally would not choose abortion if they got pregnant would support their fellows in their right to choose for themselves.    The idea that fetus=baby, abortion=murder would gain no traction whatsoever, and men would laugh out loud at the absurd suggestion that some tiny fetus creature that can't even sustain life on its own has needs and rights more important than those of the man whose body it invaded and implanted itself in.


There is one thing men in our society respect more than any other, that is a man's right to live his life as he chooses, make plans and goals, work toward those goals, and enjoy the rewards of his success.  Abortion would not be the least bit controversial if men's lives were at stake instead of only women's.

SaraOdindaughter
SaraOdindaughter

The excuse of "oh what about the "fathers" feelings, maybe he wants the child" Well thats fine, he maybe should of talked to the woman he got pregnant to see if she was for or against abortions. It's his fault for not checking with the woman to see if she wanted to carry the fetus. males need to ask the women first about abortions and if the woman says no, go to a different woman then. 

PaulWDrake
PaulWDrake

Abject lunacy. Democrats now think they can win running on late term abortions.....

AnnieLayer
AnnieLayer

If you express your opinion in a manner that does not involve calling other people names and attacking them personally because they disagree, that is intelligent discourse. If you call people names and attack them personally because you cannot come up with a cognizable argument backed against their opinion, backed by verifiable sources for the data that led you to form this opinion, you are merely a disagreeable person.

don76550
don76550

"Misogyny magnet?"  What typical lying crap from a liberal propaganda magazine that is failing.  Real Americans don't oppose Davis because of her gender.  They oppose her because of her fetish to secure the murder of late term babies.   We hate murder, not women,  The term "choice" is also crap because the baby you want to murder doesn't get a choice.  Arn't you glad your mother didn't  share Davis' advocacy of infanticide?  I will also vote against her because of her opposition to my 2nd amendment rights.

LoneStunMan
LoneStunMan

Texas has been full of ugly, bigoted, right wing misogynists who have kept our state's progress level mired at an 'America circa 1940' level for decades.

Texans simply call them Republicans.

SodBuster
SodBuster

And that’s not just because the pro-choice for more dead babies state senator’s June filibuster –11 hours of talk in which she couldn’t lean on her desk,  have a drink of water, cede the microphone or change the subject (she was penalized just for putting on a back brace) — was so much more hardcore than Republican Ted Cruz’s recent “Green Eggs and Ham” readinggabfest in the U.S. Senate.

Two separate legislative bodies, two separate set of rules which applied equally to the members regardless of their gender.

missy windy wore a adult diaper. Cruz utilized a 'travelers friend'.

If the democRATS had controlled the Texas legislature does anyone honestly doubt the rules would have been applied any less stringently.

Your self serving whining only perpetuates the sterotype of the poor helpless woman.

But that is the problem with democRATs. They only appeal to the law when it helps them or hurts their opponent.

Time to cowgirl up or go to your corner and stamp your foot and complain to your goddess...and boo GOD...some more.

MrObvious
MrObvious

Guys, you do realize that you're pretty much confirming the view women are getting from GOP? 

As for Sarah Palin - if using what she says in full context is some kind of personal attack on her, then we 'libruls' are guilty. We should have interrupted her before she made a fool of herself. Context is a mother trucker. And I apologize.

mattdowd4
mattdowd4

Wendy Davis is a liberal in a conservative state, she supports tax increases, obamacare, and her only claim to fame is her outspoken views on how women must be allowed to abort babies.  I'm sure these qualifications are make it so the common texan can relate to her.

mkc0124
mkc0124

@don76550 Interesting the conservative Tennessee's voters just re-elected Republican Scott DeJarlais to Congress despite the fact that he's a physician who's had multiple affairs with patients, impregnated at least one mistress, pressured at least one to get an abortion, and took he "pro-life" (now ex-) wife to get two abortions during their marriage.  

I grew up in the southeast, was a Young Republican and entered OCS during the mid-1980s while Reagan was in office (I voted for him).  During my college years and time in the military, I was surrounded primarily by conservatives.  I can tell you what you already know...conservatives get abortions, too, and a ton of them.  I knew girls in college that used to head to NYC over long weekends to get abortions that were southern, conservative darlings.  I knew conservative men who took their mistresses to get abortions or merely gave them the money and sent them off to get abortions.  I knew conservative men who routinely impregnated women whilst on deployments abroad and never, ever took responsibility for their own children.  I've known conservative couples who have sought out not just one, but more than one abortion during their marriages.  These aren't rare cases and if you're trying to suggest that, you're lying.

mkc0124
mkc0124

@don76550 Another magazine you find to be a liberal rag?  So if a publication puts out something you personally disagree with then it's a liberal rag?  Confirmation bias junkie much?

MartinHarvey
MartinHarvey

@don76550 Uhm, you might want to brush up on your legal comprehension there, angry little man. Given that women routinely miscarry fetuses, even late term fetuses/babies, all the time and are not indicted or investigated for manslaughter, the law is pretty clear on what constitutes murder, so maybe more reading and less hyperventilating.

The fetus doesn't get a choice because it is in the body of the pregnant woman, who makes the choice for herself, for her fetus, for both of them.

Oh, by the way; super awesome with your staunch, foot-stomping, fist-waving declaration of your right to bear arms. So, let me just get this straight; it's okay for you to kill an actual human being with your manly AR-15 but not okay for a pregnant woman to decide what happens inside her own body?

Given your predilection for hyperbole and acute disregard for human life so long as you and your ilk are the ones pulling the trigger, you may have a difficult time reconciling your "moral" belief that you have the right to tell a pregnant woman what to do inside her body with the inconvenient fact that crime has plummeted across the good ol' US of A thanks to abortion being legalized. Or, to put it in an easier to follow way; not forcing women to have babies when they don't want to have babies is good for society, and good for reducing crime, and good for those of us who are actually living, breathing, sentient human beings.

mkc0124
mkc0124

@SodBuster Ted Cruz read aloud from a book whose moral was about not judging something before you try it and all whilst he was protesting the Affordable Care Act which had not taken effect yet.  That sealed the deal in terms of him being a rather big fool in the minds of most people (not just in the U.S. but the larger world).

That is a marked difference between the two.

LizErbeWilcox
LizErbeWilcox

@SodBuster So, you are pro-fetus/pro-forced-birth?  And you would prefer your 10 year old daughter, impregnated by rape or incest died while giving birth?  Let us know how that conversation with her goes. 

KittyVonClawswits
KittyVonClawswits

@MrObvious Guy, do you realize that you just confirmed everything we've been saying about liberal hypocrisy and double standards.  The biased media did not report Palin accurately and went out of their way to portray her in the most dishonest way possible. The most famous example was the "quote" attributed to her about seeing Russia from her front porch which was actually made by Tina Fey.  But, you keep on truckin', mother.

MindyKleinGrazulis
MindyKleinGrazulis

@mattdowd4 Texas is not a conservative state...nor is it liberal. Texas is a NonVoting state. THAT is "common" knowledge....

LizErbeWilcox
LizErbeWilcox

 So, you are pro-fetus/pro-forced-birth? And you would prefer your 10 year old daughter, impregnated by rape or incest died while giving birth? Let us know how that conversation with her goes.

DallasSportsPrincess
DallasSportsPrincess

@mattdowd4 You obviously know nothing about Wendy Davis.  That wasn't her first filibuster.  Considering how low Texas ranks on nearly every educational standard, we look forward to a Governor who has always put state education FIRST.  Second, Wendy Davis is also responsible for a law to fund the processing of backlogged rape kits; over 6,000 of which were in Harris County alone.  The TX OB/GOP do not care about women - they certainly didn't care about women who've been raped.  Not only are these kits finally going to be DNA tested, but now women can go to ANY hospital in Texas and have a forensic rape kit performed. Previously, only county hospitals had the staff - the wait for a rape kit would be HOURS.  I would know.  The TX OB/GOP not only doesn't care about women who've been raped, they want women to have rape babies AND, wait for it, give parental rights to the rapists.  Texas women are also being domestically murdered and abused in higher numbers than nearly every other state in the country.   Women in Texas are going to vote for Wendy like our lives depend on it.  Because they do.  

KeroWyn
KeroWyn

@MartinHarvey @don76550  Wow....  talk about name calling and nasty comments as well as blurring lines.

1) There is a difference in having a gun (I do) and using it to defend yourself and your family from attack, assault and injury. I am not a beefy hulking man who can win a fist fight with a rapists. I can and will shoot him (or her - not to be sexist) if they try to attack me. 

2) i am a woman who doesn't need to use abortion as birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancy and yes... I personally know people who have done just this starting when I was in high school. The only thing I can hope for is that they developed infertility eventually and stopped need their "birth control".. and yes they would refer to it that way with a laugh.

3) If you feel that way truly about the fetus being nothing while in the body... if your girlfriend/wife, etc (or your sister say) was pregnant, attacked and the fetus's heartbeat stopped... you would not be asking for any charges brought against that attacker, DUI driver, whatever that caused that heartbeat to stop? If so... and if you never refer to the fetus as "a baby" until after it is born.. then at least you are being true to your stated beliefs. Otherwise... you are being a bit of a hypocrite. 

4) And I 'd like your proof that abortion being legal caused a a drop in crime rate (other than no longer being charged with the crime of abortion). Please.. I would like proof that there was a direct change (and not a correlation that could be shown about... adding fluoride in the water.. correlations are NOT Fact A caused change B...   All sides like to reference correlations, but that is not scientific proof.

5) I personally think late term abortions (other than due to the mother's health) is a selfish thing to do. You've had 5 months to decide to abort. But aborting after a fetus could, survive outside the uterus on its own (let alone with support) is cruel imho. And not to the "mom" (wait... can't say that since it's not a baby.. the incubator then)... but to the creature inside that has been scientifically shown to respond to painful stimuli so can feel pain. "Aware" vs "reflex" can be debated but feel pain.. yup.

You aren't a really nice person who wants to discuss.  You want to spew hate. That's you I guess

KeroWyn
KeroWyn

@LizErbeWilcox @SodBuster I think he'd realize the pregnancy before the 5th month and do something before the ban that was for LATE TERM abortions... or maybe just do the morning after pill like a sensible person (if aware of the rape)... or if it was someone of an age to know what happened was wrong (say a jr high or high school person) they could do the morning after pill and avoid the need for late term abortion. I mean... I kind of think most people have a smidgen of common sense and can realize pregnant equals baby and that I was raped before 5 months pass...  Or are you saying Texan women can't make that connection?

mkc0124
mkc0124

@KittyVonClawswits @MrObvious I didn't have to rely on the media's portrayal of Palin to form my opinion of her.  I watched and I listened to her, as painful as every minute of it was.  She's a bonafide, 6 college-dropout American idiot.

mattdowd4
mattdowd4

@LizErbeWilcox I'm not a social conservative so I don't understand the point you are trying to make.  I would give my daughter some pepper spray and a taser, tell her to stay away from strange men, and if she gets approached to run, what the hell else do you want me to say to this.... that I want my daughter to be raped??? That's pretty sick

mattdowd4
mattdowd4

@DallasSportsPrincess @mattdowd4 So I should vote for this woman because she wants to give out rape kits to all the women.  Wow, and this is your priority over the economy? Texas education consistantly ranks lowest in the country, correct, they also have the most amount of non-english speaking students.  Coincidence?  THe Liberal rallying cry is the GOP doesn't care about women, ITS GETTING OLD NOW.  

"Women in Texas are going to vote for Wendy like our lives depend on it.  Because they do"

HAHAHAHAHAHHAAH - always resulting to extremes - 'If you don't vote D then you will die', simply amazing, well done Dallas Princess.  

JoHargis
JoHargis

@KeroWyn  Just curious.  Since you're pontificating with your holier than thou attitude as if you know it all and everyone should just bow to your beliefs and opinions while you pretend to care about all these unwanted babies, I just wondered something.  Exactly how many little unwanted black babies have you adopted?  Because if you haven't put your money where your mouth is, you need to shut that mouth.

See, you're just like every other absurd rightie.  You didn't give one rat's arse about these babies until your party told you you should a few years back, at which point it became oh such a burning, important issue in your life!  And why?  Because the GOP needed an issue to rally the base, and you like a dumb sheep, fell right in line because they convinced you that if you didn't follow like a good little girl, you weren't a GOOD Christian. And you fell for that line of crap too.

Your party has also propagandized and led you to believe that late term abortions are just happening on every corner, thousands a day! And you fell for that crap too.  Do you even possess one independent brain cell?

We'll wait right here for the photos of your adopted unwanted babies.  Tap tap.

AngelSalinasGayle
AngelSalinasGayle

@KeroWyn @LizErbeWilcox @SodBuster So much wrong with all of your posts, but especially this one. First of all, in this hypothetical world of this guy's daughter being raped, here are some real world issues:

- Many girls and women who are raped are afraid to report, so it is entirely possible that a young girl pregnant from rape would not be able to take the morning after pill

- A 10 year old girl might not even know what the symptoms of pregnancy are, or that there was anything that could be done about it

- I personally was 4 months along before I realized I was pregnant with my first child. No morning sickness, continued to have periods, and I was on the pill so I didn't think pregnancy was a possibility. I was 5 months along before I started showing. Therefore it's entirely possible to get pretty far along in your pregnancy and not know that you're pregnant. There's an entire show around this premise...

- All of this is beside the point anyway, as most abortions are not late term and those that are, are generally performed because of medical necessity.

RachelCook
RachelCook

@KeroWyn @LizErbeWilcox @SodBuster The ban would've eradicated any clinics as a lovely add-on to it was that abortions would be required in a hospital and any clinics offering them would've been shut down. That's not only leaving many women without even the option of abortion, but also they don't have a convenient medical clinic for other medical issues near their home any more.

KittyVonClawswits
KittyVonClawswits

@mkc0124 @KittyVonClawswits Listening to anyone with a different viewpoint is generally disagreeable.  Imagine how I feel reading your low-level responses.  It's as distasteful as listening to MSM BS.

KittyVonClawswits
KittyVonClawswits

@msr1926 @KittyVonClawswits @MrObvious I didn't compare them.  And I don't think they are comparable.  Davis is a nothing who was unheard of prior to peeing in a bag and running her mouth for 11 hours  Palin has a much higher profile and a huge following. 

KeroWyn
KeroWyn

@mkc0124 @mattdowd4 @LizErbeWilcox  How about this person who is obviously empowering his daughter to defend herself if she can't get away and to stay away from strange men so she avoids the situation... I think he'd have a daughter who'd have told him right off and probably do the morning after pill to PREVENT pregnancy (preventing the joining of sperm and egg if you are unaware of what it does vs aborting it) or, if she was too frightened to say anything right off.. INTERVENE BEFORE 5 MONTHS PASSED! Or do you need that last few months to realize you (or your gf) is pregnant?

mkc0124
mkc0124

@mattdowd4 @KarenTaylor @AnnieLayer Oh, so glad you brought up the health of states and economics as a "better" reason for voting.  Let's talk about Texas, shall we?

Texas leads the nation for lowest average wage base, highest percentage of it's citizens with no health insurance, highest rates of workplace injuries and fatalities (and employers are not required to contribute to workers compensation), highest percentage of citizens living at or below poverty level, highest rate of high school dropouts and one of the states with the highest rate of teenage pregnancy.

Please...yes, do vote for economics and health of the state.  Given what a failure the state of Texas is in terms of economics and every quantifiable measurement for health of state and that it's been governed by Republicans forever...there is no reason other than blind, ugly, ignorant ideology to put another Republican in charge of that bottom-of-the-barrel state.

mkc0124
mkc0124

@KarenTaylor @AnnieLayer He, like other simple Republican base voters, view everything in terms of freebies.  Ironic that every red, conservative state except Texas (which is at break even currently) is being subsidized every single year by blue states and has been for a century now based on a very antiquated law.

mkc0124
mkc0124

@mattdowd4 @DallasSportsPrincess And foolish, trite, puerile little man...a rape kit is what law enforcement has done as part of their investigation and collection of evidence in cases involving rape and incest.  That may be unimportant to you but, then, you're a Republican man so no shocker there.

mattdowd4
mattdowd4

@KarenTaylor @AnnieLayer I noticed all the feminists came out the woodwork and are commenting that the best reason to elect Wendy Davis is because she will secure funding for a rapekit.  This is so elementary.  Economics and the health of the state or so much more important than a DNA testing rape kit.  This proves my point that women only care about womens health when it comes to electing any politician, so you go and elect all these wack job liberals who raise taxes and rack up massive amounts of public debt creating a nightmare.  The same group of people who were convinced electing Mitt Romney was going to take away your birth control.  Good luck

KarenTaylor
KarenTaylor

@AnnieLayer  It's pretty obvious that @mattdowd4 doesn't have a clue what a rape kit is. His comment about giving rape kits to all women shows that.  Matt, a rape kit is the gathering of DNA material left by a rapist in the victim's v****a for use in identifying and prosecuting the suspect.  This is as necessary as recovering shell casings and bullets at a murder scene.  But the kits have to be processed in order to extract the DNA left behind and sequence it.  This is where the state has failed in it's responsibility.  Davis is trying to correct that and yes, that is a very big deal.  It has nothing to do with abortion.  Any law-abiding citizen should want to get these criminals off the streets.  How about you?

AnnieLayer
AnnieLayer

@mattdowd4 Please work on your low level of understanding comments and facts. The fact is NOT that she wants to "give out rape kits" to women, it is that rape is a VIOLENT CRIME and she supports the identification and prosecution of criminals. Are you saying that you think rapists should go free?