Davis takes feminism one step forward


Graphic by Sophie Nauyokas.

By Christina Burke
Managing Editor

Thus far in 2013, the United States has taken many baby steps toward several deserved equalities. Despite certain breakthroughs, feminism always seems to be left in the dust.

The name Wendy Davis was heavily circulated around the state of Texas in June, as the passionate state senator delivered a 13-hour-long filibuster epic enough to delay the passing of Texas Senate Bill No. 5, which aimed to close 37 of Texas’ 42 abortion clinics. In an attempt to be heard, women rallied around Davis in her fight for women’s rights.

I applaud Davis for performing the filibuster; however, Texas SB 5 was not the right thing to go up against full force. Feminism continues to trail behind in civil rights movements, but the actions of women like Davis provide hope for a brighter future.

As a woman, I admire Davis for sticking up for not only herself, but for her fellow ladies, who feel strongly about being overshadowed by men in government. It has been a struggle for women to integrate further into the workforce over time, but we have reached the point of a different problem. Women now have to fight to control their own bodies.

There needs to be a fine line between respectable rights for women and their complete equality to men. Men and women are never going to be completely equal in the every way. Like cats and dogs, they have their differences. Strong feminists such as Davis may have a hard time grasping that concept, but there are greater problems to be faced in the battle of the sexes than obsessing over ensuring a completely equal playing field.

One of the rights women definitely deserve to have is the choice to control their own body, whether it is an issue of abortion or not. In the case of anti-abortion vs. pro-abortion, I know what I would do, but I sympathize with women facing different situations. As citizens protected by the Bill of Rights, we have had the power to make our own decisions, but that was not ever the issue in this case.

The bill that Davis and her supporters were protesting did not plan to hinder the Pro-Choice option of the abortion debate, but simply close numerous clinics around the state. The choice is still there, the rights are still there, but this protest created a nuisance that slowed down the process and left many people shaking their heads at the feminist movement.

The feminist movement certainly deserves more attention than it gets for the wide variety of issues under its belt. But what is more concerning: how much money women make compared to men or the protecting the invasion of their personal privacy? My mother and I had a discussion about that which proved pivotal in my understanding of feminism.

As a right of passage into adulthood, I have come to form political opinions independent of my parents. When my mother and I discuss feminism, we see opposite sides of the spectrum. She, like Davis argues the importance of equal respect for women in the work world. I argue for the importance of rightful respect for our bodies. Both sides are rightful branches of the feminist advocate.

In this conversation, I realized that feminism cannot be defined by a specific issue, but a constant fight that women like Davis are helping society take steps to overcome.