Published by: Olivia Brown
3rd February 2014
The Huffington Post have published an intriguing article regarding the treatment that Texas state Senator Wendy Davis has received in her gubernational campaign. The Dallas Morning News published an article that began to question certain aspects of her history, including details of her family life and divorce. The press have been criticising Davis’ for attending Harvard Law School in the early 1990s, whilst her two daughters stayed with her second husband in Texas. Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol Palin has also been criticising the Senator, stating: ‘She left her kid, husband, made it into a false ‘made-for-TV-movie-type-tale’ and then demanded that Texans have the right to kill babies’, referring to her 11-hour filibuster against abortion restrictions.
Davis’ gubernational campaign managers have since have retaliated against these press stories with a press release that includes an open letter from her daughters, Amber and Dru. Dru, who called the attacks against her mother “malicious” and “a false charge of abandonment”, confirmed that her mother did attend law school whilst she was young, but she ‘traveled back and forth all the time’ and missed ‘so many classes so that she could be with us’. The girls were Davis’ number one priority and it seems that she is receiving very harsh treatment from the press and her oppositions for establishing the foundations of her career, when she was also a mother.
However, it seems that Wendy Davis was in fact managing an effective work/life balance: providing a good home for her children with her husband, whilst traveling to see them as much as possible, as well as studying at an incredibly prestigious law school. The accusations that Davis spent time living in a trailer, which the Texas state Senator confirmed, were also highly irrelevant to her gubernational campaign, only demonstrating how far she has come in her life and the rate of her success.
Becky Haskins, a Republican who served Davis in the City Council, deemed the remarks ‘sexist’ and stated: “If this involved a man running for office, none of this would ever come up […] It’s so sad. Every time I ran, somebody said I needed to be home with my kids. Nobody ever talks about men being responsible parents.”
So why are women, especially U.S. politicians, being attacked and receiving so much criticism of their career path? How are women meant to climb to the top positions in the workplace if they are being condemned by other women?
The attacks on Wendy Davis for attending a world-class law school, whilst her children were living elsewhere, demonstrates how dedicated, ambitious women are being wrongly criticised for paving the way for a better future. How can we strive towards a gender equal society if the women are disparaging other women?
What did you think of the treatment of Wendy Davis from the press and her oppositions? Have you had a struggle to overcome your past as you establish a better future for your family? Share your thoughts with us below, or on Twitter: @Dutyfy #DutyfyDiscussions