State Senator Wendy Davis was a twitter sensation last week with her 11-hour filibuster on the Texas abortion bill. She even received a social media boost from Nancy Pelosi and even President Obama. The hash tag #StandwithWendy trended all around the world and women of all ages stood in support of her stance on abortion. Even her running shoes became the best selling shoes on Amazon last Friday as a symbol of the pro-choice movement. Overnight this democratic Texas state senator became a leader among many women. However, there are other women, like me, who do not stand with Wendy and if her shoes are any kind of symbol well, many of us just refuse to wear that type of shoe.
The story of Wendy Davis is actually kind of inspirational. She was raised by a single mother and later, finding herself a single parent at a young age, she managed to work hard and support herself and put herself through college and law school. Her story is actually a reflection of life and even Governor Perry made positive remarks regarding her inspirational story. He remarked:
“Who are we to say that children born in the worst of circumstances can’t grow to live successful lives? In fact, even the woman who filibustered the Senate the other day was born into difficult circumstances. She was the daughter of a single woman, she was a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas senate,” Perry said Thursday in a speech to the National Right to Life Convention. “It is just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters.”
Yet, Ms. Davis is not known for her life story but for her beliefs and stance on abortion and women now view her as a voice of the pro-choice movement. Her shoes are not a reflection of a working mother who worked hard to rise out of poverty. They are merely a symbol of the feminist mantra of choice.
I am tired of symbols reflecting women that do not represent me. The feminist woman speaks of the rights of women. There’s the right to make her own choices about her body, the right to have free access to birth control, the right against gender bias and according to Wendy Davis the right to abortion in whatever stage of pregnancy. Those rights (or symbolic shoes) are just not what I fight for. I don’t view my life that way. Being a woman is not my right, it is my privilege and if there were shoes symbolic of that mantra then those are the ones I wear.
The symbolic shoes I wear are unapologetically pro-life. I believe all life has a potential no matter what the circumstances. The shoes I want to represent me put virtue ahead of sexual freedom. My shoes are symbolic of women who know the precious gift of motherhood and are blessed with biological or adopted children. My shoes also represent women of all stages of life who honor God everyday by being women of compassion. The women I stand for are those who put others ahead of themselves in whatever role because she understands it represents who God made her to be and she finds joy in it. I stand for women who struggle and at times are treated unfairly but they rise above their circumstances because they know life is not just about their rights and wants but about life beyond their own struggles.
So while I applaud Wendy Davis in her success in life, I refuse to stand with her. She does not speak for me. Being a woman is not about the fight for me. It is about the gift and privilege that God gave me and I want my life to reflect and honor the gift of womanhood. My shoes don’t stand in attention and demand from anyone. They simply symbolize women who use their gender to celebrate life and all the many blessings that come with it.