Let me confess out front that I knew Ann Richards before she even ran for office and I supported her in every race she ran, local and statewide.
I also knew Sarah Weddington before she was elected to the State Legislature.
That's to put my biases out front.
Over those years, I saw attacks on both Weddington and Richards that simply could not have happened to males similarly situated.
Now, we live in an atmosphere where "liar" is about as mild as epithets get. Barack Obama's statement that "you can keep your insurance" makes him a liar even though the grandfather clause he was touting is in fact in the law. Failure to anticipate insurance company machinations becomes a lie.
But here I suggest that even in this atmosphere, it's worse for women.
The Dallas Morning News has published an investigative article about Wendy Davis' campaign biography. http://www.dallasnews.com/... Here's the money shot from that article:
The basic elements of the narrative are true, but the full story of Davis’ life is more complicated, as often happens when public figures aim to define themselves. In the shorthand version that has developed, some facts have been blurred.She was technically never "a teenage single mom," because the divorce was not final until she was 21.
She lived in a trailer less than a year, leading some to question whether she is entitled to say she lived in a trailer in her biography.
The original petition in her last divorce accuses her of adultery. That allegation disappeared in the final decree, but her husband got custody and she paid child support.
Men get hammered for not paying child support; a woman gets hammered for paying it.
Because of Davis' rise to prominence in a filibuster against a Texas law restricting abortion to a degree that most providers have had to shut down while the constitutionality of it is being litigated, the Republicans had already dubbed Davis "Baby Killer Barbie."
(Just in case there's one person out there who does not know, the Davis filibuster was a real talking filibuster, the only kind available in Texas. It went on for 11 hours and Davis prevailed, but the bill was passed in a special session called by Gov. Rick Perry for the purpose.)Lots of male politicians are pro-choice. Ever hear anything like that about them?
And then there's Leticia Van De Putte, the State Senator who used to represent me when I lived in San Antonio and is now running for Lt. Governor. They call her "Barrio Boopsie." (Yes, she's Hispanic.)
From conversations on Facebook about the Dallas Morning News piece quoted above: "gold digging whore" "liar" "Hillary-like bitch"
It's going to be a long silly season in the Lone Star State.
And the more civil of the right wingers would, upon reading what I've said here, accuse me of "playing the gender card" like they claim Mr. Obama is always "playing the race card."
I think the use of language I've pointed out reveals a stacked deck.