Austin, Pop Culture

Activism Can Work: Let’s Show Rick Perry What Texas Women Really Want


 wendy davis

photo via Daily Kos

 Shortly after I left my career in Hollywood, I worked at a very well-known and “vibrant” anti-war non-profit organization. Feeling as though I had not helped the future of mankind in any way while working in the film business, I wanted to “make a difference”.

The organization I worked for was famous for their very vocal protests which often led them to being on the news… and the butt of many jokes. We were guided by intelligent women who honed their activism skills in the ’60s; these women were, and still are, tough, passionate and to the point.

After being threatened multiple times and part of protests that seemed to go nowhere, I became disillusioned with active activism. I realized my passion for what they were fighting for was not the same (though I’m anti-war, I began thinking that the power of anti-war activism of the ’60s is very different today).

So for the past few years, I’ve mostly been a slacker activist. I never kidded myself that slacker activism was making a significant difference. Sharing online petitions and changing your profile pic may help spread the word, but it’s not throwing your whole mind and body into the fight.

As many of you probably heard, something pretty big happened in Austin on Tuesday. Democratic Senator Wendy Davis from Forth Worth, Texas, a former single mom and Harvard grad, attempted to filibuster what would be one of the nation’s harshest anti-abortion bills- SB5. The brave and heroic woman stood for eleven hours before her filibuster ended based on a three strike rule (her three “strikes” included someone putting a back brace on her and talking about sonograms). With still over an hour left, the Democrats attempted to talk until the special session ended at midnight CST, but when it became apparent that the Dems couldn’t keep it up until the end, the Senate Gallery, full of orange-clad, pro-choice activists, stood up and began screaming wildly, passionately and with everything they had in them. And they did this until the clock struck midnight, preventing the floor from voting on SB5 (though the Republicans tried claiming that it went through). It was quite a sight to behold.

Watching this incredible moment in history reinstated my faith in activism. We all saw firsthand that it can work.

(Read this play-by-play by Austin writer Dan Solomon- a fantastic writer who has been extremely invested in this bill)

Now, we all knew this victory would be short-lived. The next day, Governor Perry, a pro-life advocate,  announced that he would be holding a special session on July 1st at 2PM to discuss SB5.

It is vital that we are at the Texas Capitol on July 1st.

Last week, Perry vetoed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (i.e. equal pay between men and women). Women’s rights are going by the wayside in Texas. If we don’t stand up now, we will resort back to 1950s ideology. I love this state I live in and I believe there is so much good here. Just look at born-and-raised Texans like Wendy Davis! But we need to be vocal that the state’s antiquated politics are not what we support.

Please join me on July 1st in front of the capitol with your pink sneakers.

This isn’t just a Texas issue.


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  • Reply Camille June 27, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Bravo! Thank you so much for sharing this story. I was so pleased to see that you and some of my other favorite bloggers were tweeting in support of Wendy on Tuesday. It was a really powerful feeling to be at the Capitol over the course of the past few days, especially Tuesday.

  • Reply grace b June 28, 2013 at 9:08 am

    I don’t have pink sneakers but I do have a pink shirt at my disposal–is that good enough? I have that day off so I am going!!

  • Reply Mike June 29, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    I cannot believe that this is happening in 2013 in America. We are a country that supports a woman’s right to choose. Well at least in some states. What happened to Rowe V. Wade? I am a Republican but this issue alone is why I voted democrat. I have two daughters.

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