January 21, 2014

ASHE SCHOW: Wendy Davis feminism vs. real feminism.

Davis was recently accused of “blurring” the facts surrounding her life, and while she did struggle as a child — working at 14 to help support her mother — what she has since come to stand for undermines what women around the world are fighting for.

Davis is of course a very bright woman. She received an academic scholarship to attend Texas Christian University and was accepted to Harvard Law School. That’s no small feat, and she certainly should get feminist credibility for that.

But what came to light in the Dallas Morning News on Sunday was that after Davis’ husband finished paying for her Harvard education, she left him, and he was granted parental custody of their 14-year-old daughter.

“She said, ‘I think you’re right; you’ll make a good, nurturing father. While I’ve been a good mother, it’s not a good time for me right now,’” Davis’ ex-husband, Jeff Davis, said.

Not a good time to be a mother? This wasn’t even during a pregnancy. Jeff Davis wasn’t talking about their conversation over a potential abortion. This was a conversation about child custody.

A former colleague of Davis’ told the Dallas Morning News that the gubernatorial candidate’s ambition played a role in the custody ruling.

“Wendy is tremendously ambitious,” he said. “She’s not going to let family or raising children or anything else get in her way.”

Is that feminism? The ability to shirk one’s responsibilities in order to get ahead in life?

Then there’s the part where she got her husband to pay for her law school, then divorced him the day after the final payment was made.