Well, well, well, the media is going to town on Democratic nominee for Texas Governor Wendy Davis for some “inconsistencies” in her heroic, single mother, pulled up by the bootstraps narrative. Wendy, who considers herself the epitome of American gung-ho-ism, just get ‘er done survivalist womanhood has perhaps misrepresented herself just a teeny tiny bit.
Struggling, strong independent single mother? Well, she did pop out two kids from two different men, but that’s pretty much where the “mother” story ends. She left her first husband when she was 19 (the divorce was finalized when she was 21) and then immediately enrolled in college and worked at her Daddy’s sandwich shop, where she met Husband 2.0, who just happened to be older and richer than Husband 1.0.
That’s fine. Whatever. I don’t care. But how is she mothering while going to school, taking top place in her class, slinging hash for daddy and nailing down her sugar daddy at the same time?
There’s no mothering going on here at all. Sarah Palin, another mama Governor was famous for dragging her cabal of kids everywhere she went, and even caught shit for the expenses that entailed, but Palin can rightly claim that she was governing and mothering at the same time.
Wendy? Not so much. When the opportunity arose for her to go to Harvard Law on 2.0’s dime, she dumped the 8 year old from 1.0 and the 2 year old she had to secure the resources of 2.0 and off she went.
Again, whatever. Wendy isn’t the first spouse to abandon her children for a shiny opportunity elsewhere. It makes her a shitty person, in my opinion, but hardly disqualifies her as a gubernatorial candidate. At least her children were in the care of 2.0 and not left with some underpaid nanny.
Unsurprisingly, the marriage to 2.0 broke down, possibly due to the fact that Wendy is a lying, cheating bitch but maybe not, and a restraining order was issued against her warning her not to use drugs or profanity around the little ‘uns. Quite possibly that was just standard operating procedure Texas style, but maybe not. Wendy was ordered to pay $1200 a month in child support, which is fair enough. Naturally, she was under no obligation to repay 2.0 for the hundreds of thousands of dollars he spent putting her through Harvard Law while she partied naked with men not her husband. 2.0 bled out his 401(k) for honey-bunny, but it was his choice and he gets to live with it.
Again, who cares? Wendy is hardly the first woman to line men up, bleed them out and chuck them to the curb. It’s kind of cute that Wendy moved out the day after 2.0 paid off the last of her student loans, but maybe that was just a case of poor timing?
The fact that Wendy is a shitty mother with two failed marriages under her belt and colleagues who consider her “ambitious” – a woman who is not gonna let a little thing like being a responsible parent get in the way of her dreams – is really not relevant to her run at the Governor’s mansion. Lots of epic assholes have been elected to government offices and have managed to do the job they were elected to do, despite their personal shortcomings. Hell, I seem to recall one guy who let an enthusiastic intern blow him under his desk and he still managed to leave office with every column in the black.
The real issue here is that rather than gather up her barbed wire skirts and proudly own the fact that she put her career ahead of everything and everyone else – she leaned right in – Wendy is spinning a story that is an insult to true hardworking single parents and people everywhere.
Look at me, folks! I took care of my kids, went to school, made top of the class, went to Harvard and did it all on my own! You can, too! All it takes is a little elbow grease and some chutzpah! It’s the American Dream! I’m living it and if you aren’t, well that’s your own damn fault, isn’t it?
That’s the essence of what Wendy is saying. She is using her past as a platform to demonstrate what she will be capable of as a leader. Strong! Proud! Determined! Dogged! Devoted! Independent!
Wendy is none of those things.
She didn’t raise her children. She gave birth to them. Her motherhood was purely biological. Husband 2.0 raised those kids. Why not celebrate that? Look, ladies, you too can form a partnership with a man in which he cares for the children while you scrabble up the ladder!
Own your shit, Wendy.
Two failed marriages? Why not celebrate that? Look ladies, never let a man get in the way of your success! We’re fish, they’re bicycles, fuck ‘em all!
Like that narrative wouldn’t sell? Of course it would.
Leave your husband the day after he pays off your Harvard loans? Again, spin it out, Wendy! Ladies, never feel obliged to a man when he has made a choice to support you! It’s his choice and you owe him nothing! Don’t let guilt control your decisions!
If Wendy pranced on the national stage proud of her accomplishments, and was completely open and honest about how she achieved them, I would still think she was an awful person, but I would give her points for being honest.
Instead, she has obfuscated, omitted and outright lied.
That tells me Wendy is ashamed of her past. She knows it’s something to hide. She knows the truth about herself is kind of ugly and awful and mean.
And if Wendy thinks she’s awful, then why the hell shouldn’t everyone else?
The world is full of awful people. No mystery there. What we should care about is honesty. Tell the truth about your life – we are not children and we understand you will attempt to spin your life so it doesn’t sound quite so awful, but the truth will still be visible.
Yes, I let my husband raise our children.
Yes, I let my husband pay for my school and then divorced him the day after the loans were finally paid.
Yes, I refuse to let anything get in the way of my ambition.
Don’t pretend to be something you are not. Because if you are not proud of yourself, why should we be?
And why should we trust someone who is afraid to be honest about who she is?
No one likes a liar.
No one votes for one either.
Lots of love,