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Sexism defense of Wendy Davis is attempt to give her an easier double standard

Sexism defense of Wendy Davis is attempt to give her an easier double standard

All is fair in politics, and no one gets a pass.

There is a growing attempt to paint Wendy Davis as the victim of a double standard, in which a woman is treated more harshly than conservative men as to family failings and career ambition.

Kirsten Powers articulated that view in her post at The Daily Beast, The Right Subjects Wendy Davis to Litmus Tests No Male Would Ever Face (interestingly, the title shows up in search engines as “Wendy Davis the Piñata Parent,” not sure if that was the original title):

It seems that Wendy Davis needs to learn her place….

It’s fair to criticize Davis for her misleading bio that implied she had been a single mother during law school. Instead, a misogynistic mob is determined to punish her for her parenting choices….

Where were the headlines claiming the unfitness of male Republican candidates who ditched wives with whom they had children (think Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani)? Or are we to understand that conservatives believe that cheating on a spouse and getting divorced is not relevant, but giving your husband full custody of a child is?

Similarly, Politico Magazine has a lead article playing up the “Wendy as victim of sexism” defense.  In The Most Judged Woman in America, the sub-title tells the story:

Wendy Davis did make a mistake. She thought that we were ready for a single mother.

Just Google “Wendy Davis Sexism” and you will see that these two examples above are not exceptions, they are part of a pattern of defending Davis.

There is no double standard. Both Newt Gingrich and John McCain were seriously attacked because of their treatment of first wives and kids, as I shared with Powers in a Twitter exchange:

Every case is different, and the world of politics rarely is entirely consistent.

But if anything, Davis has been treated the way we would expect a man to be treated if it were discovered that his entire political narrative was exaggerated if not fabricated. The reasons her treatment of her husband and children matters is that it always matters, and that she made her parenting a critical part of her political narrative.

It was the level of departure from her children here that makes the difference here, not that Davis is a woman.

As pointed out the other day, Davis is viewed more harshly than politicians-mothers like Debbie Wasserman-Schultz who are away from their children for work a lot because “Americans will forgive a lot in a politician. But a woman who leaves her kids is just beyond the pale.”

Given that the divorce papers alleged adultery, if anything Davis has received easier treatment — so far — than similarly situated conservative male politicians.

The attempt to give Davis a pass because she is a woman is an attempt to set a double standard, an easier one for her.


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Powers misses the point completely.

If she were some anonymous state senator, we really wouldn’t pay much attention.

We all know many, if not most, politicians exaggerate and embellish their life stories. We get that.

But (and this is a big, big, butt) … the media made her into a huge, huge heroine, like they were heroin addicts who couldn’t get enough Wendy and wanted to forcibly inject Wendy into our veins, also.

As with Barack Obama … if the media is going to try to transform some mediocrity into the greatest political figure since Churchill and shove her down our throats … expect some huge pushback.

For every action there is a reaction. And when the media subjects us to a huge action of its cheerleading … there will be a strong reaction … especially in the wake of the Obama “smartest leader ever” debacle.

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to LukeHandCool. | January 25, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    “and this is a big, big, butt”


    Observer in reply to LukeHandCool. | January 26, 2014 at 10:04 am

    In Wendy Davis’ libel lawsuit against the Fort Worth newspaper that criticized her in a prior Texas race, Wendy complained that the paper had failed to report the fact that her opponent, also a woman lawyer, had failed the Tennessee bar exam several times. According to Wendy’s libel lawsuit (since dismissed as being totally without merit), it was outrageously unfair for the paper not to report the true facts about her opponent’s background.

    Now Wendy and her supporters are whining about how she’s being unfairly victimized because a lefty Dallas newspaper has dared to report the true facts about Wendy’s background.

    But remember, it’s conservatives who have the double standards!

Not A Member of Any Organized Political | January 25, 2014 at 6:51 pm

“Double Standard??!!”

Just what you would expect some spoilt, aged boomer to hypocritically accuse.

My Goodness! Wendy Davis is under Restraining Orders to Keep her away from her own biological daughters.

But Krusty Powers is to Un-Professional to even mention those realities.

When did any of these divorced Republicans describe themselves as “single fathers” when they didn’t even have custody of their kids? When did they imply that they worked themselves through elite schools while also single parenting?

    bw222 in reply to NbyNW. | January 26, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Every time I start believing Kirsten may be joining the real world, she comes up with something like this.

    Wendy claims she came from a poor family; she was very middle class. She claims her mother had a sixth grade education; copies of her mother in a high school yearbook have materialized.

    How Wendy Davis could have believed she could get away with a phony story is beyond belief. Who does she think she is – Barack Obama?

Powers totally disregards the fact that Wendy’s husband paid her way through law school, upon which she divorced him the day the last bill was paid, and 2) he got custody of all the children including the one from her first marriage – Wendy, the false goddess of ‘motherhood’ was no shining example of motherhood, with which she was selling herself to the public for elected office.

It isn’t about double standards by the right, in fact, it is about giving the radical feminists a pass along with an entirely different set of ‘rules’ simply because they are women…

Jack Ryan.


Wendy will face the litmus test of the other mothers whom she claims she will represent.
Sexism? Wendy’s actions have shown her parenting antagonism toward her own children not to mention her perceived electorate.

Shorter Powers:

After the Media Builds up Wendy Davis as a Political Rock Star Goddess, the Right’s Reaction to Revelations that Wendy is a Fake and a Phony is Just Not Cricket!

Powers’ Powers of Persuasion Fall Far Short.

Wendy Davis “The Most Judged Woman in America”? Sarah Palin must be ROFLHHO. Ten times smarter than the Harvard-degreed Wendy, Palin paid her own way through school, rose to power in Alaska because her concern for her children took her on that path, has a personal narrative and record of achievement that just shines.

Yet, look what the Communist Democrat media did to her! Then, having failed at bankrupting her the first time, they crowd-sourced an investigation into her 25,000 plus emails as governor. Their intent? Look at the huge amount of love Christie is getting from his boy Obama’s law enforcement departments; that’s what they intended for Palin to forever taint her.

Question for Kristin Powers: can Wendy Davis’s correspondence survive such maliciously intentioned scrutiny? We know her personal life couldn’t withstand objective scrutiny by a Lefty journalist.

Where were the headlines claiming the unfitness of male Republican candidates who ditched wives with whom they had children (think Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani)?

Er… there were headlines shouting about how Gingrich and Giuliani were unfit for higher office for ditching their wives.

Conservatives did not en masse say that [Gingrich and Giuliani] had no future in politics b/c of their behavior.

But liberals sure did.

    Should also have point out that the NY Times invented a story out of thin air about an affair between McCain and and another woman during the 2008 campaign.

    And perhaps Powers can name one crime Sarah Palin has not been accused of by the Left. Just one.

      LukeHandCool in reply to Recovering Lutheran. | January 25, 2014 at 9:58 pm

      I remember the McCain press conference to address the NY Times’ charges.

      It was long … so long, in fact, it only ended when there were no more questions from the reporters present. McCain answered all their questions and then asked them if they had any more. They didn’t.

      At almost the same time, Obama was confronted by some reporters about his connection to Reverend Wright. There’s a video of Obama visibly irritated at being asked questions about this, and, after only a few minutes, he tells the reporters he has answered enough questions and ends it.

      Stark, stark contrast between the two.

        I still think America missed a good bet by failing to elect John McCain.

        Nobody’s perfect, but that one was a good one.

          Juba Doobai! in reply to Valerie. | January 26, 2014 at 12:40 am

          The good bet would’ve been the election of his VP, Sarah Palin.

          Estragon in reply to Valerie. | January 26, 2014 at 2:01 am

          McCain lacked the requisite administrative experience to be President – but of course Obama had even less.

          McCain was obviously the better choice of a weak final, even more so in retrospect.

    And that’s where Powers really loses it.

    Gee – – – – Republicans are more critical of a Democrat candidate’s lies than they are of a Republican candidate’s lies … whoda thunkit?

    How ’bout the double standard where Democrats give Davis a pass while excoriating the likes of Gingrich & Giuliani?

    Where Kirsten really misses the boat, though, is in drawing the wrong comparison. Reverse the situation, where a male candidate finished college & law school on his wife’s nickel, abandoned the family the moment the wife paid off his college loans and then campaigned on a “good, caring father” platform …. he’d be tarred, feathered & run out of town on a rail.

    Know what this is? The oldest political double standard … “You can’t be mean to the girl.”

MouseTheLuckyDog | January 25, 2014 at 7:41 pm

Any man that would let his wife pay his way through college then divorce him the minute they were cleared would have kissed their political careers goodbye.

Well any man note named Kennedy or Kerry.

If Powers wants to prevent Kennedy’s or Kerry’s from running that’s fine with me.

If they’re screaming “SEXXXISM” over Wendy Davis, imagine how bad it would be if Hillary Clinton won in 2016. Another four years of being unable to criticize a president? No, thanks.

I think the term “single mother” needs to be dealt with a bit more, especially the word “mother”. I believe it has something to do with parenting.

So if I understand all this, what guys like McCain and Gingrich and Giuliani did was wrong. “yes”
But Davis doing it is right? “uhhhhhhhh”

Midwest Rhino | January 25, 2014 at 9:45 pm

Coulter hits a lot of good points …

I’m still stuck on her leaving her kids behind while she headed off to a law school 1,500 miles away.

The reason Wendy Davis’ apocryphal story was impressive is that single mothers have to run a household, take care of kids and provide for a family all by themselves. But Wendy was neither supporting her kids, nor raising them. If someone else is taking care of your kids and paying your tuition, that’s not amazing.

Hey — maybe Jeff Davis should run for governor! He’s the one who raised two kids, including a stepdaughter, while holding down a job and paying for his wife’s law school. There’s a hard-luck story! “

a misogynistic mob is determined to punish her for her parenting choices

The Party minions are at it again. Language and its evil offspring, propaganda, are weapons.

Abandoning your children so you can converse, confer, and otherwise hobnob with your fellow Progressives is not a parenting choice, it’s a parenting fail.

9thDistrictNeighbor | January 26, 2014 at 12:11 am

Use the tactics of the left against the left and they cry Racist! War on Women!

I don’t see how any of this is going to change the election. The MSM already has her back. For example, Obama has at least 10 things that were this bad or worse (e.g., a fraudulent birth certificate on his web site for anyone with a PDF editor to see), and none of them were on the table during the election. The narrative doesn’t matter because the MSM dictates the narrative.

There is an elephant in the room about the Davis history that seems to be going unnoticed.

The judge in her custody case felt compelled to issue an order that she not drink or take drugs within 24 hours of her scheduled visitations.

She evidently had enough of a problem with substance abuse that the order was issued. Isn’t this relevant? Was she not a member of the Texas Bar at the time?

This was interesting. She sued her local newspaper for coming out against her in a prior election? Took her loss all the way to the Texas Supreme Court? Wow – she is a piece of work.

I spoke to someone who lived in her city council district when she was first running. They said that this has been her “schtick” for years even when she was married. I wish someone with access to old newspaper ads or campaign mailers could research it. And she always hyped her Harvard degree like it conferred magical powers to her. After graduated from Harvard she got a job with a firm in Fort Worth, they let her have a year for a clerkship before starting, she started but appeared before the city council making statements about a zoo parking lot without telling the firm (as a very new employee) and they quickly fired her as a loose cannon. She has run on the same theme (she sued the Star Telegram for reporting she was fired) and no one was brave enough to fact check her until now.

Which Conservatives regard Newt Gingrich or Rudy Giuliani as their spokesmen? I surely don’t. They may have started out conservative, but they lost it years ago.

Only in fevered imaginings of the so-called press are these guys considered to be conservative. (They’re easy for go-to quotes, too, so the press loves ’em.)

As the saying goes, many Republicans call themselves conservative, but precious few Conservatives call themselves Republicans.

Sexism is the new racism. Just wait until Hillary runs. She’ll use allegations of sexism as an offensive weapon against her critics and opponents.

It is not a M/F issue as much as it is a R/D issue. The default is the pre is that F/D must be advantaged relative to M/R. Everytime.

To complete my thought (I hit Submit too early), in general F/D>M/D>F/R>M/R. If the racial dimension is used, then the AA label floats to the extrema of the inequality chain, with AA/F/D the most favored and AA/M/R the most worthy of opprobrium. Journalism 101, as taught today.

[…] Professor William Jacobson points out that Democrats now claim it is sexist to criticize Texas guber… for her dishonesty, even though “she made her parenting a critical part of her political narrative.” Professor Glenn Reynolds adds: […]

My thoughts exactly, Mr. Jacobson.

First, let’s set the record straight. Wendy Davis didn’t give up custody of her first child to her ex-husband (the step-father). That daughter was an adult at the time of the divorce.

That being said, I find Wendy Davis to be completely consistent on the subject of what constitutes a good parent, as illustrated by her passionate defense of a mother’s right to kill her child through the entire course of a nine-month pregnancy. It seems a pity that the lone liberal journalist with enough integrity to point out the disgusting silence of the Leftist press (that is to say, the Mainstream Media) on the trial of Kermit Gosnell would come up with such a lame defense of a woman who is exactly the type of pol who would give Gosnell political cove (Wendy’s answer: Gosnell? Who’s that?).

My guess is that any of us who have children probably spent more time attending our kids’ activities in a single month than Wendy Davis did in her entire life.

“The Right Subjects @WendyDavisTexas to Litmus Tests No Male Would Ever Face”

What Powers misses is that Davis created the very “Litmus Tests” she failed when she ran on a feminist agenda, playing on single motherhood and selling her accomplishments as things she did herself.

Kirsten Powers demands “en masse” rejection from the right for lying male politicos, a VAST RIGHT WING THING! Two words for you Kirsten (you hypocrite): Herman Cain.

So let me get this straight – Wendy Davis tells multiple lies about her background in order to create a narrative that would generate voter sympathy, then when someone on the right reveals this, the response from her supporters is … to lie about them in order to generate voter sympathy.

Well, if nothing else, I can say that Ms. Davis and her supporters are consistent!