So you may or may not have heard about the Wendy Davis filibuster here in Texas in Feb 2013.
It was the first time, in my adult life, I actually stopped and paid attention to local politics. I, unfortunately, wasn’t able to watch the whole thing though I did listen to it on the radio as much as I could. When I got home later that evening, I immediately turned the tv on. I watched this woman fighting for women’s interests across the state. Then I watched Leticia Van de Putte throw down the proverbial gauntlet.
“At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues?” - Sen. Leticia Van De Putte asked
To say the room exploded with energy and cheers would be an understatement. There are no words to really describe what happened. I’ve watched it the night it happened, I’ve watched it on YouTube a few more times and even now, as I write this post, I am feeling that surge of energy and hope once more.
I really wasn’t sure what I could contribute at that point. I am just a simple woman with some college credits but no degree. Everything I have I’ve had to fight hard for, work hard for and I know my life will always be one that is made from hard work. I would just cast my vote come election time and hope for the best. What else can one do, right?
The months sped by and winter gave way to spring. Some friends and I planned to go tubing in New Braunfels and we wanted to have an ice cooler with us so off Kress and I go to a local sporting goods store. It was a simple thing really. Kress was waiting for me on the other side of the cashier, it was very obvious I am the person making the purchase. I am standing at the counter, credit card in hand and the clerk, is maybe 20 years of age. Maybe.
He turns to Kress and starts talking to him about the warranty that is available on this item. Would he be interested in purchasing? Did he find everything he needed? Kress, caught completely flat footed, just shook his head. Not once did the cashier make eye contact with me even though he took the payment from me.
I was in a state of shock myself as we walked out the store. “Did that really just happen?” I ask. I look over at Kress and see the look of pure anger on his face, realization dawned on him that yes, in fact, that really did just happen. In a blink of an eye, I was completely ignored, discriminated against because of my gender. Over a fucking $35 floating ice chest! And from someone who is supposedly the next generation!
“Someone needs to fix this.” I remembered thinking.
That’s when all the talks with my friends who are teachers, complaining about the newest budget cuts, how they were struggling at home because what little of their take home pay needs to be spent purchasing the necessary materials needed in their classes. And like a slap to the face, I realized how many times I’ve said “someone needs to fix this”.
That’s when it happened. That’s when I finally got angry. I am a contributing member of this society! I work hard, I play hard and I expect and demand to be treated fairly!
I’m no longer going to worry about someone else fixing this issue that is near and dear to my heart. I’m rolling up my sleeves and getting involved so *I* can help fix these issues.
Decisions are made by those who show up