Female Lawmakers in “the Last of the Good Ol’ Boys Clubs”

This great piece from the Texas Observer, source of the nail-biter Wendy Davis filibuster livestream, details everyday occurrences inside the Texas legislature (“Rep. Mike “Tuffy” Hamilton interrupted Marisa Marquez during a House floor debate to ask if her breasts were real or fake,” porn on iPads during sessions, cat noises when women speak, a civil rights powerhouse politician who admits, “When I first got here in 1973, a guy called me his ‘black mistress’”) that will make you feel intense pride in and admiration for the women who walk into this workplace on a daily basis. Our old friend Wendy makes a pre-filibuster appearance, too, struggling openly with the timeworn balance between ignoring and confronting idiocy:

“It’s not OK,” she said. “Families treat each other with respect, and families that don’t are not families. I am able to disregard it; I’m able to let it roll off my back because there’s nothing to be gained in making an issue of it. But it certainly exists, and I think that the obligation that we have as women is to march forward regardless and to demand the respect that we deserve… I do think that women tend to, when faced with a confrontational situation, want to defer to pulling back, and that we do have to fight against our conciliatory natures and really lean in and push hard when we believe in something. And I can see that here, where the male legislators tend to be more confident about that: confrontation when it’s needed.”


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