The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Davis criticisms highlight old double-standard

By Rhiannon Saegert/managing editor

The shocking truth is that Wendy Davis is a politician. She told an exaggerated version of her life story, picking what to focus on and what to omit for the greatest effect.

She got fact-checked and called out on contradictions, as all public figures should be.

Dishonesty is dishonesty, but that’s not what’s holding people’s attention. Instead, her opponents are doing something a little more specific to discredit her: They’re calling her a bad wife and mother.

It’s difficult to imagine a male candidate’s 30-year-old divorce would fall under this much scrutiny. It’s even harder to imagine people would care about the 30-year-old custody battle following that divorce. And it’s impossible to imagine a man would be accused of abandoning his children for going to school out of state.

Male politicians get to keep their “family man” image just by having their family pose with them for photos every now and then. Unless some kind of scandal comes to light, their “good husband and good father” status is implied, not questioned.

Any significant time spent away from their family is seen as an obstacle they so nobly had to overcome, not a moral failing on their part.

No matter one’s opinion of Davis, this part of the controversy has some unfortunate implications about the public’s priorities.

In 2014, people still subconsciously expect women to fulfill certain roles to be considered good people. Even when the person in question is caught lying, people still fixate on whether or not she fulfilled these roles.

This mess successfully proves women are still under more scrutiny and held to stricter moral standards than men and will only be considered acceptable for public office once they’ve ticked off their boxes for “perfect wife” and “perfect mom.”

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