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01 July 2013 @ 10:15 am
today's top read  
"It's become clear this week that objective facts of Americans' lives — that some of us are in loving, committed relationships with someone of the same gender, or that some of us have needed an abortion at some point, or that some of us have had a racist or sexist supervisor make our lives a living hell — are still contentious. Our everyday experiences are up for debate. The burden of proof is on women and gay people and nonwhite Americans to justify their lives, to explain to those who have never felt this sort of powerlessness or discrimination that it’s very much real. Somehow that was all distilled for me when, after Wendy Davis explained in patient detail her ectopic pregnancy and her financial struggles, one of her colleagues retorted, 'You know, Senator Davis, this bill really is about women’s health.' As if these things were completely unrelated.

"For us, they are related. They are real. Like hundreds of thousands of people, I listened to Davis speak — for me, for Texas women, for all women — thanks to a grainy livestream and obsessively refreshing Twitter. Katie Naranjo, a local women’s rights advocate who spent more than thirteen hours in the Senate chambers on Tuesday, told me on the phone that night, 'As she was reading the testimony of all the women who weren't allowed to testify before the committee, we all knew she was our voice. We were her and she was us.'

"She was us. And so when Davis was yanked from the floor on a parliamentary technicality — Republicans said she violated the rules of order by making points about women's health that they deemed were 'not germane' to the women's health legislation under consideration — other women rose to speak. Or tried to. Senator Leticia Van de Putte, who had rushed to the capitol directly from her father's funeral earlier that day, was granted the floor and asked, 'At what point must a female senator raise her hand or voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?'"

Read the rest here.