My freshmen year of high school was the first time I learned what a filibuster was. My history teacher showed us a film called “ Mr. Smith Goes To Washington”, a story about a small town politician with big city dreams. In the movie, Senator Smith conducts a twenty-four hour-long filibuster to prolong the passing of a harmful bill. As long as Mr. Smith keeps talking, the Senate can not vote and if he talks long enough the bill will ultimately time out and fail. Unable to eat, drink or use the bathroom, Mr. Smith passes out in the last hour. However, his efforts are not forsaken, the bill fails and Mr. Smith proves his innocence against a corrupt politician. For a movie that was written over seventy-four years ago, that story has be repeated only a few times on the Senate floor. This year it was Wendy Davis, a democratic politician from Texas. Against all odds, a lot of men and some very strict southern republicans, Wendy held a filibuster for ten hours on the Senate floor blocking one of the most vile abortion bills ever created. She stood there for you, for me, for her own children, and for women all around the globe. That is why, Wendy Davis is my American Hero.
It boggles my mind that even in the twenty-first century women are still second rate to men. We still make ten cents less to the dollar than the average male, even though there are more women in college. We still have zero control over our bodies, since ninety-five percent of government is male and they obviously know what is best for our vaginas. To top it all off, we have yet to have a female President or even Vice President, ( but I think we can all agree we dodged a bullet with Palin). Beyoncé once sang that ,“ Girls run this world” , but I think what she meant to say was ,“ Girls run behind men in this world”. Although the highest paid actors, musicians and writers are all female…they still have men signing their checks. What Wendy Davis did a few days ago on the Senate floor was a cry from all of us. We’re NOT going to take it anymore. We’re NOT going to let you make arbitrary decisions about our bodies. We’re NOT going to go to the kitchen, unless we want to of course. We’re NOT going to sit around and twiddle our thumbs while you strip away all of rights! And while she may not own a bat mobile, have spidey senses or can fly, Senator Wendy is one of the greatest American heroes because she’s human. Raised by a teen mom and then becoming one herself, Wendy had to fight her entire life to overcome that stigma. She went to Harvard Law School and since then has been a champion for women everywhere.
Her story of redemption and forgiveness is a story we can tell our daughters, nieces, aunts and grandmother’s. The best kind of hero is a tangible one. The best hero is one you know is real , instead of one you wish were real. It’s women like Wendy Davis, Gabby Gifford, Michelle Obama, and Hilary Clinton who fight everyday on the men only battlefield of life. I am not going to ever be a Senator, and I know a lot of us feel so helpless with it comes to these issues because we don’t have any “power”, but the truth is a platform is a platform. Small stage or world stage having the courage to speak out even when up against public opinion and persecution is possible for all of us. Take this blog for example. Sure, maybe only a hand of you actually read this but it’s still my platform, my Senate floor…and I’ll filibuster if I want to.
Sade Sellers is a twenty-three year old Southern California resident. She has a passion for justice, equality, and tacos. She hopes to one day continue her partnership with the U.N. and become a U.S. Ambassador. She also hopes to meet Snoop Dogg.