The tributes to Wendy Davis began before the Texas state senator ended her 10-hour filibuster to delay passage of a bill that would close all but five abortion clinics in the state. There were the chattering classes’ labels of “superhero,” “queen of everything,” “Texas can-o-whoop-ass.” There were the calls for the production of a biopic of Davis starring Connie Britton, stat. There was the Wikipedia edit that briefly changed her listed occupation to “the LeBron James of filibustering.”
And Davis’ myriad enterprising admirers haven’t let up (even though passage of the bill Davis opposed is all but certain)—instead, their encomiums seem to have overflowed from Twitter and feminist blogs to take over the entire Internet. Exhibit A: The fake “Missed Connection” ad posted to Austin’s Craigslist last night. (“You were speaking on the Senate floor for over 11 hours the other day for women's rights … Don't tell my current governor, but I want you to be my new governor.”) Exhibit B: The impressive collection of Amazon reviews for the pink running shoes Davis wore while standing (without leaning on anything) on the Senate floor for hours on end.
With headings like “Excellent Protection for the Foot and Womb!,” “Marathon shoe for marathon filibustering,” and “Better Than Kitten Heels for Outrunning the GOP,” Davis devotees have cleverly expressed their support for abortion rights and their appreciation for the politician who took a stand for them. A few particularly inventive favorites include:
If you live in North Dakota, make sure you purchase these within the first six weeks of your running program or you will be prohibited from purchasing them. It's for the safety of the shoes.
Love the color and the fit...but would like to see an elephant pattern on the bottom; it would improve the traction!
And a one-star review reading:
1) I am a man and these are clearly women's shoes
2) I have never gone through the experience of wearing them
3) These shoes are not designed for my feet; and
4) They are of a color I would never wear...
I feel somehow compelled to decide for the shoe's female target market whether or not they should own them.
This isn’t a totally new tactic, of course—anonymous satirists have previously targeted inane products like a toy security checkpoint and BIC "for Her" pens—but many of the Davis-inspired Amazon comments are rather more trenchant than those gags. I just feel sorry for customers who are actually looking to buy Mizuno Women's Wave Rider 16 Running Shoe—there are still plenty of straightforward product reviews that predate June 25, but with Davis supporters adding rave reviews by the minute, you can’t exactly take the star rating at face value anymore. Then again, they did seem to hold up well under pressure.