Wendy Davis, the Fort Worth Democrat who this Tuesday filibustered Texas SB-5, a sweeping crackdown on abortion in that state, has experienced massive success on social media in the days since then.
The Texan wore pinkish Mizuno Wave Rider running shoes on the day of her filibuster, which in Texas must be done solo while standing up and talking without rest. The shoes have become something of an icon in their own right. Likely piggy-backing on years of “Just Do It,” branding from Nike, they visually convey a readiness to act.
Internet wits have taken to Amazon reviews for the Wave Rider to weigh in on Davis’s action.
“I’m only gonna run a half marathon in these: Who do you think I am, Wendy Davis?,” one reviewer quipped. “I will put them on my feet when I need to run far. When I am tired, I will ask myself: WWWD?! Then I will keep running.”
“The next time you have to spend 13 hours on your feet without food, water or bathroom breaks, this is the shoe for you. Guaranteed to outrun patriarchy on race day,” wrote another.
A few reviewers weren’t having it.
“Do not buy these shoes,” wrote Tom Miller.
“Even though…( 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. Don’t,” Miller wrote.
Cullen Newsom called the pink kicks “terrorist weapons of mass destruction.”
“This is precisely the kind of technology that will enable terrorist women, terrorist gays, terrorist minorities, and other terrorist liberals to endure the long (and getting longer, just you wait) lines at the polls,” he wrote, tongue firmly in cheek.
Mizuno, a Japanese company, has not capitalized on the trend on its social channels, except to “like” a post on its Facebook page noting that Davis had worn the shoes during her star turn.
But Davis herself has used social media to great effect. She got women’s stories of abortions to narrate during her filibuster (which Texas rules also require to remain on topic) via her Twitter feed, which now has more than 100,000 followers — more than twice what it had early on June 26. At the time of the vote on SB-5, #StandWithWendy was the top trending topic on Twitter, according to WhattheTrend.
A Facebook page, Wendy Davis for Governor of Texas, which launched only yesterday, has amassed more than 17,500 likes. The page was created by supporters of Senator Davis. Davis’s official page has 132,000 likes. By way of contrast, the page of Texas governor Rick Perry, who vied for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, has 200,000 likes.
Perry has called for a second special session of the legislature to push through the abortion bill. But, according to Davis’s Facebook page, she’ll be ready to filibuster it, too. There’s no word on what shoes she’ll wear.