Her Mother's Daughter
The Legacy and Feminism of Cecile Richards
The founders of the Sanaya Set are proud to support the mission of Planned Parenthood. We deeply believe the services that Planned Parenthood provides are critical for womxn, giving access to healthcare that many womxn would otherwise not have.
When Cecile Richards announced she would be stepping down as President of Planned Parenthood last week, it was an announcement that touched me personally.
Cecile Richards has been a champion for Women's Rights and Womxn's Issues throughout her tenure at Planned Parenthood. Many people are aware of Cecile's work with Planned Parenthood. What many people don't realize is that Cecile Richards, Texas Native, is the daughter of the late Anne Richards, former governor of Texas.
I would like to highlight the impact her mother made as a trailblazer for womxn's rights during a time when it was much more difficult to be a womxn in politics (not that it's exactly easy to be a womxn in politics now...)
I am a native Texan. Although I live in Seattle, Texas will always be the home of my heart. For better or worse, I will always love the Dallas Cowboys, that's just who I am. Growing up in Texas, Governor Anne Richards was one of my heroes. She went to my alma mater, Baylor University, and she was an overall badass. Anne Richards was a force to be reckoned with. She never shied away from controversy and was remarkably open about her failings. She openly talked about her battle with alcoholism. Anne Richards was also known for appointing womxn and minorities to important posts in her administration. She emphasized the need for inclusion of women and minorities. As a teenager in Texas, I remember when Anne Richards the Democratic Candidate for Governor, ran against Clayton Williams the Republican Candidate.
Anne Richards was the plucky Democratic Candidate fighting against the "Good Ole Boys" network, and Clayton Williams was a rich businessman who appealed to "Family Values". Sound familiar??? The campaign was highly contested, with the candidates doing battle in the media as well. At one event, Clayton Williams refused to shake Anne Richards' hand. Sound familiar??? Clayton Williams took it to the next level when at a campfire, surrounded by campaign staff and the press, he compared the rainy weather to a woman getting raped. He said "If it's inevitable, just relax and enjoy it." That was his 'joke" about RAPE. Sound familiar???
I would love to say that after that comment, Anne Richards won the election by a landslide. The truth is that Williams was actually ahead of Richards in the polls by 11 points before the comment was made public. She won that election by a very narrow margin, but I guess the point is that she won. It is 2018 and the fight for social justice and intersectional feminism is alive and well.
When I see someone like Cecile Richards, I have to believe that her mother's willingness to fight and press forward no matter how high the odds were stacked against her, helped shape who she is.
Cecile Richards, I salute you and the work you have done for Planned Parenthood. I also recognize the amazing work of your mother Anne Richards, who was and continues to be a source of inspiration for this Native Texan.