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Wendy Davis' filibuster shoes praised in Amazon reviews

What's one way abortion-rights supporters can laud the lawmaker who blocked an anti-abortion bill? With amusing online reviews of her shoes, of course: "I am so glad that I have a choice about what shoes to buy."

Leslie Katz Former Culture Editor
Leslie Katz led a team that explored the intersection of tech and culture, plus all manner of awe-inspiring science, from space to AI and archaeology. When she's not smithing words, she's probably playing online word games, tending to her garden or referring to herself in the third person.
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Leslie Katz
2 min read
State Sen. Wendy Davis and her shoes hold up two fingers against the anti-abortion bill SB5, which was up for a vote on the last day of the legislative special session Tuesday in Austin. Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

While junior Texas state senator Wendy Davis got thrust into the national spotlight this week for her starring role in an anti-abortion-bill filibuster, her tennis shoes are enjoying their own run with fame on Amazon reviews.

"Best damn shoe for being on your feet for 13 hours. Also the best shoe to kick Governor Rick Perry's ass!" reads one of a growing number of Amazon reviews of the Mizuno's Wave Rider 16 running shoes the Democratic lawmaker made famous overnight.

Hey news media, aren't they actually more red? Mizuno

Reads another: "I am so glad that I have a choice about what shoes to buy! Imagine if some legislator tried to tell me what type of shoes worked best for me or what type of shoes were available to me... that is so un-American!"

Clearly, most of the reviewers haven't tried the shoes but are using the reviews as a forum to slam legislation such as SB5 and praise Davis, who was on her feet for more than 12 hours Tuesday for her marathon speech to derail the bill. It would have banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and forced all but five of the state's abortion clinics to close.

Davis, a former teenage mom, has become an instant hero to those who support abortion rights, even getting a public message of support from President Obama, who tweeted Tuesday: "Something special is happening in Austin #StandWithWendy."

She is getting plenty more Twitter support as well: her followers jumped from 1,200 to more than 100,000 this week.

Judging from the snark permeating the pages of five-star Amazon reviews of the Mazunos, most of their authors stand with Wendy too.

"Great shoes! Did the trick. Only a 24-hour waiting period for the shoes to arrive (in Pennsylvania). Pretty fast! But you will need spousal consent before wearing the shoes. Parental consent if you are under 18. Totally worth it though!"

This isn't, of course, the first time Amazon reviews have served as a forum for pointed political commentary. Perhaps you'll recall those froufrou pink and purple Bic pens with a grip "designed to fit comfortably in a woman's hand" that got mercilessly (and hilariously) mocked on the online marketplace.

In the hands of Internet comedians (including George Takei), amusing Amazon reviews have practically become an art form.

And while not all observers appreciated media stories that led by describing Davis' "petite" demeanor and "pink running shoes" (is it just me, or do they look more red?), it's probably a fairly safe bet Mizuno is doing a victory lap right now.