Meet Chelsea Conaway- FWU Ambassador
Chelsea Conaway Feminist Wednesday University Ambassador - - - University of Houston - Downtown Majors: Psychology & Philosophy Minors: Professional Writing & Ethnic Studies
What feminist is inspiring you right now?
When I think of my female inspiration, one woman immediately comes to mind: Texas Senator Wendy Davis. I first learned of Senator Davis when there was a heated abortion debate here in my home state. Texas legislators, who are overwhelmingly conservative, were attempting to pass a bill that would impose some of the strictest abortion restrictions in the country on Texas women. Davis, a Democratic senator, led an 11 hour filibuster which temporarily blocked the passage of the bill.
Now, Davis is running for governor of Texas and the centerpiece of her campaign is the promotion of equal pay for Texas women. Davis has received extremely sexist and downright disrespectful, disgusting remarks from her male opponents about her personal life. These men have publicly bashed her for fighting for women’s rights, and even for being a single mother. She has not let these comments break her or her campaign. She is not afraid to speak openly about the sexism she experiences at the hands of her opponents and even those who are supposed to be her allies. Being openly pro-choice and running for governor of a very conservative state takes an inspiring amount of courage and determination.
What makes you a badass bitch?
I am a badass bitch because I have overcome the stereotypes imposed on me by my culture. I come from a traditional Mexican family in rural south Texas. These are two very anti-feminist cultures that lead young girls to believe that their greatest life goals should be being a good wife and mother. Where I am from, feminists are seen as man-hating extremists who threaten morality and the traditional (and what is thought to be the ‘right’) way of life. And the sad part is, for a long time, I bought into this.
I was never encouraged to do well in school or to pursue a professional or fulfilling career. I was taught how to cook, clean, and take care of children. As a result of my own determination I did well in high school and started my undergraduate education at a small university near my hometown. I got all A’s my first semester, which led me to believe that maybe I was destined to be more than a housewife. So, I transferred to UHD and moved to Houston with my boyfriend (who is now my husband) where I discovered what true feminism is. It took a long time to let go of my old beliefs and change my way of thinking. But when I did, I blossomed. I am now a highly involved honors student with a 4.0 GPA, set to graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and a Bachelors of Art in Philosophy. It is through feminism that I have discovered my passion for teaching, writing, and learning. I am a badass bitch because I was able to overcome sexism so intense that I let it tell me what I was worth and what I could, and could not, do.