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Six Outrageous Things About Texas That Have Nothing to Do with Women's Rights

And with all this hullabaloo surrounding SB5 and then SB1, people continually seem surprised that these over-the-top political maneuvers and backward logical stretches could happen in real life. To which we have to say, well, guys, it's Texas.

Let's not forget all of the other completely sane and rational moves the state has made.

1) They tried to secede.

And unlike the other states' little, laughable petitions, they got more than 100,000 signatures and sent that shit off to the White House.

But Obama told them "no".

Shame, really.

2) Creationism

No, seriously. Texas is solely responsible for almost half of America believing that the Earth is 10,000 years old. (Well, the Bible helps a little, but, honestly, even half of the people reading the Bible as, well, gospel, believe in a mix of Creationism and evolution.)

Here's how it works. Texas is the nation's largest textbook distributor. Come on, we all remember Texas McGraw Hill, right? So, once every ten years, the Texas Board of Education revises its standards for teaching and textbooks. This board is crazy politicized and is made up of only 15 people. In fact, the chairman, Don McLeroy, served for only a short time on his local board before moving up to the big stuff. He is an unapologetic Young Earth Creationist. Awesome.

For all you people mired in reality and science out there, Young Earth Creationists believe the following (according to their website):

"The book of Genesis should be taken as a literal account of the pre- and early history of the earth. The creation week is taken at face value: consecutive 24-hour periods adding up to six calendar days. Allowing for gaps in Old Testament genealogies, this means that universe was created between 10,000 and 20,000 years ago. YECs also hold that geological data, including the fossil record, should be understood in light of the worldwide flood depicted in the account of Noah and the ark."

And this is important enough to repeat: Texas only revises its curriculum once a decade. So, basically, it has control over entire generations of American learners. How is this possible, you ask?

"Texas is one of the nation's largest textbook markets because it is one of the few where the state decides what books schools can buy rather than leaving it up to local districts, which means publishers that get their books approved can count on millions of dollars in sales. Further, publishers craft their standard textbooks based on the requirements of the biggest buyers. As a result, the Texas board has the power to shape the textbooks that children around the country read for years to come." -- PBS

3) They kill people.

Despite their intense love for life--be it right after conception, or during the embryonic stage, or perhaps as it grows into a fetus (but rarely, of course, after it leaves the womb)--they've just executed their 500th person.

52-year-old Kimberly LaGayle McCarthy died by lethal injection in January 2013 after being convicted of killing her neighbor in 1997.

4) They shoot animals with laser guns...while jogging.

Thank goodness Governor Rick Perry carries his trusty handgun with laser accessory attached when he goes out for a run. Otherwise, how would he be able to shoot coyotes out there in the Texas wilderness?

You see? Right there. A shining example of how very necessary our second-amendment rights are.

But that is a cute puppy, though, right?

5) They totally ignore their poverty rate.

While Gov. Rick Perry brags about the falling unemployment numbers and the new job creations, he unfailingly forgets to mention that 18 percent of Texans are living in poverty. Actually, it's more like he's just ignoring it, as there has been little-to-no legislation aimed at dealing with the problem.

With all the money and jobs coming into the state, how can so many suffer poverty?

"The two biggest predictors of poverty are poor education and chronic health problems. Only about 80 percent of Texans have a high school diploma, the second lowest in the country, and Texas has the highest number of uninsured citizens," states KXAN.

I'd make a creationism joke here, but I just can't find poverty and lack of reliable education and opportunities funny.

6) They force their own legislators out of the state.

Years before Sen. Wendy Davis stood for more than 11 hours in a one-woman filibuster to stop the most over-arching abortion regulations the nation has seen in decades, Texas was running its democrats out on a rail, almost literally.

In 2003, 50 state representatives fled to Oklahoma and chilled there for as long as it took to block a redistricting bill that would have lost them at least five seats in Congress.

"Political observers say the redistricting plan before the House could mean a shift of up to five seats to the Republicans, giving them a 20-12 edge over Democrats in the Texas congressional delegation and better odds of keeping control of Congress." --CNN

You tricky Texas republicans. Bet you didn't count on the amazing, vanishing democrats!

So, as you can see, women's rights take up just a small percentage of the shenanigans Texas is capable of.

Remember the Alamo, right, guys?

Darlena Cunha is a blogger at Tales of an Unlikely Mother. Follow along there or on Facebook for parenting stories, feminism essays and current event diatribes.

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