Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Open for business

I try not to comment on American political matters, because they've frankly got nothing to do with me, but the SCOTUS ruling yesterday, essentially saying that corporations are not only people but have religious consciences, and the right to make others conform to that, is quite breath-takingly awful.

I did get a very amusing scene in my imagination of Obama headdesking his way round the Oval Office, but the people who support this probably hate him too.

I wonder if women who support the SCOTUS decision about Hobby Lobby would be fine working for a Muslim-owned company that insisted they wear a burqa, or a Jewish-run company that insisted they eat kosher, or a Sikh-run company that insisted they couldn't cut their hair. Of course the decision was only intended to give so-called Christian companies special privileges, but no one could possibly object to other faiths using it to implement their own ethical or religious beliefs on you.

Except all the people who support this law would scream bloody murder. "What about my rights?!" "I'm being persecuted for my Christianity!!!" "WAAAAAAAAAH!!!"

The 16 other forms of birth control still supported aren't really the point here. The point is that your employer - some faceless CEO you'll probably never meet, and if you did s/he'd probably run off for a fumigation afterwards to get the stench of underling off them - now gets to decide what you do with your life. What contraception you put in your body. What additional medical costs you'll bear for having the temerity to own a vagina.

The people who are fine with this are fine with this because they agree. There are unfortunately women out there who hate making decisions and taking responsibility for themselves, and love being patted on the head and guided round their own lives by faceless corporations. What if this corporation decided its female employees couldn't use contraception at all? You have to keep giving birth until your womb prolapses, and you're begging your employer to let the 11-year-old work a few hours a week off the books because you can't afford to feed all these children? Would you be fine with that? Maybe you would. But that doesn't mean everyone else has to be.

That's the danger of this ruling - where next? The bible has some pretty unpleasant things to say about women. It's fine for a Christian company to impose its beliefs on you but not a Muslim one? Believe me, if as a woman you want a decision- and autonomy-free life, our friends the Saudis have some extensive ideas about that.

You can't take other people's rights away because you personally don't need or want them. If you support that, then you can't complain when someone comes to take away yours. Except you will complain - loudly, bitterly and extensively. I hope it's nothing too important to you. The door's open now.


  1. For someone who lived through civil rights the first time, this country has become very scary. I have seen much of what we fought for totally wiped out, and by some of the same people who marched along side me.

  2. However, Hobby Lobby will still allow coverage for vasectomies and Viagra. I am headdesking all over the place along with Obama!

  3. Sadly, I think in the case of Muslim or Jewish companies asserting their dietary rights over this law, Americans would be more furious about the loss of bacon than female bodily autonomy.

  4. I can't see for the life of me how anyone (any corporation or individual) can conform me to anything.

    What's this ado about?