I’m a woman, and unlike what many feminists claim, I’m actually not appalled by the recent Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision. In fact, I received the news as an affirmation of religious freedom and in no way perceived it as an attack against women. I guess I’m supposed to call myself a feminist to some degree (after all, I am “pro-woman”), but I have noticed that I agree with almost nothing being offered regarding this decision and women’s (i.e., my) rights.
One key example is Erin Gloria's reaction to the ruling at Jezebel. Gloria sarcastically wrote: “Corporations are people, my friend. Women? Not so much.” The supposition animating this claim is that a person is defined by his or her ability to make choices, including choices based on religious beliefs. However, it's not at all clear how the Court's ruling has affected, let alone demolished or even questioned, a woman's ability to choose something for herself (and therefore her personhood as well).
I agree that a woman ought to be and is possessed of the same moral and civil rights and duties as any person. But I just as fully agree that she ought to be responsible for her own choices. That means, in turn, that I wouldn't expect my employer to compensate me for my lifestyle choices. For instance, I love wine (and some doctors say that wine is even good for one's health). I think that working for an employer who would pay for my wine would be the best thing ever. Still, I don’t expect my employer to pay for it, and her refusal to do so would not correlate to any denigration of me as a person. My right to choose (wine, in this instance) remains—and therefore, so too my personhood.
Again, Gloria: “[The Court] ruled that it's okay for a corporate person to discriminate against a female semi-person and dictate that she not spend her compensation on stuff that might possibly be enabling sex without consequences, if they believe that God thinks they should.”
Okay. If women (persons) were actually being denied all access to birth control by Hobby Lobby, this reaction would make more sense. But that’s not what happened in Burwell. Even if I were to land employment at Hobby Lobby tomorrow, I would still have freedom to access birth control. The owners of Hobby Lobby are not dictating whether or not I can spend my compensation on such a choice; they’re just saying that they don’t want to pay for it.
Speaking as a woman that’s fine with me. I’m not sitting here staring at my trampled rights. I can buy contraception seriously anywhere. Sure, affordability might be an issue, but the Court's ruling even suggested that other government programs could help me afford contraception while not unduly burdening employers like the Greens. On June 30, nobody forbade me from buying contraception. I just can’t assume any longer that employer sponsored insurance will pay for it.
Those who oppose the Court's decision are so upset with it in part because they want to have sex all the time, for pleasure, with whomever, whenever. What other pleasures do we ask to be indulged in the same way? Returning to wine, I really enjoy a glass. But I can’t drink it all day. It’s simply impractical and expensive. Why do we consider sex as something to which women have a right at all times, with no expected consequences? It just doesn’t make any sense.
So, refusal to pay for something? Sure. Taking away rights? Nope. Denial of personhood? Absolutely not. I’m a woman and a person, and I never doubted either when I heard about this decision.
Nothing about womanhood is brought into question by the Court. The feminists need to quit overreacting and stop claiming the rights to birth control and endless sex for all women. Because this woman and many others simply don’t agree with that claim.