And it's probably all wrong. I am going to go all low information voter here. Many will no doubt have a hayday with it.
I was always taught, that (even though I am female) I have the same rights as other (male) citizens.
I was always taught that (even though I am not Christian) I have the same rights as other (Christian) citizens.
I was always taught that (even though I am not wealthy) I am subject to the same laws and rights as other (wealthy) citizens.
Jump through the orange hoop of cynicism if this intrigues you.
But then I watch over the past 12 years, as all those rights disappear. And the best part is, there are people all around me who seem perfectly cool with that. Lately I have been told repeatedly that gender is not relevant to the Hobby Lobby case by some of our illustrious internet sea-lawyers.
Excuse me, but if we start allowing corporations to pretend they are churches and give them the powers to discriminate against citizens because of their gender and alleged sexual activities based on the owner's religious proclivities, then explain to me how that (gender) isn't relevant to this case, especially when it's well known, in Western Academic Traditions that the owner's religious affiliations are INFAMOUS for their sexist beliefs and practices, in both historical and modern times?
Pardon me for saying, but I was under the impression that even us women (in the United States) had certain "unalienable rights" and that by allowing an employer to impose their religion upon females and by allowing said employers to intrude upon medical options on the basis of the employer's religion, that those employee's unalienable rights are being violated.
I also noticed that a lot of the people making these decisions about what is relevant to the case and what isn't also happen to appear to be male judging by their user-names. That too, is just a tiny bit infuriating.
Some say this has to do with the letter of the law and that somehow my objections are the spirit of the law, but I seriously doubt that. We have established rulings that are being violated right now.
Conversationwise-in academia, there are times when very disturbing things are discussed, in a safe place, somewhat away from the mainstream. All those ideas are inside the ivory tower, hygienic, out of reach and not necessarily prone to affecting reality. This place is necessary to hammer out new ideas and consider things and situations from disturbing viewpoints, in order to improve comprehension of subjects, but also to keep the creative juices flowing.
This time, right now--this is not that academic ivory tower. What is happening right now is something that will directly impact female citizens. This, right now, is happening in the trenches of the Culture War, and it is in the theater of the War on Women. It would be a good thing, to keep that in mind. It is why some of us, who have survived so much injustice already are very volatile about this topic.
Take a look at what we are dealing with, beyond the 19th amendment which was passed in 1919 giving Women the right to vote, (there are many rulings that are important) but in this discussion, we have to roll backwards a lot more before that too can be repealed. And if we keep going in the direction of a theocracy, that too will be repealed.
Males and Females of the latter generation, take a lot for granted, they didn't have to directly deal with some of the situations that gave rise to the established rulings protecting women's human rights. But some of us older folks, we are old enough to have first person memories of the "Bad Old Days". The days when abortion wasn't legal, when women didn't have shelters to go to if they were battered, when women had to have an independent corroborating witness to file rape charges, when marital rape was legal, and spousal battering was legal too.
You see, I have to assume that the people who are the most flippant and ignorant about this topic are young, because if I knew for sure that they are older and should know better, my reaction might be a really poor one.
1964: Congress passes the Civil Rights Act and Title VII, this prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, and sex. A year later, Griswold v. Connecticut establishes that married couples have a right to birth control, and that this right is based on their right to privacy.
In Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), the Supreme Court ruled that a state's ban on the use of contraceptives violated the right to marital privacy. The case concerned a Connecticut law that criminalized the encouragement or use of birth control. The 1879 law provided that "any person who uses any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purposes of preventing conception shall be fined not less than forty dollars or imprisoned not less than sixty days." The law further provided that "any person who assists, abets, counsels, causes, hires or commands another to commit any offense may be prosecuted and punished as if he were the principle offender."FYI--Planned Parenthood won this ruling for us. If you wonder why the forced-birthers hate Planned Parenthood so much, keep in mind that Planned Parenthood has been at this a very long time. Planned Parenthood has been around in one form or another since 1921.
Now the Hobby Lobby case--to hell with this legal precedent. Like the slippery legal slopes we skied on as a nation during the Bush Jr administration, the dominionists in our government found a way around everything by letting business entities do what the government is legally forbidden to do. Whether it be torture, domestic spying or depriving female citizens of their civil rights.
Back in the day:
The Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision written by Justice William O. Douglas, ruled that the law violated the "right to marital privacy" and could not be enforced against married people. Justice Douglas contended that the Bill of Right's specific guarantees have "penumbras," created by "emanations from these guarantees that help give them life and opinion." In other words, the "spirit" of the First Amendment (free speech), Third Amendment (prohibition on the forced quartering of troops), Fourth Amendment (freedom from searches and seizures), Fifth Amendment (freedom from self-incrimination), and Ninth Amendment (other rights), as applied against the states by the Fourteenth Amendment, creates a general "right to privacy" that cannot be unduly infringed. IBIDThese rights were extended to all women in Eisenstadt v. Baird in 1972
Here is one document that pertains to this case at Stanford.
Here the distribution of contraceptive foam to a member of an audience was thought to be in violation of the original 1879 law that prohibits the distribution of contraceptives. But because the recipient could not be identified as married or unmarried, that threw a monkey wrench into that aspect of the case, because if she was married, then Griswold v. Connecticut applied, and if not, then a whole new case might be heard.
Ladies, this is more than just about birth control, this is also about fornication. If ever there were a Blue Law, the laws against fornication would be one of those. Would you want to return to a time when any sex outside of marriage was considered fornication (legally), and you could be prosecuted for the act? There are places in the world where such laws exist, and are most often used to intimidate and silence rape victims. Is that the world that the Sea-Lawyers want to return us to? And what would such a ruling do to our Equal Protection clause or the 14th Amendment. If the 14th Amendment is eroded, what other portions of the population might be targeted next?
Get your skis out kids! I see slopes ahead, Black Diamond! FYI if the slopes you legally ski on, require a parachute, then you might want to reconsider the merit of your case.
The Eisenstadt case was won on the basis of Equal Protection, however it applied to married and unmarried individuals equally. Headnote 16 on page 4 of 19 states:
The right of privacy gives an individual, married or single, the right to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child. StandfordSee more about Mr Baird and his work to further women's reproductive rights.
Now if we won't give the government this right, why on earth would we give such a power to a business? Why would we allow bosses to violate the first and fourth and fourteenth amendments? Are we saying that businesses are above the law? Especially if they invoke religion as their reason for non-compliance with our established rulings?
Headnote 15a and 15b make it clear that legally there can be no distinction between married and unmarried individuals in the eyes of the law with regards to access or acquisition or distribution of contraceptive materials as per the 14th Amendment (ibid).
This issue of marriage status will become important again, because the tactics used by the forced-birthers is to chip away at our legal protections. If a goal is too big, then it's time to break it down into bite sized portions. And in this case, the next step will be to pit married women against single women for their rights. That's already happened with the Mommy Wars, it wouldn't be too difficult to capitalize on that. Even with attacks on abortion and emergency contraceptive, society has allowed women to be divided into "sluts" and everyone else, putting women in an untenable position to either embrace the status of "slut" by openly admitting to using either emergency contraceptives or having an abortion or simply remain silent and hope for the best. The other split is the "rape/incest" wedge--it's not much different. For a woman to openly participate in supporting reproductive rights with these rules, she must admit to having been raped or abused in her life at some point, and then defend her decision to end a pregnancy to the "sympathetic" ear of all those concern trolls out there, or a woman will be branded in some negative fashion for admitting to sexual activity that might require contraceptives which is considered just as bad in these forced-birth circles, because they see women's carnality as the primary reason for rape--enter the "legitimate rape" conversation, which is a whole other diary.
In any event, a woman who desires contraception and abortion options , will either be silenced through shame, shamed with her history, or branded as guilty of some kind of sexual past or via guilt by association with "sluts" and "damaged goods".See the Sandra Fluke attacks by Flush for a fine example of this tactic.
This tactic will only stop when women decide to stop it, by refusing to play by those rules and removing the emotional charge of sexual shaming. Because this only works if we allow it to. This only works if women join in the shaming and the silencing. But if we women and our male allies all stick together we can take the venom right out of this sort of attack. Each and every one of us has the power to stop this now, regardless of what the courts say.
So here it comes ladies, are you ready to grab some air? Because if we can't stand together we will surely hang separately. I would say, Leave No Sister Behind.
Now is the time to learn to stick together.
The Sea-Lawyers can pretend that the HL case is about religious freedom and sincerity, but really, it's about giving corporations the ability to undermine (on behalf of their churches) the Griswold and Eisenstadt cases. And once that happens, knocking over Roe v. Wade will be a cake walk, especially after all the other successes to defund planned parenthood, and the continued White House Support of Faith Based Initiatives (which funds Fake Crisis Pregnancy Centers) and the consistent pushing of abstinence (ignorance) only education.
Those anti-choicers seem to know a lot more about the landmark cases than average citizens on the street. This right now, isn't a backlash against the rights of the now--this is a long term strategy to undo the rights we won 40 and 50 years ago. Just like the attacks on our Middle Class are really just a long term strategy by Old Money, to undo the New Deal. This is all very old stuff. It's just a step away from unadulterated Comstockery.
If you want to see a nice collection of Supreme Court Cases that have directly impacted Women's rights to Reproductive Self Determination go to The Pro-Choice Public Education Program or PEP. This site is meant for younger women, but I have to say, this old lady likes what she sees. I would like to see legal timelines and commentaries at more websites.
So far the HL case has some interesting facts arising.
1. Hobby Lobby invests retirement funds into companies that produce and distribute birth control devices/drugs that their owner deems abortificants. Which really calls into question this corporation's so-called sincerity of faith in the matter. The story originally appeared in Mother Jones.
2. Many pretend that Hobby Lobby and other business are the sole contributors to the ACA, which is then used to justify these busineses grabbing a power, not even held by the state, to deny certain forms of legal medical treatments and options reserved for women exclusively on the basis of our sex, violating women's right to privacy, our right to equal protection by the law, and our right to freedom of, and freedom from religion (even our bosses religion). That Health Insurance unlike 401Ks are not actually compensatory.
3. Many ignore that this case is simply ONE case, in a string of numerous attacks by religious extremists on women's rights, in the GOP lead, War on Women. And this includes attempts to defund planned parenthood, invoke conscious clauses allowing individual doctors, pharmacist and nurses to block access to contraceptives and treatment, attempts to remove informed consent, and place medical decisions in the lap of a woman's in-laws, parents, or husband, even some attacks have been launched by religious extremists against access to fertility treatments. This Hobby Lobby case is one more attempt to legally infantilize women, putting their reproductive choices in the hands of a third party on the basis of religion.
4. HL covered the items in question in their insurance packages before the passing of the ACA, causing me to suspect that part of this, is about our President and his race, and not just about birth control issues--all of which are wrapped in the flag and hung on the cross. See below:
Notably, the Hobby Lobby used to have an employee insurance plan that covered the very same birth control methods it now claims violate its religious freedom. It wasn't until the GOP raised a stink about the contraception rules in Obama's healthcare legislation that the Hobby Lobby "re-examined" its insurance policies. Is the religious belief sincerely held? Probably. But it's as much political and cynical as it is faith-based.We--women are supposed to dumb ourselves down and pretend that these items are not connected, that no one is out to get us, that we are actually just being "paranoid", and that if only we understood the finer points of the law, we too might calmly accept the inevitable in these matters and be okay and happy with the outcomes.
There isn't a sledge hammer big enough, to make me that dumb folks. I would have to cease breathing, be legally dead, in order for my brain cells to fail to comprehend these obvious connections and their intended outcome.
2:28 PM PT: I would say that by using employment as collateral, that corporations have an innately disproportionate advantage over employees and potential employees, to the degree that their powers and resources are infinite by comparison to the average worker (especially minimum wage and blue collar workers). And their relationship with the government, often utilizing corporate lobbyists and legal firms entrenches them in a way, in our political system, that fighting them as individuals is like fighting the government and in some cases has been a fight with the government even if by proxy.
David and Goliath ring a bell to you?
What happens to a person who sues their corporate employer for erosion of civil rights?
They are labeled a whistle blower.
What happens to that person's career or hire-ability? It is destroyed because they are labeled a trouble maker. No one wants to hire an individual who has the ovarios to sue her employer over sex discrimination and sexual harassment.
So she is frozen out. She still has to pay bills and taxes, and buy groceries, but more than likely her ex-employer still gets subsidies from the government in some form, and/or tax breaks and an open door or in some cases a revolving door relationship with local, state and federal representatives and law enforcement.
Allowing an employer to hold the strongly implied threat of professional and social ruination for standing up to false piety and over-reach, sure sounds like a civil rights breach to me, against the worker.
It is an innate imbalance of power in favor of the employer who, in many cases might as well be the government for all their political and professional clout.
Either every American Citizen has unalienable rights or we need to rewrite our Bill of Rights so that it reflects actual reality. Women are either fully equal citizens or they are something else.