Monday, March 31, 2014

Sex & Hobby Lobby

Progressive Underpants turns 2!

Thus, I am entitled to have a terrible-two tantrum. 

Last week SCOTUS heard the “Hobby Lobby” case.  There’s a lot more “lobby” than “hobby” in the fury.  This is not about religious freedom this is about sex and conservative paternalistic Christian values being imposed on HL’s employees, and if the owners of HL and their frightening cabal have their way – potentially on every woman.  

This case, and I would assert ALL the cases about birth control and women’s health care, are thinly veiled attempts to force (i.e. legislate or decree and then codify) old repressed white guys’ moral views into the American fabric and change our behavior (our being "us girls") to their liking.  We are after all, a Christian Nation. (oh, wait…strike that)

While SCOTUS did not (to my knowledge) press HL on some “facts,” it should have.  As I repeatedly assert to my students, Plan B does not cause abortions.  Plan B works to prevent the ovary from releasing an egg.  If you took high school biology you recall that both ovum (egg) and sperm are needed for conception. No egg, no fetus. Voila! To allow an attorney to argue in front of SCOTUS with such an egregious error in fact is ludicrous, but I digress…

Since Rush’s slut shaming of Sandra Fluke, it’s been apparent that old horny guys who are popping Viagra like tic-tacs are obsessed with what women do behind closed doors, and if said horny ED dude is not between those sheets as an active participant himself, in a paraphrase of the Seinfeld soup guy, “No sex for you.”  Never mind that Viagra is primarily taken by men past “child bearing years,” but that’s not under review.  Never mind that all many of these same men having “stress-releasing” or “extramarital” sex hope to hell she’s on the pill or “doing something” so he doesn’t get “that call.”  Boys will be boys after all. 

The message I am hearing is this: If you have sex, especially if you’re an unmarried WOMAN, you should “suffer the consequences of your actions.”  If you are sexually active, you better not expect anyone to pick up the tab for your birth control because we, your employer, your government, or even your partner cannot be expected to do such things and in all but the latter – we cannot condone such sinful actions. Our money does not support “sin.”  If you're too poor for birth control (because we pay you minimum wage for part-time work) you're too poor for sex! Deal with it.

In contrast, if you are married and having sex (which is your duty) you should be happy when you get knocked up, as there should be no purely recreational sex for you either.  (New marketing Idea! “Don’t want to get preggers? Get in on with Hobby Lobby and find a new hobby.”)  For your information, you ungrateful tart, children are a gift from the heavens.  Who are you to put Ortho-Novum between you and the angel-stork! What? Angel-Storks aren't real? Yes they are! Noah brought 2 on to the ark! I saw it in the movie! You are playing God! With this same logic, if you take antibiotics to prevent death from strep throat you’re playing God; but strep throat isn’t sinful per se, sex is!

The argument (and for being “against” marriage equality) is that somehow it is implicitly understood that couples get married (I now pronounce you egg and sperm) to have a family.  This means children born “in-wedlock” to a heterosexual Christian couple who will bring these children up to not only fear God but also to develop Martha Stewart-like crafting abilities and shop often at Hobby Lobby.  Those who choose not to breed (or not to craft?) then are then an incomplete (or incorrect?) family. Those who chose to marry a person of the same sex are incomplete or incorrect - even if they are avid crafters - because everyone knows "those people" shop at Michael's and not Hobby Lobby.  

As a child-free by choice family (Yes, I said FAMILY) of 21+ years, we’re quite happy as a duo, thank you.  Perhaps we should have continued “living in sin” if we weren’t procreating.  The logic train gets bumpy here.  Silly me, I thought people got married because they LOVED each other – not to solely make him or her your baby daddy or baby mama.

When HL, which is NOT a “small family business,” stepped into the marketplace and engaged in commerce – interstate commerce to boot - the courts have long decreed that they must play by the rules (i.e. laws) of society.  They and others cannot choose to ignore laws they as individuals believe are somehow against their personal moral code – especially laws that are in place to protect individuals from tyranny and exploitation. (wage laws for example) That is what we call the social contract. 

Thanks to Citizens United, corporations may be “people” but they do not have the right to assert moral high ground, point at “sinners” and refuse to cover birth control – or any health care procedure - for those “sinners” or others whose personal, private HIPAA-like choices are none of their damn business.  HL is asserting its rights but what of the responsibilities to employees and the empployees' rights

To be clear: No one is demanding HL sell sex toys or put pharmacies in their stores. What is being required is for HL to follow the law. Yes, that provision in ACA/Obamacare (like other Western Nations) that ensures women have access to - gasp! FREE! birth control as part of their health plan.  (Never mind that HL's "old health plan" covered a lot of contraception) 

We the People are also then requiring HL to keep their uptight Victorian-inspired sexually repressive morals out of the marketplace and keep their noses out of their employees’ bedrooms.

If Family Hobby Lobby does not personally believe in sex outside of marriage or marital sex that is not for procreation, the ACA is not mandating they change their views.  No one is being forced into using birth control!  That, however, is not good enough for HL who knows it cannot mandate a "sexual abstinence" or "sex for babies only" policy for employees, it's going to try another route to try to achieve the same result which they believe their "faith" requires them to do.  I understand that in 2015 they will be adding a "self-righteous" aisle to their stores.  Last time I checked, scripture was void of a decree telling followers to, "Coerce, Litigate, and slut-shame all Nations."

It may be true that the founders of Hobby Lobby have hobbies that are unlikely to result in pregnancy; but this doesn’t mean the rest of us must have those kind of hobbies.  Hell, if I’m playing with glitter, and it is NOT Mardi Gras season, the glitter better be scented and edible.

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