The War On Women Rallies

War on Women


A woman does not have a right to do anything she wants with her own body. Neither does a man. Neither do you, dear reader. Nothing can be clearer than this logical and moral truth.

What’s that you say? This simple moral fixity is not clear to you? Then you must be a graduate of a Western university. And it means you’re probably off today to one of the many “War on Women” rallies sponsored by the please-give-us-donations-group Unite Women.

If a woman could do whatever she wanted with her own body, she could take her own body to a crowded shoe sale and open fire on the participants with the goal of taking out all those shoppers whose outfits she finds unattractive. Her act would be that of a woman using her own body in the way she wished.

If a woman could do whatever she wanted with her own body, she could enter a classroom of kindergarteners and berate them, shout at them, scream herself hoarse at them, heap mountains of abuse, she could shock them with tales of her lasciviousness and provide graphic detail about whatever horrors happened to come to her mind. Her act of creativity (she could call it “performance art”) would be that of a woman using her own body in the way she wished.

If a woman could do whatever she wanted with her own body, she could perform, at age thirteen or thirty and in full view of the public square, a self-Cesarean with a dull kitchen knife and punt the result down Times Square. If nobody found her attractive enough to provide the impetus to the aforementioned surgical procedure, she could use the cleaver to hack off other body parts of her choice in the same public forum. Her choice, I say.

She could do all these things and nobody could say Boo to her. For they are all acts of a woman using her own body in the way she chose.

This digression was necessary to say to show you that words NOW, Unite Women, and the once (long ago) sane Center For Inquiry have used to inspire people to attend the “War” rally are nothing but empty rhetoric. Wait. Strike that. The words are not empty, they are worse: they are maliciously false.

It is obvious that “War” in the title is a calculated devious ploy to cheat people into believing there is an active, open organization to kill women. And it must be “kill” because that is the purpose of a war. Even if you suffer from splenetic fever and believe that, say, requiring a woman pay for her own contraception will result in the deaths of some (surely not all?) women, the path from the requirement of self funding to actual death is at best circuitous and in reality probably nonexistent.

In no way, in no possible way, does not allowing a woman to walk up to a man and demand he hand over his cash so that she can run into a drug store to buy herself contraception represent a war. It is irresponsible to say that it is, a scheming and manipulative act.

(Incidentally, new readers will enjoy Sandra Fluke Mows The Lawn: A Play In One Act.)

The CFI says to frighten readers that “every day” there are new efforts to “curtail the rights of women to make their own choices about their health, their bodies, and their day-to-day lives.” Except in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, England, and suchlike places, every one of these bugaboos is false as they mean them. And they are true in the way they do not mean them.

That is, it is false that a woman has a “right” to take somebody else’s money or property for whatever purpose she desires. And we have already seen that a woman does not have a right to do whatever she likes with her body or in her day-to-day life. Neither does a man. And nobody has a “right” to health. I leave the proof of this obvious truth as a comment exercise.

But it is true that the government is increasing its reach deeper into the private lives of its citizens. We do hear “every day” of a new program or rule or “initiative” which will be imposed to make us live in a way deemed “good” by some bureaucrat. The government would even force those whose religious and moral beliefs oppose killing of fetuses pay a woman to kill her fetus because that woman is an employee. Not only is this and many other like programs moral wrongs, but they increases the servility towards government: they teaches people to look to government, and not to family and community, for the cure for all ills.


Coming tomorrow: we examine the latest in a series of fad studies which show that atheists are clearer thinkers than Christians.


  1. Big Mike

    With respect to rights: I had a small debate with a person who was insistent on the moral superiority of countries where free medical care was an “inalienable right”, and they waxed poetic on how an American tourist could have his broken arm set in Sweden for no charge, with the smiling doctor telling them “That’s what we’re here for”.

    The debate took a decidedly unpleasant turn when I suggested that, since Sweden and other countries provide free medical care as an inalienable right to all comers, why should we not fill up 747’s full of our cancer patients and send them to Sweden for free treatment? Surely the cost of chartering a few thousand 747 flights would be much less than what we backwards rubes here in the U.S., where medical care is not free, would have to pay, either via our insurance premiums or redistributive laws, to have these people treated.

    “We couldn’t do that!!” was the emphatic response.

    Well why not? Is the issue limited resources? But wait! How can resources be limited when they’re free? Free necessarily means unlimited — a point which even the most economically illiterate can grasp with only a few seconds of thought. “Free”, when resources are not unlimited (i.e. they are scarce) is code for “someone else pays”.

    So, with the grudging agreement that my 747 proposal was unworkable came my flank attack: “What, then, do you mean by inalienable right of all people?”. My interlocutor, not wanting to admit that “medical care” in places where medical care is a “right”, such as NHS hospitals in the UK, included being left on a gurney in a hallway to die of dehydration, had no choice but to admit that “inalienable” didn’t mean what it sounds like it means.

    In general, once the “free medical care is a right” canard has been roast, the discussion can turn to a more productive consideration of the issue of how to allocate scarce resources efficiently — the time-proven mechanism being that of the free (taken in the sense of “unconstrained”, specifically, not distorted by government) market.

    Whether we like it or not, life and health have a cost. It is a wonderful thing when those who have resources in excess of their immediate needs are kind enough to use that surfeit to benefit those whom they consider worthy of their help. It is immoral when a citizen is compelled, by a distant, faceless, bureaucrat whose motivations are, at best, unknown, to surrender some proportion of his wealth, be it surfeit or not, to “help” people who may or may not be worthy by the standards of the citizen.

  2. Will

    Living in a country where ‘health care’ is free, I know first hand how this unlimited resource gets distributed.

    What you have the ‘right’ to do is go to a hosptial. That’s it. There is no definition of what sort of care you have the ‘right’ to receive, or the promptness of the delivery of said care. In this way everyone gets free and unlimited ‘health care’.

    To be honest though it’s really not that bad all the time, just as it’s not that great all the time. Sometimes it works well and sometimes it fails miserably.

    The problem with it, of course, is that there are no choices. Since there are no choices (i.e. monopoly) [Sarc] all nurses are amazing overworked super employees, all doctors are incredible hardworking brilliant individuals, and all hospitals are run with the sort of precision you would except from a Formula-1 engine. Why would anyone want something different?

    With respect to rights to health– of course you have a right to health. Why shouldn’t I be able to borrow a Ferrari, drive it as fast as I can on a crowded public street (drunk of course), slam it in to a minivan full of orphans, and then demand you pay for me for the lifetime of surgery, physiotherapy and medication I might require in order to stay healthy?

  3. Ray

    Health is a personal condition, not a comodity or service you can buy, so you can’t insure for it and the only person that can care for your health is you. The state and the doctor can’t care for your health. The state can pay your doctor and pharmacy bill but only by taking money from somebody. The state doesn’t have any resources it didn’t take from somebody first. Obama doesn’t have a stash of medical care he is giving away to people. This is just an appeal to peoples basest emotions, greed, covetousness, envy, the desire to obtain something for free.

  4. DAV


    Of course you can insure health. Ask any company offering health insurance. What you can’t do with health is assure it unconditionally. But you must have meant that.

  5. Eric Anderson

    One of the essential rhetorical tricks of the supporters of abortion (and regardless of whether or not you support abortion it is important that you are able to recognize this rhetorical twist for what it is) is to frame the discussion as a woman’s right to do what she wants with her own body. That has never been the issue and is not the issue now. The question has always been what right she (and the oft-forgotten-in-the-debate father) has to do something to *another* body. A body that, I might add, is treated as a person with rights in other areas of the law, such as tort and estates.

    Briggs makes an excellent point that we cannot do whatever we want with our bodies. But even if we did have an uninhibited right to do whatever we wanted with our bodies, that is not the real issue. The real issue is what right, if any, a person should have to do something to another body.

  6. JH

    So the Cold War wasn’t really a war because it didn’t kill. Whoever came up with term didn’t consult with Mr. Briggs. Wait. Strike that, the cold war did kill the open communications between Russian and the West.

    We could do whatever we want with our own bodies. It’s just that we have to suffer the consequences. But this is not the real issue, at least according to Eric Anderson.

    If a woman could do whatever she wanted with her own body,…
    It is obvious that “War” in the title is a calculated devious ploy to cheat people into believing there is an active, open organization to kill women.

    While I think that the War on Women rhetoric is a divisive, political tactic, but… that’s politics! Mr. Briggs, why imagine things to fool/cheat yourself? (I do enjoy reading those imaginations because they make me chuckle.) I bet you can come up a good interpretation for “Death Panel” termed by Sarah Palin!

  7. ad

    Yep, and every sperm is sacred.

  8. It’s quite simple.

    In a single-payer medical system you can do whatever you want with your body except take it to an independent doctor.

    The left wing of the Supreme Court has ruled that the government must stay out of your bedroom until they run a bulldozer through it.

    Most liberals think you have a right to inhale marijuana smoke but not crack smoke.

    In other words, you can do anything you want with your body provided The People agree with it.

    This even explains the lack of outrage over some of the effects of the Arab Spring. The People of the cultures in question do not agree with some of what women might do with their bodies, so those uses must be restricted.

  9. Gary Mount

    JH, the cold war did kill as weapons were supplied to the Vietcong by the communist which resulted in the deaths of thousands of Americans. There are many other examples as well.

  10. Briggs


    A gentlemen from Sweden posted a comment which landed in the Spam box and which I accidentally deleted (pressed the wrong button). I apologize to him. His comment ran something like this:

    “Ha! In Sweden health care is free and the doctors are better because they do no try to sell extra services like in the US. Women earn as much money as men. Fewer people believe in God. Etc. Who said socialism doesn’t work?”

    Sweden has a largely homogeneous population just larger than New York City. And New York on a Sunday when all the tourists and commuters sit home. This makes it easier to manage and control from on high. It has a suicide rate just higher than Cuba’s, and is 30th in the world. According to news reports, “The number of suicide attempts among young people in Sweden is increasing. The rise among young women has been particularly sharp, although the figure for young men is also up.” Its GDP is smaller than the amount of money Barak Obama spent last week, not surprising since it has a labor force of about five million (lost) souls. It’s fertility rate was about 1.8, which means the population was slowing dying out, but it has increased to just under 2 (which is still under sustainability), but this is largely because of immigration. Immigrants are about 15% of the population and increasing. Five percent are Muslim and increasing.

    The government has a complete monopoly on alcohol sales. And on many other things. According to a report,

    “The perceived advantage of Swedes over other countries rose before the rise of the welfare state”. The factors underlying Sweden’s success are the “Lutheran work ethic” and the “cohesion of a largely homogenous population with particular social value”…Around one fifth of the working age population in Sweden are supported by one form or another of government handouts rather than work.

    That ethic is disappearing with the Lutherans. Only about 1/4 of its population profess believe in God; higher among immigrants of course.

    And don’t let’s forget that many Swedish escaped when they could (mostly to Minnesota, etc.) and that in 2010 they failed to even qualify for the World Cup.

  11. Uncle Mike

    Dear All,

    Ignore JH. He/she/it is a mendacious prevaricator. Don’t feed the trolls.

  12. Bob Ludwick

    “Except in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, England, and suchlike places, every one of these bugaboos is false as they mean them.”

    I notice that the women who consider my reluctance to pay for her contraceptives to be the equivalent of waging war on them appear, from their public commentary, or lack of it, to be completely undisturbed by the treatment of women in Muslim countries. Which, among other things, includes execution for engaging in behavior which makes readily available contraception so attractive to women’s groups in the first place.

  13. David

    It`s not that a women can do what she wants WITH her body as much as TO her body. Stumgling on words…

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