A Woman's Choice?

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"Feminists champion a woman's right to choose. They have always taken the position that the right to privacy includes the right to decide what happens to their own bodies. They think such a personal decision should be made by individual women and their physicians, free from meddling politicians….

"But this week, they changed their minds."

Steve Chapman on the politics of implants.

NEXT: Deny Them Your Essence

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  1. Nobody, except the feminists, ever claimed the feminists were for ‘equality’ or ‘free choice’. The femmie lefties praise China hither and thither for their population controls. That population control involving coerced and forced abortions, gynecological exams performed by the woman’s employer.

    The femmie lefties prove over and over again that they do not care about free speech, free choice, sovereignty over one’s body. Hell, they even defended a woman who murdered FIVE children by drowning, saying, well, who _wouldn’t_ have murdered them, oppressed as she was by that awful MAN! What about the kids’ right to decide what happened to their bodies? They’re all crazy.

  2. I don’t believe I’ve ever read a feminist opinion in opposition to federal oversight of medical devices. Your complaint, Charles, seems to be that they didn’t make up a special position just for breast implants.

    Yes, such hypocrites.

  3. Michele,
    Excuse me if I don’t take you word for it that the positions you state are embraced by the feminist community. I’ll let them define their own position.

    Joe,
    The feminist community has always been admittedly Pro-Choice. They have opposed federal oversight on all manner of “devices” such as RU-486. They have consistently done so claiming that a woman has a fundamental right to decide what happens to her own body. So yes, opposing breast implants after claiming such a right is hypocritical.

  4. Gotta disagree, Warren. The complaints I recall about the RU-486 review were not “there is a review process” but “the review process has been made much stricter and longer for this substance.” Calling for a drug to be reviewed just like every other drug doesn’t strike me as a opposition to federal oversight.

    Of course, given the breadth of opinion that falls under the umbrella of feminism, I have not doubt that there were some radical voices who described FDA oversight of anything a patriarchal conspiracy.

  5. The feminist community is, far too often, pro-infantilization of women — as it is in this case. Why not let women decide? Why is it wrong for a woman to give herself enormous hooters if it makes her happy? Why is it okay to get your hook nose de-hooked, but not okay to get your small breasts enlarged? It pleases men? Hello? If you want a man, you’ll want to look kind of like what men like! Is this anti-feminist? No, just smart! Same goes for men. It’s just that women aren’t as looks-oriented about men — not because they’re superior — just because it isn’t how women are wired (they want men of status and power — good “providers”). And this isn’t just my opinion — there’s well-collected, controlled data on this: Check out Devendra Singh’s research on waist-to-hip ratio and myriad studies by David Buss (both are at University Of Texas, although Buss did a lot of studies at the University Of Michigan, too). I’m sick of the women who feel like victims pretending to speak for the rest of us.

  6. The feminist community is, far too often, pro-infantilization of women — as it is in this case. Why not let women decide? Why is it wrong for a woman to give herself enormous hooters if it makes her happy? Why is it okay to get your hook nose de-hooked, but not okay to get your small breasts enlarged? It pleases men? Hello? If you want a man, you’ll want to look kind of like what men like! Is this anti-feminist? No, just smart! Same goes for men. It’s just that women aren’t as looks-oriented about men — not because they’re superior — just because it isn’t how women are wired (they want men of status and power — good “providers”). And this isn’t just my opinion — there’s well-collected, controlled data on this: Check out Devendra Singh’s research on waist-to-hip ratio and myriad studies by David Buss (both are at University Of Texas, although Buss did a lot of studies at the University Of Michigan, too). I’m sick of the women who feel like victims pretending to speak for the rest of us.

  7. Amy,

    Well said.
    Well said.
    Well said.
    Well said.

  8. So sorry — MT told me it didn’t go through. Oh, am I embarrassed. Embarrassed, embarrassed, embarrassed, embarrassed, and…embarrassed. Somebody at Reason with erasure privileges please make me look like a little less of an idiot.

  9. rule of thumb… post once…

    if after 3 hours your comment isn’t up, then maybe post again

    since when is organized feminism (i.e. NOW, NARAL etc) consistent? same or similar people who believe hetero = rape used nutty & slutty against juanita broaddick and kathleen wiley, people who say boss = rape had no problems with an especially attentive staffer the age of the president’s daughter… and then went nuts on Arnold (not that groping is good, just inconsistent with defence of bj clinton)

    silicone = good (non-spherical, less rippling, better feel) but only for those who want to… although i’m sure that hetero = rape profs will condemn them as subservience to the patriarchy…

  10. Amy,

    We’ve all done it. Maybe not on this scale, but we,ve done it!!!

  11. Cmon, joe, the hypocrisy and inconsistency here is pretty palpable. Claiming that it okey-dokey for feminists to oppose the freedom to choose silicon breast implants because they aren’t on record as ever favoring this freedom is setting the bar awfully high.

  12. ‘It may be simply that, as Saletan says, “interest groups use whatever argument works in the case at hand.” ‘

    Can anyone think of an interest group with significant power that isn’t hypocritical in this sense? It seems to be a fundamental fact that holding principles and having power are in opposition.

    I’d also add as a correllary to Saletan’s comment, that an interest group – or as well any entity whose power depends on the number of people supporting it – will tend to choose it’s positions based on whether it will attract supporters. That is, political power is fucked.

  13. Yeah, the hypocrisy here is pretty thick, women have the right to decide what to do with their own bodies except when, . . .well except when women want to do something decidedly un-feminist like.

    Kind of like Reason editors implying that Rush should be prosecuted for his drug abuse while hanging their own political hat on a drug legalization platform that asserts, what else, but our right to harm ourselves.

  14. dgamma,

    Your corporation idea wouldn’t work. The Left has no compunction about their double think. Kind of like Joe here on this thread or the fem-Left embracing Bill Clinton.

    As it is, Planned Parenthood’s largest supporters reads like a list of WTO protesters’ most likely targets. Wealth is evil unless you ardently support the abortion as birth control, then it’s ok.

  15. Or maybe we should just be careful to distinguish between what you can do with your body and what constitutes your low-self-esteem-doubling-as-get-the-finest-man mantra. Sounds like 2 distinct Hit & Run threads to me.

  16. I think all the implant free choice people should avoid even using the word “implants.” Instead, just start referring to the issue as “a woman’s right to choose,” and deliberately wreck the euphemism-value of that smarmy cliche.

  17. Andrew the point of this thread is not realy about why a woman might choose to have implants. Thwe question of wy is irrelevenat The point is that feminists who unequivicaly support a woman’s right to choose on the issue of abortion because they have the right to determine what happens to thier own bodies are now saying the opposite when it comes to the decision to get a boob job. It doesn’t matter if it is for reasons of low self-esteem, toget a better man or to get a job serving hot wings at Hooters.

  18. If I wanted abortions illegalized, I would convince big corporations to start performing them. That would gain me a lot of leftist allies in a hurry.

  19. I think someone needs to pass a law protecting women from the embarrassment of repeat posting. . .

  20. “Can anyone think of an interest group with significant power that isn’t hypocritical in this sense?”

    Probably not one that’s squeaky clean. Those that come closest seem to be the ones that are narrowly single-issue. The NRA and the folks who want to do away with motorcycle helmets spring to mind.

    “It seems to be a fundamental fact that holding principles and having power are in opposition.”

    Not having power, but seeking it. Where groups (like NOW, NAACP, AARP, etc.) get fragmented is when they start carving out positions on every issue just to gain a little more support. For example, why should NOW, NAACP, and AARP be anti-gun?

    The hardest lesson of liberty is that the best way to protect your right to do what you want to is to protect my right to do what you don’t want me to.

  21. Feminists are hypocrites?

    Woah…stop the freakin’ presses…

  22. Feminists don’t agree (of course, possibly excepting extremists…mainstream here) that women should be able to do whatevery they want. The argument against politicians regulating abortion is not an all-encompasing right to the body, it is that other people’s morals should not govern their body.

    The argument against saline implants is not based on morals, it is based on safety. I have not read the studies, so I cannot comment on whether they are right or not, but it takes slanted reading to ignore this distinction. After all, they aren’t advocating the banning of saline implants, are they? Or do you think they are arguing “Well, they don’t mind if women get implants, but they can’t look too real!”

  23. The issue with silicone vs. saline is pretty intriquing. I have heard figures that after 10 years of having implants, the odds of one of them poping are 20%. Saline dissolves into the body naturally, while silicone can become fragmented and often needs to be surgically removed. Mamagrams do not come out accurately through silicone breast implants.

    I personally think that it is ultimatly a woman’s choice whether to get implants or not, and the type. If they believe that an adult woman is incapable of making intelligent informed desicions on what to do with her body, they really ought to rethink their stance on other issues…

  24. Joe wrote: “I don’t believe I’ve ever read a feminist opinion in opposition to federal oversight of medical devices. Your complaint, Charles, seems to be that they didn’t make up a special position just for breast implants.”

    Medical oversite? Feminists don’t want them on the market at all! Despite the fact that they are safe.

  25. Feminists have never been “pro-choice” on drugs, Social Security, guns, taxes, education, or just about anything else except abortion, and given their insistence on spending taxpayers’ money on abortions, they don’t even get that one right. One has to wonder if their only reason for being “pro-choice” on abortion is that they haven’t figured out yet which abortions ought to be prohibited and which ones should be mandatory.

  26. Is it truly hypocrisy? Or is the battle over abortion not so much for “self-determination” as for reproductive power in the face of said patriarchal society? Feminists have long been reticent to accept limitations on those reproductive rights, instead sticking to the unfounded notion that “our bodies, ourselves” is a compelling moral argument for an absolute power of self-determination, one which does not exist in any Constitutionally accepted right (though my body it may be, there is a great deal that the government tells me I cannot do with it). Although the act of abortion can and likely is often entered into under grave and earnest considerations, the issue seems to be fueled by a lower drive than “rights”. To the feminists, this is a power grab. And they’re pissed off that it’s not working.

  27. Adam:

    No way. If it was a safety issue there’s no conceivable way they could support abortion clinics. That procedure is far more physically and emotionally traumatic than any even a third breast implant would be.

  28. The feminist movement has never been about enpowerment of anyone but feminist leaders. It was always a protectionist movement, trying to rid women of the scourge of male domination while trying to establish its own stranglehold over female thought and practice.

    The belief here is that implants are a symptom of male domination, and therefore must be regulated to the hilt if not banned, the implication being that ANY woman who choose to augment her bust does so at the whim of some slavering male. They want to save the poor deluded sweetie from herself, as all do-gooder movements do do.

    So much contempt for the very half of the human race they claim to represent…

  29. No, their real though process has nothing to do with a right to do what you want with your own body (regardless of possible societal cost). If so they’d all be vocal advocates of drug legalization (as vocal as they are on abortion).
    And yet feminists are usually silent on the drug issue. Feminist like all other interest groups have their realm of what they consider important issues to focus on. And to them the right to experiment with drugs is low priority. And the right to correct careless irresponsible behavior with regard to birth control after the fact (that’s what it is afterall) is a high priority.

  30. First, as a guy I’ll (slightly hypocritically) note that too few women are responding here, based on their “names”.
    On reproductive rights, why don’t pro-choicer’s advocate safe, legal prostitution (for both sexes, all combos)? Because the pro-abortion position is an outgrowth of college girls wanting equality with college guys in the mattter of college sex.

    College guys have been, and continue to be, promiscuously irresponsible, and sexually active. Co-eds want equal promiscuous sex, and equal irresponsibilty. That’s only possible if occassional, last-resort, fetus killing is totally acceptable.

    Getting bigger boobs is a desire to get more guys, presumbably for more sex/ love (???); or whatever reason. Feminists against it are clearly hypocrites, so what else is new?

  31. There are actually many “feminists” that are in favor of legalized prostitution. Such as former ACLU president Nadine Strossin.
    Obviously making a public campaign for the legalization of prostitution would have a huge backlash, so many avoid the issue directly, but have continued to fight for the rights of pornography, which is prostitution in itself.

  32. Don, you’re making a semantic argument. Part of FDA’s oversight powers involve the banning of drugs and devices that are not safe enough to use. A cost/benefit analysis is used. Perhaps the women quoted in the article are factually wrong about the public health costs of the implants. Perhaps they are mistaken about the extent of the benefit. And perhaps they are wrong to support having an FDA with the power to ban devices. But none of those positions is at odds with any feminist teachings I’ve ever read.

  33. factually wrong about the public health costs of the implants.

    The “health costs” of implants are not known. There is conjecture that certain compounds and events can cause anything from parenchymal damage/inflammation or outright cancer. But there is no “factual” component to the health costs.

  34. factually wrong about the public health costs of the implants.

    The “health costs” of implants are not known. There is conjecture that certain compounds and events can cause anything from parenchymal damage/inflammation or outright cancer. But there is no “factual” component to the health costs.

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