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Amy Coney Barrett Is Not a Feminist

Amy Coney Barrett

Amy Coney Barrett is not a feminist. Let’s get that right out of the f**king way. An opinion piece published by Politico—written by author Erika Bachiochi, who has also had her religion-based anti-birth control stances published by the conservative National Review—argued that she’s ushering in a new wave of feminism. I guess that new wave is taking away women’s rights? Some kind of feminism, there!

The article asserts that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s stance on abortion and a woman’s right to choose—and, likewise, Roe v. Wade’s and that of established precedent—is not bringing “sexual equality” but rather, letting men walk away from responsibility, and to that I say: What the actual fuck?

But Ginsburg also viewed abortion rights as central to sexual equality, and her leadership helped give rise to a movement that remains laser focused on abortion to this day. Yet rather than make women more equal to men, constitutionalizing the right to abortion as the court did in Roe has relieved men of the mutual responsibilities that accompany sex, and so has upended the duties of care for dependent children that fathers ought equally to share.

It goes on to effectively argue that abortion rights are to blame for barriers to parenthood like workplace discrimination against pregnant women and parents, painting the removal of abortion rights and forcing businesses to adapt to an increase in parents as the solution to those problems. If we’re going to talk about not letting people walk away from responsibility, let’s start with holding the people actually doing the discriminating accountable, rather than forcing everyone to carry pregnancies they may not want to term in some weird, roundabout scheme to convince society to be nicer to parents through sheer numbers.

I’ll be completely honest: Part of me is terrified of what a confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett holds for my future, not just in regards to my reproductive rights but for my rights as a woman in this country. For whatever reason, these types of women think that our worth is completely dependent on a man and his responsibilities. Which is not feminism. That’s feeding into the current social status and how men do hstill hold the power.

The argument being told to us through Amy Coney Barrett is that she’s a feminist because she “has it all”—meaning she has children and a job. Well … great for her, but feminism isn’t about whether or not I can have a kid and a husband and a job. It’s about my right to CHOOSE to have those things if I want them, not because the law has forced them on me—just like how a man can have those same choices.

So Barrett is far from a feminist. I don’t know what you’d call her. A 1950s Leave It to Beaver-ist?

The entire idea is just that she’s a woman who managed to have a family and a career, and that it’s not only the ideal to do so, but that our laws should be based on pushing people towards it. Bachiochi has argued as much in a piece expressing similar ideas (sometimes nearly word-for-word) for America: The Jesuit Review of Faith & Culture.

Well goodie for you if that’s what makes you happy, but that’s not what everyone wants. And her archaic ideas about women and their place in the family dynamic is extremely harmful. Not just because she’s going to most definitely reverse Roe v. Wade but because she’s taking away rights from women and thinking that it somehow benefits us.

And frankly, the idea that taking away a woman’s right to chose will put the responsibility on the man is ridiculous. To hold a man accountable, I have to go through 9 months of being pregnant and raise a child to make sure he realizes that he had a say in this situation? How does that even make sense as something you could consider a “feminist” ideal?

We’re going to encounter a lot of this “See? Women can have it all if we all just conform!” mentality in regards to Barrett without recognition that not all women want a family. Look, I’d love to get married to a hot man who is tall with dark hair (maybe he’s British but he can sing) and loves to take care of the kids with me. That’s my dream, but that isn’t what every woman wants.

So, in forcing every woman into this mentality of “yes, you can have kids and a job” isn’t feminism. It’s still believing that a woman’s job is to have children and she can have a career as a little treat. So, if you think Amy Coney Barrett isn’t a threat to women and is a feminist, please take a look at yourself and what you think feminism is because I’ll tell you, it’s not erasing a woman’s right to choose in the hopes that it will convince men to take equal responsibility for caregiving.

(image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Rachel is an I, Tonya stan who used to have a poster of Frank Sinatra on her wall as a kid. She loves superheroes, weird musicals, and wants Robert Downey Jr. to release a new album. She is Leslie Knope and she's okay with that. At least she gets to live in New York City though!