The concept of human rights has been utterly mangled such that people have no idea what it means. Many will appeal to human rights as a bastion of their precious political stances, but what they are really doing is misusing human rights. They are applying a truncated version of human rights. In the Declaration of Independence, it was said that everybody has the unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and this was granted to us by our Creator. However, today, we are fond of extending these rights such that they mean that we can do literally anything that we want to do. Anybody who tells you that you are behaving in a way that is immoral or not right is labeled a bigot and an abuser of human rights. But the very concept of human rights presupposes that there will be limitations to your own rights. That is why there are at least 5 reasons women (or men) should not have absolute authority over their bodies.
It is not so much that women’s rights ought to be denied. On the contrary, if we are to maintain a proper conception of women’s rights, we need to recognize their extent and their limitations. If we fail to recognize the limitations of human rights, then we will uproot human rights altogether. I submit that the most effervescent advocate of women’s rights will propound that there are at least 5 reasons women should not have absolute authority over their bodies.
1 – If women had absolute authority over their bodies, women’s rights would be compromised. If human beings intrinsically possess these rights, such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, then by the very nature of the case, that would entail that there were limits upon these rights. For you are not the only person who has human rights and human value. If it would make you happy to punch another person in the face, or steal their wallet, or tear their limbs off, it does not follow that you have this right. That is why we are often found telling immoral people, “You do not have the right to do that!” For while people have freedom, they do not have absolute freedom. Similarly, if a woman wants to maneuver her body in such a way that it strikes an innocent human being or brings another person to harm, they are not properly applying their rights. They do not have the right to do that. Therefore, they do not have absolute authority over their own body. They must tame their body, even if they have a certain inclination, to tailor to the rights of other people.
If a women finds herself in a situation wherein it would be convenient to kill another person, then what she has done is to say that under certain circumstances, it is acceptable to kill an innocent person, then she has undermined the very foundation of human rights. She has testified that people do not really have rights. But if people do not have rights, her rights are also consigned. Therefore, the destruction of women’s rights would prevail. If women have absolute authority over their bodies, then they have the authority to harm other people. But that entails that other people do not have human rights. If people do not have human rights, then you do not have human rights. If you do not have human rights, then the very foundation for your absolute monarchy over your body self-destructs. This is the first of 5 reasons women (or men) should not have absolute authority over their bodies.
2 – It logically entails anarchy. This should not be taken as predictive. I am not charging that there will be no laws and there will be no order. I am charging that if women have absolute control over their bodies, it logically entails that there would be no laws. For people would be free to bring others to harm, doing anything that they want with their own bodies. You may reply that you have no desire to bring others to harm. Well, that is great to hear. But other people do have the desire to bring others to harm. Therefore if people have absolute authority to do anything that they want with their own bodies, anarchy would follow. Obviously we do not live in a society wherein people have absolute authority over their own bodies. If the overriding precept for our society was that “people have absolute authority over their bodies,” there would no foundation to arrest criminals that want to use their bodies for criminal activity. This is one of 5 reasons women (or men) should not have absolute authority over their bodies.
3 – It is illegal for women to do anything they want with their own bodies. There is a preponderance of liberal-minded people who think that prostitution should be legal, for they are taken in by the idea that a woman should be able to do anything that she wants with her own body. She should be allowed to use her body for mercantile purposes if she so chooses. But at present, this behavior is illegal. Hence, it is illegal for women to do anything that they want with their bodies. Those who have respect for the law will acknowledge that this is one of 5 reasons women (or men) should not have absolute authority over their bodies.
4 – It harms society. The mandate of women to have absolute authority over their bodies suggests that there is no moral restraint upon their actions. Nobody call tell them what is right or what is wrong. It is stringently subject to their exclusive judgment. This means that if a woman (or a man) wants to have sexual partners outside of the context of marriage, she is free to do that, and this is what we see in our society today. But when a woman sleeps with a man who is not committed to her, and she gets pregnant, this often leads a situation wherein she has a baby and the father simply abandons them. This contributes to the vices of a fatherless home and poverty. Even if the couple stays together, they will feel compelled to drop out of college and get a minimum wage job to care for this baby that they were not prepared for, thus contributing to poverty and harming society. (I suppose there is also the resolution of smashing the toddlers’ head with a hammer and then going to college, or suctioning the baby out of the mothers’ womb limb by limb so you do not have to get a minimum wage job, but both of these options would be defeasible in that they fall victim to first point of this article.) Since the woman (and the man) has exercised the freedom to do anything that she wants with her body, she is contributing to poverty and fatherless homes. Therefore, we may consider this one of 5 reasons women (or men) should not have absolute authority over their bodies.
5 – It harms the women. Many people are going through difficult times in their lives and they feel compelled to combat their emotional pain by putting their body through physical pain. Since they have the authority to do anything that they want with their bodies, they will take a knife and make an incision in their wrists, and many will testify that it feels good and that it helps. This will become an addiction for many people. Any time they endure something difficult, they will turn to the knife. Similarly, people become addicted to drugs and ruin their lives. But this practice of cutting oneself and drug use are within the perimeter of having absolute authority over their own bodies. Indeed, if concerned family members were to begin an intervention, calling their family member away from this reckless behavior, they should be seen as bigoted. For they are telling this girl how to live her life. They are trying to control her. They are forcing her to concede her bodily autonomy to other people. She has absolute authority over her body. How can we tell her what to do? While this is a scarce manifestation of this precept, this is what is logically entailed. Therefore it should be seen as absurd that women (or anybody) would have absolute authority over their bodies.
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