Are Women People?
In Citizens United, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are people, at least when it comes to political speech. In a well-written, humorous and very pointed fact-filled satire, Jessica Winters explores how recent controversies color when a woman is, according to law or certain parts of society, a person.
You see, like most women, I was born with the chromosome abnormality known as “XX,” a deviation of the normative “XY” pattern. Symptoms of XX, which affects slightly more than half of the American population, include breasts, ovaries, a uterus, a menstrual cycle, and the potential to bear and nurse children. Now, many would argue even today that the lack of a Y chromosome should not affect my ability to make informed choices about what health care options and lunchtime cat videos are right for me. But others have posited, with increasing volume and intensity, that XX is a disability, even a roadblock on the evolutionary highway. This debate has reached critical mass, and leaves me uncertain of my legal and moral status. Am I a person? An object? A ward of the state? A “prostitute”? (And if I’m the last of these, where do I drop off my W-2?)
In the hopes of clarifying these and other issues, below I’ve recapped recent instances of powerful men from the fields of law, politics and literature tackling the question that has captured America’s imagination: Are Women People?
Her synopsis: women are people when pregnant but are not “fully autonomous human citizens” when lactating … or when there is a Congressional hearing on health care provisions … or when men decide they’re unattractive. Head over to Time magazine for a full read.