Hi, Hobby Lobby. It’s me, Jenn.
I heard you won a pretty big court case today, one that established your constitutional right as a corporate conglomerate-person to infringe on my rights as an actual person-person. I heard you congratulating yourselves in what you dubbed a major blow in defense of the free practice of your religion (centered around cheaper healthcare costs?) and free expression of your political beliefs (centered around being a jerk?), both of which apparently involve limiting the reproductive rights of the women who work for (within?) you.
Well, I have the freedom of expression, too. And, I think this decision is stupid.
I think this decision is stupid because you claim to disagree with contraceptive care on religious grounds, yet Mother Jones recently revealed that a substantial portion of your 401(K) investments are in large pharmaceutical companies that make the very drugs and IUDs you disagree with. I think this decision is stupid because you claim to be a progressive employer who boasts a minimum wage nearly 90% higher than the national average (which is great); yet, you expect that female employees should use some of those extra wages to cover basic healthcare services that you should actually be providing them. I think this decision is stupid because I can’t fathom how denying your female employees access to contraceptive care — which empowers them to make family planning choices that help keep them in your workforce — even makes sense for your fiscal bottom line. I think decision is stupid because you object to the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that you provide reproductive healthcare coverage for your female employees, but you have no such qualms about covering reproductive and contraceptive services for your male employees.
I think this decision is stupid because I believe — as a woman — that unobstructed access to reproductive healthcare is an individual right, a matter of personal privacy, and a political necessity for both men and women.
Finally, I think this decision is stupid because for at least 15% of adult women (and as many as 60%, as reported in another study), oral contraceptives are taken for non-contraceptive purposes. They take hormone pills to regulate their monthly cycles; the consequences of not doing so can be dangerous and — in extreme cases — life-threatening. When I was a teenager, I was one of those women. I think this decision is stupid because your political stance against oral contraceptives will endanger the health — and perhaps even life — of at least a handful of your female employees.
Yes, I think this is complete and utter stupidity. Earlier today, I ended my first post with a yearning to do something. Petition-signing. Protesting. Anything.
So, as of this minute, I am boycotting you.
Here’s the deal. I’m not much of a crafty-crafty person. It’s true, I’m an artist who buys the occasional sketch book and drawing pencil. I draw. I paint. I’ve dabbled in cross-stich and knitting. I love glitter. But, last year, I spent maybe $20 (total) at my local arts & crafts super store — Michael’s. So, my boycott of you won’t exactly break your bank, right? Twenty bucks ain’t nothin’.
But then again…
See, last year, you also opened a brand new Hobby Lobby location no more than 5 miles from my house. Right now, it is literally the closest arts & crafts store to where I am currently sitting, and it’s even on my daily commute to boot. I remember when you opened this newest branch; I made a note on my mental to-do list to check you out. This year, I might’ve re-upped my art supplies in your newest Connecticut branch.
Well, as of now, I will not be checking you out. This year, I will not be spending my annual $20 art supplies budget in your store. Instead, I just donated my $20 to the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) — an amazing national Asian American womens’ rights group who has been tirelessly supporting reproductive rights for all women.
Hobby Lobby, you just lost my $20, and you just lost it because of your unabashed opposition to the reproductive rights of your female employees and customers.
It also occurs to me: if the Supreme Court wants to defend the power of your First Amendment rights as a corporate conglomerate to force your political beliefs onto your employees, imagine the power of the combined speech of thousands of angry customers expressing their free speech rights against you.
Dear Reader, I’m asking you to join me in boycotting Hobby Lobby.
Here’s all you have to do:
Hobby Lobby losing my $20 ain’t nothing. But let’s just say we could (hypothetically speaking) get 100,000 people around the country to commit to buying their crochet and crochet-related accessories elsewhere this year.
Hobby Lobby just lost $2 million dollars in potential revenue thanks to their anti-woman corporate policies. And they would know it.
Yeah. Let’s see if we can make that happen.
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Since 2001, Reappropriate has been the web's foremost Asian American activism, identity, feminism, and pop culture blog!