The Theft of the “My Body My Choice” Movement

McKenzie Housman, Staff Writer

In the past few months, anti-maskers have adopted the slogan from the women’s movement “my body my choice” as their mantra against wearing masks. With Covid 19 still on its path of destruction, the Governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, has mandated all schools in Pennsylvania to start wearing masks again, which has started much controversy. The morning the mask mandate went into effect, there was a group of citizens who were protesting in front of Quakertown Community High School. The protesters proceeded to talk about how masks were “my body choice” as if a piece of fabric on your face has anything to do with your body. “My body my choice” is not to be used for protesting masks. It’s about women’s rights being taken away.
Not only are these protests happening close to home but nationwide. While Wolf is following scientific facts and mandating mask-wearing in all Pennsylvania’s schools, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas says, “Vaccination that scientists and medical professionals say can help eradicate said global pandemic? It’s a personal decision everyone should make for themselves.”(Hackney, US Today). Although he is very adamant about people’s discretion of mask and vaccination status, he has a change in perspective when it comes to women’s bodies with the recent law put into place stating that abortions are prohibited after six weeks. What does a rich white man have to do with women’s bodies? As expressed in an article from US Today, “He’s proudly #ProLife stated in a Wednesday tweet: “Texas will always defend the right to life”(Hackney, US Today). Do I smell hypocrisy? He states that you have a right to make your own choices when it comes to protecting yourself from a global pandemic where almost 500 million people have died from Covid worldwide, but not when it comes to women’s reproductive rights? He has more of a concern about a fetus the size of a piece of rice, than for the children that are alive today.
With the majority of anti maskers also pro-choice, instead of worrying about all the children that are being aborted, maybe they should focus on the child with developed minds and bodies who are are being affected by the corona virus. 5.3 million children have tested positive for Covid as of September 9th, and 4.0 percent have been hospitalized. Now with cases becoming more severe, children are developing multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). MIS-C is when your body develops too many antibodies and makes your organs work overtime. This then causes inflammation of the organs, breathing problems, and red eyes. As the Mayo Clinic states, “to prevent the spread of Covid and MIS-C is to continue to WEAR A MASK”. Protesters against mask wearing have adopted, “My body choice” as their slogan. “My body, my choice”, has been a mantra for women’s equality since 1970. The slogan not only describes the fact that all women should have control over their bodies and minds, have a right to make choices about their own healthcare, but also have equal rights to men.
Recently I had a discussion with my 11-year-old sister who has no prior knowledge about the subject nor any political views. She became baffled when I explained to her that the women’s movement slogan was taken by anti-maskers. Even though women continue to fight every day for their rights, 406,970 women have been raped in 2019 according to Thousands of unnamed men are doing these awful things to women, one of those people is our 45th President, Donald Trump who has sexual allegations against him. As reported in its October 2016 publication of the “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Trump was heard boasting about grabbing women’s genitals in 2005. Some of Trump’s accusers made their stories public months before the tape’s release, and still, others came forward in the months following” (Relman, Insider). Even after all of this, he still was president for four years and when the pandemic started he refused to wear a mask. The outcome of his leadership or lack thereof, led millions of his followers to refuse to wear masks as well, even after he contracted covid. Though he is no longer our president, his followers are continuing to fight against the mask mandate which includes protesting and using the “my body-my choice” mantra, when most of them do not support the women’s movement itself.
The “My body my choice” slogan for the anti-maskers is seen by many as hypocritical and ignorant. Their argument states the government is taking away their rights by making them wear a face shield but the same people who often against women’s rights as, “Republicans have no problem with discrimination on the basis of race or sex; many of them have argued that there is no need for an Equal Rights Amendment.” Let us put this in perspective, anti maskers are fighting against a piece of cloth covering their nose and mouth to protect themselves but others from spreading covid 19. My body my choice movement is fighting for women to have a right to do what they want to do with their own bodies which has everything to do with the women and nothing to do with you. Women are getting their reproductive rights taken away from them but the poor souls can’t wear masks for a few hours. It’s like some sick joke. There is no argument here, a woman’s rights are literally ripped away and that is not even the worst part. We in America are just fighting over abortions and mask the mandate were in third world countries where women are forced These people only start to care about things when it is actually happening to them, there has been this video circling around the popular app Tik Tok, where this female is talking to her brother about abortion where he continues to fight for pro-life. Until she brought up his girlfriend getting pregnant, where he went quiet.
Wearing a mask is scientifically proven to not only protect the wearer of the mask, but others around them to prevent the spread of covid. Wearing a mask has nothing to do with someone’s body being violated, it is an outer covering of fabric to prevent you from spreading germs to others. Others may be immunocompromised, sick, or live with someone who is. The masks are just like shoes, shoes are meant to protect a person from the things that could hurt their feet but also to prevent the spread of germs, just as with masks. With women’s rights, the mantra stands for the rights of women, their health, their lives, and their choice.
Anti-maskers, you can fight your selfish fight, but pick your own slogan, this one is taken.