Protect Your Daughters; Turn Them Into Corporations

 It’s been suggested that the recent Supreme Court decision involving Hobby Lobby’s resistance to provide insurance coverage for particular types of birth control is a blow to women’s rights. But if we’re willing to think creatively, not unlike writer and satirist Jonathan Swift, SCOTUS may have unknowingly offered us a loophole.

The recent Supreme Court ruling that allows “closely held” family corporations to decide what kinds of care they will and won’t cover, based on their religious beliefs was a great disappointment for many women’s groups and others concerned about gender parity and health care access. The thinking, according to some analysts, is that by keeping the definition of the types of businesses allowed to restrict health care services fairly specifically narrow, it would address this single case, while not setting precedent for millions of others to follow suit.

Never mind that there are more than 5.5 million companies that qualify as “family businesses” in the United States.

Never mind that all of the justices voting in favor of Hobby Lobby were men.

Never mind that all three women on the Supreme Court voted against it.

And never mind that the CEO of Hobby Lobby, David Green, is a man.

Rest assured, we’re told, that this is not a blow to women’s rights.

It seems that, more and more, corporations not only have the same rights as private citizens (see “Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission,” et al); they also can, in some cases, exercise more personal autonomy than the people – or at least the women – who work for them.

And then, after seeing an offhand comment on facebook from my friend, Josh, it occurred to me: all we have to do is turn our daughters into closely held family corporations.

Instead of my five-year-old daughter being known from here, forward as Zoe, she’ll undergo a bit of rebranding, henceforth known as “Zoe Piatt, L.L.C.” The process is pretty easy, actually, and it only costs a few dollars. Whenever I give her allowance or offer her gifts on her birthday or Christmas, they’ll enjoy the shelter of the L.L.C., which means if she’s ever sued, her assets will be sheltered.

If she wants to go to college, she can just issue a business plan, projecting her future earnings, and do an Initial Public Offering.  Then I can spend all this money I keep saving in the kid’s rainy day account on that Tesla I’ve had my eye on.

I know, it might seem like this new arrangement might compromise her ability to get a job later. Who, after all, would hire a corporation, rather than a person, right? But with more and more jobs going contract so companies can avoid offering benefits at all, it just makes sense. Run the contract through the L.L.C. and she’s golden.

Plus, on the off chance that she negotiates health care or other benefits as part of her labor contract with her fellow corporation, she’ll have just as many rights as they do. With that simple L.L.C. registration, I’ve finally put her on equal footing with her capitalist counterparts.

Yes, this Swiftian proposal is satire, but only because it almost makes sense. But in a culture where we value the sovereignty of our corporate machinery over the rights of its labor force, and perhaps worse, when five men in robes and one man behind a CEO desk can arbitrate how the rights over women’s bodies will be handled, we have to start getting creative.

So get back so me soon and invest while you can in this soon-to-be hot commodity known as Zoe Piatt, L.L.C. Once she splits, she’ll be a presence in corporate America that will make David Green blush.

About Christian Piatt

Christian Piatt is the creator and editor of BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BIBLE and BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT JESUS. He co-created and co-edits the “WTF: Where’s the Faith?” young adult series with Chalice Press, and he has a memoir on faith, family and parenting being published in early 2012 called PREGMANCY: A Dad, a Little Dude and a Due Date.

  • michaeloborn

    We should be able to buy shares of stock ownership in people. When I own 51% of you then what?

  • Srednasevad

    Hmmm, perhaps you forgot that a group of black-robed MEN legalized abortion rights to women in the first place. And since you’re also a man, why would I accept your ideas on women’s rights? How did you get so much more transcendent from your maleness than all other men?

  • Banner

    It seems to me that your comment about the gender of the court in making a decision on this issue implied that since only the men voted for Hobby Lobby and the women voted against it then the decision was biased in someway. Is this what you meant to infer? If so then i say that comments like those add nothing to the logical discussion of the issue. I personally know intelligent men and women on both sides of the issue. The point your article makes maybe a valid one but it gets lost in the emotion garbage that accompanies it. I continually see this on both sides of our cultural divide and encourage you to more thoughtful post in the future that don’t seem bend on emotional response and instead a logically discussion of the issues.

  • Ralph

    The only way the decision is a blow to women’s rights is if a “right” is defined as forcing someone else to give you something for free. The decision does absolutely nothing to restrict the actions of any woman in any way.

    • Pixie5

      No one would be giving women something for free. They work for their insurance coverage, pay co-pays and deductables.

      The issue for Hobby Lobby has never been cost. Try to keep up.

    • KellyLynne

      What you’re saying is that it’s valid for a company to sell a substandard product to a captive audience, and receive tax benefits as if they were selling the full product as defined by law. Insurance is compensation, and a company that self-insures is providing part of that coverage as compensation and selling the rest of it to their employees, who pay into the pool.

  • Robyn Lyn

    Love it! Great way to lay it out Dad. :)

  • JoAnn Turner

    I am so sick of hearing that killing babies is a woman’s health issue. What “right” does ANYONE have to kill another human being? If I do not like my neighbor’s dogs does that give me the “right” to kill them? NO, and I would be arrested for animal cruelty. But an abortion – a child – no problem it is your “right”!! Twisted logic. Besides no one is being “forced” to work at Hobby Lobby or any of these small companies. Plenty of large big box stores offering work!

    • Ann Kah

      JoAnn, that was a nice attempt at a side-step there, because as we all know, the Hobby Lobby case is about contraception, not abortion. Contraception, since you seem to be confused, is the PREVENTION of pregnancy, thus also preventing abortion. Indeed their “win” with the court is likely to result in MORE abortions. But YOU are able to decide for yourself not to have an abortion; sorry, dear, other women ALSO have the right to decide for themselves. That’s as it should be.

      • JoAnn Turner

        Ann, I was not side-stepping anything nor am I confused. Hobby Lobby ALREADY provides a medical benefits package that pays for birth control. They ONLY objected to certain ones. “In fact, the Greens pay salaries that start at twice the minimum wage and offer excellent benefits, as well as a healthcare package which includes almost all of the contraceptives now mandated by the Affordable Care Act. Their only objection is to 4 drugs and devices which, the government itself concedes, can terminate an embryo.”
        The ruling ONLY applies to the closely-held companies, which mean they are owned by a family, and only those who had a case in the Court at the time of the decision. These are not public companies that anyone can buy stock in. Just because they are big does not change the fact that the family owns it.
        I can’t see how not providing those 4 drugs will increase abortions. I do not understand how making me pay for the pills for someone else’s choice does not allow me to have a say in the decision.
        I am not going to argue with you or anyone, but please read the whole thing before you start calling someone names, or questioning their motives. I AM against abortion – here or in any other country. I respect that others are for it, once upon a time I thought it was a woman’s “right”. But I grew up, did the research, discovered that they were not just cells but babies. Once I did that I could no longer reconcile myself to that belief. God bless you!

        • Ann Kah

          JoAnn, sorry, but since Hobby Lobby’s objection (which you reiterate) is to PAYING for some methods of contraception (as opposed to “allowing” employees to USE those methods, which is a stretch too far even for Hobby Lobby), you have switched the discussion from contraception to money. You’ve sort of lost the moral high ground there!

          • JoAnn Turner

            I’m confused. They stand on their moral principles and they are wrong. I’ve lost the moral high ground because ???
            Sorry, your logic is confusing me.
            I have things to do so I will leave you to your discussion with others!!!! God bless you and may you – like me – have a change of heart!!! Trust me, I will pray for you Ann!!!

          • Ann Kah

            JoAnn, you are correct – you are indeed confused. If Hobby Lobby’s “principle” is not to PAY for coverage, it hardly constitutes a moral principle, does it? Please pray if it makes you happy, as opposed to actually DOING anything useful.

          • JoAnn Turner

            Ann, since you have NO IDEA what I do, please do not assume anything. Please do not pass judgment on someone or something you do not know.
            And yes I will pray, I will pray so that I do not have the anger you express, I will pray that I can see both sides to a story and NOT judge what is in other peoples hearts. And you, as I said before. Prayer is a lot more powerful than you may think. God bless.

          • urgoingdown

            “I will pray that I can see both sides to a story and NOT judge what is in other peoples hearts.” You sincerely need to get on that one…

          • KellyLynne

            JoAnn, two things. First off, emergency contraception and IUDs don’t end pregnancies. They *might* possibly prevent a fertilized egg from implanting, but no study has shown conclusively that they do, and a recent study showed strong evidence that emergency contraception *does not* work that way. (Women who took it after ovulation were just as likely to get pregnant as those who took nothing.)

            Secondly, Hobby Lobby’s deep moral conviction about the evils of contraception is so very sincere that before they were approached about a lawsuit, they *did* cover emergency contraception. So, they’re so sincere that they need an exemption to a generally held law, but not sincere enough to bother actually finding out if it was something they were doing until the opportunity to damage the ACA came up.

    • Pixie5

      “Plenty of large big box stores offering work!”

      Complete and utter B.S.

      Tell me are you for forced abortions in China? Hobby Lobby must be, since they carry stuff from China. So much for their “moral stance”

    • Pixie5

      Small company???

      From their website:

      “Today, Hobby Lobby is considered a leader in the arts and crafts industry. We have 576 stores across the nation that average 55,000 square feet and offer more than 67,000 crafting and home decor products. Hobby Lobby is listed as a major private corporation in Forbes and Fortunes list of America’s largest private companies”

  • nursecathy123cat

    The Supreme Court divide on this issue was not male/female. It was conservative/liberal. It’s obvious that liberals have a much easier time ordering someone to pay for another person’s abortion-causing methods.

    • Ann Kah

      Cathy, let’s deal in fact-based thinking. Look up the definition of contraception. No pregnancy means no abortion; no contraception means, probably, MORE abortion. A nurse ought to have a grasp of the basic facts.

      • nursecathy123cat

        The sources I checked say that pregnancy begins when the ovum and sperm unite. You should be able to grasp that, even if you are not a nurse.

        • Ann Kah

          Cathy, the American Medical Association and the British Medical Association define it as implantation of a fertilized ovum. Your sources may differ, but that controversy should indicate to you that your sources are not definitive ones. As for dear old Hobby Lobby, they (rightly) can not object when a female employee uses contraceptives or has an abortion. They merely object to paying for it. The debate, therefore, becomes about money, and thus morally suspect. They used to pay for exactly those same contraceptives, and their self-righteous blatant hypocrisy is clear.

    • urgoingdown

      How is someone who is working and paying for a healthcare plan forcing someone else to pay for their healthcare?

      • nursecathy123cat

        My understanding of the Hobby Lobby case is that employees and the company were fine with the plan HL offered and paid for. No problem until ACA came along and dictated what HL MUST offer in its plan. ACA demanded to change the benefit, not change who paid for it.

        • urgoingdown

          Bottom line, a healthcare plan should cover healthcare. Contraception and, although some disagree, abortion are part of healthcare. If you choose not to have these procedures or take these medications, it is your choice. But the plan should cover everyone’s healthcare needs, including people who choose to use contraception and have an abortion.

    • KellyLynne

      IUDs and emergency contraception don’t cause abortions.

      • nursecathy123cat

        See my reply to Ann Kah above.

      • nursecathy123cat

        IUDs and emergency contraception work in different ways. The IUD does not prevent ovulation. It does prevent a fertilized ovum from implanting in the uterine lining. This aborts a pregnancy that is already occurring. That is the meaning of the word ‘abort’–to stop something that is in progress. The emergency contraception is different. It can prevent ovulation but it can also prevent implantation of a fertilized ovum in the uterus. That also aborts a pregnancy in progress.

  • http://nathanrein.com Nathan

    I learned two things from this comment section:

    - Using an IUD or taking Plan B = “killing babies”
    - Health care services paid for by an insurance plan (which you probably pay at least part of the premiums for, and which is supplied as part of a compensation package at your job) = “free” health care

    • Ann Kah

      Nathan, you missed one: enjoying the health care services and the personal autonomy of the rest of the civilized world is, somehow, a “privilege” to which women in this country should not aspire.


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