Thursday, June 17, 2010
Voting with my wallet?
I hate getting my hair cut. I loathe going to the dentist. I dread calling my apartment's maintenance people. I have such disdain for these events partially because they involve coming out as an abortioneer when the stylist breezily asks me what I do, when I hand my insurance card with the clinic name to the dentist's receptionist, and when the maintenance man sees an apartment that's basically a shrine to abortion (a plush smiling uterus hangs from my freezer door and every bookcase is full of abortiony titles). But I've mostly learned to handle those circumstances. What's tricker is gauging how comfortable I am giving my business to people who might end up not to be so abortion-friendly.
One of my dear friends and co-workers once told me that she makes a habit of questioning contractors or proprietors about their attitudes toward choice. If she's giving them money, she reasons, she should know exactly what she's supporting, directly or indirectly. I can get behind that. As funny as it is go to out to brunch with a fellow Abortioneer and say, as we each plunk down a Visa card, "This meal paid for by abortion!", how do we really know that our hard-earned abortion money isn't going to fund a trip to Hobby Lobby (I'm not choosing that store arbitrarily. Hoo boy, are they ever Christian. But I'm also not giving it a link.) to get supplies for fetus porn that will appear outside of my clinic?
I've never been able to bring myself to ask about a business owner's views, though. The closest I got was when I was a friend's wing woman at a party and to ascertain whether she would be going home with the right guy, I blurted out, "Are you pro-choice?" (He was, he was lovely, but she ended up not going home with him.) I manage to surround myself with abortion-loving people and I know (thanks to Facebook) who's in the local choice community. But I think I fall short of the comfort level that would let me question it, point blank. What about you, readers? Have you ever vetted establishments for their worth as allies?
This is not a debate forum -- there are hundreds of other sites for that. This is a safe space for abortion care providers and one that respects the full spectrum of reproductive choices; comments that are not in that spirit will either wind up in the spam filter or languish in the moderation queue.
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Absolutely, I make choices about where I order pizzas for my students, who I hire to finish my basement or mow my lawn. In fact, given a bit of google time, we could have a rather lengthy list of businesses to choose not to patronize (think Chick Fila, Hobby Lobby, Target, Home Depot, etc).ReplyDelete
I've never just right-out asked somebody whether they supported voluntary motherhood as a condition of doing business with them -- but I will say, if I see that goddam tiresome little Jesus fish on their trucks or the corner of their office window or what-have-you, or if they're otherwise smugly ostentatious about their choice of cosmic security blanket? Not getting one thin dime from me.ReplyDelete
Amblinwiseass, agree! And I would add if there is anyone who shows up with mud flaps with silhouettes of naked women or rosary beads hanging from their rear view mirror, they're asked to leave.ReplyDelete
We should try and come up with a list of abortion/women friendly companies! I agree, I don't seek to find out if a business is abortion friendly, but the jesus fish makes me turn around. I do know of a coffee shop in town that is anti-choice, so I don't go there. I walk past a house on my daily walk with a "Jesus is Lord" sign outside their door. I would never patronize their business. I might try and make more of an effort. That being said, anti's are far less common in Canada.ReplyDelete
A list of pro- & anti- choice establishments would make for a great blog post!ReplyDelete
Great post - and I think it would be so amazing if there were a centralized resource for this, similar to the Corporate Equality Index provided by the Human Rights Campaign. I will never give my pizza dollars to Domino's. And I stopped drinking Snapple because they give money to anti-choice sources. Very sad to hear about Target and Home Depot. Guess we'll be changing were we shop.ReplyDelete
In terms of local businesses, I think it's important to know where the owners stand on a range of political issues. I like the idea of asking, but I'm with you . . . that takes a lot of ovaries.
I'd love to get a comprehensive list of anti-choice establishments! I boycott Chick-fil-A, Hobby Lobby, Wal-Mart, and Dominoes, and I patronize local places I've established are pro-choice (coffee shop, gift shop, piercing place, hair salons) and companies who we've seen cover abortion on their insurance policies, but I want a full black list!ReplyDelete
Well, the Domino's dude sold the business in 1998, so he's already made all the wealth he's going to make off Domino's and is now living out his right-wing anti fascist retirement. So I figure we're now free to spend money there if we so choose.ReplyDelete
The founder of Carl's Jr is apparently also an anti, but I can't figure out if he still owns the company or not.
And I didn't know about Target - what's their story?
PS, I confess to taking some visiting friends to a famous establishment in my hometown even after I realized that they "proudly support life by hosting the [state] Right to Life fundraiser," blech. (And then there's Chik-fil-A. The eternal debate: hunger or principles? Only some of us can stay away from it!)
I am choosing to ignore this talk of Target sadness.ReplyDelete
Keep in mind -- not all Christians, or even Catholics, are pro-life, though it does make it more likely.ReplyDelete
I'm Catholic, and have been in some parishes in which my unscientific polling suggested that the pro-life opinion was the minority one.
Wait, what? Can we discuss this Target thing?ReplyDelete
I don't ask about it since I get plenty of debates and ackward/heated discussions without trying, but if it were blantantly obvious (anti choice stickers or talk or over religious symbols) I'd refuse to do business.ReplyDelete
I sometimes visit the anti websites to see what they are up to. You know the saying, "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer."ReplyDelete
Anyway, some of them have nice lists of companies to protest because of their pro-choice support. So they have done some of the work for us already!
I wish I could remember some of the sites offhand, but I am drawing a blank. But I am sure that most of the more organized and politically active sites would have such lists, if you can stomach searching them.
Target pharmacies had an issue with filling prescriptions that were against their religious beliefs. Of course, Target received a lot of negative press. Would be interesting to learn what the corporate policy is NOW...ReplyDelete