Thoughts on Women’s Suffrage

Zippy Catholic, on his blog, makes a pretty strong argument against women’s suffrage in principle. He has a lot of post on it, so I’ll just link to a search on the topic.

Unless I’m misunderstanding him, his argument goes like this:

  1. There is a strong link between women’s suffrage and abortion.
  2. We know that not giving women the right to vote, an optional feature of government, is not intrinsically evil.
  3. Abortion is intrinsically evil, and in fact we are going through one of the all-time worst holocausts ever in terms of sheer number of people killed.
  4. Given this, if taking the right to vote away from women would prevent abortion, we should do it in a heartbeat.

Zippy also says this:

Treating female suffrage as a basic human right teaches us that it is a fundamental violation of justice for women to be treated unequally to
men. It follows that a law which criminalizes something that only a woman can do is a basic violation of justice. Therefore laws which criminalize abortion – something only a woman can freely choose, because of accident of birth – are inherently unjust.

I think Zippy makes a pretty strong case that gets dismissed out of hand by people who have a knee-jerk reaction about an understandably touchy subject, which they believe is a cut and dry case of equal rights. So I commend Zippy just for taking this on. I recently told Zippy’s argument to two people whose reaction was to immediately burst out laughing at the supposed “extremism”. After calming down both of them agreed that women tend to vote far more liberal and that without the female vote there would probably be no abortion, but both also agreed that women should still get the right to vote. Seems like a bit of a backwards reaction, no?

But I get it. The problem is that our government is a democracy (I’ve also heard “It’s not a democracy, it’s a Republic!” which to me is a pointless distraction and a distinction without a difference), and women make up roughly half of it. I suppose the idea, then, is that ideally men should be chivalrous (to use one word) enough to vote while keeping the rights and privileges of women in mind. I guess this is true. It’s also extremely unrealistic.

The only answer seems to be to reject democracy, then, as a form of government altogether. But for what, then? I don’t know. Theoretically the ideal government would be a monarchy with a perfect monarch, and indeed we have that – but at the moment, it’s not an Earthly government. We still have to wait for that.

So, if I could get rid of abortion in a heartbeat, would I use my magic powers to get rid of women’s suffrage? Probably, but that’s not what we’re dealing with here (Zippy acknowledges that). It also wasn’t the deal back in 1919, though. If I knew women were more likely vote in favor of abortion at the time my response would still be to support women’s suffrage but to campaign more strongly against abortion.

Also, for that matter, I don’t think right to abortion logically follows from right to vote. The right to vote is granted because women make up half the country and when we’re making decisions they deserve to get their opinions heard. This is entirely separate from the type of “equal rights” granted in abortion. A woman is unequal to a man in the sense that only she can have a child, yes, but neither side would ever have the right to kill children. That argument is unconvincing to me.

I’ll definitely be following Zippy more closely, though. He’s a smart guy and is one of the most politely and affably offensive people you’ll ever meet. I can respect that.

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