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Freedom of Choice?
by Doug Hagin
18 November 2003Sushi

Feminists claim to support a woman's right to choose -- but not when the choice is to allow sushi to be served off her body.

A recent news story out of Seattle, Washington about a restaurant serving sushi on a nearly naked woman has caught my interest. Of course any story about nearly naked women is going to catch my eye, so to speak, since I am a big fan of women, especially nearly naked ones.

But this story has piqued my interest for a very different reason. This story, and more importantly the reaction of some feminists to it, has really gotten my mind focusing on the great inconsistencies among many feminists where women and their choices are concerned.

Several Seattle area feminists have been up in arms over the alleged exploitation of the models that choose to allow customers at Bonzai, a Seattle Restaurant to partake of sushi laid out on their bodies. 

Among the comments against the restaurant’s activity came from Cherry Cayabyab, president of the Seattle chapter of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. “ It’s dehumanizing, the manner in which people are buying and selling sushi to be eaten off a woman’s body. It’s dehumanizing to be treated like a plate.”

This is certainly a valid view. It is surely less than empowering for women to so often be thought of as merely sex objects. And certainly many feminists have done a very valuable service to women by pointing out that women are not just eye candy or sex objects.

Yet there is a problem here with consistency with the feminist message. It can be summed up in one little word. A word which many feminists have done their level best to patent as the rallying cry for their pro-abortion ideology. The word is choice.

For decades now the word choice has been used to defend abortion on demand. It has been used to paint abortion as a sacred right without which women would become little more than baby machines and second-class citizens. Yet this seems to be the only “choice” feminists believe a woman should have.

Certainly the women allowing strangers to eat sushi off their bodies are making a choice aren’t they? Shouldn’t the tired pro-abortion rhetoric of “my body my choice” apply to them too? After all, according to feminist ideology, women should be able to choose for themselves without anyone daring to pass judgment on them.

These women protesting the “dehumanization” of women in Seattle apparently have forgotten their own ideology. Apparently they really believe that women should be free to choose only if they make the choices feminists approve of. Certainly there are other choices women make which do not set too well with many feminists.

Stays at home moms have long been targets of the more radical feminists. They have found very few friends in the radical feminist camps. Instead they have found themselves characterized as sellouts and a hindrance to women’ equality. Forget that raising children is a sacred duty and one that greatly impacts future generations.

Likewise women choosing to marry and be housewives have been soundly ridiculed for their choice. They have been characterized as settling for less and as lazy and hurtful of the women’s movement. Whatever happened to not judging women for their choices?

We might also look at how women voting for Conservative political candidates or espousing Conservative values are attacked by radical feminists. Certainly the choices these women make are not approved of by the decidedly left-leaning feminists we so often hear claiming they are defending freedom of choice for all women.

Of course we have all seen how certain “pro-choice” groups like the National Organization of women have berated Hooters restaurants for employing attractive women dressed in short-shorts and t-shirts as waitresses. We have heard women posing nude or scantily clad for magazines or videos criticized by these same allegedly “pro-choice” groups like NOW.

Never mind that these women chose to pose for the photos, or chose to work at Hooters. Their choices are no good, apparently, unless the radical feminists approve of them. Never mind that women who chose to be stay at home moms or housewives did so of their own free will. It is increasingly apparent women and freedom of choice is only to be celebrated as long as they choose according to radical feminist ideology.

Any other choice will bring scorn, personal attacks, and venom from the radical feminists. Clearly these radical feminists want women to be free to choose to kill their precious unborn children. Clearly they will always defend abortion on demand and preach about women’s right to control her body. Until a woman decides to use her body for something feminists disapprove of that is. Clearly a woman thinking outside the box radical feminists would seek to place her in will find no support for her choices.

We have heard feminist talk about the bad old days when women were not free to determine their own destinies and were not considered equal. Now, these same feminists are often seeking to protect women’s freedom, as long as women make the choices radical feminists want them to make! 

Doug Hagin resides in Dallas and hopes to one day be a nationally syndicated columnist with his own radio show

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