So, this happened.
On my Facebook page, there’s a conversation about how female inmates in California prisons have been getting sterilized, without the proper approval process, and with the women being subjected to pressure and coercion.
A commenter on my page (remaining nameless here, as people have a somewhat higher expectation of privacy on Facebook than elsewhere on the Internet), had this to say:
There are worse things to be worrying about, like where people are actually dying or losing their freedoms.
When I pointed out to him that this was, in fact, a story about freedoms being lost, and asked if he wanted his Facebook readers to troll him every time he posted about something when they thought something else was more important, he replied:
Thorny topics like sterilization and the requirement of consent for it seems like a distraction from the things that can actually improve our quality of life in the here and now or in the future.
From the things that can actually improve our quality of life.
The requirement of consent for sterilization is, according to this person, a distraction from things that can actually improve our quality of life. Things like the right to basic bodily autonomy, or the right to decide for ourselves whether we are or are not to reproduce… apparently, these aren’t things that can actually improve anyone’s life.
Or maybe the issue here is that the “our” in “our quality of life” doesn’t include female prisoners?
And while we’re at it: A “thorny” topic? Sterilization and the requirement of consent for it is a “thorny” topic? It seems pretty freaking straightforward to me. You don’t sterilize people without their absolutely clear, completely informed, entirely non-pressured consent. Period. What, precisely, is “thorny” about that?