By Tiffani Dangelico
Growing up I frequented many craft stores. My mom went through an intense puffy paint and iron-on phase in the mid-'90s, for which my sister and I were her guinea pigs. Imagine oversized sweatshirts with multi-colored ice skating penguins for Christmas and full on Leprechauns for St. Paddy’s day, all outlined in the latest fluorescent puffy paint.
So my first trip to Hobby Lobby was a weird mix of nostalgia and disdain. It all came at me with a vengeance upon my initial steps into the store. It was the smell; a combination of excessive amounts of plastic products, and contempt for personal freedom.
The 5-4 Supreme Court ruling on June 30 was a punch to the gut to female and human rights. The slant that this decision is “about the freedoms of all Americans” and “that all Americans should celebrate,” as posed by Lori Windham, with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, is just plain insulting.
(Side note, I’m not the only who was motivated by the Supreme Court ruling to visit a Hobby Lobby store. Check out this Feministing photo essay on Pro-Choice Decorating at Hobby Lobby from which the above image was taken).
So now Hobby Lobby has control over its female employee’s vaginas. Though to great disappointment they have not chosen to bring back Vagazzling – which seems like it’d be perfect fit, what with the aisle upon aisles of sequins, glitter and pom-poms.
A business that has the right to select the type of contraceptive its employees have access to – based on the religious beliefs of the businesses owners – is the exact opposite of freedom. Religious freedom is about being free to practice ones beliefs, not to dictate those beliefs onto other people. Especially when you hold power over those people, in this case someone’s livelihood.
In their defense, the Christian ideals of the company are splayed all over the store, in an almost offensive manner. There is absolutely no way you wouldn’t know you were in a store targeted to Christian shoppers. In almost every aisle there is at least one form of a cross trying to convert your living room, back yard or craft table. There is even an aisle labeled, “Men’s Iron and Wood”. So ladies, not only are your birth control options dictated for you, but you are out of luck if you are in the market for a rough and tumble knick-knack.
Hobby Lobby has chosen to be specific in the type of contraceptives its executives deem unacceptable. Basically, this means using abortions as a loop-hole. They believe that morning after pills and IUD’s cause abortions and thus violate their collectively held religious belief that life begins at conception.
You would think that a place so full of options for wooden sticks and balls (seriously, an entire aisle dedicated to just that) would be more open to letting its employees have the same amount of choices as it gives its customers. But we aren’t dealing with well-rounded people here, and real life needs aren’t at the forefront of their minds.
Science, medicine and facts aren’t something the Hobby Lobby founders, are fond of. If they were, they’d understand that the only thing that causes abortions are abortions, and that emergency contraceptives and IUD’s are used to prevent a pregnancy from occurring – not end one.
As if their assault on lady parts wasn’t enough, they are trying to convince people that scrapbooking will be a good investment. It’s not. It never is.
The most difficult feat from my trip to Hobby Lobby had to be refraining from hugging each of the young and deflated looking employees, and also not buying any of the surprisingly well stocked candy.
Farewell Hobby Lobby, our relationship was brief, unfulfilling and left me feeling nauseated. So don’t be surprised if you hear from me in nine-months.