In Defense of Tomi Lahren

I can’t believe I’m saying this.

Earlier this week, rising conservative star Tomi Lahren appeared on the View, and divulged that she is pro-choice.

"I can't sit here and be a hypocrite and say, 'I'm for limited government, but I think the government should decide what women do with their bodies. I can say, 'You know what, I'm for limited government, so stay out of my guns, and you can stay out of my body as well.'"

My face usually reserves its jaw-dropping muscles for BBC alerts about Russian ties, but I’ll admit that my food fell out of my mouth a little bit.

This news came as a surprise to me and many other adversaries of Tomi, because not only is she an avid Trump supporter, a conservative broadcast TV personality and, historically, pretty anti-feminist — she straight up refers to abortion as murder on her show. Consider this a change of heart.

Not to mention that she got suspended from her show for these comments. Her own show! Where she literally just discusses her own opinions!

There are a lot of things to ask here — whether being pro-choice makes her a feminist ally, if she deserved to get suspended, what this means for the pro-choice agenda. I’ll answer them quickly: Tomi decides whether she’s a feminist ally, not us. She definitely doesn’t deserve suspension for having a “consistent” view of Federalism. The last answer, however, is a bit long, so bear with me as I start from the beginning.

Liberals are baffled that the woman we love to hate turns out to have something in common with us — something huge. Tomi, like the rest of pro-choice women, believes that we deserve control over ourselves. Simple right? Yet, as soon as she voiced it, she got suspended for it. That tells me and every other woman watching that no matter who you are, as soon as you try to take control of your own body, you’re a threat and you deserve punishment.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept — because you have the luxury of taking it for granted, or because you’ve never experienced it — bodily autonomy means that humans have the self-determination to treat their bodies how they wish, and a violation from another person is unethical, intrusive, and, in many cases, criminal.

Bodily autonomy is something that women rarely enjoy, because men often don’t realize they are denying it to 51 percent of the population. When women are told when and how to dress, eat, speak, learn, create and relate to others, our bodily autonomy is denied to us. When we are harassed, or raped, or denied birth control, the same is true.

Whether it’s the presence of a man’s reproductive organs or a developing fetus, our lives are spent justifying the right to decide what comes in and out of our bodies, till death do us part.

You heard me — dead people actually have more bodily autonomy than living women because organs cannot legally be donated without living consent. Dead. People. Sure, a next-of-kin can consent to a posthumous donation, but that leaves women right on par with the deceased, because someone else is calling the shots.

Are we dead to you? Is that why we don’t deserve control over our bodies? Should we just go ahead and die already, to spare you and Congress the grief over arguing with us about what comes in and out between our thighs? Or should we keep on living, just to see the Brock Turners go free after raping strangers?

Tell me I’m being dramatic, and I’ll tell you that when I was 13, my mom taught me to hold my house keys between my knuckles whenever I feel unsafe walking by myself. I’m 22 now, and I and I still do that in every single parking lot, because it lets me pretend I have some semblance of control, even though I don’t.

There are a lot more questions that I can’t answer:

What will it take for men to realize that we deserve to choose when someone wants to alter the contents of our bodies? Why did Tomi get suspended for agreeing with 78 percent of Americans? How many women are closeted pro-choice advocates? It’s not like Tomi wants babies to die; pro-choice liberals don’t want that either. It’s undeniably tragic and miserable to think about, and even more-so to experience.

All Tomi did was ask for permission — which she shouldn’t need — to decide what happens to her body and when.

Why can’t people accept that she's a diehard conservatives who also cares about her body? You can be both. It’s not hypocrisy; people don’t fit perfectly within the boundaries of political parties. We need more conservatives to stick up for women, so I’m going to agree with her on this one — if you’re a stickler for limited government, women’s bodies should be excluded from federal and state jurisdiction.

I’ll beg the question — do Tomi Lahren's comments make her dead to you? If she is, she might not be the only alleged hypocrite.

Halah Flynn