Empathy! How the fudge does it work?

[Content Note: Misogyny; cissexism. Part Three in an ongoing series.]

"I'm a man." and "I've got more interest in good quality long underwear than I have in birth control pills." These are two things actually said, out loud, by Eden Foods founder and CEO Michael Potter, in explanation of his decision to sue the Obama administration over its rule that companies must cover the cost of birth control in their employee health insurance plans.
I [Irin Carmon] asked why he said he didn't care about birth control, since he filed a suit about it and all.

"Because I'm a man, number one and it's really none of my business what women do," Potter said. So, then, why bother suing? "Because I don't care if the federal government is telling me to buy my employees Jack Daniel's or birth control. What gives them the right to tell me that I have to do that? That's my issue, that's what I object to, and that's the beginning and end of the story." He added, "I'm not trying to get birth control out of Rite Aid or Wal-Mart, but don't tell me I gotta pay for it."
HA HA PERFECT. I'd like to observe that this garbage argument is a natural outgrowth of narratives that wrench women's reproductive health from general healthcare and set it aside as some kind of special exception. He's fine with "being told" he's got to provide health insurance to his employees, but asking him to comprehensively fund women's healthcare is a step too far. Because he doesn't view women's reproductive care as a central part of women's health.

(And he certainly does not realize that there are other reasons besides pregnancy prevention that some women and other people with uteri/ovaries need and use The Pill, nor that there are even people other than women who need and use hormonal birth control.)

Obviously, Carmon took him to task on this curious argument.
But the federal government tells him to do a lot of things, I said. Why sue over this if he had no particular issue with contraception, as the suit — "these procedures almost always involve immoral and unnatural practices," his court filing explained – clearly alleges he does out of religious conviction? Well, he said, he opposes "using abortion as birth control, definitely." But the mandate doesn't cover abortion, I reminded him, only contraception, and emergency contraception is not abortion.

"It's a morass," Potter said. "I'm not an expert in anything. I'm not the pope. I'm in the food business. I'm qualified to have opinions about that and not issues that are purely women's issues. I am qualified to have an opinion about what health insurance I pay for."

I floated by him the fact that contraceptive coverage is cheaper to pay for than, say, maternity coverage.

Potter replied, "One's got a little more warmth and fuzziness to it than the other, for crying out loud."
I don't even with this guy.

And as annoying as every other bullshit thing he said was, perhaps this annoys me most of all: "[A]t one point he called himself 'a pretty simple guy, a Midwestern homemade-soup guy.'" Fuck off, man. I'm a pretty simple Midwestern woman, and I don't have any problems understanding what the fuck contraception is or why it's necessary.

This ain't about your being Midwestern. It's about your being a privileged dipshit.

[H/T to @RachelPerrone.]

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