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Woke ‘Rights’ Are All Based On Coercion

The litany of woke entitlements alleged by the left infringe on existing rights, restricting the freedoms of some in order to benefit others.


When the political left finds a meme they really think sells, they go all-in. Such is the case with “forced birth” or “forced motherhood” in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade and stated a Constitutional right to abortion does not exist. I wrote recently about how “forced birth” is a nonsensical description of pregnancies resulting (as is almost always the case) from consensual sex. Babies are a natural consequence of sex and procreation is the primary reason sex exists in the first place.

“Forced birth” or “forced motherhood” are projections of the left’s own brutality and reliance on force onto their political and cultural opposition. Abortion is force. Abortion kills; it is a brutal denial of this tiny, developing human’s right to life, the most fundamental of all rights. For the woman’s “right” to be exercised, another life must end.

This wretched truth differs from the left’s construction of other “rights” only in degree, not in kind. They predicate many of their “fundamental rights” on the coercion of others, and if a so-called “right” is based on coercion, it is not fundamental, merely an entitlement guaranteed by a bully state.

Of course, when we speak about coercion, abortion advocates point to exceptional cases such as pregnancy resulting from rape. As I wrote in my last piece, nonconsensual sex, especially resulting in pregnancy, is a grave loss of autonomy. Yet the innocent baby’s more essential right to life supersedes this loss of autonomy for nine months, as difficult a circumstance as it may be. One tragedy should not be compounded by another.

A baby’s right to life obviously doesn’t supersede a mother’s right to life. That may be a reason to deliver a baby early, even too early to survive, but not a reason for deliberate destruction. What opponents of abortion are referring to, and what is being debated, is not situations in which carrying a preborn baby endangers the mother. The practice we condemn is the premeditated killing of a baby in the womb because that baby is not wanted, whether because of his paternity, apparent defect, or general inconvenience to the parents.

One of the definitions of “coerce” is “to deprive of by force.” So, it is fitting we call this kind of “right” a coercive entitlement.  That classification extends far beyond abortion, though abortion is the most heinous of all.

Before further characterizing these coercive entitlements, let me address the other objection that will doubtlessly arise: that all our rights rely on at least the threat of the use of force, so what’s the difference? Force wielded by the state on those who would violate a right, which is the only way rights can be protected, is not the same as coercion or restrictions applied to people in order for a right to be exercised in the first place. If I give a public speech and someone who hates my views comes and tries to drag me off the stage to shut me up, police should intervene to protect my right and take the perpetrator into custody. If, on the other hand, the police themselves drag me off the stage because my speech violates a law against “hate speech” meant to “protect” certain demographics, or of I don’t make that speech in the first place due to the threat of being dragged off to jail, that is force necessarily applied or threatened in order to guarantee this “right” to not be a victim of “hate speech.”

The Right Not to be Offended

Woke rights are entitlements to coercion and the restriction of others’ rights previously recognized. To protect certain people’s “right to live their true selves,” for example, the far left alleges it has the constitutional right to limit others’ free speech so that some groups are not offended or emotionally wounded. With “misgendering” and “dead-naming,” we must in some cases be forced into certain speech for this right to “be one’s authentic self” to exist.

Again, with transgender athletes: it isn’t “equality” unless all institutions are forced to allow them to compete with the sex with which they identify. The right of parents to protect their children is also threatened by the left as children far below the age of consent are alleged to have the “right” to do permanent and severe damage to their bodies with so-called gender transition. They allege this “right” while children face social contagions they’re poorly equipped to handle and gender doctrines that confuse rather than elucidate. The right of parents to make medical decisions for minors are critical in these circumstances, and the far left would have them erased.

More Coercion Regarding Gays, Lockdowns

The alleged “right to equal treatment” for gay couples a la Masterpiece Cake Shop also relies on coercion. The left claims true “equality” isn’t achieved unless bakers, photographers, and floral designers can be forced to express views or support behaviors they disagree with.   

Consider more recently the left’s fervent support for lockdowns in the name of a supposed “right” to not be infected, smearing those who disagree with them, who simply want to exercise their freedom to live a normal life, as “reckless” and “murderous.” The alleged entitlement to a reduced threat of Covid infection (or insert latest panic-inducing pathogen here) is dependent on restricting the more basic freedoms of others. Mask and vaccine mandates follow the same flawed logic.

Affirmative Action and Taxes

Universities likewise violate the right to equal treatment under the law through affirmative action. Applicants of certain minority statuses are given preferential treatment while non-minority applications may be “downgraded” simply due to applicants’ ethnicity, gender, or sexuality. The left would see affirmative action expanded and racial quotas in employment, now banned, used widely.

Even the most basic right to keep the money you earn has been infringed upon for decades by the government expressly for the purpose of distributing it to others who earn less. Those with fewer resources are entitled to the resources gained by others, according to the left.

Supplanting Natural Rights

The new, “woke” set of rights are just more aggressive iterations of this long-standing belief of the left: government must take some of the wealth, opportunity, freedoms, and rights of some in order to benefit others. Thus, the leftist coercive rights supplant natural rights identified by the Framers of our Constitution, rights that come from the Creator. Abortion as a “fundamental” right supplants the right to life. They cannot coexist. The rights to not be “victimized” by disfavored speech and to “be one’s true self” and be “equal” supplant the right to free speech. The “right” to not be infected with a certain pathogen supplants the rights to move about freely and to peaceably assemble. The latter rights must be abridged to uphold the new ones.

The “forced birth” talking point discussed above reminds us what is inside this trojan horse of entitlements alleged to be “civil rights” or “fundamental human rights:” bondage. The only real fundamental right leftists believe in is the right of the state to use force in enacting their agenda. From abortion to so-called gender transition, these new rights are definitionally authoritarian, abridging pre-existing rights to support themselves.

The quest of the woke left to free themselves from biological realities and natural order, as in the case of abortion, gender, and sexuality, and to achieve a more “equitable” society, relies on submission, subjugation, and if necessary, lethal force. The truth remains amid the temper tantrums and the angry memes: there is no free, thriving society that can be achieved through the use of force by one group of citizens in the name of another.

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