John Davenport has a nice piece in Ms. magazine, “Fight Abortion Bans by Boycotting Anti-Choice States” (July 21). I couldn’t agree more. It’s so good–for a change–to encounter an advocate of boycotts who isn’t me.
Nothing talks louder than money in the U.S. With over half of states on their way to banning abortion, the only choice is to fight with a boycott movement bigger than this nation has ever seen.
I’ve run John’s proposal by some pro-choice people on Facebook, many of whom seem to regard it as quixotic and pointless. I don’t agree. I’ll paste some of my responses to them in the comments here, just to give a flavor of the potential disagreements with John’s argument from people otherwise on his (our) side of the issue.
Though John doesn’t put things this way, I would say that John’s proposal is yet another benign, justice-seeking instance of so-called “cancel culture,” or, since I don’t accept the legitimacy of that concept, of cancellation. If boycotts are an instance of cancellation, and bans on abortions are an egregious violation of rights, then if boycotts are a plausible way of resisting abortion bans, at least one instance of cancellation is thereby vindicated. But if, as John (correctly) suggests, what we need is a full-scale campaign of boycotts, then a whole campaign of cancellation is thereby vindicated. And if the general onslaught against sexual rights doesn’t stop with abortion, we’ll need more than that.
A lot “if” clauses there, I grant, but none that strikes me as hard to affirm, at least from within broadly liberal assumptions.