More than 35 years after women marched around with “Government: Get your hands off my body” signs, I may have to print up a new batch. In the early 1970s, the signs were to stand up for a newly pregnant woman’s right to choose what to do with her body. We won that fight. On Jan. 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court, decided in favor of Jane Roe in Roe v. Wade, making first-trimester abortions legal again.
For years, the government has chipped away at my freedom by patting me on the head as it passed patronizing laws about what was in my best interest. But now the government wants to take away my salt, and it’s time to fight back.
I do understand the need to balance free choice with public safety. If I choose to smoke in public, the government can tell me where I must stand because my right to smoke in public ends where someone else’s lungs begin.
I’m less sympathetic when it comes to making sure I buckle my seat belt or wear a helmet when I ride a motorcycle. It should be my choice whether to live as a vegetable.
But not an unsalted one.
The government took away my trans fats, and Oreos and Entenmann’s are no longer worth eating. Shouldn’t I be the one to judge how much I’m willing to risk on that carcinogen?
The government says Americans eat too much salt. It leads to high blood pressure, and that’s unhealthy. So the government is urging food manufacturers to cut the amount of salt they use in processed foods.
Will Big Brother now make Morton’s available only by prescription? Or will I be reduced to skulking in dark corners of the park to blow my paycheck on a couple of grams of salt slid to me in a baggie?
Granted, on average, we Americans are a nation of fat slobs. We eat the wrong foods and too much of them. We don’t move our muscles enough. We would rather text someone than have a voice-to-voice conversation. We prefer the fantasy life of TV shows and online games because having a real life with real friends is too hard.
But shouldn’t that be our choice?
It’s time for us to take back the night. I’ll start with the Fritos.
— Nancy Oates