No, Vaccine Mandates Aren't an Attack on Freedom 強制接種疫苗並未侵犯人身自由
The delta surge in COVID-19 seems to be receding. That's good news, and not just because fewer people are dying. Fear of infection was one reason the economic recovery hit an air pocket in the third quarter. Resuming normal life will be a huge relief.
But the U.S. right is, in effect, trying to keep the pandemic going. The expressed rationale for all this activity is that it's about protecting freedom. In reality, while there are several reasons for vaccine resistance, politics is a significant driver of the agitation.
A successful vaccination campaign could mean a successful Biden administration, and the right is determined to prevent that, no matter how many avoidable deaths result from vaccine sabotage. It's noteworthy that Fox has a very strict vaccination policy for its own employees.
Still, the case against vaccine mandates, however disingenuous, needs to be answered on the merits. And I think it's worth spelling out exactly why.
First, personal choice is fine — as long as your personal choices don't hurt other people. I may deplore the quality of your housekeeping, but it's your own business; on the other hand, freedom doesn't include the right to dump garbage in the street.
And going unvaccinated during a pandemic does hurt other people — which is why schools, in particular, have required vaccination against many diseases for generations. The unvaccinated are much more likely to contract the coronavirus, and hence potentially infect others, than those who've had their shots.
Vaccination, then, should be considered a public duty, not a personal choice. Medicine, in case you haven't noticed, is a complex and difficult subject. As a result, it's an area where it's a bad idea to leave people entirely to their own devices.
Finally, the most contentious area in this whole argument involves vaccine and mask requirements for schools. And in this area, opponents of mandates aren't making decisions for themselves — they're making decisions for their children, who have rights of their own and aren't simply their parents' property.
Again, I don't know how many people really believe that vaccine requirements are an attack on freedom. But in any case, it's important to understand that freedom is no reason to block a potential medical miracle.
When it comes to alimony, the law is blind to gender. "What's good for the goose is good for the gander, that's how family law works," said Laura Wasser, the California lawyer representing singer Kelly Clarkson in her high-profile divorce.
Even though the Supreme Court ruled that alimony is gender neutral in 1979, Wasser said that women have still been surprised to find themselves doling out spousal support. "What amazes me is that many bright and sophisticated women don't realize they will have to pay," said Wasser, declining to comment directly on Clarkson's case.
Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock, an entertainment agent, split in 2020 after seven years of marriage. Despite a prenuptial agreement recently upheld in a Los Angeles court, Blackstock has been awarded temporary monthly spousal support of nearly $150,000, half of his initial ask.
In addition to the monthly spousal support paid by Clarkson, Blackstock also receives child support of around $45,000 per month, despite Clarkson having been awarded primary physical custody of their two children.
This might seem like a lot, but according to documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Clarkson's monthly income is $1.9 million. She follows in the wake of other female stars whose settlements were way steeper: Madonna, Elizabeth Taylor, Rosanne Barr, Kirstie Alley and Janet Jackson have all paid hugely in their divorces.
Part of the shock over such settlements, according to Alexandra Killewald, a sociology professor at Harvard who studies the effects of unequal earning on relationships, may be influenced by preconceived notions about gender. "Our culture expects men to be the primary breadwinners and there are simply more options for women for part-time work or to take time for child rearing," Killewald said.
Another reason that men being awarded alimony can come as a surprise is because it doesn't happen that often.
According to a 2019 study of census data by the Urban Institute, a nonprofit research group, half of United States households are headed by women, on average. Despite an increase in stay-at-home husbands, far more women than men seek and receive spousal support.