Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Loving the Body We Have Now & We Shall Unite, Overcome, & Love Ourselves, Part 1 - Body Sovereignty

In a blog post by Jayne Lyn Stahl: "The Akin Doesn't Fall Far from the Tree" - quote from the blog: "Rescinding Roe v. Wade isn't about protecting the rights of the unborn, but protecting the rights of white men who labor under the delusion that letting women loose in the workforce imperils their own otherwise bright financial fu

My comment to introduce my part of the shared link on my Facebook main profile - "Yes, that & who owns/controls our bodies, who has rights to our bodies, and who will be the boss of my individual life. Sovereignty begins with my skin & the statement of "I am who I am."

Here are a sampling of my many thoughts on the body sovereignty issues brought up by this article and the whole circus-y pseudo-debate within which it is flaming:

First of all what does sovereignty mean? It means to have the supreme power, freedom from external control, to have the controlling influence, autonomous, and the one ultimately responsible with ownership. So, what does body sovereignty mean? It means to be the one who owns, controls, makes decisions for, is ultimately responsible for, the one who has natural and moral rights to body integrity, and one who has the exclusive rights of self-determination in regards to one's body and life.

This is a very powerful, liberating, revolutionary, frightening, empowering, life-giving, and also very responsible concept. The statement "I am who I am" is the ultimate statement of sovereignty. Pop-eye had his own version of this statement - "I yam what I yam & that's all that I yam says Pop-eye the sailorman." My favorite version right now for me is "I am who  am, no more and no less."

One of the advantages of declaring and having body sovereignty is the enjoying of our exclusive rights as an individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It means we can relax and love our bodies as we are without being forced, coerced, shamed, trapped, or made a prisoner or slave to anyone else's interests. We get to say who touches us, what we wear, who we love, and are able to have access to quality housing, food, exercise opportunities we like, and healthcare. We can explore without guilt what responsible pleasure in our skins feels like for us. It means we have the right to say "NO!" and to enforce it. We have the right to say "YES! more more more" and seek it. We have the right to live unashamed, with basic human respect and dignity, just as we are right now. We have the right to live, to love, to laugh, to be who we are with whom we choose. We also own the consequences of our choices, actions, words, and thoughts. As the song once said: "free to be you and me."

more to think through on this issue:

Love means bearing people’s differences without trying to change them—not just bearing, but valuing and appreciating and loving people’s uniqueness. That’s a path all by itself. What if the fact that you’re different from me is a gateway rather than an obstacle? ~ unknown,  A Body Revolution


  1. To me one of the difficulties has been that there are people who do not respect my sovereignty, and that people behave as if THEY are right, and *I* am wrong... It is really hard to remember that I indeed am the sovereign of this body, and I have the right to decide who get to touch me and how, how to feed this body, how to dress it, how to treat it. Rights can be - and are - violated.
    That there are all sorts of limits - more so to women and even more to women who are overweight - and that our efforts to express that sovereignty are ignored, doesn't mean the sovereignty doesn't exist.

    1. Exactly, Ket. Thanks for your comment. Body sovereignty includes talking about my body or anything related to my body (size, health, abilities, challenges, etc.) without my rousing agreement and not just silence. My silence can be a coerced one or the result of my freezing in the face of repeated traumas, fears, shock, or some social implication.

  2. Akin & Co. see females as SAHMs. Stepford Wives. Women are to be beautiful, pleasing to see, pleasant, keep the homes and children tidy and presentable - and pleasant - and produce children, and they are to be there for The Man as support, comfort, help, not cause any more troubles and discomfort - unpleasantries...

    So - no, you cannot rape a woman, and even if you could, it's only unpleasant females who get raped, women who deserve it, who were asking for it, like feminists, liberals, women who don't have the brains to stay close to The Man with a gun who can protect her. It's not that they are "asking for it" as sex, it's they are "asking for it", just like poor and homeless people are asking to be mugged, robbed, beaten, spat on - even killed. If they just had the brains, decency and humility to stay in their place, do their work with minimum pay and no social security, because they should know their employer knows best what is the best of the company and how much he can pay for the workers, and what the workers' work actually is worth. They are Feudal lords, who believe people have been put in their places by God. If they try to change it, like women by trying to get equal pay for equal work, heck, trying to take work from men, they are going against God's will, so they deserve every punishment they get. Like being raped. It's not that rape is not a crime and horrible, it's that it's just. And if you get pregnant... yes, it is God's blessing. God's effort to tell you what you were made to be. A mother. An incubator of a Man's seed. If you are really blessed, the child will be a boy, but a girl is not too bad, because those are needed to produce more men.

    These men have never heard of a "good" woman who gets raped, because they never TALK about their females getting raped. It's useless to ask the question of whether they'd tell their 12 years old, raped and beaten daughter, what they'd say to any raped female, because they are convinced their daughter will never get raped and beaten.

    1. Sad but all too true even if unadmitted when confronted. Many an incested and/or raped daughter faces further abuse, thrown out, juvenile hall, or death for "letting" herself get incested and/or raped. Many a woman has faced diatribes, coersions, justifications for all manner of bad behavior that hurts the woman... blamed on her not taking better care of herself, not wanting ___ (insert "have sex," "fulfill my needs," "letting yourself go like a fat swine," "not understanding me," etc.)... the list goes on.

  3. This post reminds me that I am in control of my life - my body, my actions, my emotions. I am very difficult on myself which carries over to my being very hard on others. But, we all "are who we are" and we are all doing the best we can with what we have. No one should impede on that, others or your own self. I am in control of the love I give and the love I seek to receive and the ways in which I want to give and receive. Thank you for this post.