Editor's note: Please note this comic was published before anti-mask, anti-vaccine people co-opted the term bodily autonomy to mean they shouldn't take basic measures to protect other people from covid-19 or be put in a position not to harm others (and sorry, but if you work in a nursing home, you have a duty of care.
It's not some unfair violence against you if you don't get to go in to work if you choose not to be vaccinated, that is not a violation of your bodily autonomy. Asking someone not to go into a space where they can do harm is not the same is not violently forcing someone to go through with a procedure or physical experience). Anyway, back to the original text, when I felt a little bit humorless about a fellow cartoonist using their platform to promote anti-abortion stuff. Because... well... look at the times we live in, they didn't come from nowhere.
Recently a creator of a truly delightful comic used that comic to promote some stuff that makes life more dangerous for folks that can have babies. In a time when there are some politicians saying pretty scary stuff where they want people not to be bosses of their own bodies! That kind of thing can hurt lots of people.
I saw some folks get pretty worried by this delightful comic and it made them wonder what other places of delight might (whether intentional or unintentional) promote political action to take away people’s bodily autonomy. If you look up the words “bodily autonomy” on the internet right now, you see lots of the top hits are from people wanting to take away people’s bodily autonomy or change what the words mean so that people don’t have full access to reproductive health and rights. When people don’t have full access to reproductive choices it can get very dangerous and scary for them, emotionally and physically.
I like this definition from UCSB’s Department of Sociology. “Bodily autonomy is defined as the right to self governance over one’s own body without external influence or coercion. It is generally considered to be a fundamental human right.”
There’s a lot of coercion going on right now, even in the google hits when I go explore. So sending love to everyone, this is an all ages comic, but sometimes all ages have to deal with some pretty tough subjects. Wishing everyone joy and the celebration of being the boss of your body.
Thanks to all my patrons and a special big extra thanks to Lisa Jenkins, Kate Webb, Matthew Noe, and Erik Owomoyela.
Bodily Autonomy Comic Transcript
This is Mayara.
She’s just started learning Aikido.
Like her pal, Bunson Hoppydew, she like dancing friendship and cake.
Mayara: It’s true! Though I like pad siew even more!
They both have bodily autonomy.
We have bodily autonomy.