body-autonomy

I’ve been arguing with an anti-abortion hardcore christian yesterday, and despite entire thing causing me to become enraged at the blatant hatred and dismissal of women’s lives, I feel like I started realizing where is this entire viewpoint coming from.

For instance, I explained to this person that the body autonomy comes before other’s right to life, like if someone right now was dying and needs your blood, or your liver, nobody can force open you up and take whatever they need, because your rights over your own body precede other’s right to life, and they just dismissed it with “it shouldn’t be looked at that way.” I tried to explain the disastrous consequences of not giving rights to abortion to young girls and women who have high rates of dying in childbirth and during pregnancy, they dismissed it with “all of our lives are nearing to an end anyway” basically saying, so what, kill them, they would have eventually died anyway (that is murder rhetoric), I tried to advocate with women who are impregnated by force and raped, they decided to pretend this isn’t an issue, and told me women are created to give birth, when I argued it is not that we’re created to do it, but we have the means and the power to do it, and it’s on us to use it the way we want to, they said “no, women don’t have that right.”

And that one really hit me, women don’t have that right? Because if women did have that right, that would be rather terrifying, wouldn’t it? Because women are the only people on this planet who have the power to give birth, to create life, in that sense we all exactly like gods, able to bestow life when we decide we want to, when we deem it’s what we want. That’s what they’re trying to take away from us here. They want their god to be the one to decide who we give life to, and when and why and in what situation, they don’t want our free will to affect us being child-bearing machines of the world. But there is no god above women. There is no authority of life above women. We are the highest and final authority on life on earth. Once this has reached our collective minds, they are in big trouble. That’s why they fight so hard to prove that we are just incubators, not beings of free will, because once a human has a way to create life, and a free will to decide weather to do it or not, that individual becomes a god. That’s what we were all along. Source of all human life on earth.

Also, women not having the final authority of life created on earth is not only deadly and destructive for women, but for the entire human population, our society, our culture, our environment. When rights are taken away from women, life quality of everyone involved goes down. Women are the ones who will do 90% of the work for the baby, they will have to keep it alive, they will have to make sure the baby has resources to survive, they will have to protect it from death, keep it safe and cared for, so women are the only ones who actually know what bringing a child to life actually means. They’re the only ones who are qualified of making the call, not only because they’ll be lending their own body for the sake of new life, but because they’re the only ones who are able to analyze the state of resources and quality of life in their environment, including their own energy and willpower which is vital, and decide weather bringing another child into that environment is a crime or not. Nobody else actually gives a shit. And nobody else faces the consequences of this decision the way women do. Giving women absolute authority over their bodies, and over childbirth is the only way humanity can keep on going without destroying itself.

(OPs were TWERFs so I’m reposting)

The body positivity movement is not working because the focus is still on trying to view yourself as attractive no matter how you look instead of eliminating the need to feel “attractive”.

The body positive movement should be focused on bodily autonomy and taking care of your health. The best way to be “positive” toward your body is to treat it well, not by repeating some “I am beautiful” mantra over and over.

You don’t have to be pretty. You don’t have to see yourself as pretty. Others don’t have to see you as pretty. Pretty is not important. Pretty is not your worth.

You exist for you, not for anyone else’s gaze.

Honestly, our society is really bad at respecting a lot of people.  There may be degrees where one person gets it worse than another - but that is no reason for anyone to stop talking about what they’ve gone through (out of fear of “whining”).

Communicating about this stuff is how we get ready to change it.

A rare snake-related post by me-

I have had Vision, a dwarf BCI and my youngest snake, for roughly 9 months now. He will be a year old in July, so by snake standards he is still very much a baby. In the past 9 months, he’s gone from, for lack of better words, a bitey defensive asshole to a relatively passive and trusting creature who simply has Rules ™ on how, where, and when he can be touched. I used the same method to produce these results as I do with all of my reptiles, including my young snake of a notoriously aggressive and defensive species (Amazon Tree Boas) and have frequently been asked how I manage to get these animals that instinctively bite first and ask questions never to allow handling and pictures without drawing blood.

On my dog blog I’ve mentioned the concept of body autonomy a few times in relation to training dogs, and how it crosses over into husbandry in other species. In these posts I’ve detailed how I tame the larger birds at my job, how I teach my snakes not to bite me when I take them out, how I can successfully convince a thrashing dog to accept grooming without a fuss, how I teach cats to not turn into screaming demons for nail trims, and more. I also cover this in many of my dog training lectures at work as my students teach their dogs to allow grooming, nail trims, and medically related handling to prevent injuries and incidents when interacting with these animals. All of this relates back to body autonomy, and how we as humans have consistently ignored other species’ instinctive need to be autonomous.

I am no master animal trainer and do not play one on TV. I train pet dogs and service dogs and have begun to venture into competition, at one point I specialized in rehabbing aggressive and reactive dogs. I have trained various common pet animals in occasionally unconventional ways to do things that make life easier for the both of us, but I don’t claim to be anything special, because what I’m doing is not all that special. It is, however, uncommon for people to make these considerations with their pets and then they call in someone like me to fix a problem that didn’t need to start in the first place.

An example being: frequently on this website and others, the solution for convincing a biting snake not to bite you is to hold it still until it stops biting you. The snake will learn that biting you does not produce the desired result (you letting the snake go or putting it back in its cage) and thus will eventually stop biting you when you pick it up.

In the dog training world, we call this flooding and learned helplessness. It “works” because it produces what we wanted it to. The snake no longer bites when you pick it up. But it failed to address the root of the problem, and frequently if regular handling is not maintained the snake will return to biting you every time you touch it. The snake had learned that there was nothing it could do in order to make you stop doing what it didn’t like, and so had learned that it was helpless against the much larger human. The snake in this situation still doesn’t really want to be handled, it is merely tolerating it because it sees no other option.

While snakes have a much more primitive brain than dogs and thus a much more limited scope of emotions, aggression and violence are always expensive measures to use and thus are frequently considered last resort measures to make an unpleasant situation stop. They are costly in body resources- they take large amounts of energy, stress, and time to resolve, and wounds obtained from violence can become deadly with infection or severity. As a result, a bite should always indicate that whatever you are doing is so unpleasant to the animal you’re doing it to that they’re willing to risk their life in order to make you stop. The common pet snake knows it cannot win against an animal as large as a human. It is hoping you have not come to the same realization, and will not call its bluff.

This creates a problem. Like with dogs, backing off from a situation that is required after a bite will teach the snake that all they have to do to get you to leave them alone is to bite you. If I need to trim my dog’s nails, give him a bath, brush him, or have him examined by a vet, sure I could put him in a muzzle and force him to do it anyway, but it is counter-intuitive to teach him that all he has to do is bite me in order to get out of doing those things he may consider unpleasant. I need to be able to handle my snakes. This is not negotiable, just like the above things I do with my dogs are not negotiable. If I cannot handle them, I cannot check them for injury, disease, or distress. Backing off because my snake, or dog, has threatened to bite me is thus not a viable option. I must be able to complete the task, and the animal in question must let me.

Dogs, by comparison, are relatively easy to convince in this problem. I need to be able to do my dog’s nails. If I give him amazing treats on a good reward schedule, shower him with praise, listen to his body language to give him a chance to calm down and destress before pressing on, and remove my own negative emotions from the equation, he will learn to let me do his nails and even offer the position required for the task within a relatively short amount of time. He does not have to like having his nails done, but I can convince him to like he benefits he gets out of it. Cats and birds and small mammal pets like ferrets, rabbits, and rodents may be slower, but follow much the same way.

I can’t give a snake a treat. That’s not really how snake digestive systems work. I can’t give them a toy. I can’t give them praise. The subtleties of snake body language are much harder to read due to a lack of eyelids, ears, and limbs. Dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, all of these are social creatures that practice social bonding and feel an emotion similar to love (in the dog’s case, actually do feel love). Snakes are not social creatures and their brain is not capable of producing the chemicals involved in the emotion we call love. I cannot convince a snake to love me or to like being handled. That is not something their biology is able to do. Does that mean I have to rely on flooding and learned helplessness in order to get them to let me handle them?

I keep stressy species. While all reptiles are more than capable of stressing themselves to death, my current list of exotic pets includes a special needs ball python with a severe neurological condition, a brazilian rainbow boa specifically purchased from someone who breeds minimally stressy snakes because he got tired of the species’ reputation for being bitey assholes, and a dwarf bci locality (read: like a subspecies, but not different enough to get their own scientific name) known for being defensive bitey assholes. Previously, I had a special needs corn snake that was a defensive bitey asshole, an amazon tree boa that was remarkably handleable despite the species’ reputation for being aggressive and defensive bitey angry assholes, and a few foster ball pythons that came from neglect situations and had never been handled before leading to them being defensive bitey assholes. Stress is common in situations where aggression or violence is utilized, even if it is being utilized by the animal and not the human. If the stress from moving can kill my beloved ATB Hydra, why would I intentionally expose him to situations where he would feel required to use violence again and again until he learned that that was not a way out of the situation?

I did not flood my snakes. I hold them. They do not bite me. It has been a long time since any of them have even struck at me, and the majority of the bites and strikes I have received have been from when I was learning the snake in front of me or from me intentionally ignoring their body language and handling them a way I knew they didn’t like for whatever reason. Snakes do not bite without cause. Whether you, a human, can see that cause or not, snakes do not bite because they are vindictive or mean. As said, their brains are far too primitive to feel such complex emotions. Even wild snakes do not bite without provocation- whether you intentionally provoked them or not does not matter, simply whether they felt provoked enough to need to defend themselves possibly with their lives.

Vision came to me unsure of my intentions and of whether I could be considered safe. He certainly didn’t believe I should be picking him up. At two months old, the world is a scary place to a baby snake where nearly everything is bigger than you and nearly everything wants to kill or eat you. I do not blame him for doubting the warm giant cooing over him with grabby hands. To him, I’m sure I am some baffling mixture of hawk, bear, and wild canine. All of these things readily kill and eat snakes, all of these things may be persuaded to not kill and eat this particular snake if he bites them.

Instead of picking him up and allowing him to spend precious resources stressing himself to the point of repeatedly biting me- which hurts, by the way, so I don’t really want to be bitten any more than I need to be- I allowed him to show me things about him. I let him show me what he does when he’s nervous, when he doesn’t want to be bothered. I let him show me what he does when he’s curious and feels like investigating what’s in front of him. I let him show me how he does and does not like to be touched. Like many snakes, he seems to enjoy being scratched lightly under the chin. Like many snakes, he doesn’t seem to appreciate being tickled on the stomach. He prefers to create a “foot” about 2/3 down his body and use it as an anchored perch when exploring my hands. He does not want his tail to be touched. When he is nervous or unsure of potential danger, he will retract and coil himself into a loose ball. If pressed before he recovers, he will “expand” the “ball” quickly and vocalize. If he continues to be pressured, he will threaten to bite and will begin to try. If he is allowed to relax, he will recreate his “foot” and resume quietly investigating his surroundings.

Today, I took the lid off of his enclosure and lifted him out without a fuss. While this is not a first- we accomplished this task about 4 weeks in- only in the past few weeks has he not immediately retracted into his loose ball and required me to wait a few minutes for him to relax before touching him. Instead, he immediately made his “foot” and began to investigate, leaned against my finger as I scratched his chin, and maintained his confidence throughout the time I handled him. Sure, I could possibly get a similar result through the first method of flooding and teaching him that he is helpless against me, but I don’t need to. I can get a confident content snake that is not only tolerating my handling but also showing curiosity and intelligence without forcing him to accept my hands as things he has to deal with in his life.

The people espousing these methods always ask me how I managed to take such nice, interesting pictures of Hydra without bleeding- or joke about how much blood they think I lost inbetween shots- and are always surprised when I tell them that I don’t get bit because I understand a snake’s need for autonomy and allow the snake to tell me their “rules” for being touched and then follow those rules or understand if I break them I will get bit. As a result, I don’t break their rules unless I have to, and thus I don’t get bit unless I have to. This allows me to handle and investigate my snakes, look in their mouths, check their vents and between their scales, touch their heads, and rescue them from fluke accidents such as Quetzal’s injury with his decor without the snake taking their frustrations out on me. It also allows me to take some pretty pictures of them outside or on props without worrying how I will retrieve them without being bitten when I’m done. 

another thing to add is almost universally, the reasons pets become unhealthily overweight is because they Do Not Know When To Stop Eating. they are animals, they will often try to eat as much as they can bc their survival instincts tell them they dont know when their next meal will be. they do not have body autonomy, we entirely control what and when they eat.

like for example its Very obvious in “simpler” animals like reptiles. once my snake finishes eating one large mouse, she is immediately looking for more bc the scent is on my hands. were i to give her another mouse, she would eat it, and continue to do so. some snakes will stuff themselves to the point of their stomachs rupturing, when enabled to. this behavior is fairly universal, and many owners will overfeed their snakes to the point of harm because they are “still hungry”. 

in the wild this trait is useful bc they must be constantly active and may go months without a meal, but in captivity allowing this to happen is mistreatment and would lead to a snake being very unhealthy. 

aside from the basic fact that fat people deserve respect regardless of whether they are “healthy” or not and medical ableism figures HEAVILY into what is considered “unhealthy”, overweight people Can be objectively healthy. this is not the case in every other species bc other species of animals bodies react to being overweight in different ways than human beings. like in dogs alone there are Dozens of health complications related to being overweight that do not happen to, or cant even be applied to human beings.

people are fat for different reasons, its an extremely complex and multifaceted thing bc we Have body autonomy and we are Not just animals living on pure instinct. our body politics are based in our physical nature as the human species, our culture, its institutions, etc. it is very unfair, and can even be unintentionally dehumanizing to  apply the logic of one to the other. 

There is a concept called body autonomy. Its generally considered a human right. Bodily autonomy means a person has control over who or what uses their body, for what, and for how long. Its why you can’t be forced to donate blood, tissue, or organs. Even if you are dead. Even if you’d save or improve 20 lives. It’s why someone can’t touch you, have sex with you, or use your body in any way without your continuous consent.

A fetus is using someone’s body parts. Therefore under bodily autonomy, it is there by permission, not by right. It needs a persons continuous consent. If they deny and withdraw their consent, the pregnant person has the right to remove them from that moment. A fetus is equal in this regard because if I need someone else’s body parts to live, they can also legally deny me their use.

By saying a fetus has a right to someone’s body parts until it’s born, despite the pregnant person’s wishes, you are doing two things.

1. Granting a fetus more rights to other people’s bodies than any born person.
2. Awarding a pregnant person less rights to their body than a corpse.

—  Hannah Goff
Going Bra-less

I feel the need to rant about this.

I have recently started having a disagreement with my father about what I wear and how my body looks. It all started last Saturday when I went out in public without a bra on, for the first time, and IT WAS SO GREAT. I associate summer with uncomfortable heat and boob times. I havent felt that free in a long time. And the best part was that NO ONE CARED. That is until my Dad noticed and decided it was his personal crusade to shame me into wearing a bra. He told me I looked disgusting, like a grandma, that it’s scientifically proven that going braless made your breasts sag, that I should be ashamed of myself. I told him all my parroted feminist responses; that it is my body, that I am worth more than my looks, that my comfort was paramount, that I dont care what people think, etc [instert valid response here]. At first I thought making him mad was funny but then it quickly stopped being funny. He told me I wouldnt be allowed to accompany them in public again if I wasnt wearing a bra. 

I havnt felt well enough in a while to walk my dog. My dad usually never walks the dog with me, only on special occasions. Tonight he decided to invite me on a dog walk. That is until he realized I was braless. He yelled at me to change. He told me I wasn’t allowed to go on the walk unless I changed. I told him that I was in my pajamas and that I walk the dog in my pajamas all the time. I told him I wouldnt change to make him comfortable. That he could not bully me into changing. In an effort to ‘punish’ me he refused to go on the walk (I had already gotten our dog harnessed etc). So I just went without him. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH MY DAD. 

I DONT CARE ABOUT THE PUBLIC’S OPINION OF MY SAGGY BEAUTIFUL SIZE 42DD BREASTS. I DO HOWEVER CARE ABOUT MY DAD BULLYING ME; IE CALLING ME DISGUSTING AND ATTEMPTING TO POLICE MY OWN GOD DAMN BODY. FOR CHRISTS SAKE IN TWO WEEKS I WILL BE 23, WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS WRONG WITH HIM. THEY ARE LITERALLY FAT LUMPS, THAT HARBOR THE ABILITY TO SOMETIMES PROVIDE NOURISHMENT FOR BABIES. 

“What about those autistics. You know, the ones who can’t talk, who shit their pants, who bang their head on the wall, who are violent. Don’t they deserve a cure? Don’t we have a moral obligation to improve their life?”

No.

We have a moral obligation to provide what they need to live their life to the fullest as best as they know how. This is not the same thing as a need to improve their life.

Would a cure be the answer to that for some of them?

Yes.

That does not mean we should start curing everyone. When a person cannot communicate their desire for a cure, they also cannot communicate their desire to not have a cure.

The idea of a cure that we give to non-communicative individuals removes autonomy. It necessarily means we will cure someone who does not want to be cured. We will take away what that person views as themselves.

We have a higher moral obligation to not get it wrong than we do to get it right. This is why, fundamentally, a non-consensual cure should be avoided. We have a moral obligation to everyone to not get it wrong.

It is the same principal we use with the death penalty. Whether or not you agree with it, the idea behind it is that as long as we don’t kill innocent people, it is okay. But if you get it wrong then you have a moral obligation to not kill people.

Whether or not you agree with it, the idea behind a cure is that we don’t cure people who don’t want it. And if you get it wrong, you have a moral obligation to not cure people.

We have no way to guarantee that we get it right 100% of the time. Do some of us autistics want a cure? Absolutely. If they choose to avail themselves of a cure, more power to them.

But if you are willing to use a cure on someone without knowing 100% if they want it, then you are completely missing the point of a cure for autism. You can’t claim to want to give a person a better life when the risk of getting it wrong means that you give them a life they don’t want.

anonymous asked:

People don't seem to understand that taking away my bodily autonomy and my rights affects me as a women and other people. People MUST be allowed an abortion if they want or need one. It stresses me out if I'm going to loose my bodily autonomy because people want to take that away from everybody. I don't want my rights taken away from me if my protection ever fails.

How can I explain what bodily autonomy is to someone? Because I don’t know how to put it into words to make someone understand

__________________

Tbh, I don’t actually like the body autonomy argument. You can see my reasoning here: http://prochoice-or-gtfo.tumblr.com/post/164685197757/i-am-officially-coming-out-as-not-pro-complete (tw: sexual assault, rape, slavery mention, healthcare)

However, I do believe, and I also believe that most people would agree, that no one should be allowed to use your body or body parts without your consent, and that you should be allowed to do what you want with your own body, as long as it doesn’t harm other people. The Supreme Court also agrees (read through the court cases of McFall vs. Shimp, Griswold vs. Connecticut, and Roe vs. Wade). Body autonomy is not a legal term, and, as far as I’m aware, is not considered a fundamental human right (there’s a quote going around that says something to the effect of “it’s generally considered a human right,” but I can’t find any sources to back that up). Honestly, I think it comes down to consent, which is a legal/medical term that I imagine most people would agree with. I think Judith Jarvis Thompson’s “A Defense of Abortion” (http://spot.colorado.edu/~heathwoo/Phil160,Fall02/thomson.htm) makes a pretty strong analogy/case for having ownership of your own body, even if it means someone else would die without you sacrificing yourself.

Sorry if this doesn’t directly answer your question. I realize a lot of people on the tumblr pro-choice community may disagree with me, and they may be able to make a strong case for body autonomy. I just personally haven’t been able to. But I’m also willing to listen/learn 

-Kyoung

The body autonomy argument for abortion

We are about to enter a time when abortion rights are under siege as never before.

Arm yourself w/ the body autonomy argument for abortion.

Here’s how that goes-

Don’t allow people to focus on “but it’s a baaaby”- b/c that is a loser argument. No one will win an argument against babies b/c babies are cute.

Instead let’s say you have a 2 year old child. This child needs a bone marrow transplant or they will die. You are a match. Should the government be allowed to strap you down and forcefully take that bone marrow out of your body?

Should blood donation be mandatory? People could die if you don’t donate blood, so should the government be allowed to forcefully take people’s blood?

What about organ donation? People will die if they don’t get those organs- should we make a decision as a country to forcibly take them?

This argument gets to the real point of what a denial of abortion access does. It is a violation of body autonomy by the power and force of the government.

The argument also does 2 things- it removes the question of “but a baby” and it positions the body violation so that cis men get to think about what it would be like if their bodies were violated in a similar way.

We respect the bodies of dead people more than we do the alive bodies of people with uteruses.

Never argue on their terms. Never accept their framing.

Feel free to take this and use it yourself.

hating kids is shitty and not something you should do, especially in the presence of a child, but i do think its okay to prefer not being around them.

i feel a huge reason theres such a reactionary response against small children, and mostly with women, is because there’s some of us who really do not want to have our own children and constantly have people in our lives trying to prove otherwise. its like a kneejerk response when you hear a relative tell you that “you’ll want kids someday” then you see a child being cute and suddenly hear those words in the back of your head and try desperately to repress it and reaffirm that “no, i really really don’t want kids” that can manifest in hatred.

i was really bad at this a few years ago, i wanted nothing to do with my baby cousins because under no circumstances did i ever want to be a mother or get the idea seeded among my family of “wow you’re good with kids you should have your own.” i desperately rebelled and went out of my way to be as unmotherly as possibly to humans because i wanted those comments to stop. in a conservative country you really do feel trapped.

i find that, at least with myself, it’s mostly a fight for my own body autonomy in an environment where i’m always told my feelings aren’t my real feelings and i just dont know any better and to embrace my gender role.

i think many people who say they hate kids are under pressure irl to someday have them, and online is the only place they may have to vent about it. that being said, there’s no excuse to not be courteous in the presence of children 

full offence but if you value bodily autonomy in cases of abortion and reproductive rights you better value it in cases of voluntary sex work, surrogacy, organ donation, sperm/egg donation, hormone replacement therapy, cosmetic surgery, and every single other instance where someone may use their body in a way others may not approve of.

It doesn’t matter WHAT someone wants to do with their body as it is THEIR BODY and THEIR RIGHT to do as they wish with it. Not just for abortion, for everything.

anonymous asked:

Just got this gem. I explained that bodily autonomy means you can kill someone, either through self-defense or denial to give organs/blood/tissue. This came back: "Your arguments are scary... the way you frame them... that your bodily autonomy is paramount over the life of another human being; obliged to no one. This is exactly the type of thought that led to institutionalization slavery." HOW?!?

Wait, what? By definition, slavery took away the autonomy of human beings??? What the actual fuck??!?!?! Antis are fucking wild and racist pieces of shit

-Kyoung

I keep seeing posts of thin people explaining that body positivity is unnecessary or ridiculous, all while wildly missing the point of what body positivity is and who it’s for. 

I mean it must be easy to find it useless when you’re a thin white cis able bodied perisex person with conventionally attractive features and the money to buy whatever beauty products you want but like, some of us aren’t you. 

And for some of us, body positivity and fat acceptance are radical acts of defiance against kyriarchy and a demand to no longer be oppressed. So I mean. It matters.

Like, body positivity isn’t just about wanting people to call you pretty, although recognizing that you are beautiful in a world that tells you otherwise is a radical act.

It’s about normalizing transgender and intersex bodies and fighting for their body autonomy and against transphobia and intersexism. It’s about making the world for accessible for fat and disabled bodies and putting an end to ableism. It’s about holding doctors accountable and demanding that they treat and help people of color, women, and fat people the same way they treat cishet white skinny men. It’s fighting against fatphobia and diet culture, rallying against misogyny, etc. It’s activism, it’s feminism, it’s revolutionary.

There are real people out there who can’t legally wear their natural hair, or who are given less pay because of how they look, or are being denied equal rights because of the body type they have or the appearance of their genitalia. Can you really tell me that fighting against that kind of thing is useless?

And yes, a lot of body positive blogs struggle with intersectionality. Many fail to move past sharing pastel images with cute slogans that only make thin white cishet perisex women feel better. But that is the fault of those bloggers. It doesn’t make body positivity useless; it just means that it is due for a makeover. 

Body positivity and fat acceptance are not and have never been about just wanting other people to think you’re pretty. It’s not about your worth and value being defined by your prettiness. 

And all these posts out there calling body positivity a worthless movement because “We shouldn’t be defined by our looks” or “I don’t want to be called pretty” are wildly missing the point. It’s not about that. It’s never been about that.

I just wish people could understand that the oppression I face isn’t some minor issue that doesn’t need to be challenged. Like, maybe that’s not what these people intend to say when they talk like this but that is exactly what I hear. 

-Mod Bella