Body Sovereignty is the concept that each person has the right to full control of their body. It counteracts the culturally-promoted ideas that someone’s body is anyone else’s business or property. Society seeks to have folks conform to a standard that it prescribes for many kinds of benefit including economic benefit, access to land, status, etc. Body sovereignty must be considered on many levels (such as diet, clothing, sexual activity, beauty concepts, tattoos, piercing) and promotes a positive relationship between the self and the body. It supports complete body autonomy in every regard.
We believe that there is no “right” way to have a body. Our society has created unattainable standards and demands that people to conform to them. Messages of what bodies are “supposed” to look like and what we’re supposed to do with them circulate in every aspect of our lives. This fuels negative body relationships and self-loathing, and normalizes body-shaming and whorephobia, to name just two. We push back against these standards and celebrate the body in all its varieties.
Suggested Readings on Topics of Body Sovereignty
Introduction to Body Sovereignty
- Body Sovereignty
- Who owns your body
- Critical Conversations: Sheena Roetman on Body Sovereignty and Justice
Consent as Body Sovereignty
- Crash Course on Consent (series of three youtube videos)
- Understanding Consent (youtube video 3:02)
- Consent and Communication (youtube video 2:09)
- Why We Are Confused About Consent (youtube video 10:15)
- Body Sovereignty and Kids: How we cultivate a culture of consent (youtube video 16:17)