With government funding for Planned Parenthood currently in danger, pro-choice advocates have been using the #mybodymychoice hashtag to convey that when a decision concerns our bodies, nobody else should have a say in it. Unfortunately, some members of our government are coming from the opposite perspective: That it is their duty to discourage people from getting abortions by limiting access to them.
Last week, the House of Representatives passed a bill to defund Planned Parenthood, which could put access to safe abortions in peril if it becomes law. Fortunately, it is currently blocked by Senate Democrats, but since the same bill also includes a provision for government funding, the government must reach a compromise to avoid a shutdown.
"My body, my choice" is a feminist phrase that applies to many issues beyond reproductive rights, as well. The message that nobody should do anything or force us to do anything we don't want to do with our bodies is necessary for creating a culture of consent. In contrast to rape culture, which renders bodies (particularly women's bodies) the property of others (often men), consent culture allows us the freedom to do whatever we want with our bodies and gives us a say in how we interact with other people.
Here are five more issues that concern our bodies and therefore should be our choice.
1. When We Have Sex
We always have a right to decline any sexual encounter — no matter who it is with, where we are, what we are wearing, or what we've done in the past — because what we do with our bodies is our choice.
2. When We Engage In Any Form Of Physical Contact
We never have to hug anyone, kiss anyone, hold anyone's hand, or be touched in any way unless we feel comfortable with it, because what we do with our bodies is our choice.
3. What We Wear
We have the right to wear whatever we want without being harassed, catcalled, slut-shamed, fat-shamed, or misgendered, because what we do with our bodies is our choice.
4. How We Groom Ourselves
Whether or not we choose to shave our legs, dye our armpit hair, wear makeup, get tattoos, cut our hair, or whatever else we can do with our personal style is up to us, because what we do with our bodies is our choice.
5. What We Eat
No matter how much time your aunt spent slaving over your holiday meal or how amazing everyone else says the cookies are, you do not have to put anything you don't want into your body. You also never have to forgo food because you just ate, because nobody else is eating, or because of what anyone else says — because what we do with our bodies is always our choice.