Episode 20: Bodily Autonomy

We’re taking a break from our miniseries on building a better community and tackling the topic of bodily autonomy.

What is bodily autonomy?

For a simple definition, we consulted our good friend, Wikipedia, which defines bodily autonomy as:

…the inviolability of the physical body and emphasiz[ing] the importance of personal autonomy and the self-determination of human beings over their own bodies. It considers the violation of bodily integrity as an unethical infringement, intrusive, and possibly criminal.

In this episode, we discuss how bodily autonomy pertains specifically to people with disabilities. A transcript for this episode can be found here. This transcript is due to our generous supporters on Patreon. Thank you.

How does bodily autonomy affect the disability community?

People with disabilities are more likely to have their autonomy challenged than any other group of people. Don’t take our word for it, though. Check out the statistics. This is outrageous. But when you have a disability, it’s not only often seen as okay, but in some cases it’s expected and normalized.

We dive deeper into the issue. How does having different mobility levels affect the perception of autonomy?  How does autonomy tie into bigger issues such as personal privacy?

When you’re a person with a disability, there are many situations in which having your autonomy challenged or removed can lead to very literal objectification of your body.

True ownership over our own bodies is one of the few things we (philosophically) truly have. Without it, we are objects, and that is never a good thing.

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