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date: 21 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter revisits the core feminist idea of the right to own one’s body and its travels through three decades of social movement activism across national, regional, and political borders. One of the chapter’s central arguments is the necessity of thinking this idea and its practical applications beyond self-described feminist movements to include a range of issues related to bodily integrity, agency, health, sexuality, identity, reproductive justice, and gender and racial difference. Is it the case that our bodies are both our own and never just our own, and what does this mean concretely? Are the conditions of defending our bodies from abuse and asserting our right “to do what I want with (my body)” different, and why or why not? The chapter explores what happens when we pluralize claims to bodily integrity and self-ownership to include a wide range of contemporary social movements. Is there a politics of the body beyond biopolitics and neoliberal individualism that can embrace anti-racism, gender and sexual diversity, social rights (including those of sex workers and transgender people), and inclusive citizenship?

Keywords: bodies, biopolitics, citizenship, gender, transgender, identity, agency, social movements, sexuality, sex work, feminism, racism, reproductive rights

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