A Woman's Body is Not Her Own
Contributors: McKenzie Lauber, Jaxon Upchurch, Savannah Martincic, Genesis Villanueva, and Katie Rose
Women from all identities and backgrounds exist in a world shaped by gendered power dynamics. At the root of these power dynamics are toxic masculinity, heteronormativity, racism, and other perceived biases. Toxic masculinity is a stereotype of what a man should be, while heteronormativity is the belief that being straight is the default. Violence is often used to reinforce these systems. The main subjects of this research are women across different identities that experience physical and emotional violence as a result of the aforementioned gendered power dynamics. This site will strive to be inclusive by looking at the intersectional identities of these women such as their gender identity, race and ethnicity, and socio-economic class. Most of the following research will be grounded in the present-day but will be supported by a historical context dating back to the early 1900s. We hope that this site will show how women still do not have control over their bodies, both emotionally and physically, and how that control is often regulated by violence. We wish to do this from different perspectives that are not typically seen in the mainstream media.
One issue that will be explored is that of interpersonal violence against women. The issue of interpersonal violence against women strips away their bodily autonomy and is a growing global health risk. Looking at why some women are more at risk, why some men perpetrate violence, and what is being done to combat IPV is critical in understanding the threat to women's bodies. Another section in this exhibit with look at why transgender women work in the sex trade and what the risks and benefits of this occupation are. It will also look at how different identities affect transgender women's choice of work. Other research will explore the impact of the LGBTQ+ panic defense on transgender women of color and how it is used to legitimize violence through heternormaitivty and cisnormativity. The last two sections will focus on reproductive justice and bodily autonomy. One will discuss the recent allegations of unconsented sterilizations performed on women in the custody of an immigration detention center in the state of Georgia and provide historical background on the history of involuntary sterlizaiton in the United States. This section will also take a look into specific cases of forced sterilizations that were performed on women from different ethnic backgrounds. Another will look at recent legislation passed in numerous states restricting women's access to abortions. It will discuss Heartbeat laws, Waiting Period laws, and other targeted restrictions on abortion providers (TRAP laws) that are being drafted and proposed in a growing number of states.