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If you're not sure this letter is to you, let me be more specific. If you...
Hi. This is my body. I own it. In fact, it is the only thing I 100% without-a-doubt own. It is me. It houses my very thoughts, it carries me through the world, it brings to me through my senses all the information I know.
You do not own it. You are not entitled to control it, either through physical, legal, or social means. You are not entitled to tell me what to do with my genitalia, reproductive organs, face, hair, eating, and so on.
You are not entitled to have sex with me. Even if I am dressed immodestly, even if I am drunk, even if I am out alone after dark, even if I have a sexual history with multiple men, even if I have had sex with you before. Nor can you earn entitlement to sex with me. Yes, even if you are a gentleman, even if you spend a lot of money on a date with me, even if we are in a long-term relationship. I choose to whom I give that gift, because my body is mine.
You are not entitled to tell me I cannot have sex with another consenting adult. Yes, even if that adult is the same gender as me, even if we are having non-vaginal sex, even if it involves gags and handcuffs and whips, even if it involves more than two adults. I choose to whom I give that gift, because my body is mine.
Unless you are my doctor, you don't get to decide if I am disabled enough to qualify as disabled. You are not entitled to demand I explain my disability.
You are not entitled to touch my hair or any part of my body or clothing without my permission. My body is not here to decorate your world. It doesn't exist to inspire or please you. You are not entitled to demand I smile or wear make-up or pretty clothing or certain shoes or certain hairstyles.
You are not entitled to tell me what to wear because you cannot control your own sexual thoughts. You are not entitled to tell me who I can and cannot marry because seeing two men or two women together makes you uncomfortable or because you are obsessed with thoughts of gay sex.
The only exception to all this is if I use my body to control or harm someone else, because I am not entitled to anyone else's body.
Willingly giving of ourselves to others-- whether that's mowing a neighbour's lawn, preparing our families' dinners, making love, or even running into a burning building to rescue someone-- is the basis for all expressions of love.
Taking what is not given, claiming what is not yours, is the basis of all human evil. At its heart, this is what oppression is-- a sense of ownership of someone else's body, a belief that you are entitled to control someone else's very physical self.
It is of this sense of entitlement that we need to rid ourselves. In this way, we can learn to appreciate a smile, a friendship, or a task willingly done for what it is-- a gift.