Jane Murphy has written an excellent post over at Offbeat Mama.
Autonomy doesn’t automatically mean enlightenment. Responsible ownership must include education — seat belts and bike helmets must be worn, vegetables need to be eaten, hands must be held in busy parking lots, hair must be brushed. I insist that she do these things not to assert dominance over her but because, as her mother, it is my job to teach her how to care for the frame that her persona will inhabit for her entire life.
Having her own body is a privilege. I want her to discover that her body is capable of amazing things. I want her to feel the power that comes with a sense of total control over her own private and finite space in the world. The sense of satisfaction that comes with enthusiastic consent, and the feeling of self worth that comes with a firmly stated “No.” The ability to exercise that control over her anatomy is one that comes with time, but it is her birthright.