According to Wikipedia,
Autonomy is a concept found in moral, political, and bioethical philosophy. Within these contexts, it is the capacity of a rational individual to make an informed, un-coerced decision.
Essentially, autonomy is the freedom to choose. Consider that statement for a moment. The freedom to choose.
It’s often said that America is the land of the free.
We have freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
We have these freedoms, yet it doesn’t seem as if we are really free.
You turn on the news and see that a Arab man is harrased at an airport, an unarmed person is shot by an officer, states are trying to control women’s health.
None of these news stories seem to represent a free country. A free society.
Consider the simplified defenition of autonomy again, it is the freedom to choose.
THE. FREEDOM. TO. CHOOSE.
States want to pass laws that restrict where a person uses the toilet. Restrict when a woman can get an abortion. Restrict the ability to vote.
Where is the autonomy in that?
When autonomy is hard to find or even nonexistent, then it isn’t autonomy. It isn’t freedom.
The freedom to choose is an undeniable right in this country. At least it is suppose to be.
So where is the autonomy?
Where is our freedom of choice?
Does it come and go?
Is it, you can choose a presidential candidate but you can’t choose whether to have a child?
You can choose to buy a gun, but you can’t choose what bathroom you want to use?
Autonomy is the freedom to choose, to make an informed, un-coerced decision.
When the news is filled with fear mongering and state legiators use that to pass laws like Texas’s late term abortion ban (which has since been repealed by the US Supreme Court) and North Carolina’s House Bill 2 (currently enacted, only a few minor changes).
Where is the freedom to choose?
When did we become a society of just lip service?
We shout about our “freedom” from the rooftops, but it isn’t being practiced.
When you have legislators making laws that govern what a woman can do with her body, you have removed autonomy.
When you insist that African Americans are free, yet deny the fact that African Americans make up only 14% of the U.S.population, but over 60% of the prision population, then you aren’t getting the problem.
How are African Americans, women, or any other minority free to choose their life when they are faced with these circumstances.
How do you have autonomy when you don’t even have the right to decide whether you want to have children or you don’t have the ability to obtain employment?
The freedom to choose is not available.
The question now is, how can we fix it?
How do we really excerise our autonomy?