Justice

This Comic Perfectly Explains Body Autonomy

A recent cartoon from the comic site Lunarbaboon.com explains — in six simple illustrations — what it means to respect another person's body.

The comic shows a dad approaching a daughter for a kiss. She slaps him on the face, and he expresses that he is proud of her for pushing away a physical gesture that she did not want to reciprocate.

The artist behind Lunarbaboon comics told the publication Women You Should Know in an October interview that his partner Danielle inspired this particular cartoon:

“I was inspired by my partner Danielle. She is always talking to our kids about letting people know when you don’t want to be touched or kissed.”

ATTN: has reached out to Lunarbaboon for further comment and will update this piece if we hear back.

Several Twitter users have shown appreciation for this comic's simple message about consent:

Carol Horton, a psychotherapist who has worked with young victims of abuse, told The Washington Post in February 2015 that it is important to show children when they are young that their bodies belong to them and no one else.

"Another important way to empower your child is to teach them that their body belongs to them," Horton told the publication. “Let them decide [if they want to kiss or hug their grandfather]. They could kiss him, hug him, blow him a kiss, give him a high five, or whatever they’re most comfortable with.”

Horton added that "teaching body safety should be a regular and ongoing part of child rearing, as natural as telling them how to use 9-1-1 in a real emergency or what they should do if they smell smoke."

Katla Hetter echoed this sentiment in a July 2015 piece for CNN, writing that he daughter sometimes doesn't want to hug people, and that that is perfectly OK:

"I figure her body is actually hers, not mine. It doesn't belong to her parents, uncles and aunts, school teachers or soccer coach. While she must treat people with respect, she doesn't have to offer physical affection to please them. And the earlier she learns ownership of herself and responsibility for her body, the better for her."