ChoiceWords Blog

Anna

Major: Neuroscience
Hometown: Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Favorite writer: This is almost impossible to answer, but because of how much the Harry Potter series has influenced not only my love for books, but writing as well, I have to say J.K. Rowling.
Favorite sex scene from a movie/TV/book: Keira Knightley and James McAvoy in Atonement. I loved the novel Atonement, but I almost love the movie more for being such a faithful adaptation, especially when it comes to the characters. So many scenes do a good job of portraying emotions, especially with how tension is used in the scene between these two characters in a library. Plus, James McAvoy.
Hidden Talent: I’m kind of a pop culture guru and know a ridiculous amount of information about film and television.

Posts By: Anna Khan

Everyone Deserves Comprehensive Sexual Education

Sexual education doesn’t tend to stray anywhere past preaching of abstinence accompanied by mortifying stories about sexually transmitted diseases, but for people with disabilities, it’s not always considered a problem. A general idea perpetuated through the media attains that people with disabilities have no interest in sex, thereby making it unnecessary for them to see the pictures of people inflicted with chlamydia. Anyone from marginalized groups, including LGBTQ+ people of color, isn’t going to find themselves represented in their high school education classes, but the kids in the special needs program aren’t even given the opportunity to participate at all. School districts find it difficult to address these issues in sexual education classes. Since there are a variety of disabilities that need a specific method of teaching, teachers feel uncomfortable… Read more »

Don’t Be Afraid of Checking Yourself. We Have to do Better.

Earlier today, it was reported that openly gay and black actor Jussie Smollett was the victim of a hate crime in Chicago that left him hospitalized but in stable condition. A horrific act of violence like this not too long after comedian Kevin Hart refused several times to apologize for his homophobic remarks in the past isn’t surprising in this country. Homophobia and racism are rampant, and people found in the intersection like Smollett are particularly vulnerable. And as news reports were quick to call it a “possible” hate crime, referring to it mostly as “racially charged”, a phrase which almost always simply means racist, I can’t help but marvel at the aversion the media has at referring to a person as a racist. It’s as if they fear the word… Read more »

The Intersection Exists

Last week, it was announced that Kevin Hart would host the 2019 Oscars ceremony. Not long after, he stepped down after old homophobic tweets resurfaced on the internet. The Academy told him they would let him go if he did not apologize for those tweets which he refused to do. Hart addressed the tweets in 2015, claiming the “jokes” had come from a place of fear. The jokes consisted of Hart essentially saying he would never want a gay son, and if he were to get one, he would try to make him straight. In a world where conversion therapy is harming several LGBTQ+ kids everyday, it’s hard to imagine anyone finding something like that funny now, let alone in 2011 when he made the jokes. Still, in regards to critics who… Read more »

Who Is The Good Guy with a Gun?

Last week on the night of Thanksgiving, a shooting at the Riverchase Galleria mall in Hoover, Alabama killed a 21-year-old black man, E.J. Bradford, home for the holidays. Official media coverage of the shooting reported that the police had killed Bradford, because he was the initial shooter. However, in the following days, local social media reported a very different story: Bradford did not shoot anyone. He was simply one of the very many Alabama citizens who pulled out their guns at the sound of a gun going off. Regardless of your feelings on guns, Bradford wasn’t doing anything wrong. He was the “good guy with the gun” and he was black. And not only did that lead to his death, it lead to warped media coverage, because the police lied… Read more »

It Was Never A Secret

Victoria’s Secret chief marketing officer Ed Razek has come under fire after an interview with Vogue where he insinuated that trans and plus-size models are not attractive enough to be a part of the “fantasy” of their brand. The brand has been met with criticism since his comments, and #boycottvictoriassecret was a trending topic on Twitter. But let’s be honest: even if you haven’t seen what the models look like in the annual fashion show, anyone with a passing familiarity with Victoria’s Secret knows the brand always has been a blatant catering to the white male gaze. Look back at the “Perfect Body” campaign from 2014 that showcased only one type of body. Or the many extreme uses of PhotoShop. Not to mention the many instances of cultural appropriation over… Read more »

Reproductive Rights Are Human Rights Is Not Just a Slogan

To anyone that believes that Trump’s presidency isn’t causing any real harm, I’m afraid to tell you that you are terribly mistaken. The State Department recently released their annual human rights report, and the section on reproductive rights has been removed. A section that previously included an outline on access to abortion and contraception and detailed maternal mortality rates has been replaced with a section discussing “coercion in population control” which documents involuntary or “unethical” sterilization. This, along with new sections solidifying America’s compliance with countries with governments known to violate human rights, exemplify what the Trump presidency prioritizes and what it always has. Reproductive rights hadn’t even been included in the human rights report properly until 2011 under the Obama administration. The reasoning behind removing reproductive rights from the human… Read more »

Don’t Confuse Political Correctness with Respecting People

Last year, South Asian comedian Hari Kondabalu released a documentary film entitled The Problem with Apu that included South Asian celebrities discussing the impact of The Simpsons’ character, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. The character has been criticized since the inception of the show for being a racist caricature of Indian-Americans, not helped by the fact that the character is voiced by a white actor doing an exaggerated accent. Kondabalu’s documentary includes interviews from South Asian celebrities who all have had similar experiences in direct result of the character: microaggressions and racial slurs with several of them being asked to do the Apu accent while auditioning for roles in Hollywood. The producers of The Simpsons have remained largely indifferent to these concerns, but an episode that aired Sunday evening directly addressed them head-on in, quite possibly, one of the worst… Read more »