ChoiceWords Blog

Dené

Major: English creative writing
Hometown: Palco, KS
Favorite writer: My favorite novelist is Neil Gaiman. I also enjoy reading stories written by a few student journalists at K-State.
Favorite sex scene from a movie/TV/book: There's actually an interesting sex scene in my favorite novel, which is American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Bilquis, one of the old gods who works as a prostitute, "eats" a client with her vagina during sex. For real; he's gone. It's interesting, to say the least.
Hidden Talent: I sing pretty well; I'm a classically trained soprano. https://www.facebook.com/dene.dryden

Posts By: Dené Dryden

Why I Put a (Nuva)Ring on My Busy College Schedule

We have more birth control options now than ever. With advancing medical technology, scientists have been able to offer effective hormonal birth control in many different methods. One of the most infamous method is the pill. The advent of the birth control pill as we know it today came from the efforts of activist Margaret Sanger and endocrinologist Gregory Pincus, with contributions to synthetic hormone studies by other scientists. The first oral contraceptive was approved by the FDA in 1957 to treat menstruation issues, then again in 1960 actually as a contraceptive. Since then, more birth control options have been tested and approved for use, and many aim to reduce human error with the medicine. One of the drawbacks of the standard birth control pill is that a person needs… Read more »

Buying Condoms is Not a Man’s Job — It’s Everyone’s

When I first became sexually active, I never bought my own condoms. I had this preconceived notion that the male partner in a relationship was the one responsible for buying condoms. It also did not help that I lived in a very rural town in northwest Kansas where the local grocery store did not sell condoms, nevermind emergency contraception or pregnancy tests. Looking back now, I realized that my belief around who buys condoms was a byproduct of a higher social norm for relationships: the man is in charge. The man is supposed to make the first move, ask the girl on their first date, and initiate sex. Since men are the ones expected to initiate the sexual part of the relationship, they supply the condoms. And in a way,… Read more »

White People: Don’t Ignore Racism at K-State

This weekend, a Kansas State student shared a picture on her Snapchat account that rebounded throughout the student body. The picture was taken at our most recent home football game against Texas Christian University, which was delayed three times due to weather. The picture features two other people in white rain ponchos with the hoods up, masking their faces. According to the caption, they are members of the “Kstate [sic] Kool Kids.” The obvious problem here is that they referenced the KKK. This paints K-State and its students in a bad light, so many people have been upset over it. As it became a big talking point on campus, the Collegian, our campus newspaper, covered the story scrupulously. I am a copy editor for this publication, so I helped check… Read more »

Restricting Abortion Access Is Not About Saving Children

Earlier this week, the House of Representatives passed a bill (H.R. 36) that, if approved by the Senate and the president, would outlaw abortions after 20 weeks For many, this seems like a good thing; if you restrict how many abortions can be performed, then less people will have abortions. This is wrong. According to Planned Parenthood, about 99 percent of abortions occur before the 21 week mark, and most abortions performed at 21 weeks or after are requested because of severe health concerns to the fetus or the pregnant person. The bill as it stands now, does make exceptions for abortions after 20 weeks if an abortion “is necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman, or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.” In the… Read more »

White Nationalism Is a Problem Kansas State Needs to Face

Last Wednesday, Kansas State students woke up to find white nationalist posters put up all across campus. I personally did not see any on my route to class, but plenty of students did, sparking a reaction throughout the university. From what I saw on social media, there were four different variations of the posters found on campus. The first one that I saw echoed a “White Lives Matter, Too” mentality, stating that “diversity means less white people.” Two others specifically mentioned Muslims and terrorism. The last one featured a picture of a white family, saying “We have a right to exist.” The amount of hypocrisy these posters portrayed is alarming to me. Of course white people have the right to exist, as all people have the right to exist. But… Read more »

Supporting Sexual Health Care in Kansas Starts with Education

Last week, I attended the Protecting Sexual Health in Kansas forum at Kansas State University. Speakers Jennifer Greene, director of the Riley County Health Center, and Micah Kubic, executive director of the Kansas ACLU, discussed the state of sexual health care in the country and in Kansas, specifically Riley County. Greene called Riley County a “contraceptive desert” as it only has two publicly-funded clinics that offer a range of family planning options. Many of the surrounding counties in the area don’t have a single clinic like that, so the need for contraceptive services are greater there. Looking at the entire state, Greene said that in 2010, 45 percent of pregnancies in Kansas were in unintended. In Riley County alone, 9,190 women (aged 13-44) are in need of publicly-funded sexual health… Read more »