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

Reproductive Justice-Themed Holiday Gifts for Your Favorite Folks

Now that Thanksgiving has passed and, for students, the semester is nearly over, gift-buying and gift-giving season is upon us. During the holidays, I like to give gifts that are useful, meaningful, and unique to the people I am giving them to. Here are some gift ideas for all of your feminist and reproductive justice-loving friends this holiday season. 1. Birth Control Pill Pin This colorful and simple birth control pill pin from Dissent Pins is a great option for people who like to make a subtle statement. It’s perfect for fashion-conscious folks and friends who might be going into the medical or pharmaceudical fields. 2. “No Politics in My Uterus” Mug Why not get that avid coffee or tea drinker something that’s bold but also practical? This mug is… Read more »

The Science Behind the Female Orgasm: Originally an Ovarian Matter (Maybe)

The female orgasm—it’s been researched enough to prove that it exists and what the female body undergoes before, during, and after orgasm. But another question remains: Does the female orgasm serve a reproductive purpose? We know why male bodies orgasm. From a solely reproductive lens, it serves as a way to trigger ejaculation and get sperm one step closer to fertilizing an egg. According to Women’s Health, during sexual stimulation, the vagina widens up toward the cervix while pelvic muscles tense up near the vaginal opening. After more stimulation prompts those muscles and nerves to build more tension, an orgasm happens as that tension is involuntarily released. “The big bang is the moment when the uterus, vagina, and anus contract simultaneously at 0.8-second intervals,” writes Nicole Beland for Women’s Health…. Read more »

The Science Behind Telemedicine Abortion: Filling in Health Care Gaps

For people seeking abortion care in rural areas and/or states with few abortion clinics, telemedicine abortion is a way to increase access to this particular form of health care. Telemedicine abortion involves the prescription of the two medications that induce an abortion before 10 weeks gestation when the provider and the patient are in different locations. How does this procedure work? First, we must know how medication abortion works. Medication abortion is a non-surgical means of terminating a pregnancy. According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, medication abortion, also known as the abortion pill, can safely be used to terminate a pregnancy up to 10 weeks. The method was approved by the FDA in 2000. The “abortion pill” actually consists of two different medications taken at two separate times…. Read more »

Disney’s Casting of Johnny Depp Hurts Abuse Survivors

When we consume media, particularly media produced by individuals like musicians and artists, we have a choice to make: do we appreciate/not appreciate that person’s art separate from who they are as a person, or do we judge that person fully, taking their actions and views into account when we enjoy their art? While there is no clear-cut answer, I typically don’t mind if a musician or actor I like doesn’t have the same values or opinions I do; that’s part of life. Chris Pratt, for example, is Republican. He’s not discriminatory or anything of that sort, so I still support his work. However, I will not support a celebrity if they have committed violent acts, especially against women. This value aligns with what the #MeToo movement means to accomplish:… Read more »

The Science Behind The Copper IUD: How Does Metal Work for Birth Control?

  Most forms of birth control, in terms of understanding how they work, are fairly straightforward. Barrier methods like diaphragms and condoms physically prevent sperm from entering the uterus, and hormonal methods like birth control pills, NuvaRings, and Nexplanon administer dosages of hormones that disrupt ovulation. But there’s an outlier in the BC field: PARAGARD, also known as the copper IUD. It is different from its other T-shaped counterparts because it does not contain any hormones; copper is the contraceptive in this product. How does copper actually work to prevent pregnancy? Is this method as reliable as its hormone-based peers, like other IUDs and the Nexplanon implant? Medical mechanisms In a mechanism of action report by CooperSurgical, the company that makes the copper IUD, the pharmacology behind this birth control… Read more »

Trump’s Plan to Fund Abstinence-Only Sex Ed is Grossly Misled

Last Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that grants for sexual education programs available through the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program will favor programs that focus on abstinence-only sexual education. Both The Hill and The New York Times report that the grants will focus on supporting programs that follow one of two models: “sexual risk avoidance” and “sexual risk reduction.” The Times also notes that “the announcement … mentioned an ‘emphasis on cessation support,’ a phrase many involved in teen pregnancy programs interpreted as urging sexually active teenagers to stop having sex.” In essence, Trump’s administration is favoring abstinence-centric sex ed programs over comprehensive sexual education. They see avoidance as the main option, and the administration is leaning away from evidence-based programs. Here’s why this is a big… Read more »

Paid Time Off is a Staple for Reproductive Justice

On Monday, Senator Tammy Duckworth became the first senator to give birth while in office. She will be taking parental leave, but Senate protocol could keep her from being able to vote on legislation during that time. And she faces another problem upon returning to the Senate—no children are allowed on the Senate floor. “You’re not allowed to bring children onto the floor of the Senate at all, so if I have to vote and I’m breastfeeding my child, what do I do, leave her sitting outside?” said Duckworth in Politico’s Women Rule podcast back in February. On Feb. 5, she also penned an op-ed for CNN calling attention to the need for not only parental leave, but more accessible childcare options and paid sick leave for working Americans. “When people… Read more »

Living in a Women’s House Made Me a Better Feminist

During my first two years attending Kansas State University, I chose to live in a small, all-female residence hall called Smurthwaite Scholarship/Leadership House. To describe what it is, I often say that it’s the perfect balance between a sorority community and a typical residence hall. But my experience in this small community of women is much more than logistically perfect. I have been immersed in a supportive, educated, uplifting, engaging, and friendly family. Now that I plan to move off campus for the rest of my time at K-State, I have reflected on the past two years. Smurthwaite has been foundational to my college experience so far, and it has shaped me not only as a student and a friend, but as a feminist. One factor that has helped me… Read more »

Here’s How We Can Actually ‘Restore Life in America,’ Pence

On Feb. 27, The Hill reported that Mike Pence said he hopes legal abortion will end in the United States “in our time.” At a luncheon for the Susan B. Anthony List & Life Institute, Pence said “I know in my heart of hearts this will be the generation that restores life in America.” Pence has a track record of restricting reproductive health care access in his time as vice president and as governor of Indiana. He said to the luncheon attendees that “while we have made great progress, we have much work left to do,” noting the federal 20-week abortion ban bill that the House of Representatives passed earlier this year; that bill was not passed by the Senate. We have much work left to do to enhance and… Read more »