ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: social justice

What to Do When Your Fave is Problematic

There are certain celebrities who I simply don’t like for one reason or another. Maybe they said something once that completely changed the way I look at them. Maybe they just rub me the wrong way. Maybe I don’t even know why I don’t like them. But I have to admit I get the tiniest sense of satisfaction or joy whenever one of them gets called out for saying or doing something problematic. This works both ways though. There are celebrities who I love that are problematic. The most obvious is Taylor Swift. I’ve been a fan since her early days, since the first time I heard Tim McGraw. It’s been said time and time again in what ways she has been problematic, especially in recent years, so I won’t… Read more »

California’s Cruel Policy that Keeps Families in Poverty

At the end of last month SB 23 passed its first committee in the California Legislature.  For those of you who don’t know, SB 23 is a bill that seeks to repeal the CalWORKs Maximum Family Grant Rule (MFG) which bars families from receiving additional aid for any child born during the time that family is already receiving CalWORKs aid. A family receiving CalWORKs is a family who is struggling. How can a state say that they are not willing to provide assistance to any additional children knowing that children who grow up in poverty end up with poorer health, have behavioral and emotional problems, and are at higher risk of unintended pregnancy in their teen years? This is inhumane. What’s worse is that the rule applies to every member of… Read more »

Public Assistance is Reproductive Justice

Recently, my home state of Kansas passed a law that places several restrictions on the usage of benefits received from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF), commonly referred to as welfare. Among other things, the bill prohibits TANF benefits from being used at swimming pools, movie theaters, cruise ships, and tattoo parlors. Also, the bill limits ATM withdrawals from the TANF account to $25 per day. On top of these new restrictions, Kansas also requires recipients of TANF benefits to be working or looking for work, and has instituted a drug testing policy for those who qualify. And Kansas isn’t the only state to be fighting this “problem” of the luxury of being poor. Missouri lawmakers have been pushing for a bill greatly restricting what type of groceries… Read more »

Feminist Hacktivism on Wikipedia

Last Saturday morning, many Oberlin students gathered at a local art venue with their laptops, chargers, and desires to tell the world about more women artists through Wikipedia. Students of all types of gender expression woke-up early on Saturday morning to drink coffee and eat breakfast together while communally editing Wikipedia’s art pages. Oberlin’s edit-a-thon was part of an international event hosted by Art + Feminism to revamp Wikipedia’s pages to close the huge gender gap that is visible in it’s content. This was the second annual Art+Feminism edit-a-thon. The gender trouble with Wikipedia’s coverage has been well-documented. Wall Street Journal’s coverage of Saturday’s event noted that, “In a 2011 survey, the Wikimedia Foundation found that less than 10% of contributors on Wikipedia identified as female.” It is difficult to… Read more »

5 Tips for Navigating Social Justice Discussions

View image | gettyimages.com I’m part of a group at my university called Feminists United and every week we hold discussion based meetings that focus on different social justice topics ie. ableism, rape culture, classism, race, gender, etc.  Having our meetings be mostly discussion based is really important because it provides a safe for people to speak on topics they are passionate about as well as learn about the unfamiliar through the help of their peers. I’ve attended these meetings and been a part of this group for a couple of semesters now, but this is the first semester where I’m going to be in the position of a group facilitator. Usually during our meetings because we have such a large group (between 30 and 40 people) we like to… Read more »

Sending Love to our Abortion Providers

This week we commemorate the ruling of Roe v. Wade that made abortion legal in our country. In doing so, the doctors who provide abortion services need to be appreciated for their tremendously important work to keep equal healthcare rights alive in the United States. Since Roe was enacted, there have been many attempts to undermine accessibility to abortion and overturn the ruling to keep it legal. Over the past forty-two years, there have been many federal attacks to dismantle equal rights for women. From the Hyde Amendment to Planned Parenthood v. Casey to the rise of state restrictions on reproductive health providers, the doctors who choose to continue to provide abortion services are extremely valuable to anyone who supports equal rights. With all of this documented federal pushback it… Read more »

How to Deal With Ignorant Comments From Loved Ones

I celebrated my two week holiday break from school by going back home and spending time with my family. I loved seeing them and was happy to have some quality time with my sisters and parents. Still, a lot of my time at home is spent biting my tongue, passive-aggressively sighing and angrily venting to my friends. You see, my parents aren’t the most well-versed in social justice issues. I love my parents a lot. I am incredibly grateful of all that they have sacrificed and all the hard work that they have put forth to make sure that they have a great life. I recognize that having loving parents is a privilege that many do not have. But sometimes, I don’t love my parents. Sometimes, they say ignorant remarks…. Read more »

Police Violence Against Women, Girls, Queer People of Color

During this outpouring of demonstration and activism against the racist American system that does not indict killer cops, and media release of accounts of police brutality, let’s not forget that black girls and women are also murdered by the police. In the recent weeks we have seen many stories that highlight injustices of police brutality, and many of these have prominently featured the killing of black men. It is important to think about how the deaths of unarmed, innocent people at the hands of the police are not isolated incidents. Black men are uniquely impacted by this violence, but the brutality is also not just against men. Children, women, and queer folk of color are also facing death and abuse by the system. Perhaps, it is simpler for the media to… Read more »