ChoiceWords Blog

Posts By: URGE Staff

It Doesn’t Matter What I Wore; A Story of the Night I Was Drugged

  *All names have been changed As women and girls growing up in America, we have all heard the warnings to ‘keep ourselves safe.’ We are told not to drink too much, not to wear short skirts or revealing tops, and not to walk alone at night. People claim we live in a post-sexist society, yet women are still constantly blamed for the sexual assaults that happen to them and deemed at fault if they get drugged. A few months ago, I went out with a friend of mine, Laurie* in downtown Sacramento. We stopped by a favorite bar of mine, then decided to move on since it was a slow night. As we arrived at the second bar, Tavern X*, we saw my friend Dane* who had coincidentally also… Read more »

Being a Virgin Doesn’t Make Me Pro-Life

“So you have casual sex then, right?” I cannot count how many times I have been asked this as a follow up question when I tell people I am a feminist.  While I don’t think there is anything wrong with casual sex, pre-marital sex, marital sex, group sex, kinky sex, or really any sex as long as it’s consensual; I find it interesting that this seems to be a common question to jump to.  My favorite part comes after that question though. The asker is at a loss for words, eyes widening, as I reveal to them the truth.  I am, in fact, a virgin. Being 24, a lot of people find it surprising when I tell them I haven’t had sex.  I’ve long since gotten over being surprised at… Read more »

Where are Immigrant Women’s Rights in the RJ fight?

by Katherine Sheldon, Choice USA summer intern As someone involved in the feminist movement, I read about the fight for reproductive justice  in the news daily.  One thing missing from the national media, however, is immigrant and undocumented women’s rights.  Thankfully advocacy groups such as the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) and the National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights (NCIWR) have been working to bring this topic to the public eye.  But with immigrants making up 13% of our population, that’s roughly 40 million people, I have been left wondering; why aren’t more people talking about immigrant women’s voices in mainstream conversations of reproductive justice issues? While Emergency Contraception being available over the counter is fantastic, I found it disheartening that the impact of it not being available… Read more »

Responding to Teen Pregnancy: Stop the Shame

The current conversation around young mothers is not only stigmatizing, it’s also incredibly insensitive. Campaigns such as #NoTeenPreg, launched by the Candies Foundation, present young mothers as inherently problematic – to themselves,  their families, and their communities. The campaign proliferates messages like,  “You’re supposed to be changing the world, not changing diapers,”  as if teen moms are incapable of influencing positive change. The Candie’s Foundation isn’t the first organization to shame young parents and unfortunately it won’t be the last. As advocacy organizations, we often respond to campaigns like this by explaining that the “real problem” with teen pregnancy is the lack of resources and medically accurate information about sex and sexuality. While I agree that these are often the cause of unintended pregnancies –  80% of teen pregnancies are… Read more »

Looking in the Fun-house Mirror: Decoding Anti-Choice Spin

This post is written by Kate Londen, Choice USA Communications Manager Do you ever look at anti-choice news websites? I wouldn’t recommend it, unless you want to spend a good hour or so hate-clicking on sensationally titled articles out of a masochistic fascination. Reading their take on things is like looking in a fun-house mirror. Abortion causes breast cancer. Planned Parenthood is an abortion mill. Contraception ruins sex.  You thought Beyoncé’s super bowl performance was awesome, right? Nope, it turned our children into guinea pigs for “an unfettered, out of control social experiment.” Up is down, down is up. But sometimes news comes down that is unequivocally pro-choice.  What do anti-choice news site do then? Spin, baby, spin… and sometimes straight up lie. For example, earlier this month two separate reports were… Read more »

Shabbat

Choice USA Executive Director, Kierra Johnson, will be traveling this week in Israel with the National Council of Jewish Women, Israel Action Network, and a group of progressive women leaders. While there she will be blogging about the experience for ChoiceWords. It is Friday.* The Holy Day. Jerusalem is buzzing. Everyone has a lot to do and they know the city closes down early. So people are on the streets buying flowers, grocery shopping and running errands in preparation for the sabbath day – Shabbat. Shabbat is primarily a day of rest and spiritual enrichment. The word “Shabbat” comes from the root Shin-Beit-Tav, meaning to cease, to end, or to rest. Schools dismiss at noon and at around 2:00 PM shops begin to close down and people begin to meet up with their friends… Read more »

Sexual Health, Reproduction and Family Formation: Rights, Religion and the State

Choice USA Executive Director, Kierra Johnson, will be traveling this week in Israel with the National Council of Jewish Women, Israel Action Network, and a group of progressive women leaders. While there she will be blogging about the experience for ChoiceWords. This week would not be complete without some commentary about the state of sexual health, reproductive rights and family planning. Below is my quick and dirty report. I received a lot of information. This is not an exhaustive representation of the system but rather consider it a snapshot. Warning: Generally, I try not to compare the US to other places but I just could’t help it this time. I ask for your forgiveness in advance. Abortion: Cons: It is the only medical practice that requires an application and hospital committee approval. Unmarried women… Read more »

Hatikvah

Choice USA Executive Director, Kierra Johnson, will be traveling this week in Israel with the National Council of Jewish Women, Israel Action Network, and a group of progressive women leaders. While there she will be blogging about the experience for ChoiceWords. The Hope. This is the name of the Israeli national anthem. After today, I am convinced that women and young people are the hope for present peace and future prosperity of Israel and Palestine. Today we met with women working for NGOs in Haifa and members of Knesset, the legislative branch of Israeli government, in Tel Aviv. It was a highly political and emotional day. We began meeting with people from the Women’s Center – Isha L’isha (women to women). Within this one center are five organizations working in different sectors to address… Read more »

Radical Modesty

Choice USA Executive Director, Kierra Johnson, will be traveling this week in Israel with the National Council of Jewish Women, Israel Action Network, and a group of progressive women leaders. While there she will be blogging about the experience for ChoiceWords. “Sometimes you have to go against the stream for the sake of the stream.” Dr. Dalia Fadila. Today I had the pleasure of meeting Dalia Fadila, and women from the Arab feminist organization called Kayan. These women are the personification of a bridge. Within themselves they bridge Israeli, Arab and Palestinian. They are inextricably tethered to both the modern and traditional. Some are married and mothers while others have chosen to remain without a partner or children, perhaps for now, perhaps forever. While Dalia is highly educated, some of the women from the… Read more »

Aliyah

Choice USA Executive Director, Kierra Johnson, will be traveling this week in Israel with the National Council of Jewish Women, Israel Action Network, and a group of progressive women leaders. While there she will be blogging about the experience for ChoiceWords. Aliyah: in Arabic means lofty or sublime. In Hebrew means ascending or rising. This evening we dined with colleagues from Haifa and Galilee.  The setting is Beit Maha, a beautiful house over 1000 years old in the city of Akko. Before dinner we checked into our hotel and before that we took a tour through Caesarea Port. It has been a long day but an exciting and eventful one. After we landed in Tel Aviv,  I couldn’t help but feel hyper aware of myself. Black. Non-religious. Very American with Southern roots. Silly. Independent…. Read more »