Em-URGE-ing Voices


Age: 21

School: University of Kansas—Rock Chalk Jayhawk, y’all.

Major: English, Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, and Russian Minor

Hometown: Kansas City, Kansas

Favorite writer: Oh god this is too hard. I’ll do a top five. Brian Friel, Cristina Garcia, Chaim Potok, Gloria Anzaldua, Neil Gaiman, Harriet Mullen, Margaret Edson, Emily Bronte, Susan Stryker, Laurie Penny. Okay, so it’s a top ten, but what did you expect? Top five is too hard.

Favorite sex scene from a movie/TV/book: When Ayla and Jondalar get it on for the first time in The Valley of the Horses. Not only is it an enormous, late Stone Age adventure/empowering, romance lead by a badass female character with literally hundreds of pages of sexual tension oozing out the pages, but Ayla never’s gotten pleasure from sex before—so Jondalar makes it his mission to focus entirely on her having awesome orgasms. And it is AWESOME.

Hidden talent: I have an 85% accuracy rating when it comes to guessing where people bought their clothes. It’s been tested. By science.

Posts By: Katherine

What Fighting Sexual Assault Looks Like on My Campus

It’s no surprise to anyone even halfway paying attention to the news as of late that campus sexual assault is a buzzy topic right now. From the release of 55 universities under investigation by the federal government, to the viral picture of an alumni refusing to donate until their alma mater addresses sexual assault, to college students posting a rapist list of students who were found guilty yet never charged—sexual assault on campuses is causing a huge national discussion. Much of this media attention is credited to the White House itself assembling a task force on sexual assault. In April, the White House released a report on how campuses can combat sexual assault. These guidelines, and the task force recommendations (as well as the reason the White House even assembled… Read more »

Doing More Than Filling the Gaps in Sex-Ed

One of my younger brothers is in the midst that casual dirtbag period of early tween-dom. You know the one—where he every other joke is about jerking off and his ratio of obnoxiousness to actual humor is 10 to 1. Still, he’s my brother, and I love him, and he’s not a jerk a decent amount of the time. The two of us have a fairly open and honest relationship actually, and we talk about his crushes, about politics, and yes—even about sex. Seeing as he currently attends the same Catholic school I attended for all of grade and middle school—which still calls it’s “sex-ed” program “Adam and Eve” and segregates boys and girls only to give them the same talk about chastity, the evils of the “homosexual lifestyle,” etc…. Read more »

“But What About False Rape Accusations”: ‘Ally’ Derailment and Gender-Based Sexual Assault

A while back, a dude started coming to the feminist student group that I’m the president of. He was cisgender and heterosexual (cishet). I’ll call him DudeBro 1. Now, while unfortunately, dudes coming to feminist clubs to talk about dismantling the patriarchy isn’t terribly common, it’s not like DudeBro 1 was the first. And at first, he seemed to genuinely be a dude who, despite not knowing much about it, was interested in learning about feminism, gender equity, and so on. A few weeks after DudeBro 1 started attending meetings, this article featuring alcohol, my campus, the University of Kansas, and sexual assault was released. It rocked my campus pretty hard (you can read my article about it here) and following the release of the article, my feminist group canceled… Read more »

No More “White Knights”: On Plans for a Steubenville Movie and Silencing Survivors

Circling the feminist and progressive blogosphere the past few days has been the news that Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B Entertainment, is apparently making a movie about Steubenville—from the perspective of Anonymous, not Jane Doe herself. There was a considerable amount of dissent over the notion of a survivor being silenced in her own narrative, and it’s been discussed in detail about why making the members of Anonymous who raged a social media onslaught concerning the case the “heroes” (the subset of anonymous which the work operated under is known ironically as the “white knight operation”) is problematic. Yet there were afew voices that considered the angle of “White Knights” to be an acceptable one.

Bodily Autonomy and Red Lipstick: On Being Femme, and Reclaiming our Bodies

I own 13 shades of lipstick. I also have, according to my latest tally, 20 dresses, 16 skirts, 5 pairs of heels, and 18 pairs of earrings (and counting). I hardly ever wear sweats to class (minus finals week), I follow a number of fashion and beauty blogs, I rock a pretty rad wingtip on occasion, and I own maybe too much of various shades of pink. A fairly high feminine aesthetic, all around. I’m also super queer. Oh, and super feminist. And a dedicated reproductive justice advocate. And that’s highly tied to—not in spite of—my femme identity. Femme, if you’re not sure, is a queer gender performance that embraces much of what has been called “traditionally feminine”. Mascara, high heels, floral prints, and on, and on. Often femme women… Read more »

Let’s Talk About Sex, During Sex: Expanding Consent

Since entering the wide and wonderful world of feminism, I’ve always been known as the “sex educator” friend. I’ve put condoms on bananas, explained how the hymen works, and of course, hammered in what consent actually is numerous times. I talk about sex, a lot. Especially with those I actually have sex with—which is often what surprises people the most. Just the other night I was talking with two of my best friends late into the night, and we were discussing our relationships, current challenges, successes, how great Space Jam is, and of course, sex. At one point I was personally sharing a recent sexual encounter that I’d had with someone I’m seeing. In describing the story, I told my friend matter-of-factly that I asked him if he’d want to… Read more »

Fetal Heartbeat: The Great Anti-Choice Divider In Kansas

On March 26th, 2013, The House Federal and State Affairs Committee opened at 8 a.m. the hearing on HB 2324—a bill summarized by the meeting minutes as “prohibiting an abortion of an unborn human individual with a detectable fetal heartbeat.” The hearing closed that day and now having been heard successfully in committee almost a year ago, the bill awaits to see if it will be introduced to the floor of the legislature for a vote, a vote imbedded in the divisionary politics and varying allegiances at play within the “pro-life”/anti-choice legislators, lobbyists, and activists in the capitol. There are multitude of anti-choice organizations in Kansas (and even more groups that actively work for anti-choice causes) but the five main anti-choice organizations in Kansas are “Kansans for Life” (KFL); “Kansas… Read more »

Recovering Catholic: Reconciling Faith with Reproductive Justice

This past weekend I was lucky enough to get the chance to attend the fourth annual Take Root, a reproductive justice conference focused on red states. It was a whirlwind time in Norman, Oklahoma, meeting fellow Midwest and Southern folks who understand the particular difficulties in organizing for RJ in a red state. I especially loved how Take Root –walking the walk and not just talking the talk of reproductive justice (as unfortunately often happens) — put women of color, lower-income folks, and queer people at the forefront of the conversations. But beyond all the feminist warm and fuzzies that make my heart go all-aflutter, I was particularly struck by one panel “Reproductive Justice Off the Coasts” which featured a bevy of badass activists. And, I was most especially struck… Read more »

On Being a Fed Up Kansan and Not Giving Up On Kansas

I want to start off by saying three things. I have lived in Kansas for 19 of my 21 years. There is a deep-seated affection in my heart for the state I call my home. I am bone-weary and ready to run as far as I can. What can I say? Being in the midst of what is quickly becoming a red state that bleeds oppressive legislation, you get worn down. Being a Kansan these days feels like an attack on all fronts. Hell, the rest of the country knows it too, if the current trend of national news outlets pumping out articles lambasting the current state of Kansas politics is any indicator to go by. So, yeah. Sometimes, the silent chant of I can’t wait until I get out… Read more »

Can We Stop Pretending “Religious Liberty” is the Real Motivation for Legislation?

You know, after getting back from a national conference with 4,000 queer folks and allies, I was floating on a little rainbow hued cloud, having all the queer feels, and so on—until that queer cloud gets swallowed up by a thunderstorm of oppression and the dismantling of civil rights. Otherwise known as the latest bill my home state’s legislators have introduced that attempts to target queer people, by allowing both private AND public employees to not “treat any marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or similar arrangement as valid.” Oh, though apparently it’s all about religious freedom and not queer people. My bad, homies. I am a ~little~ tired of having a bunch of old white dudes claiming that being able to rescind someone’s else’s rights is inherently promised within the… Read more »