Em-URGE-ing Voices


Age: 20

School: Texas Tech University

Major: Journalism

Hometown: Longview, Texas

Favorite writer: Sylvia Plath

Favorite sex scene: I know this is not exactly a scene but most sex scenes in Orange is the New Black involve women having orgasms, that's empowering to me since we live in a world where women's orgasms are so commonly taboo or even considered a myth.

Hidden talent: I can read and write without vowels.

Posts By: Kristen Barton

My journey as a Catholic Reproductive Justice activist

I’m what you would call a cradle Catholic. I was baptized as a baby and I have been Catholic since. I go to Mass, read my Bible and say the rosary. I went to Catholic school from the time I was three years old until I was 14. I am also a reproductive justice activist. It is no secret the Catholic Church has always been very openly against abortion and, in a lot of cases, contraception. I don’t really know if there was ever a time where I decided and openly said that was incorrect and I was going to go against the teachings of the Church, I think it has always been a part of me. Deep down, I always knew it was wrong to deny abortion and birth… Read more »

Reproductive Justice and the Single Lady

My latest read has been “All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation” by Rebecca Traister and it is amazing. I seriously recommend this book to everyone. The book is about the history of marriage and how as it changed and women became more and more independent, society changes with it. Single women have changed the political landscape in many ways. This book got me thinking about how single people today impact the reproductive justice movement. For one, Traister points out in her book people are staying single in college verses getting married in or right out of college. This means there are younger single people and there is no denying how vital young people are to reproductive justice and activism. Single people have impacted abolition,… Read more »

Sexual Assault Awareness Month Provides Chance to Stand with Survivors

****Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault**** Today is the first day of April, which means it is the beginning of Sexual Assault Awareness month. Awareness about sexual assault, and most issues in our society, is crucial to the creating action. There is a lot about sexual assault that our society needs to made aware of, and there is no way I can capture it all in one blog post. But, I’ll try to do my best to discuss certain issues that I think really matter. We have to stop with the victim blaming Sexual assault is NEVER a survivor’s fault. They weren’t too drunk or dressed too provocatively; they were taken advantage of and hurt. They were violated, and it is not their fault. If you look at a sexual assault survivor and ask… Read more »

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Can Improve the Workforce

We know far too well that discrimination comes in many shapes and forms, and too often it happens to pregnant people in the workforce. All over the country, people are being denied jobs because they are expecting or losing their jobs while pregnant because of a lack of accommodations. Earlier this week the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act got its first briefing on the Hill; this is huge. The legislation would help curb the discrimination against pregnant employees in the workforce. People who are pregnant sometimes lose their jobs because their employers are not willing to make the necessary accommodations for them. Companies are treating pregnant people as disposable,  and this bill is a much needed step to ending this common and unfair practice. There are several parts of the bill that… Read more »

Thoughts on Kim Kardashian’s Nude Selfie and Reproductive Justice

This week Kim Kardashian West posted a selfie online in which she was naked with black bars covering her breasts and vagina. Of course, slut-shamers everywhere saw this as a chance to attack Kim and reiterate their belief that she is a bad example for young girls, her daughter, etc. Several celebrities took to Twitter to shame Kim also, people who call themselves feminists told Kim she is bad for women and children. Which seems pretty counter-productive to me. There are a lot of issues feminists have to worry about and fight to change — Kim’s nude selfie is not and should not be anywhere on that list. It’s her body, and therefore her decision to share or not share.Thankfully, Kim took to Twitter and her website to clap back at… Read more »

Three Takeaways from the Biggest Abortion Case of Our Generation

This week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments about the Texas HB2 case, Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt. HB2 is a bill in the Texas  legislature that would further restrict abortion access in the state. If put into full effect, this bill will close down all but ten clinics. Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt can change the way abortion cases and reproductive justice is handled state by state from here on out. This precedent could revolutionize reproductive justice and the law. Here are three takeaways from the case thus far. Three Women Occupying Seats on the Supreme Court is Revolutionary                                                      This is the first time the… Read more »

President Obama Just Took a Big Step for Sex Education

Bless you, Barack Obama. This week, President Obama sent the U.S. Senate his proposed budget for fiscal year 2017, and he made a huge step for reproductive justice. Obama’s proposed budget cuts funding for abstinence-only sex education programs. Currently, this education is being funded by a $10 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services. It is safe to say this grant has been a complete waste of time and has set sex education back decades. Up to this point, abstinence-only sex education has been encouraged and utilized in schools because of the funding it was receiving; this is obviously problematic. Students have been missing out on sex education that is actually informative because school districts want more money. This means young people have been inadequately informed about… Read more »

Planned Parenthood Research Shows Our Worst Fears Coming True

Recently, two Texas researchers co-authored a study that said exactly what we already know — as Planned Parenthood centers crumble, so does access to healthcare. The study shows an increase in low-income women having children because they lack access to affordable healthcare. These findings could mean rises in unintended pregnancies that are carried to full term among low-income families in other states that defund Planned Parenthood. It also means people who are using birth control for medical reasons, such as to curb extremely painful periods, will not have  access to contraceptives anymore. It means people will not have access to affordable cancer screenings. It means our ability to make decisions with our bodies is, like we predicted, being taken away. Of course, as a result of this study, these researchers are dealing… Read more »

5 ways to prevent teen dating violence

February is Teen Dating Violence Prevention Month, so it’s important we talk about not only what teen dating violence is, but how people can get involved in prevention. Note: This is not something we as a society should only spend a month focusing on; it deserves constant prevention efforts and attention. It is also important to realize dating violence happens to young people and teenagers. In fact, one in five teenage girls and 10% of teenage boys experienced some form of dating violence in 2015. Teen dating violence is physical, sexual, psychological, emotional violence or stalking by a former or current partner. So often when we as a society hear the word “violence,” we automatically assume it’s physical, but violence comes in many forms. It is important to remember, recognize… Read more »