Em-URGE-ing Voices


Name + Pronouns: Olivia M, she/her
Favorite Writer: bell hooks and Zora Neale Hurston
Hidden Talent: Paint Mixing (I love color matching with oil paint!)

Bio: Olivia is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Women’s Studies at Spelman College. Through her matriculation, she has learned to examine the world using the lens of the Black Feminist framework. Identifying as Black and queer, her personal and academic interests include Civil Rights, environmental justice, LGBTQ+ equality and reproductive justice. With an additional special interest in Art History, Olivia seeks to draw connections between the truths of social justice and the historical portrayal of minority and marginalized identities.

Posts By: Olivia M

IVF and Conceptions of Choice

“Olivia, according to your test results and symptoms, I do believe you have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.” There I was, a sophomore in college having gained over 50 pounds in eight months and no menstrual cycle to be found, wondering what this meant for my future. Will I ever have a regular cycle again? How hard will it be for me to lose weight? What about my chronic pain? I was then given a list of medications and supplements to become familiar with if I wanted my body to reach peak fertility. “For your 25th birthday, I’ll pay for you to freeze your eggs!’ My mother exclaimed to me, in an attempt to lift my spirits. Rolling my eyes, I replied “Thanks” with the thought that I may actually have to… Read more »

Across Time and Space: The ‘Lesbian Continuum’ and The Color Purple

Trigger warning: sexual assault, homophobia, gender-based violence, child abuse My favorite part of being a Comparative Women’s Studies major has been discovering the intersections between my lived experience and  academic scholarship. Learning new language to describe my lived experience has me often exclaiming, “so this is the term that describes what I have been experiencing!” Having the opportunity to simultaneously learn about myself and interrogate gender theoretically has been liberating.There is one term in particular that has stuck with me, what scholar Adrienne Rich terms the “lesbian continuum.”  Rich introduces the term in her 1980 essay “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence” as an affront to “compulsory heterosexuality,” or the ways that heterosexuality is mandated in patriarchal societies. This leads many women to believe they are or ought to be attracted… Read more »