ChoiceWords Blog

Age: 22
School: Wichita State University
Major: Economics and Political Science, Minor in Math and Women's Studies
Hometown: Meriden, KS
Favorite writer: John Irving, Simone de Beauvoir, Kurt Vonnegut, Gene Roddenberry, Robin Marty
Favorite sex scene from a movie/TV/book: The scene between Donna and Max in Obvious Child. Their chemistry reminds me of my relationship, and as an added bonus, the whole scenario kicks off with a fart to the face!
Hidden talent: Driving long distances in a car without cruise control.

Posts By: Paul

Child Free by Choice

Our society is based in many ways on children and families. Our culture devotes massive amounts of time and resources to the raising of children. Certainly this is good, as children are the future of our society, and that investment is worthwhile. But one side effect of this culture is the automatic expectation that people have children. I understand that as a man, I certainly don’t face the same type or intensity of pressures as my wife or any woman in our society does. And some of that comes from people believing that a woman’s job is to have children. So part of being seen as an adult woman in our society is having children. So as a man I don’t face the same level of stigma for not having… Read more »

Earth Day and Reproductive Justice

As many of you know, yesterday was Earth Day. Some of us may celebrate by making a pledge to reduce waste, or to avoid driving, or plant a tree. But what isn’t usually on our mind on Earth Day is how Environmental Justice and Reproductive Justice are connected. As RJ advocates, we should look to any opportunity to expand our fight beyond the traditional issues and include other social justice issues that affect our communities. So you might be asking, how does Environmental Justice relate to RJ? The answer lies first in how our environment is linked to our health. Issues such as pollution can directly impact health, including reproductive health. And in addition to that, women and children are often more susceptible to the effects of toxins in the… 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 »

Education Access is Reproductive Justice

The most recent budget plan put out by Congress includes some serious cuts to federal student loan programs. It would freeze the levels of Pell Grants being offered, even though currently the level is tied to inflation, which does not rise at the same rate as higher education costs. It would also charge interest on student loans while the students are still in school. This would have a chilling effect on the amount of student debt we are saddled with, which is already astronomically high. To make matters worse, the new budget would completely get rid of the loan repayment plans that make it possible for anyone to pay down that astronomical debt. This budget would spell economic disaster for millions of student who already have student loan debt, or… Read more »

Fraternities and Guilt by Association

I’m sure by now most people have seen or read about the video that was taken of members of the SAE chapter at Oklahoma University chanting racial slurs. There have been countless articles written on it, tons of media coverage, and lots of social media interaction. The hashtag #SAEHatesMe has been used to talk about all sorts of issues relating to racism in Greek life. After this video surfaced, OU president David Boren issued a statement condemning the actions of this group. I should applaud the administration for their swift action, but I also think that making a statement that “Real Sooners are not racist” is a little bit ironic. However, the statement issued was undoubtedly further than the University had to go to deal with the problem, and going… Read more »

Biden, Travolta, and Entitled Touching

For whatever reason, some people feel the need to touch other people without their permission. We see this all over in society, but it seems to be common among men. More specifically, men touching women without permission. This may seem harmless to most people, but there is a very troubling nature to this kind of touching. On February 17th, our Vice President Joe Biden was doing a swearing in ceremony for the new Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter. After administering the oath of office, he stepped to the side to allow Sec. Carter to speak, and placed his hands on the shoulders of his wife, Stephanie. He left his hands there for over 20 seconds before whispering in her ear and stepping back. Of course, this is nothing new for… Read more »

Kansas Regressing on LGBT Workplace Protections

This past Tuesday, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback issued an executive order that removed workplace protections from being harassed, discriminated against, or fired based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The original order that extended those protections was signed in 2007 by former Governor Kathleen Sebelius. The protections included in the original order were fairly narrow in scope, and rarely enforced. As with any executive order, there are limits to what can be done. This particular order applied only to government agencies under direct control of the governor, affecting roughly 25,000 people. These people are important, and removing workplace protections may affect the job status of some. But, in a time when states are expanding protections for people, this move flies in the face of progress. There are few examples of… Read more »

Kansas Is Poised to Ban Second Trimester Abortions

Recently introduced in the Kansas Legislature was a bill that could shape up to be the strictest abortion law in the country. The proposed bill is a ban on a specific type of procedure that is primarily used in the second trimester, Dilation and Evacuation. Anti-choice advocates have been pushing to define this method as “dismemberment abortion.” If this bill were to pass, it could effectively outlaw any access to safe abortion care beyond 14 weeks of pregnancy. This past Monday, I attended an Advocacy Day at the Kansas Legislature that was hosted by URGE. Our focus for the day was a sex education bill that was recently introduced, outlined in my preview several weeks ago. However, in the days leading up to our trip, we were made aware of… Read more »