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

Fighting Revenge Porn

Over the past several years, the problem of “revenge porn” has been growing. Revenge porn is commonly defined as sexually explicit material (usually photos or videos) posted online without the subject’s consent. This has been used as a tool to get revenge on a former partner, where usually this material was recorded consensually at the time, but is now a weapon to embarrass, harass, or humiliate the subject. It is an example of how sex crimes have adapted to the digital age. Any person can be the victim of this type of cyber sex crime, although it is far more likely for a woman to be the victim at the hands of her male partner. It can be devastating for the subject, with consequences not only for their mental and… Read more »

Marching against Birth Control?

Every year on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, the March for Life holds their annual protest in Washington D.C. Every year their goal is the same- the removal of a person’s right to choose abortion. But this year, the tone of the event may be different, at least for some participants. Following the recent Hobby Lobby decision over contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act, many organizations have been filing suit to remove the requirement they cover contraceptives in their health plans. March for Life Education and Defense Fund, the nonprofit that organizes the protest, is no exception. In July 2014, they filed suit for that very purpose. Although the group carefully avoids talking about whether birth control should be legal and available, it is certainly not… Read more »

Kansas Sex Education Fight May Return in 2015

In 2007, the Board of Education in Kansas updated its policy with regard to sex education, removing the prior policy of recommending abstinence-only until marriage curriculum, and replacing it with a recommendation for an abstinence-based curriculum that includes factual information on STI and unintended pregnancy prevention. While this policy, which remains intact, does not have the ability to require any specific curriculum for an individual school district, it has helped improve young people’s access to the information they need. Many school districts have adopted an abstinence-plus curriculum, which falls in line with the recommendations from the Board of Education. This policy also does not include a requirement for any specific type of parental consent mechanism. Instead, the decision what type of parental consent is required has been left to individual… Read more »

A College Student’s Guide to Surviving Winter Break

For us college students, this time of year is dominated by stress of finals, projects, and papers. But when all of that is over for the semester, that stress doesn’t necessarily go away. Thanksgiving break is over, and for some of us that was a short glimpse into what the several weeks of winter break will offer us. I grew up in a small town, with a very conservative group of family, friends, and neighbors. Growing up, I had little exposure to the issues and ideas that I am passionate about at this point in my life. In a lot of ways, leaving the nest to go to college was a liberating experience for me, although my university is about as midwestern as any. I’ve had the incredible opportunity to… Read more »

To Shop or Not to Shop?

With Thanksgiving only a week away, people are already starting to talk about their opinions on Black Friday. Much has been said about Black Friday shopping from people on both sides of the issue. There are some people who would prefer that we restrict whether stores can be open on Thanksgiving day or the next day, saying people deserve to have that time off of work. There are others who insist that Black Friday is a great day for our economy, touting record numbers of sales that day. Both sides have legitimate arguments, so let’s take a look at the reasons given for each position. Reasons not to Shop 1. Consumerism There has been a movement to make Thanksgiving and Black Friday two days where it is socially unacceptable to… Read more »

What Kansans Can Expect in 2015

We all know how devastating the midterm elections were for certain parts of the country, especially on certain issues. Since I live in Kansas, I am as aware of that as anyone. For reproductive rights, the landscape for the next few years certainly does look bleak here, as it does in many other states. With supportive legislators at an all-time low, and an administration that has abortion restrictions high on its priority list, we can expect many new restrictions to be introduced, and possibly passed, in 2015. Meanwhile, even as anti-choice politicians were overwhelmingly elected nationwide, ballot initiatives and exit polls show that our nation still has a majority in favor of reproductive rights. Knowing this, it is important that we prepare ourselves for the continued rise of restrictions on… Read more »

How To Not Catcall

The issue of street harassment and catcalling has been one that’s been making the rounds in the media, particularly social media. Several videos and articles, including this video, have gone viral. Showing the numerous instances of street harassment faced by one woman walking down the street in New York City, it shows that the experiences of some women and their interactions with strangers can be unsettling or even frightening at times. My fellow URGE blogger Caitlin also wrote about this video last week, talking about the possibly unintentional but totally real racial bias presented in the video. Since this is an issue that nearly all women face in some form, and also since there is a significant portion of men who don’t understand this issue, I thought we should have… Read more »

Why don’t you just leave?

I was born in Kansas. I have always lived in Kansas. All of my family and friends also live in Kansas. I love living here. I don’t plan on leaving my home any time soon. However, there is just one problem: Kansas doesn’t always love me back. You see, in Kansas, people that think like me have very little political power. As advocates for reproductive justice, our concerns and campaigns often come up short. We live in an extremely anti-choice political culture. Kansas has some of the strictest abortion-related laws in the country. It can be a very challenging and frustrating environment to do this work. The solution we are always offered to remedy this situation is to leave. Many people might ask us why we don’t leave if we… Read more »

Why I Married Young

Hello, my name is Paul. I’m a 22 year old college senior, and I’ve been married for 3 and a half years now. Yes, I married my high school sweetheart. We’ve been together since we were a sophomore and a junior, respectively, and we were engaged before I even graduated. After my first year in college (her second), we were married, and we’ve been together ever since. Quick Disclaimer: This post is not an endorsement of young marriage or marriage in general. I only seek to promote respect for everyone’s relationship decisions. Also, this is dealing with my personal story, so there is only discussion of a cisgender, heterosexual experience. This is not everyone’s experience, and that is precisely why I say we should always respect everyone’s relationship choices. In… Read more »