Em-URGE-ing Voices


Major: Creative Writing and Economics at Kenyon College
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Favorite writer: Zora Neale Hurston, Joan Didion
Favorite sex scene from a movie/tv show/book: Sixteen Candle's post-sex car scene or Janie's pear tree scene from Their Eyes Were Watching God
Hidden talent: Scraping the last bit of foundation out of the jar.

Posts By: Reilly Wieland

Feminist Theory for Beginners

As our movement becomes more accessible and popularized, feminism has found its way outside of the classroom. But with that said, I don’t necessarily agree that feminism is for everybody. Feminism is for everybody who is willing learn– and I think that we’ve forgotten how to be students of its literature and theory. I love quippy slogans just as much as the rest of us, but I also believe that we all should be reading some basic feminist theory/ feminist texts as a means of understanding that not all of our beliefs are inherently feminist. The truths we hold can be problematic and flawed, and because of that, it is our job to be students of the movement. Not only do we have to interrogate our own ideas, but be… Read more »

You Don’t Have To Put Up With Shitty Men in Literature if You Don’t Want to

When we read Junot Diaz’s book Drown in my gender studies course last year, the class was quick to rave about the nuance of his writing. They spoke in grand terms about how he was a literary genius and of the tenderness of the characters– and I didn’t know why I couldn’t get on board. On the one hand, I appreciate Diaz and his body of work. He is an intensely talented writer. There are pieces of his work that I admire greatly. But, as we read this book full of abusive men, I wasn’t able to look past the way it made me feel. Drown is a prime example of a book that is not inherently misogynistic but includes misogyny. The book is riddled with gender-based abuse. And while… Read more »

Are You Doing Your Work? Understanding the True Meaning of Reproductive Justice

Today’s feminists have a tendency to throw around words like “intersectionality,” but rarely seem to understand the complexities of its implications. We give lip service to women of color by calling ourselves “intersectional feminists” when in reality, we misunderstand the larger context of the discussion. In this same vein, we equate work regarding reproductive rights to working in a framework of reproductive justice. Both are, in their own way, valuable– but they are not synonyms. Reproductive rights refers to the distinct fight for liberty regarding reproductive health, usually framed as “choice”: access to reproductive health care, including abortion and a right to safe and freely practiced sexuality. The movement is commonly associated with abortion access, and thus, grouped in with second-wave feminism. Our narrative of second-wave feminism is distinctly white… Read more »

Preparing to Live in a World Without Roe: What You Need to Know About Self-Managed Abortions

It is hard for my generation to picture a world before Roe. Even as we have faced draconian laws restricting access and watched clinics close, we hold in the back of our minds that if we were to need it, Roe would protect our access to abortion. We have never known a time when abortion was, legally speaking, entirely out of the question. With that, the image of the back-alley abortion feels far away. The coat hanger feels like an image of the past– one that we won’t return to, and that isn’t a reality anymore. Maybe we know people who have received abortions in this way, but we certainly do not know this reality in the same type of living color that past generations do. Of course, every community… Read more »

I Am Pro-Choice Because I Am Catholic, Not In Spite of It

Catholics around the country have come together to express their support of reproductive rights through the In Good Faith campaign, put forth by Catholics For Choice, an organization that is “on the forefront of national and international debates on the intersection of faith, women’s health and reproductive justice”. The beauty of Catholicism is that we are the original radicals- the first ones to question societal and cultural ideas and expectations. And I am here to tell you that I am a practicing cradle Catholic and concurrently, a pro-choice activist. In my own constructions and interpretations of theology, I believe that Catholics have a duty to be radically open to what is best for others. Even so, abortion can be undoubtedly hard to come to terms with for some Catholics. At… Read more »

Why Paid Sick Leave is Reproductive Justice and Why Issues Like It Matter

When we discuss the implications of mandatory waiting periods to receive abortion care, we are usually talking about abolishing them. While that is, of course, where a large part of our energy should be spent, we forget to also advocate for the socioeconomic factors that make the mandatory waiting period not only sick, but entirely restrictive. In an ideal world, all people seeking abortions would be able to take a singular day of work off. In reality, this is far from the truth. Many women drive hours to a clinic, take days off from work and must find childcare to receive abortion care. While these restrictions flaunt themselves as a time for women to “reflect on their decisions,” they are thinly veiled roadblocks put in front of people to stop… Read more »

The Invisible Hand of The Patriarchy: Why We Need More Women in Economics

When journalist Maria Bartiromo came to CNBC, she was the first woman to report live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Regardless of her extensive credentials, journalistic ability and a prestigious degree in economics, she was deemed the “money honey”– a somewhat crass way of commodifying her work. Though this is somewhat of a rarefied example, this moniker placed on Bartiromo points to her status as a one-off in a field so vastly dominated by men. I think about the concept of the “good ole’ boys club” a lot. As I attend a college that restricted women’s admissions until the late 1960s, I consider the words of Virginia Woolf discussing her own fictional university: “I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought… Read more »

Keep Your Head Warm While You Keep Your Feminism Trans Inclusive

It’s getting chilly out there, my dear feminist friends. While it might be tempting to throw on your “pussy hat” from the Women’s March earlier this year, I suggest that you, instead, stay warm by watching transphobia and gender essentialism go up in flames. I’ve done it too. We all love a good quote about “pussy power” or something about “ovaries before brovaries.” But, in the name of trying to be better, the feminist movement needs to stop focusing on genitals when we discuss women. And yes, as it gets cold, that means you pussy hat wearers. In the case of the ever famous “pussy hat,” I understand that this word is being reclaimed after its history of men’s derogatory use, particularly in the context of Trump. I understand that… Read more »