ChoiceWords Blog

Robyn

Age: 20
School: University of Florida
Major: Journalism, with a minor in Theories and Politics of Sexuality
Hometown: Oviedo, Florida
Favorite writer: Sylvia Plath, all the way.
Favorite sex scene from movie/TV/book: Really, any scene from "Story of O," but particularly the scenes where O is shocked that someone other than her lover can give her pleasure. The whole book is a great exploration of dominance and submission.
Hidden talent: I can say the alphabet backwards as fast as I can say it forwards.

Posts By: Robyn

Female Empowerment Means Having Options

I was talking with a friend the other day about a girl she knows—an incredibly smart girl, with a 4.0 GPA in her engineering classes, who plans on getting married and becoming a stay-at-home mom after college. My friend told me that it seemed like such a disappointment that this incredibly intelligent girl was giving up a promising career for an “M.R.S. degree.” I told her that it was tempting for me to agree. Feminism and female empowerment means that ladies don’t need to get married or have kids—pursue academia and independence, girls! But don’t feminism and female empowerment actually mean that women can do, well, whatever they want? This girl should have every right to be a mother as I have every right to have a career. I struggle… Read more »

Call It Anti-Choice, Not Pro-Life

I’ve never understood why “pro-choice” and “pro-life” are considered to be opposites. More specifically, I’ve never understood why people are called pro-life when they would be more accurately referred to as anti-abortion or anti-choice. Why? Because a lot of “pro-life” people aren’t even what I’d consider to be pro-life. Breaking the label down, pro-life means that you’re in support of, well, life, just as pro-choice means you’re in support of the right to choose. Making “pro-life” the antithetical adjective to “pro-choice” makes it seem like the two are opposite. But I consider myself to be very much pro-choice and also very much in support of life. By that, I mean that I support the right to live how you should choose to live. The right to a good life. The right… Read more »

Abandon Girl Hate

Last night, with no explanation, I walked by a girl who I instantly didn’t like. It might have been because she stared at me with a look of judgment in her eyes. It might have been because she was prettier than me. It might have been because patriarchal values have taught me to hate other women. I like to think I’m a pretty accepting person. So you can imagine my internal struggle as I try and talk myself down from girl hate, the phenomenon of hating other girls based solely on the fact that they are another woman, not for any legitimate reason. Before I knew about feminism, before I knew about social justice, I internalized everything that our society tells us about women. You should judge a woman for… Read more »

Florida Bill Further Restricts Abortion Access

A lot of crazy stuff comes out of Florida. We even have a Twitter called “Florida Man” for all those ridiculous headlines (“Florida Man Seen Riding Around Town With Iguanas Duct-Taped to Bicycle;” “Florida Man Steals $85,000 Worth of Pizza Cheese”). But in the past few weeks, the crazy stuff that’s been happening is more sigh-inducing than laugh-worthy. Florida has banned using the terms “climate change” and “global warming” by state employees. A discriminatory transgender “bathroom bill” has passed a second House committee. And passed by the House in the last week: a bill that would require a waiting period before having an abortion. According to the Florida House of Representatives, HB633 “revises conditions for voluntary and informed consent to termination of pregnancy.” The bill was approved by the House… Read more »

Your Pro-Choice Cheat Sheet: How to Respond to Anti-Abortion Arguments

Last week, my school was “lucky” enough to play host to an anti-abortion group called Creating Equal. The group stopped by for two days as part of their annual “justice ride,” in order to spread propaganda and put down the pro-choice movement. Their argument was based on the fact that abortion is “ageism” and the group showed pictures of “abortions,” as well as a video of what an abortion looks like (on a large screen in the middle of campus, no less). When students realized what was happening, they formed a counter-protest, complete with safe spaces to help those who were triggered by the images. Arguments over ethics and the pro-choice movement littered Facebook and one counter-protest participant admitted that an anti-abortionist had her talking in circles. I get it…. Read more »

My Pro-Choice Is About More Than Abortion

Last Friday, I stumbled upon an article originally published by “VICE UK.” The headline, “Being Pro-Choice Isn’t Just About Abortion,” is what drew me in. The article asserts that the pro-choice movement needs to focus on the rights of pregnant and birthing individuals, as well as reproductive rights in general. Author Rebecca Schiller says that, “When we move beyond talking about the choice not to be pregnant (valid and important) to a choice within pregnancy (as valid, as important) the message that women should be guardians of what goes on in their uteruses seems to get lost.” At its root definition, though, the term “pro-choice” means what Rebecca Schiller advocates for. By being pro-choice, you believe in the right for a person to make a decision on their own—whether that… Read more »

Why Kids, and Adults, Need Diverse Books

I have a confession: Even now in my twenties, I still almost exclusively read young adult fiction. The “Percy Jackson” series? My jam. “Hunger Games”? Yeah, tell me more. “Harry Potter”—gimme. I’m currently in the middle of my annual “Harry Potter” re-read. This time around, I noticed something weird, something that’s been nagging me for a while. In a book series where magic is the norm, you mean to tell me that the main characters are all white? And all cisgender? And all able-bodied? And all—who are explicitly in relationships, at least—straight? It just doesn’t seem very likely. And then I thought about it. In most of the young adult novels that I have read, all of the main characters look and identify the same way. Even in fantasy or… Read more »

Proposed Florida Law Bans Transgender People From Bathrooms

A couple weeks ago, something truly awful happened in Florida. State Representative Frank Artiles filed a bill, HB 583, that “requires that use of single-sex facilities be restricted to persons of sex for which facility is designed.” Basically, the bill targets transgender individuals and is meant to stop them from using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. Under the bill, a transgender man would have to use the women’s bathroom—something which can be both dangerous physically and mentally. BuzzFeed spoke with Artiles, who said that, “People are not forced to go to the restroom. They choose to go to the restroom.” Which is about as stupid as saying, “People are not forced to breathe air. They choose to breathe air.” For example, if you have an eight-hour work… Read more »

Creating Change: Affirming, Empowering, Inspiring

This weekend, I attended the Creating Change conference in Denver, hosted by the National LGBTQ Task Force. There, along with 4,000 other individuals, I spent four days discussing the issues that face queer people in our everyday lives. Prior to this weekend, I had never attended such a large conference, much less one on LGBTQ+ issues. I was constantly surprised, and overjoyed, to see how many people attended the events and how diverse these people were. To me, this was the best part of Creating Change. As a young person, I often feel like I, and my effort in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality, don’t matter. As a queer person, I feel like my identity is not real and recognized by the majority of people. All of that was different… Read more »

An Activist’s Guide to the First Amendment

I’m always a little surprised when my college classes —most of which are for my major, journalism—relate to activist work. So last week when we discussed the First Amendment in my Law of Mass Communication class, it came as a pleasant shock to see how much of the lesson could be applied to social justice. Activism sometimes requires toeing the line of the law—protesting, picketing, writing petitions—so it’s important to be aware of what that law actually says. Stick around for First Amendment 101—don’t worry, there won’t be a quiz after. The First Amendment is a constitutional and fundamental right, and the government needs a compelling interest to restrict that right. It protects some basic freedoms—freedom of religion, of speech, of the press, of assembly and the freedom to petition…. Read more »