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

Girls Can Fix Computers, Too

Going back to school for me also means going back to work. Separate from my writing, I also work at a local computing help desk. My coworkers and I work under an overarching Information Technology department and on the day-to-day, we assist clients with account issues, software troubles and general computer problems. Many of my coworkers want to have a career in a similar field—me, not so much—and our office is pretty evenly split with men and women, although the highest-ranking staff members are mostly men. However, despite the diversity of people that I work with, there’s a large stigma against women in IT. Such a stigma, in fact, that I wrote a research paper for one of my classes on the phenomenon. Here’s the down and dirty: the help… Read more »

How to Deal With Ignorant Comments From Loved Ones

I celebrated my two week holiday break from school by going back home and spending time with my family. I loved seeing them and was happy to have some quality time with my sisters and parents. Still, a lot of my time at home is spent biting my tongue, passive-aggressively sighing and angrily venting to my friends. You see, my parents aren’t the most well-versed in social justice issues. I love my parents a lot. I am incredibly grateful of all that they have sacrificed and all the hard work that they have put forth to make sure that they have a great life. I recognize that having loving parents is a privilege that many do not have. But sometimes, I don’t love my parents. Sometimes, they say ignorant remarks…. Read more »

Florida Set for Marriage Equality

Florida has a lot of great things: fresh citrus, Disney World and some really nice beaches. But on January 5, we might get something even better—the right for same-sex couples to marry! U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle ruled in favor of marriage equality in Florida on August 21. The ruling was in regards to two federal marriage cases, Brenner v. Scott and Grimsley and Albu v. Scott. Brenner v. Scott was filed on behalf of a same-sex couple trying to have their Canadian marriage recognized by the state. If the couple’s marriage was not recognized, they could not designate each other as spouses for a retirement benefits program. In response to the cases, Hinkle ordered an injunction for Florida’s same-sex marriage ban, recognizing it as unconstitutional. This would also… Read more »

How to Cope with Anxiety in Activism

As social justice activists, we often talk about and fight for serious subjects. Often, these subjects aren’t happy, and might trigger bad memories or anger in the people discussing them. For example, I sometimes are triggered by discussions of sexual assault, and will often have a panic attack, or another form of anxiety. It was important for me to try and find a way to cope with this, because I wanted to still participate in these conversations. I found some ways for dealing with my own anxiety toward activism issues that might bring you some relief if you react to certain subjects as well. These fixes might also be helpful for those who get angry easily during debates, as the goal for them is to calm you down, whether from… Read more »

It’s Okay to Like Problematic Things

I’m a simple person. I love pop culture. I love consuming as much media as I can — TV, books, music. Sometimes, though, the things that I like are flawed, just like most things in life. Sometimes, I like things that are problematic, and don’t align with my views on social justice. I like “The Devil Wears Prada,” even though it paints eating disorders and a thin frame as healthy and perfect. I like “Lord of the Rings,” even though the storyline demonizes women and certain races. Romantic comedies are my guilty pleasure but I often have to ignore a nagging voice in my head while I watch them—“Wow, this is pretty sexist and misogynist. I definitely shouldn’t be enjoying this.” Sometimes, my life feels too much like the Onion’s… Read more »

In Florida, Students’ Safety Should be More Important than Sports

Florida has a reputation for a few things—citrus, hurricanes, Gator World, and, unfortunately, our lack of investigations on college sexual assault. I’m referring specifically to the Florida State University’s case involving star football player Jameis Winston. A little refresher on the case: a female FSU student reported that she was sexually assaulted in December 2012. She did not know the name of her attacker, but realized it was Winston, who had not played in any football games yet, when she saw him in class. In February 2013, after barely any investigation, Tallahassee police shelved the case. What happened next is a little more well-known. After nine months of sitting on information, Tallahassee police gave the state attorney the report. They started an investigation, but it seemed as though Florida State… Read more »

Learning New Things: Recognize Your Privilege

Life is full of coincidences, so it was no surprise to me that the assigned reading for one of my classes explored a topic that I’m familiar with in my personal life: abortion. For a moment reading the book, “Choosing Naia,” I forgot it was an assignment for my Magazine and Feature Writing course. It discussed reproductive options and intersectionality in such a way that I figured it had to be for one of my sexuality courses. Here’s the premise of the book: A married couple gets pregnant with their first child. Everything looks fine in the scans and appointments but one ultrasound during the trimester shows that the baby has a heart defect. Further tests showed that the baby had Down Syndrome. Greg and Tierney Fairchild, the couple in… Read more »

Dear Trojan: Make Your Ads More Inclusive

Dear Trojan brand condoms, A few weeks ago, you released a trilogy of ads promoting the Co Zone, short for “condom zone,” in an effort to encourage couples to use a condom every time they have sex. The commercials, which were created in a partnership with MTV, are meant to target Millennials. And in most ways, they do so very successfully. The ads show condoms as part of a happy and healthy relationship. Good on you, Trojan. But they also miss the mark in something that is increasingly important to my generation: inclusivity. I’m sure you already know this, but this specific campaign features a white-appearing, male/female couple. Now, I’m a curious person, so this made me wonder: what’s the general demographic trend in contraception commercials? I had to know the answer, so… Read more »

Why “I beat teen pregnancy” is flawed

I celebrated my 20th birthday a few weeks ago, and, like many Millennials on a holiday, I struggled to find the perfect Facebook status to capture the moment. I could have followed in the footsteps of my peers, who have overwhelmingly posted on their respective birthdays some variation of, “I beat teen pregnancy!” The phrase is so common that a friend of mine actually yelled it to me when we crossed paths on my special day—“Happy Birthday, Robyn! And congrats, you beat teen pregnancy!” But is teen pregnancy really something that needs to be “beat”? This terminology implies that teen pregnancy is akin to diseases, like cancer or addiction. When my peers say, “I beat teen pregnancy,” they say it in the same proud tone and in the same congratulatory… Read more »