ChoiceWords Blog

Posts By: Samantha

Sex and Bad Ass Brown Girls: Netroots Nation 2013

Netroots Nation provided panels, trainings, and plenaries that seemed to appeal to everyone. The two panels that I couldn’t miss were ‘Free your Ass: Defining and Creating a Progressive Sexual Culture’ and ‘Ask a Sista: Black Women Muse on Politics, Policy, Pop Culture, and Scholarship. When I first read about the panel and how it combined progressives and sex liberated rhetoric I knew I had to attend. The panel also included Choice USA Executive Director Kierra Johnson, and any discussion with Kierra is thought provoking and always worth attending. There were also other amazing and notable speakers as well; artist Favianna Rodriguez, Women Action and the Media executive Director Jaclyn Friedman, past panelist and progressive voice William Winters, and new to the panel this year was sex educator and relationship… Read more »

Netroots 2013: Amazing Conference; But Where Are All the Young People?

From June 20- 23, I had the amazing opportunity of attending the 8th annual Netroots Nation conference; one of the largest meetings of progressive minds in the country.  This year the conference took place in San Jose’s downtown region, and included organizations and unions from all over the country.  The conference also used the #nn13 hashtag and daily emails so those not present at the festivities could keep track of what was happening.  When I initially found out that I would be attending this conference I was excited, but truly had no expectations.  I was at Netroots Nation first-timer as my button proudly proclaimed.  From the time I entered the Convention Center, I felt like I was surrounded by the movers and the power players of Progressive organizations.  There was a good… Read more »

Mama’s Day: A Tribute to Two Strong Mothers

Read more Mama’s Day blogs at Strong Families Mother’s day comes every year in May, and every year I realize I have no idea what to get for my mom. What do you get for the woman that has everything? My mommy, the lady that loves me unconditionally, how can I ever repay you for deciding to be a mother again and dealing with a baby girl as inquisitive and stubborn as me? You did it by yourself, 24 hours a day – rain, sleet, or shine. You went to work, late nights and early mornings, bus rides, and soggy days caught in the rain. Many tears shed so tired, but never stopping, you are a queen. Never fitting the classic narratives of the white housewives on Mother’s Day cards,… Read more »

4th Annual Women 2 Women Conference: Engaging and Supporting Farmworker Women

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of attending this conference, the 4th of its kind, and hearing about it is nothing compared to actually being there. From the moment I entered the church where the event was housed I heard hearty laughter and bustling conversation, it was never dull, and was truly the best way I’ve spent my Saturday in a long time. The conference was put on by the Florida Farmworker Association of Florida  (FWAF) and Maria Santana, director of the Women’s Studies Program at the University of Central Florida (UCF). Through contributions and donations they were able to provide both lunch and a full dinner to the attendees, but what was most spectacular about the day was the variety of workshops offered, and how the event seemed to… Read more »

Olivia Pope Strong Powerful and Dependent : When can Women Truly be Independent?

I’m not much of a television buff simply because I usually never have the time to devote to it, but a show that has caught my attention and interest (thanks to my lovely roommate Drae) is Scandal. The premise of the show is based on a powerful woman, Olivia Pope, who is known through DC as “the fixer” because she fixes the problems that powerful people put themselves in. Olivia is intelligent, successful, and just a bad ass in general. That is, until she gets around her love interest in the series, the President Fitz, who is married. Olivia and Fitz had an affair throughout the entire campaign to the white house and seemingly fell in love, but through a lot of ups and downs they are always torn apart…. Read more »

Babies with three parents are one step closer to becoming reality

This week I had the opportunity to read an article titled, “Three person IVF moves closer in UK,” and because my scholastic background is in Biology and Health Sciences as well as Women’s studies I was obviously intrigued. The article describes how scientists have been making breakthroughs to enable mothers with mitochondrial abnormalities to have the ability to bear healthy biological children through the use of the mitochondria from another women’s egg. The mitochondrion is classically described as the powerhouse of the cell, and is crucial for creating energy for the body’s day to day processes. This type of fertility is considered an advanced form of IVF (In vitro Fertilization), and if successful, the resulting baby would have DNA from three parents (Most of its DNA from two and a… Read more »

Lean In but Don’t Fall Out!

I was reading an article by Courtney E. Martin on Women’s Media Center, and the theme of the article stuck with me. The title proudly proclaimed, “Leaning in Can get you Laidout,” and described how women lean so far in, and ignore their own health, they don’t recognize the cues that the body gives to warn people to de-stress and slow down. The idea of “leaning in” was originally written about by Sheryl Sandebrg COO of Facebook. This seemed like such a remarkable idea because it was so uncommon to hear this type of advice. The advice that permeates in my world with graduation nearing is that we must stand out, be different, and make ourselves well- rounded and our resumes diverse so that we as young people may transition… Read more »

Fifty Shades of Grey: Spicing up the Sex Lives of Readers Everywhere with “Kinky Fuckery.”

Over the last two weeks, I began to read the highly publicized novel Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James, and it really gave me a lot I wanted to discuss. I know many feminists everywhere were having a field day discussing the book and all the ways that it’s problematic , but all I could think about when I finished reading Fifty Shades was how freely sex is discussed in such detail;  it’s so much more than “the sum of the structural, functional, and behavioral characteristics of organisms that are involved in reproduction marked by the union of gametes and that distinguish males and females,” or “sexually motivated phenomena or behavior,” as defined in the Webster’s Dictionary. Kink is a vast world that operates in society, but it has… Read more »

One Billion Rising: Dancing, and Rising Against Violence Against Women

Last Thursday I had the opportunity to attend an event called One Billion Rising which was put on by the UCF School of Social Work and the theater department. The event had that name to refer to the World Wide Movement of One Billion rising which calls on women to walk out, dance, or rise for the I billion women on the planet  that have or will experience sexual abuse or rape in their lifetimes. Prior to becoming aware of this event, I knew about the One Billion Rising Movement from Kerry Washington who discussed it during a television interview. As I walked up to the event I noticed that there were a lot of women dressed in pinks or reds to celebrate Valentine’s Day and to stand for this cause…. Read more »

Sugar Babies: Victims or Opportunists?

My school, The University of Central Florida is known for its size –  58,000 currently enrolled. But it’s becoming notorious for something else recently…sugar babies. For those of you that don’t know what sugar babies are, no we’re not talking about those tasty caramel movie candies. These types of sugar babies are young people, mostly female, that get their expenses paid for by older individuals – their “sugar daddies.” Why I decided to write about this now? Easy, UCF recently became the 4th fastest growing “sugar baby” school according to sign ups on a site called Seeking Arrangement. I wanted to know just how this site markets them and went on the startup page to see why people are so interested. The site claims to be one of the best at offering… Read more »