ChoiceWords Blog

Summer

Age: 21

School: Scripps College

Major: Political Science and French Studies

Hometown: Rancho Cucamonga, California

Favorite writer: Sloane Crosby, Lemony Snicket, Margaret Atwood, John Darnielle

Favorite sex scene from a movie/TV/book: When Daenerys actually bonds with Drogo and proceeds to rock his world in the Game of Thrones show. Sexy and sweet too! :)

Hidden talent: Eating excessive amounts of Pad Thai and then going out for ice cream.

Posts By: Summer

The Battle for Consent Culture is Not Over

This article was also published in the Claremont Port Side I have had the honor to write quite a bit about sexual assault and consent during my year as a Choice USA blogger.  I am, unfortunately, quite invested in the issue.  Not only have I had experiences with assault and harassment, I have watched many of my friends and classmates suffer from the effects of assault as well. Chances are, since one in four college-aged women are assaulted, you probably have too.  At the very least, we all, knowingly or unknowingly, know at least one person who has been assaulted.  The implication of this is somewhat frightening. The prevalence of sexual assault implies that we all, knowingly or unknowingly, know at least one person who has assaulted someone else. Think about it.  Assault is… Read more »

Looking Back: (Almost) A Year of Blogging

Last July, I hopped on a plane to attend the Choice USA National Conference, where I met an engaged community of young people working and organizing for reproductive justice all over the country.  These amazing young people organized in their schools and communities for things like increasing access to sex education and resources for trans* individuals, they marched against sexual assault, they organized LGBTQ-positive events on their campus.  They were doing the important work necessary to expand and protect reproductive justice for all people in this country and I got to spend several days with them in the nation’s capital, learning and sharing. Since that conference, I have been continually inspired by the ChoiceUSA community in my year blogging for ChoiceWords.  Through this blog, I got to share my opinions… Read more »

“Wait…THAT’s What Assault Looks Like?”

One of those funny things that’s sometimes forgotten about being young is that you’ll pretty much take what you see at face value. Not that we don’t question the world around us, but if something is happening all around young people, every weekend, and people call it hooking up or they call it dancing or they call it flirting, it’s pretty easy to simply believe them. So when I was 18 and dancing with a boy at that party and he moved quickly to put his hands up my skirt without even showing me his face, I thought that’s just what happened when you “accepted” (read: didn’t reject) a dance partner. When at age 19 a guy I worked with got me alone and asked for “just one touch,” then… Read more »

Why Providers Want to Hear from Young Activists

Being a second semester college senior, I wouldn’t necessarily classify myself as a morning person.  My earliest class starts at 9:30am and Tuesday/Thursday mornings are struggle city.  So when I saw that the panel I’d be speaking on started at 7:45in the morning (!!) I was a bit nervous. Would I be ready to have important conversations at that hour?  Would others? Luckily for me (and for those who attended my session) the answer was yes. “Uniting Leaders of Tomorrow’s Reproductive Justice Movement with Providers of Today” was a short panel discussion centering around issues that are important to the reproductive justice as a whole movement from a variety of angles (including activism, organizing, policy, and education) and the MDs in the room were completely engaged.  We presented the panel at the… Read more »

Hey NPR: Stop Shaming Teen Parents!

Earlier this week NPR published an article detailing the success of comprehensive sex-education in lowering the teen pregnancy rate in Denmark, South Carolina. While I believe firmly in the power and importance of comprehensive, sex-positive, sex education for all young people  I was disappointed by the assumption that all teen pregnancies are unwanted and that all teen parents would be better off postponing their families. The article quotes Michelle Nimmons, an advocate for comprehensive sex-ed from Denmark, S.C., saying, “”Great-grandmamas were in their 40s, and parents were in their teens, so a lot of education had to happen.” While I don’t doubt that Denmark’s sex-education was in dire need of a revamp, this kind of rhetoric shaming young parents has dangerous implications for families and the reproductive justice movement as… Read more »

In Defense of Bossy Girls

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer and the author of the famous Lean In, is calling for a ban on the word bossy. Sandberg argues that words are powerful and that the word bossy discourages girls from taking on leadership positions, ultimately holding them back long-term. I love the message this campaign sends to young women as well as those who help raise them. Words do matter, they are incredibly powerful, and the way they’re used when we’re growing up helps to shape the way we interact with the world around us. “Bossy” girls are often strong-willed and opinionated, two of my favorite attributes in any person and vital skills that we need in the workplace and in society. 

Culture of Shame: What Duke’s First-Year Porn Star Says About Us

There have been about a million posts about Belle Knox, the Duke first-year and self-proclaimed porn star, over the past couple of weeks.  From the apparently shocking news that there is a current porn star actually pursuing her education (!!) to the immediate and incessant slut-shaming and double standards, to the conversations around porn consumers and producers, to Stoya’s beautiful and eloquent piece on sex-workers and privacy in the New York Times, it would seem that there is not much left to add to this conversation.  But I feel the need to add a few of my own words to all of this. Part of the critique against Knox inevitably comes from the fact that she is relatively young.  At eighteen years old, her work in the porn industry is entirely… Read more »

Let the Budgeting Begin: Why Obama’s Version Makes Me Smile

We had some good news out of the White House recently — President Obama just released his version of the budget this week and in it he gives some major attention (and money) to comprehensive sex education! I’m especially excited about President Obama’s five-year re-authorization and maintenance of funding for the Personal Responsibility Education Program, an education initiative for young people to help prevent unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, specifically for youth who are homeless, in foster care, or who come from areas with high levels of teen pregnancy, including youth of color.  He also proposes increases in funding for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative, which helps to prevent unintended pregnancies in teens and support teen parents in communities around the country. 

I <3 my IUD

This is a message to all you lovely period-having people out there – stop asking if I have a tampon you could borrow.  I have no tampons, I’ve never tried a Diva Cup, and I can’t commiserate with you about the awfulness of the whole menstruation thing.  It might be nice to bond about this with you all and it might be nice to sync up cycles with my best friends but truth is I haven’t had a period since September of 2012. Don’t freak out — there’s nothing medically wrong with me!  If I want to reproduce in the future I totally can! But for now, I am the proud owner of a Mirena IUD and have happily avoided my period since its insertion.  I haven’t met a lot… Read more »

18 And Clueless: How California’s Proposed Affirmative Consent Law Could Have Helped Me

I remember my very first week of college, my first real night at a college party. Newly independent and recently single, I was determined to have a night I’d never forget. I pulled myself together in an outfit I’m sure I was very proud of at the time (though, in retrospect, #fashionmistakecentral), downed some shots, and set off to dance and try to meet boys. I had a nice time but didn’t meet anyone, so around 1am I decided to head back to my dorm room by myself. When I was almost there, I heard a voice calling at me from a car driving next to me. It was a boy, a cute boy, and he asked where I was headed.  He told me that he was an RA at… Read more »