ChoiceWords Blog

Tristan

Age: 21
School: Oberlin College
Major: Comparative Literature
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Favorite writer: Harper Lee, Gloria Anzaldúa, Arundhati Roy, and Justin Torres are all up there, but I can't pick. They are all great for different reasons. Carson McCullers. Zora Neale Hurston.
Favorite sex scene from a movie/TV/book: Car scene and ending kiss scene in Y Tu Mamá Tambien!
Hidden talent: I am a guitarist. I only play for my grandmas and my lovers.

Posts By: Tristan

Human Trafficking and Abortion Care

Human trafficking is one of the largest systems of organized criminal activity. It is frequently considered in the realm of international human rights. Because of lack of media coverage and education on human trafficking in the United States, I was recently surprised to learn that Lorain County, where my school is located, has one of the highest human trafficking rates in the United States. As a county with three major interstate highways running through it, Lorain is an epicenter for exchange. In Ohio, almost 1,100 minors are trafficked each year. Organizations such as Project Unbound and the Human Trafficking Collaborative of Lorain County are working to stop the epidemic, get people who are in hostage situations to safety, and provide care to survivors. Many of the projects to get help… Read more »

Pregnancy and Incarceration: Intersectional Justice

Reproductive justice within prison communities does not get discussed nearly enough. People who are pregnant and incarcerated are subject to many injustices. These injustices are particularly felt by low income communities and people of color. This week there was a workshop held at my school to talk about these issues hosted by Students United for Reproductive Freedom (SURF), our URGE branch. They write, “The mainstream pro-choice movement focuses on protecting the right to choose abortion, but the right to carry your pregnancy to term safely and with full agency is often overlooked. However, in the United States today, the personhood of pregnant people is systemically under attack. Fetal personhood legislation, the “War on Drugs,” and the medical industrial complex all chip away at the humanity of pregnant persons, and these… Read more »

What are the Politics of Desirability?

“Those of us who stand outside the circle of this society’s definition of acceptable women; those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference – those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are Black, who are older – know that survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to stand alone, unpopular and sometimes reviled, and how to make common cause with those others identified as outside the structures in order to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths.”  — Audre Lorde Narratives about beauty, intelligence, and kindness have mostly been centralized on white people. Psychological experiments like The Doll Test have shown that from a… Read more »

Purvi Patel’s Imprisonment and the Implications of Anti-Choice Laws

Yesterday, thirty-three year old Purvi Patel of Indiana was sentenced to twenty years of imprisonment on the charges of feticide and neglect. Patel was sentenced with thirty years of jail time on charges of neglect, six years for infanticide (to be served at the same time as the neglect charges), and is likely to spend five years time on probation post-prison. RH Reality Check coverage of the news described Patel as an Indian American who, “lived in a conservative Hindu household in which it was expected that she would not engage in premarital sex, and wanted to keep the pregnancy a secret from her parents.” Purvi Patel sought medical care at St. Joseph Hospital, a Catholic organization, after she was experiencing bleeding. According to the Vatican’s Catechism 2270, the Catholic Church… Read more »

Podcasts for Reproductive Justice Activists

Radio is one of my favorite ways of hearing peoples stories. Sound can be a beautiful and intimate medium, allowing you to free up your other senses to do work, make art, or just chill while you are listening. RH Reality Check Possibly the most relevant podcast to this blog, Reality Cast, released by RH Reality Check covers everything related to reproductive health. From politics to media, RH Reality Check’s podcast discusses reproductive justice and also features links to other podcasts like this episode of Making Contact that talks about abortion stigma and the ways in which pop culture is shaped by discussions of abortion. The Heart The Heart is a podcast about all different types of amazing love stories. Released in partnership with sound story consortium, Radiotopia, The Heart… Read more »

Feminist Hacktivism on Wikipedia

Last Saturday morning, many Oberlin students gathered at a local art venue with their laptops, chargers, and desires to tell the world about more women artists through Wikipedia. Students of all types of gender expression woke-up early on Saturday morning to drink coffee and eat breakfast together while communally editing Wikipedia’s art pages. Oberlin’s edit-a-thon was part of an international event hosted by Art + Feminism to revamp Wikipedia’s pages to close the huge gender gap that is visible in it’s content. This was the second annual Art+Feminism edit-a-thon. The gender trouble with Wikipedia’s coverage has been well-documented. Wall Street Journal’s coverage of Saturday’s event noted that, “In a 2011 survey, the Wikimedia Foundation found that less than 10% of contributors on Wikipedia identified as female.” It is difficult to… Read more »

Let’s Fix the Binary Problem with Dating Apps

Recently, I’ve noticed a rising trend in the use of dating apps on my campus. The most popular of these is Tinder, which seems to have many problems associated with its binary-only friendly structure. Although Tinder allows for its users to open their sexual preferences to both “men and women,” there are no ways for queer or non-binary people to identify as anything other than a man or woman. In the spirit of sex-positivity and gender equity, I’ve compiled a list of dating apps that are non-binary or have been created by women. Although these apps don’t seem to have nearly as many users as Tinder, they written about are far less and hopefully by spreading the word about their existence they will grow! Thurst is a brand new dating… Read more »

Coalition Building: It’s Intersectional

Over the past week, my Facebook feed has been jammed with diverging opinions over Patricia Arquette’s speech at the Oscars. She was quoted saying, “It’s time for all the women in America and all the men who love women and all the gay people and all the people of color that we’ve fought for, to fight for us now.” This was an attempt to bolster her argument that women and men should be paid equally for equal work. Equal pay is awesome, but not when the argument has to be supported by breaking down other movements. Uninformed, well-intentioned white women can argue in defense of themselves like Arquette: she really didn’t mean to hurt anyone and her intent is in the right place. The problem is that intention isn’t good… Read more »

Ohio Set to Face Yet Another Anti-Choice Bill

On Tuesday, reports surfaced that a new bill will be introduced to deny abortion after a diagnosis of Down Syndrome in the fetus. This ban is one of the first of its kind and other conservative states could easily attempt to replicate this form of abortion restriction. The sponsors of this ban don’t care about supporting disabled people, they care about ending safe and legal abortion. Reports suggest that the bill will be introduced by Republican Sarah LaTourette. As a recent electee to the House, LaTourette hasn’t had a chance to legislatively sponsor any disability rights bills or funding plans. But, from the looks of her website and small web presence it doesn’t seem like she’s had much experience with being a clear advocate for the rights of differently abled… Read more »

New Year, New Opponents: the Ohio 20 Week Ban

The year seemed to have ended positively in Ohio for reproductive justice legislation with the rejection of fetal “heartbeat” House Bill 248 in the House. This year does not seem to be shaping up to be any calmer for RJ advocates. The state of Ohio and the nation faces many more threats of legislation that attempt to restrict abortion. Earlier this week, we saw a proposal by abortion opponents to introduce a 20-week ban on care. This would mean that 20-weeks after gestation, a person would not be able to terminate their pregnancy. In 2011, Ohio’s governor John Kasich was able to pass a ban on abortions in the state after 24-weeks and the new push for 20-week bans continues a steady encroachment on the right to receive an abortion… Read more »