Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Categorized: Amanda

Creating Change: Uncomfortable in an Awesome Way

I don’t want to waste your time telling you all the logistics and happenings that went on during Creating Change 2013 – I want to share with you all about what it did for me and my journey. I want to give a huge shout out to Task Force for putting together such an amazing and inclusive gathering. Every time I attend a social justice conference I experience a level of personal, academic and spiritual growth. I believe that Creating Change took it to the next level. I have never been so uncomfortable and fulfilled at the same time. It’s hard to explain these feelings to members of a non-activist community because it’s a unique and challenging experience. It’s challenging because even with the best intentions it’s all too easy… Read more »

The Yellow Brick Road to Freedom

To me writing about Roe v. Wade in 2013 is really just a practice in futility. On the 40th anniversary of this watershed moment in the history of civil liberties in America, it is spent celebrating the victories of our elders, while others march in mourning. For the past week the thought that’s been running through my head is – so what? As a woman of child bearing age, what is Roe really doing for me these days? I know this seems harsh and you may think I should be sitting here telling you all the great things Roe has provided for me and millions of other women. I don’t mean it to take away the historical significance – I agree it was huge. Key word: was. 40 years after… Read more »

We are Overdue for an Update to Our Child Support Laws

Sperm or egg donation is possibly one of the most selfless gifts you can provide to someone who cannot conceive a child in a more “traditional” manner. Hopefully that belief is in the minds of all people who do make a decision to lend a piece of their body to help another family group. Even if the volunteer only seeks money, that should be immaterial in deciding custody of a child years into their life. However, this meaning seems to be lost in the case of William Marotta. The Kansas man is being pursued by the state for child support after donating sperm to a lesbian couple. Because the artificial insemination was done at home instead of under the supervision of a doctor as required by Kansas law, the state… Read more »

The Summer of Mercy: Revisiting My Hometown’s Dark Anti-Choice History

Mercy: Compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm The dark side of anti-choice politics hits home no harder than in my hometown Wichita, Kansas. When meeting new people, especially in the reproductive justice movement, there’s always that moment of infamy, “Ah, Wichita.” Now most are aware that the late Dr. George Tiller also called this place home until 2009 when he was shot in the face during a church service by anti-abortion extremist Scott Roeder. Less people are aware of the Summer of Mercy, I would be the first to admit that it took 21 years to hear of it, but when I did, I was speechless. Above, I’ve defined exactly was mercy means, because after reading more about the summer I… Read more »

50 Shades and the Responsibility to Educate

This post is part of a series about reproductive justice and the media done in partnership with Women, Action, & the Media. Unless you’ve been hiding in your bunker in fear of the end of the world or as a result of the recent election, you’ve probably heard of the latest bestselling trilogy 50 Shades by E.L. James. Earlier this year I had happened to be investigating the world of BDSM when I stumbled across a blog post deploring the premiere novel 50 Shades of Grey. I took to the BDSM section of reddit.com to which I was subscribed to for obvious “research” purposes as we all like to say. My first impression? I liked the novels. At this time I knew of no one else who had read the books,… Read more »

My Reflections

The battles have been fought, the words are immortalized in internet memes, and the impact of this election is rippling throughout the country. When the champagne and tears stop flowing in the morning the time comes when we examine the journey we’ve traveled this past year. The time has come to examine what YOU have done to contribute to where we are now. If you feel that last night was a loss, ask yourself what you didn’t do. Did you raise your voice when you felt wronged? Did you stand up for your beliefs in the face of opposition? Did you even take the time to put your beliefs on a ballot? If you feel that these next four years is a great opportunity to further progress, ask yourself if you did… Read more »

Don’t Slut-Shame Halloween

  As a free-thinking woman living in the 21st century, I am deeply offended by the slut-shaming that coincides with the arrival of Halloween. Finally Feminism 101 defines slut-shaming as shaming and/or attacking a woman or a girl for being sexual, having one or more sexual partners, acknowledging/acting on sexual feelings. This message implies that sexuality is bad, and as a society we have the right to objectify women based on their clothing (or lack thereof.) The disdain expressed for some costumes is something I would usually expect from the conservative medium, not from fellow women. Let me tell you first that I realize that there is a great divide on this issue of the portrayal of women, sexism, expectations, etc. I come from the belief that “If you got… Read more »

21 Things

For the past few weeks I’ve been thinking about how to write this post. I knew that Love Your Body day was coming up (October 17th), and I knew that I needed to say something on the issue, but it’s been difficult for me to accept my own feelings while still maintaining an image I’m proud to represent. Over the past 21 years there have been so many things that have inspired me while at the same time having just as many struggles within myself and society. I want to take this time to celebrate 21 things that have had an impact on my view of my body, myself. 1.Let’s start at the (near) beginning: A young girl steps in front of the camera. Before caring what she looked like…. Read more »

A History in Images: 4000 Years for Choice

Today I’d like to set aside all the hate and feelings of defeat we may be feeling during this nerve-wracking time and introduce you all to a beautiful campaign I encountered this weekend. Introducing: 4000 Years for Choice, “a visual narrative about the practices of contraception and abortion from around the world for the past 4000 years. The project hopes to celebrate, inspire, and empower women and men in their reproductive lives!” The project is brought to life by Heather Ault a graphic design artist from central Illinois. She takes a different approach from more common media outlets and wants to reframe the conversation from “To-Do” to “Ta-da.” Meaning that instead of motivating people to act she highlights the accomplishments and great moments of history that have allowed us to be where we… Read more »

Is Consent Enough?

 [Trigger warning: sexual violence] Part of the reproductive justice movement is a belief that all persons (of legal age) should be able to consent to any form of sex as they please. With this comes the understanding that these acts will not bring foreseeable bodily or emotional damage. I hold these beliefs to be true and I consider myself to be open-minded when it comes to the kinky side of things. So what made me reevaluate this belief? It was just an average Sunday morning when I woke up and checked the news for the day when something grabbed my attention – “BDSM Assault Trial to Take Place in February.” Naturally I investigated further… what I found was this The case centers around a young woman, known as FV, who… Read more »