Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Categorized: Choice USA Staff

All I Want for Christmas is YOU…th Comprehensive Sex Ed!

While everyone is busy jotting down the latest electronics on their Christmas Wish List, there’s something even better than the newest iPhone, tablet, or clothes from Urban Outfitters that I want for Christmas this year: comprehensive sex education. Now, you may think that teaching teens medically accurate, age appropriate sex education is a given in the 21st century. I mean, why would teachers lie to teens about safe sex and withhold life-saving information on how to become healthy adults and form healthy relationships? This Is America! We live in a country where no one would tell teens that “condoms cause cancer,” “birth control pills cause abortions,” “sex is worse for girls because they are much easier to infect and easier to damage,” “condoms have holes in them and a failure… Read more »

Let’s Talk About Talking About Sex

October has been deemed “Let’s Talk Month” in the hopes to encourage families to talk about a wide range of issues related to sexuality, like body image, healthy relationships, gender and sexual orientation, safe sex, using birth control…all that good stuff. At first I thought it was strange to them to choose the month October, especially given that Halloween has claimed it since the mid 16th century. Then I remembered how my mom was more scared to talk to me about sex growing up then I was of horror stories of monsters and ghosts and the supernatural. So now October makes perfect sense.

Obamacare, Sex Education and You

With headline after headline, news story after news story since its introduction in 2010, the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) has been scrutinized, analyzed, loved, and hated by the American public. With the threat of defunding Obamacare hanging from the lips of politicians, there are a lot of issues to be concerned about, such as access to affordable healthcare. However, what worries me the most about defunding Obamacare is not about health insurance, but rather, sex education.

Navigating Masculinity on the Fence of the Gender Binary

I got up this morning and left my house, fully intending to get to the office and start working on a development plan for the new year. That’s what I should be doing right now. I should be working on a development plan. Instead I’m writing this thing. I’m writing this thing because sometimes, for my own sanity – to slow down my crazy swirling brain – I just have to write stuff down. And because this morning, as seems to increasingly be the case since I moved from the country into the big city, I crashed into myself yet again. I crashed into the reality that my perception of myself – my inherent knowledge of myself, really – doesn’t always match the way(s) I’m perceived externally. And once again… Read more »

Reproductive Justice Wears Cowgirl Boots

As I was finishing up my degree in Women’s Studies, I would often take my Feminist Theory book to my favorite country bar and study in between line dances.  People would come up and ask what (and why) I was studying at a bar. When they found out I was studying feminism, they seemed quite surprised that I was also a regular at the place. After all, country music and feminism don’t mix, right? Wrong. The misconception that country music is anti-feminist is exactly that, a misconception. In reality, a lot of country music supports the feminist movement. In 1975, Loretta Lynn wrote a song called ‘The Pill’ that is about why birth control is important. She was already a well-known and respected country star by this time, and came… Read more »

The Next Step for Young Immigrants

by Raquel Ortega, Choice USA Field Associate A little over a year ago the Obama Administration announced the introduction of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which grants young immigrants who came to the U.S. as children (among other criteria) the ability to live and work in the country legally for a renewable period of two years. This was one of, if not, the most important immigrants’ rights victory for the immigrant youth movement to date. As a Chicana (Mexican-American), I’ve been awarded many privileges in life that I took for granted most of my life: I had the ability to get a drivers license when I turned 16; I was able to go to a public university, pay in-state tuition and qualify for financial aid; and I’ve… Read more »

Consuming Bodies: The Women We’re Leaving Behind

India just banned the use/exploitation of dolphins as entertainment, as they are now considered “non-human persons”. Blackfish, a documentary about the psychological realities other animals face when confined in captivity, has just opened in theaters (at the distress of SeaWorld). Bird brain mapping has recently revealed that birds are “remarkably intelligent in a similar way to mammals such as humans and monkeys,” but ‘bird brain’ is still an insult. And the U.S. State Department and President Obama have decided to push ahead with building the Keystone XL Pipeline’s southern half amongst numerous questionable building practices, even though the previous Keystone I Pipeline has leaked fourteen different times. But isn’t this the Choice USA blog? What does this have to do with reproductive justice? Everything. Having grown up with cats my whole… Read more »

It Doesn’t Matter What I Wore; A Story of the Night I Was Drugged

  *All names have been changed As women and girls growing up in America, we have all heard the warnings to ‘keep ourselves safe.’ We are told not to drink too much, not to wear short skirts or revealing tops, and not to walk alone at night. People claim we live in a post-sexist society, yet women are still constantly blamed for the sexual assaults that happen to them and deemed at fault if they get drugged. A few months ago, I went out with a friend of mine, Laurie* in downtown Sacramento. We stopped by a favorite bar of mine, then decided to move on since it was a slow night. As we arrived at the second bar, Tavern X*, we saw my friend Dane* who had coincidentally also… Read more »

Being a Virgin Doesn’t Make Me Pro-Life

“So you have casual sex then, right?” I cannot count how many times I have been asked this as a follow up question when I tell people I am a feminist.  While I don’t think there is anything wrong with casual sex, pre-marital sex, marital sex, group sex, kinky sex, or really any sex as long as it’s consensual; I find it interesting that this seems to be a common question to jump to.  My favorite part comes after that question though. The asker is at a loss for words, eyes widening, as I reveal to them the truth.  I am, in fact, a virgin. Being 24, a lot of people find it surprising when I tell them I haven’t had sex.  I’ve long since gotten over being surprised at… Read more »

Where are Immigrant Women’s Rights in the RJ fight?

by Katherine Sheldon, Choice USA summer intern As someone involved in the feminist movement, I read about the fight for reproductive justice  in the news daily.  One thing missing from the national media, however, is immigrant and undocumented women’s rights.  Thankfully advocacy groups such as the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) and the National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights (NCIWR) have been working to bring this topic to the public eye.  But with immigrants making up 13% of our population, that’s roughly 40 million people, I have been left wondering; why aren’t more people talking about immigrant women’s voices in mainstream conversations of reproductive justice issues? While Emergency Contraception being available over the counter is fantastic, I found it disheartening that the impact of it not being available… Read more »