ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Categorized: Guest Post

Kansas’s New Concealed Carry Laws Don’t Belong On Our Campuses

Come July 1st, 2017, Kansas will become the first state that allows students to bring guns on campus without a permit. As a community psychologist and a doctoral student at Wichita State University, I have always held a unique perspective on campus carry; not like the negative rhetoric that you read about from the “alt-right perspective,” where gun safety advocates are perceived as “snowflakes.” You can’t imagine the backlash I have received about my nagging for “extra rights”; they would make anyone want to roll their eyes for an infinite amount of time. But the concerns of hundreds of students on Kansas campuses should not be taken lightly. July 1st will be the start of a new college experience — one where some students will be forced to have a… Read more »

Sexual Harassment in the Lives of Working Students

by Moira Bowman, Deputy Director, Forward Together I saved up money to go to college by working in restaurants–and continued working at restaurants my first year of school. Some days I sat fancy people at fancy tables and served them fancy food and cocktails. Other days, I slung what felt like hundreds of plates of deep fried fish cozied up to big steak fries and counted the hours till I could shower off the coat of grease from my face and arms. I haven’t thought back on those experiences for many years–but recently my organization, Forward Together, began working on a research project in collaboration with Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC) to look at experiences of sexual harassment and assault in the restaurant industry.  And I’ve been taken off guard at… Read more »

What it means to be a “Man of Strength”

“Pray not for easy lives, pray to be stronger men.” President John F. Kennedy once said these famous words while the United States sat on the edge of nuclear war. Of course, at the time he was referring to strength in reference to national resolve and fortitude. In his gendered statement he was expressing desire for Americans to hold strong to national values of freedom and peaceful compromise. Our modern world is sitting on the edge of a very different type of abyss. This is one formed not by nuclear bombs, but by a culture that has been systematically damaging the way men and women interact for decades. This culture is one that is too tolerant of objectification and dehumanization of women. Evidence of this tolerance can be seen everywhere… Read more »

Making Reproductive Justice Truly Intersectional: Takeaways from #solidarityisforwhitewomen

Like many a Twitter addict, I spent a good part of last week tweeting about intersectionality (or the lack thereof) in feminist movement. The #solidarityisforwhitewomen hashtag started by the fabulous Mikki Kendall (@Karnythia) has garnered outstanding coverage, including a great piece written by Kendall for The Guardian. #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen Creator, Mikki Kendal, Speaks About Women Of Color, Feminism (VIDEO) http://t.co/tkG447o03c — HuffPost BlackVoices (@blackvoices) August 13, 2013

19 Anti-Choice Stars and Counting: The Heartbeat Bill and the Duggar Family

What does the Heartbeat Bill of Ohio and the family of 19 Kids and Counting have in common? Recently, the parents of the family, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, were keynote speakers at a banquet for Faith2Action, a conservative, anti-choice group to help announce the Heartbeat bill. People have been surprised, asking: Why that family from 19 Kids and Counting? What most people don’t realize is that the stars of the hit reality TLC show 19 Kids and Counting are anti-choice stars. In fact, their entire show is almost entirely fueled by their anti-choice politics. Every aspect of their PR is created to perpetuate their message, making them stars in the conservative arena.

Revolution With a Side of Pampers

“Mom, I love you! You’re the best!” I get to hear this every day from my amazing 6 year old son who I have been a single mother to since the day he was born. After celebrating Mothers Day this year, I found out that May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, at which point my stomach started twisting in knots. Given my own experience dealing with teen pregnancy in the conservative South, I’m always skeptical when I see prevention campaigns since they’re usually solely focused on shaming the mother’s “mistake” and not looking at a bigger picture. The Candies Foundation’s #NoTeenPreg campaign is no different. The latest print PSA’s from the #NoTeenPreg campaign show celebrities with one-liners like “You should be changing the world, not changing diapers,” and “Don’t… Read more »

Making Communities Healthier

Cross-posted with permission from Provide.  “Places get healthier when the people who live in them make informed choices about what they put in their bodies, and when the communities themselves are committed to better health. Those steps improve the workforce and change how families use their resources.” Dee Davis,Speak Your Piece: Living in a fixer upper I was struck by this quote from Dee Davis, president and founder of the Center for Rural Strategies in Whitesburg, KY because it reminded me of what we believe at Provide and why we are working in rural communities to increase access to abortion. Abortion access may only be one of the health-related issues a rural woman might face in her lifetime, but it is the one she may be most reluctant to discuss with a social service… Read more »

The Birds and the Bees – and Plan B

By Callie Otto, Choice USA intern  My 16 year-old brother got his first real girlfriend a few months ago. As the sex-obsessed one in the family, I’ve decided it’s my job to make sure he knows everything he needs to know about sex. Truthfully, I’d prefer it if my brother waited until he was 30. I don’t want to acknowledge my little brother as a sexual person, but on average, teens have sex for the first time by age 17. So chances are, now’s the time he’ll be needing my lectures the most. Yes, it’s going to be uncomfortable. And I talk about sex all the time, so I can’t even imagine how uncomfortable it would be for a normal person. We live in a society that tells young people that sex… Read more »

What Facebook Continues To Tell Us About Violence Against Women

Cross-posted with permission from Fem2.0  **Trigger warning – This post contains strong language and graphic descriptions.** There is a photograph being shared in Facebook of a woman cowering in a corner, eyes downcast, as large man standing in the foreground swings his fist at her head. The caption reads, “Women deserve equal rights. And lefts.” AT&T, American Express, Cubesmart and Ancestry.com are among the page’s sponsors today. This image has been reported to Facebook repeatedly. Their response is: “Thanks for your report. We reviewed the photo you reported, but found it doesn’t violate Facebook’s Community Standard on hate speech, which includes posts or photos that attack a person based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or medical condition.” The “joke” isn’t offensive. What is offensive… Read more »

Rapists: You Don’t Get To Stay Anonymous

By Callie Otto, Choice USA intern  Her name was Rehtaeh Parsons. She was a survivor of rape who was shamed, harassed, and denied justice. She went to the authorities, but they wouldn’t bring charges against her rapists. The police said it was a matter of “he said, she said.” Two years later, Rehtaeh committed suicide. Anonymous, the same hacktivist group that blew the whistle on the Steubenville rape crew, is once again taking things into their own hands. And I approve. The official statement from Anonymous says, “Our demands are simple: We want the N.S. RCMP to take immediate legal action against the individuals in question…We do not approve of vigilante justice as the media claims. That would mean we approve of violent actions against these rapists at the hands… Read more »