Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Categorized: Lydia

Biology v. Sociology: How Traditional Notions of Womanhood Pervade Our Legal System

When a child is born to unmarried parents outside of the United States with one parent being a U.S. citizen and the other not being a U.S. citizen, is it constitutional to have different requirements for said child’s acquisition of citizenship depending on whether the citizen parent is the mother or the father? This question is focal in the 2001 United States Supreme Court case, Ngyuen v. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), 533 U.S. 53. The patriarchy hurts everyone, not just women. Let’s look at a Supreme Court case I studied last year.  I site this case as an example of how the role of women in our society shapes and is, in part, shaped by our legal system. If you aren’t familiar with law or legal language, some of… Read more »

“You’re on Your Own:” Assault and Abortion in the Armed Forces

“It is horrible enough to be sexually assaulted; when that assault results in an unwanted pregnancy, it begins the trauma anew.” One rape that goes unpunished in the U.S. military would be wrong, but in our military, there are thousands. There were nearly 3,200 reported cases of sexual assault in the military last year, but a Pentagon survey shows the actual number was close to 19,000 because most aren’t reported. Despite the high numbers of sexual assault in the United States military, women who become pregnant as a result of rape while serving in the military are denied abortion coverage under their health plans.  Last Wednesday, Senate decided that this policy will remain in place.  Under current policy, pregnant women in the military are only able to use their insurance… Read more »

Transgender Reproductive Injustice: Modern Eugenics

“Little known fact about Sweden, that supposed bastion of liberal idealism: If a Swedish transgender person wants to legally update their gender on official ID papers, a 1972 law requires them to get both divorced and sterilized first.” Nicole Pasulka, Mother Jones. Sweden is considered by much of the world to be extremely liberal and gay-friendly, having one of the highest rates of popular support for same-sex marriage, and more than half of the population supports adoption by gay parents.  Given that Sweden is very liberal, it is no surprise that the law is unpopular and that attempts have been made by Sweden’s moderate and liberal parties to see the law repealed.

How Am I Supposed to Know How to be Sex Positive?

This post is part of a series about reproductive justice and the media done in partnership with Women, Action, & the Media. Increasingly, a culture of fear seems to be pervading the mass media.  In the news, we hear about so many awful things happening in our community that we assume crime is high.  Our response is then to be fearful and precautionary.  In the advertisement industry tries to convince us that we are not satisfied without a certain product, instilling fears of inadequacy. News and advertising are only two of the many realms of mass media that play on negativity generally. Depictions of sexuality in entertainment media are no exception to media’s negative undercurrent. While I would love to write a book on sexuality in mass media generally, popular… Read more »

West Side, Best Side: Election Day in California

Congratulations Mr. Obama- I hope you succeed these next four years. I send sympathy to the Romney’s- but there is always 2016. And I send sympathy to Jill Stein and everyone else who ran for president this past week- Sorry our media refuses to recognize your existence. Tuesday was a beautiful day in California. In my dear state of California, nearly 9.5 million individuals voted on causes such as Genetically Engineered food, pornography/condom laws, and of course… The CSU budget. This blog post will summarize what went down here on Election Day on a National level. President California voted 59.1% in favor of the current President to remain in his position; 40.9% voted for another individual to take the title of Commander and Chief. California has been voting democratically for… Read more »

Suffrage: A Reproductive Justice Issue

Let’s open our grade school history textbooks, shall we? Most of us know that, historically, suffrage was intended for white men only, in their infinite wisdom. And in their infinite wisdom, white men have decided for hundreds of years, both in the U.S. and abroad, that certain groups should be excluded from the voting practice for a number of great reasons, e.g., which God you believe in, what kind of genitalia you were born with, the color of your skin, income, etc.  Suffrage for (white) women was attained in 1920 with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Suffrage for people of color, particularly black people, was attained in 1870 with the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment during U.S. Reconstruction. But the right to vote isn’t as… Read more »

Reproductive Justice Violation: Shackling

I cannot imagine a place where one might stand and have a clearer view of concentrated disadvantage based on racial, gender and class inequality in the country then from inside the walls of a women’s prison. – Beth E. Richie (“Feminist Ethnographies of Women in Prison” Beth E. Richie) Prisons and jails were constructed by and for men. They then became a way of perpetuating the oppression of disadvantaged groups – like people of color, who happen to be disproportionately incarcerated. While the conception of our prison system may not seem pertinent, acknowledging this fact helps to illuminate the disadvantage that exists in these institutions today. Over the past thirty years, the number of women in jails and prisons has grown rapidly. Despite the rise in the incarcerated women population,… Read more »

Reproductive Justice Glossary

Happy Monday, everyone! Throughout history, social movements have excluded individuals and groups who may have been passionate advocates of the cause.  We at Choice USA strive not only to avoid this, but to offer a strong foundation that promotes informed decision-making and consideration of this movement.  In line with this, I have compiled a basic glossary for anyone who may be just beginning to dive into reproductive justice. Additionally, I do not purport to be an expert. This glossary can also serve as a talking point.  Feel free to critique my definitions for being too simple or to suggest terms to add to the glossary. abortion – the end of a pregnancy before birth; can be “spontaneous”, also known as a miscarriage, or induced, the intentional termination of a pregnancy. Abstinence-only… Read more »

Plenty of Georgians like eating peaches, why can’t we talk about it?

I’ll start with a little ice-breaking self-disclosure. When I was little, even though I’d heard the word vagina, my parents called it “gin-gin,” so that’s what I called it. For those of you who also grew up skirting around the proper names for genitalia, see any names you recognize? (If not, you should leave a comment with what you called yours.) Private parts No-no Nether region Down there Business Ding-dong Pee-pee Thing Wee-wee Hoo-ha Ya-ya So what does calling your vagina a “wee-wee” or penis a “pee-pee” when you were a kid have to do with reproductive justice? Answer: Lots!