Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Categorized: Summer

Why Should This 21-Year-Old Woman Care about Paternity Leave?

So often the conversations around reproductive justice focus solely on what happens to a person and their (sometimes potential) fetus before birth – contraception, abortion care, safe sex, and sex education.  Especially as a young person who is in no rush to start a family, what matters most me today is access to the contraception and abortion care which will enable me to make informed and conscientious choices about my future family life.  At age 21, on the cusp of graduating college and moving on to “the real world,” babies weren’t high on my Christmas list and they won’t be for quite awhile.

Five Colleges, One Definition, and Whole Lot of Complications: How My College Consortium Addresses Sexual Assault on Campus

Once or twice a month, my inbox has the misfortune of receiving a “Notification of Sexual Assault/Misconduct” from my college’s administration, detailing a recent assault that occurred on my campus.  Or an assault that didn’t occur on my campus.  While I am a student at Scripps College, these messages often don’t relay information about Scripps students.  Instead, they are forwarded to our student body from the Dean of Students at Pomona, Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, or Harvey Mudd Colleges, the other four schools making up our Claremont College (or “5C”) community.  As part of a close-knit five-college (and two graduate schools) consortium, where students from all of the institutions are integrated academically and socially, when sexual assault occurs between students at the 5C’s the appropriate response is often complicated.  For victims,… Read more »

Roe v. Wade, Young People and the Supreme Court

ThinkProgress recently published a fantastic yet depressing report on the Supreme Court’s gradual and subtle weakening of Roe v. Wade which has effectively nullified the right to an abortion in the United States. For many young people, reports like these may be one of the first instances where court cases that occurred after Roe v. Wade become visible. Planned Parenthood v. Casey has serious implications for young people in the United States, specifically legal minors and those who may need financial assistance. In Casey, the Supreme Court ruled that a state could impose 24-hour waiting periods and parental consent requirements without violating Roe v. Wade’s abortion guarantee. But for many young people, requirements like these effectively violate their right to the entire offering of reproductive choices.

You Have the Right to Pleasure

When I was in middle and high school, sex education was short, uncomfortable, and hardly comprehensive.  I remember sitting in a classroom with about 30 other students my senior year (a little late, if you ask me…) watching my PE teacher squirm in front of us, pausing intermittently. “So, I mean, what you all really need to know is, uh, so when the, uh, when the, um, the penis…” Queue giggles.

We’re All Anti-Rape, But Are We All Anti Anti-Rape Wear?

The feminist internet blew up last week in response to AR Wear, a company that purports to offer a product “that will offer better protection against some attempted rapes while the work of changing society’s rape culture moves forward.”  They are essentially anti-rape underwear – shorts that can’t be removed or cut off the body in the hopes of stopping a potential rape from happening.

Slut Shaming on Halloween and Why Your Voice Matters

Halloween weekend(s? – my college had two for some reason) is officially over but the controversies surrounding Halloween costumes persist.  October is always an interesting month to be a social activist on the internet – the volume of posts on the racist or sexist nature of different costumes is astounding and the important conversations that develop out of them commendable.  And today I want to draw attention to another unfortunate American Halloween tradition: slut shaming. You may have seen the image currently making the rounds of a young woman from ASU who attending a Halloween party in the nude.  While the reasoning behind her costume (costume?) is interesting (did she just not prepare early enough and threw this together last minute? Is she making an avant garde statement about bodies?… Read more »

Dear Emily Yoffe: I Don’t Need Your Advice. Please Stop, Seriously.

Lots of you may have already seen Slate’s recent article “College Women: Stop Getting Drunk.” For those of you who haven’t, Emily Yoffe, the author of Slate’s “Dear Prudence” column, argues that because sexual assault in college is seriously linked to alcohol consumption (and I agree) college-aged women need to stop drinking so much, which will in turn make them responsible for their actions and their safety and apparently reduce the amount of sexual assault.  Yoffe also says that this doesn’t mean you don’t get to have fun in college because she herself has only been hungover three times and had a lot of stupid fun as a young person. Where drunk college women are irresponsible and blame things like alcohol and rapists for what happens to them, Yoffe “always… Read more »

A New Top Priority for College Campuses: Why Your College Needs to Advocate for Survivors

This weekend, my college lost an important part of our community with the passing of our Dean of Students, Bekki Lee.  Bekki was a kind and compassionate listener and activist and the epitome of an advocate for students.  As I sat down to brainstorm for my ChoiceWords post this week I couldn’t bring myself to leave her out.  This week’s post is in honor of Bekki Lee and the vital support she provided which enabled my peers to found the Scripps College Advocates for Survivors of Sexual Assault and her work to help end the proliferation of sexual violence that is too common on residential college campuses. 

Why I Won’t Shut Up About the Shutdown

So let’s get a couple of things straight. The politicians who refuse to pass a federal budget in protest of the Affordable Care Act are withholding government services from millions of Americans who need them.  Some of these services include: The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) which provides pregnant women, women who recently gave birth, and their families with federal assistance through food stamps, especially targeting those children who can’t get the early-childhood nutrition they need because they are living in poverty Head Start programs that provide early-childhood education to low-income families. Domestic violence and rape crisis centers funded through the Violence Against Women Act. It is predicted that 70,120 fewer victims will have access to recovery programs and shelters as a direct result of the… Read more »

On Being A Woman and Afraid

“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them.  Women are afraid that men will kill them.” – Margaret Atwood I’m pro-choice. I believe in a woman’s right to choose all kinds of things, things like: what she wants in a partner what she wears what she studies (or if she wants to study at all) what she does for a living whether or not to have children and with whom where to live how to live what to eat who to love how to present herself what strangers she wants to talk to how much alcohol she wants to drink what she values who to sleep with and when and how and why where to be and at what time