Reproductive Justice and the Single Lady
Posted by Kristen Barton
April 15, 2016
My latest read has been “All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation” by Rebecca Traister and it is amazing. I seriously recommend this book to everyone.
The book is about the history of marriage and how as it changed and women became more and more independent, society changes with it. Single women have changed the political landscape in many ways.
This book got me thinking about how single people today impact the reproductive justice movement.
For one, Traister points out in her book people are staying single in college verses getting married in or right out of college. This means there are younger single people and there is no denying how vital young people are to reproductive justice and activism. Single people have impacted abolition, racial integration, voting rights and so much more. So now, as the reproductive justice movement is stronger than ever, it is only logical they will continue to impact change with reproductive justice.
One of the reasons I loved this book is how intersectional it is. The author is sure to discuss how policies and history has impacted not only white women, but black, Latina and Asian women as well. She also addresses sexuality on all parts of the spectrum.
This is the example we need in the reproductive justice movement. If we, and feminism in general, is not all inclusive how can we expect to be effective? Reproductive justice effects all people, so our message needs to include and impact all people.
Finally, reproductive justice affects single people in a unique and big way. As independence rises, which it is in many ways, so does the need for accessible abortions.
With single life increasing and people no longer getting married just because they are pregnant as much as they used to, if someone gets pregnant unintentionally they need abortion access. An increase in single life does not mean a decrease in sex, but it does mean there is a need to increase access to contraception and abortion.
Throughout her book, Traister shows the impact single people have had in history and the impact they will continue to have. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is trying to find a place in feminism, because I have been so empowered by this book.
As a single person, it can be hard to feel independent and not lonely, or guilty for hookups instead of satisfied. It can be hard to feel like I am on the track I want to be in life, but All the Single Ladies has shown me how I can use my time as a single woman to create real change and impact the future of reproductive justice.