ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: activism

Sending Love to our Abortion Providers

This week we commemorate the ruling of Roe v. Wade that made abortion legal in our country. In doing so, the doctors who provide abortion services need to be appreciated for their tremendously important work to keep equal healthcare rights alive in the United States. Since Roe was enacted, there have been many attempts to undermine accessibility to abortion and overturn the ruling to keep it legal. Over the past forty-two years, there have been many federal attacks to dismantle equal rights for women. From the Hyde Amendment to Planned Parenthood v. Casey to the rise of state restrictions on reproductive health providers, the doctors who choose to continue to provide abortion services are extremely valuable to anyone who supports equal rights. With all of this documented federal pushback it… Read more »

How to Deal With Ignorant Comments From Loved Ones

I celebrated my two week holiday break from school by going back home and spending time with my family. I loved seeing them and was happy to have some quality time with my sisters and parents. Still, a lot of my time at home is spent biting my tongue, passive-aggressively sighing and angrily venting to my friends. You see, my parents aren’t the most well-versed in social justice issues. I love my parents a lot. I am incredibly grateful of all that they have sacrificed and all the hard work that they have put forth to make sure that they have a great life. I recognize that having loving parents is a privilege that many do not have. But sometimes, I don’t love my parents. Sometimes, they say ignorant remarks…. Read more »

Kansas Sex Education Fight May Return in 2015

In 2007, the Board of Education in Kansas updated its policy with regard to sex education, removing the prior policy of recommending abstinence-only until marriage curriculum, and replacing it with a recommendation for an abstinence-based curriculum that includes factual information on STI and unintended pregnancy prevention. While this policy, which remains intact, does not have the ability to require any specific curriculum for an individual school district, it has helped improve young people’s access to the information they need. Many school districts have adopted an abstinence-plus curriculum, which falls in line with the recommendations from the Board of Education. This policy also does not include a requirement for any specific type of parental consent mechanism. Instead, the decision what type of parental consent is required has been left to individual… Read more »

My Clarion Call

I am nearing the end of my Domestic Exchange at Barnard College in New York, NY. One of the more memorable experiences I had during the exchange was the New Student Orientation Program (NSOP). I felt like I was reliving my freshman year at Spelman College. All throughout, I was comparing my NSOP experiences. In a joint talk with Barnard College and Columbia College students, faculty members went over policies about sexual assault and sexual harassment. They discussed the steps that campus safety and the police will take. They also discussed the multiple ways that students can access counseling services and primary care health services. They stressed anonymity and safety of the student body. I was astounded to see two active student organizations that address sexual assault. Students Active For… Read more »

Police Violence Against Women, Girls, Queer People of Color

During this outpouring of demonstration and activism against the racist American system that does not indict killer cops, and media release of accounts of police brutality, let’s not forget that black girls and women are also murdered by the police. In the recent weeks we have seen many stories that highlight injustices of police brutality, and many of these have prominently featured the killing of black men. It is important to think about how the deaths of unarmed, innocent people at the hands of the police are not isolated incidents. Black men are uniquely impacted by this violence, but the brutality is also not just against men. Children, women, and queer folk of color are also facing death and abuse by the system. Perhaps, it is simpler for the media to… Read more »

How to Cope with Anxiety in Activism

As social justice activists, we often talk about and fight for serious subjects. Often, these subjects aren’t happy, and might trigger bad memories or anger in the people discussing them. For example, I sometimes are triggered by discussions of sexual assault, and will often have a panic attack, or another form of anxiety. It was important for me to try and find a way to cope with this, because I wanted to still participate in these conversations. I found some ways for dealing with my own anxiety toward activism issues that might bring you some relief if you react to certain subjects as well. These fixes might also be helpful for those who get angry easily during debates, as the goal for them is to calm you down, whether from… Read more »

A Glossary In Honor of Transgender Awareness Week

Transgender Awareness Week (Nov. 14th – Nov. 20th) celebrates the lives of transgender and gender-non-conforming people. This week honors those who have died as a result of violence and discrimination against transgender people. In light of Transgender Awareness Week, I  wanted to post some terminology to assist allies and all others in being respectful towards the transgender and gender-non-conforming communities by using appropriate terms. Also, I posted these terms to give people the agency to be both inquisitive and respectful to others. For accuracy, I have pulled the terms below from the GLAAD Media Reference Guide-Transgender Issues Gender Non-Conforming: A term used to describe some people whose gender expression is different from conventional expectations of masculinity and femininity. Please note that not all gender non-conforming people identify as transgender; nor are… Read more »

The Importance of Being an Ally (even if you already think you are)

Self-identifying as queer sometimes makes me feel like I immediately have the title of ally as well. The definition of an ally is a person, group, or nation that is associated with another or others for some common cause or purpose. So of course I’d be an ally to the LGBTQ community, why wouldn’t I want to help further the cause of equality within a group that I identify within? So when my university  was offering an ally training specifically geared to learning more about the LGBTQ community I was reluctant to attend, I figured I already knew everything I needed to. Even so however, I registered and attended the 3 hour seminar. Although they did focus a lot on vocabulary and the history of the gay movement and how to… Read more »

It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over… And It’s Nowhere Near Over

Like something straight out of a cliché, Wednesday dawned gray and overcast and it stayed that way for the entire day. The midterm elections were not especially kind to the reproductive justice movement this round, though North Dakota and Colorado showed what they were made of, with voters in both states rejecting anti-abortion personhood measures, giving the rest of us something to cheer for in the midst of a bloodbath of a night. The decisions made by much of the nation this November will ensure a minefield for those who support reproductive rights and work hard to ensure their preservation. My Facebook news feed was understandably depressed. But my Facebook news feed was also duly enraged. The same reproductive justice activists nursing the hardest liquor in the face of at… Read more »

RJ Tech Talk: Artificial Wombs

What are artificial wombs? Artificial wombs are devices that are able to allow embryos to grow outside of a person’s body. They do not exist yet, but many predict they will be a reality within the next two decades. As a form of ectogenesis, they allow for the growth of an organism externally from a bodily womb in an artificial environment.  The artificial uterus will be able to provide oxygen, nutrients, and dispose of wastes to ensure fetal growth. This highly controlled and self-sustaining environment would be able to safeguard the baby from disease and external pollutants (eg. alcohol, drugs or other environmental pollutants). The possibilities and applications of these things are endless! Benefits: Artificial wombs have the potential to assist couples that don’t have the capabilities of producing children,… Read more »