ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: activism

Project Unbreakable and New Young Organizing

Sometimes social justice can be exhausting. Trying to convince the general public that issues like abortion, birth control, and sexual violence aren’t only important for women, blogging consistently, attending meetings, organizing protests – a social justice advocate’s work is never over. This work can be emotionally draining and every once in a while, I find my commitment wavering. I’m tired, I’m busy, and I’m stressed about my future so why should reproductive justice be one of my priorities? At times like that, when I feel tired and unsure and dare I say uncommitted, I turn to blogs like Project Unbreakable. The site, founded in 2011 by then 19-year-old Grace Brown, features pictures of survivors of sexual assault holding one or more posters with the words of their attacker. These startlingly… Read more »

Keeping an Eye on the “Incremental” Abortion Restrictions in Ohio

I set out to write this piece about the impact that Governor Kasich’s budget bill has had in Ohio since it was signed into law six months ago. I thought the budget bill, or House Bill 59, was the worst blow to Ohio reproductive rights. What I didn’t know was that while House Bill 59 was a pretty tough blow, it was just one of many tough blows to the state’s fragmented reproductive rights protections. Turns out reproductive rights in Ohio have been steadily chipped away by the state’s government officials for over twenty years. Unless you have been part of the small group of people on the ground fighting back, you may not have known. And it’s all because of the approach the state government officials have taken. Instead… Read more »

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 »

Student Leaders at the University of Texas are Taking Campus Safety into their Own Hands

Students on college campuses around the country are preparing for finals which means lots of caffeine, minimal amounts of sleep, and long nights at the school library. Drowning in finals myself, I sometimes don’t leave the 24-hour school library until late at night. Walking back to my car in pitch darkness and half awake, I walk past a myriad of other sleep-deprived students who all have to walk almost a mile or more back to their apartments. What seems like a typical college finals night for many university students might be a dangerous venture back home. The University of Texas, spans over five blocks each way with over 50,000 students in attendance. With such a huge campus, it’s easy for students to end up walking a huge distance, often times… Read more »

Some Words for the Man Who Told Me I Should Be Ashamed

The summer of 2012, I was a public affairs intern at Planned Parenthood Advocates of Kansas and Mid-Missouri. I’d  just finished my freshman year, and two months before the plan had been to get a job as a barista back home, to live yearning endlessly for my college town, where even if it’s not perfect, is at least a place where the pro-choice bumper stickers don’t get scraped off my car. But somehow in my feminist awakening

“I Work at an Abortion Clinic” – Life as an Advocate

“What do you do for a living?” This is not always the easiest question, especially if you work at a health clinic that provides abortion care. Recently I read this article about people who work at abortion clinics (presumably patient advocates and doctors) being pressured to leave their jobs by anti-choice groups. In many ways, pressuring patient advocates to leave reminded me of my own position as an advocate at a domestic violence shelter, and

Feminism Isn’t an Invitation Only Party

Yesterday I read an opinion article by a colleague that caused me a bit of distress. In the article she discussed issues of restricted access to abortion as well as feminism in general, saying that men need to stay out both, using a bit more colorful and trans* shaming language. It struck me then that people truly believed that men have no place in the feminist movement. I’m worried. I’m worried because

Propaganda on Halloween: How Anti-Choice Tricks Are Not a Treat

Trick or Treat: It feels like the one place where a kid can be a kid, dress up as their favorite character, and parents/caretakers can snatch up some of those beloved Paydays or Snickers that little Susie or Timmy can’t stand. Imagine when you are digging around in the pillowcase full of candy for that precious chocolate gold when you pull out a pamphlet with the words, “53 Million Killed,” with a picture of a fetus. I recently came across an article on Think Progress about some anti-choice groups handing out propaganda to Trick or Treaters with their Reeses Cups and Laffy Taffy, with this message.

ENDA May Not Mean the End of Job Discrimination

The fight for same sex marriage has consumed the public’s mind in the past few years. With the ruling on DOMA and California’s Proposition 8 this past summer many people have gotten tunnel vision, focusing all their efforts to marriage equality. I’ll be the first to admit that there isn’t anything wrong with this. Marriage equality is an issue very dear to many people, both queer and heteronormative. But another issue looms on the horizon for the queer community and that is job protection.

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.