ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: domestic violence

Domestic Violence Is a Reproductive Justice Issue

When my 24-year-old cousin got married this past year, my mom imparted onto her what she believes to be the key to an everlasting marriage. She said, “No matter what happens, just keep your mouth shut. Don’t say anything, don’t do anything; just accept everything and keep your mouth shut and make sure you do everything he says.” When I found out she said this, it occurred to me how deeply domestic violence had become woven into the fabric of not only her life, but also the lives of her children. It dawned on me that over the course of my childhood, my sister and I had publicly witnessed almost every woman in our family experience some kind of casual emotional abuse at the hand of their husbands. Somehow, just… Read more »

How Feminist Can The Superbowl Really Be?

I’ll be honest, I don’t watch football. I go to a football school, I was a cheerleader for football in high school, most people in my life live and breathe football, but I don’t care much for the sport. I barely know what a first down is, and I’ll be hard pressed to name a single player most of the time. TLDR; Oblivious to any and all sports, thy name is Rachel. So, most years I tune the buzz about the Superbowl out as much as possible. But recently,the game has began to appeal more and more to my interests. The Superbowl is becoming more of a political event than a sporting event, and this year was no different. Headlines have been raving about the progressive moments of the Superbowl,… Read more »

Gender and Campus Carry

As mentioned in my last blog post, Campus Carry is going to be implemented in public universities across the state of Texas starting August 1st of this year. I’m trying to explore the intersects of this law and the way that different identities (other than the usual, straight, cis-gender, white male) will potentially be affected by this law. I explored the way that race and ethnicity affects who participates in Campus Carry and who feels safe with it implemented. This time, I want to discuss the way gender may play a part in the implementation of this law. I believe it’s safe to assume that the majority of students who are planning on participating in Campus Carry are men (most likely white men) for two reasons. The first of which… Read more »

Straight Outta Respect: Hip Hop and Domestic Violence

In late August of this year, Straight Outta Compton, the film biopic that told the story of the famous ‘90s hip hip group N.W.A. (Niggas With Attitude), hit theaters nationwide. The film was met with a widespread positive response from hip hop historians and fans of traditional Black rap music as well. I still have not seen the film, and in some ways, I’m glad I didn’t. N.W.A is a rap group from the late 80s, early 90s that first brought gritty, inner city gangsta rap to the forefront of mainstream music. The group was primarily comprised of O’Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson, Andre “Dr. Dre” Young, and Eric “Eazy-E” Wright. The group released the album “Straight Outta Compton” to the tune of 750,000 copies in 1989. The film documents critical moments… Read more »

Young boys saying “no” doesn’t end domestic violence

An Italian viral video entitled “From a Slap” has been continuously showing up on my newsfeed this week with comments like “This gives me faith in humanity!” and “This is the cutest thing!” I wish I could say I agree, but I can’t. If you aren’t familiar with the video I’m referring to “Dalle uno Schiaffo” which roughly translates to “From a Slap” is the work of Italian news website Fanpage.it  and creator Luca Iavarone. The video, shot in a participatory documentary style, focuses on five young boys between the ages of 7 and 11 and their interactions with a young girl named Martina. The film begins with an off-screen voice asking the boys their names, ages and what they want to be when they grow up, but once Martina… Read more »

Negotiating The Vagina Monologues with Intersectional Feminism

It’s that time of year – when college campuses and communities host The Vagina Monologues. This is the third year I have been involved with my Choice USA chapter’s production of The Vagina Monologues.  The Vagina Monologues is the play written by Eve Ensler, inspired by interviews with over 200 women about anatomy, sexual violence and intimate partner abuse, sex work, birth, and other issues among women*. Unlike other years, I am feeling more and more conflicted about my chapter’s involvement with the play and V-Day. This scathing and incredibly poignant critique of the play has still stuck with me the last few weeks. Basically, Eve Ensler’s cissexist, white feminist point of view has been inadequate for feminists everywhere. This is something my chapter members and I have discussed extensively… Read more »

Domestic Violence & LGBTQ History Month: 5 Uncomfortable Truths

Who hasn’t seen the “Don’t Be That Guy” posters around campus? My personal favorite features two males in the poster highlighting the intersectionality of domestic violence and queer relationships. Domestic violence and LGBQT visibility are both serious issues, but when looking at the intersection, the result can be quite damning. In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness and LGBTQ history month, the taboo topic of domestic violence in queer relationships has to be addressed. Surprisingly, the American Bar Association Journal cites that “the prevalence of domestic violence among Gay and Lesbian couples is approximately 25-33%” which is pretty similar to heterosexual couples. However, in LGBTQ relationships, the conditions can be much more complex:

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

I’d like to spend my last few posts recognizing some of the greatest influences that inspires me to be an advocate for social justice. I’d like to take this opportunity to shed light on someone near and dear to so many men and women of my community – Jana Mackey. This one carries a trigger and a tissue warning. Jana Mackey was a graduate of my school, The University of Kansas, with a degree in Women’s Studies and went on to attend the School of Law. She was a robust advocate for women’s rights and volunteered much of her time to working with sexual assault and domestic violence centers here in Lawrence. She was a member of the Commission on the Status of Women, which I currently have the opportunity… Read more »

One Billion Rising: Dancing, and Rising Against Violence Against Women

Last Thursday I had the opportunity to attend an event called One Billion Rising which was put on by the UCF School of Social Work and the theater department. The event had that name to refer to the World Wide Movement of One Billion rising which calls on women to walk out, dance, or rise for the I billion women on the planet  that have or will experience sexual abuse or rape in their lifetimes. Prior to becoming aware of this event, I knew about the One Billion Rising Movement from Kerry Washington who discussed it during a television interview. As I walked up to the event I noticed that there were a lot of women dressed in pinks or reds to celebrate Valentine’s Day and to stand for this cause…. Read more »

Congressional Fail: What Happened to the Violence Against Women Act

2012 was full of fascinating–and occasionally terrifying–reproductive justice dialogues. Beginning in February when Rush Limbaugh made disparaging comments about Georgetown University student Sandra Fluke’s congressional speech in support of mandated insurance coverage of birth control, it became clear that the “war on women” and reproductive agency was in full swing. Less than a month later, President Obama issued a Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month Proclamation where he asserted that “the prevalence of sexual assault remains an affront to our national conscience that we cannot ignore.” As the presidential election approached, Republican candidate Mitt Romney stated that Roe v. Wade–the case which legalized abortion–should be overturned. He also voiced a similar stance on the Affordable Care Act. After the election in November, things seemed to be on the up and… Read more »