ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: education

It Was Never A Secret

Victoria’s Secret chief marketing officer Ed Razek has come under fire after an interview with Vogue where he insinuated that trans and plus-size models are not attractive enough to be a part of the “fantasy” of their brand. The brand has been met with criticism since his comments, and #boycottvictoriassecret was a trending topic on Twitter. But let’s be honest: even if you haven’t seen what the models look like in the annual fashion show, anyone with a passing familiarity with Victoria’s Secret knows the brand always has been a blatant catering to the white male gaze. Look back at the “Perfect Body” campaign from 2014 that showcased only one type of body. Or the many extreme uses of PhotoShop. Not to mention the many instances of cultural appropriation over… Read more »

Don’t Be Fooled, Charter Schools Don’t Fix Public Education

If you’re even remotely interested in what’s going on in our public education system, chances are you’ve stumbled across the whole public school vs. charter school debate. And, if you’re like me, you’ve probably been on the fence about charter schools, mostly because they’re confusing! What even is a charter school? Charter schools, like public schools, are publicly funded, but they’re not governed by school districts or school boards. Instead, they’re run by businesses, non-profit organizations, or groups of people who write a charter and secure funding. Unlike sate-funded public schools, charters are allowed to exclude students that live within the area based on things like their special education status or test scores. Those who support charters argue that they’re a great alternative to “traditional” public schools because they offer… Read more »

Where are the Reproductive Health Resources for Every Body?

When I graduated from high school, I realized that I had made it through an entire life science class without ever learning how, exactly, my own reproductive organs worked. More specifically, I sort of attributed everything to the testes and the prostate- the only two organs I knew were a part of me down there besides the obvious set of muscles and tubes. I knew nothing of seminal vesicles, Cowper’s glands or any of the hormones that are traded inside my reproductive organs besides testosterone. Perhaps this is the reason so many commercials try to sell any perceived unhappiness as the result of “Low T” in the male body– a natural phenomenon that may be responsible for hair loss, but certainly not for an unsatisfying career behind a desk. Since… Read more »

Education Access is Reproductive Justice

The most recent budget plan put out by Congress includes some serious cuts to federal student loan programs. It would freeze the levels of Pell Grants being offered, even though currently the level is tied to inflation, which does not rise at the same rate as higher education costs. It would also charge interest on student loans while the students are still in school. This would have a chilling effect on the amount of student debt we are saddled with, which is already astronomically high. To make matters worse, the new budget would completely get rid of the loan repayment plans that make it possible for anyone to pay down that astronomical debt. This budget would spell economic disaster for millions of student who already have student loan debt, or… Read more »

Putting #Women on the Map

In recognition of Women’s Herstory Month,  I wanted to acknowledge an organization called Sexualization Protest: Action, Resistance, and Knowledge (SPARK). Similar to URGE, one of SPARK’s initiatives is to develop and foster online dialogue to promote advocacy and activism. One of SPARK’s primary goals are to combat the negative sexualization of women and teach women about activism using the range of media at our disposal. As I scrolled through my Feedly, I came across an article titled “SPARK And Google Created An App That Highlights The History Women Made Right Beneath Your Feet“. On some days, Google celebrates historical moments, upcoming events, and political/social figures using a Google Doodle. It got me thinking. I never really payed attention to the lack of diversity in terms of race and color on… Read more »

Feminist Hacktivism on Wikipedia

Last Saturday morning, many Oberlin students gathered at a local art venue with their laptops, chargers, and desires to tell the world about more women artists through Wikipedia. Students of all types of gender expression woke-up early on Saturday morning to drink coffee and eat breakfast together while communally editing Wikipedia’s art pages. Oberlin’s edit-a-thon was part of an international event hosted by Art + Feminism to revamp Wikipedia’s pages to close the huge gender gap that is visible in it’s content. This was the second annual Art+Feminism edit-a-thon. The gender trouble with Wikipedia’s coverage has been well-documented. Wall Street Journal’s coverage of Saturday’s event noted that, “In a 2011 survey, the Wikimedia Foundation found that less than 10% of contributors on Wikipedia identified as female.” It is difficult to… Read more »

5 Tips for Navigating Social Justice Discussions

View image | gettyimages.com I’m part of a group at my university called Feminists United and every week we hold discussion based meetings that focus on different social justice topics ie. ableism, rape culture, classism, race, gender, etc.  Having our meetings be mostly discussion based is really important because it provides a safe for people to speak on topics they are passionate about as well as learn about the unfamiliar through the help of their peers. I’ve attended these meetings and been a part of this group for a couple of semesters now, but this is the first semester where I’m going to be in the position of a group facilitator. Usually during our meetings because we have such a large group (between 30 and 40 people) we like to… 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 »