ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: family matters

Marley Dias, Whitewashing, and #1000BlackGirlBooks

Reading is fundamental, and always has been.  I love to read and recently bought four new books I can’t wait to dive into. Literacy can be considered a reproductive justice issue because families that emphasize literacy in young people, foster adults who engage politically as well as socially. Unfortunately, according to a HuffPost poll, 28% of people haven’t read a book at all in the past year, and the literacy rate is stagnant. What we read and our ability to do so is in serious jeopardy, and our youth are affected the most. Thankfully,  one young voracious reader out there saw a need and decided to take action. Marley Dias, an African-American sixth grader from New Jersey, took her love of reading and her frustration over the overwhelming whiteness of the protagonists she was required to… Read more »

This “classist, sexist, anti-child” California Policy Must Go

Over twenty years ago, California was swept up in the fervor of President Clinton’s “welfare reform” policies, and, following suit, cut welfare to low income families by instituting the Maximum Family Grant Rule. The rule denies additional aid to children born to mothers who already receive cash aid through the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKS) welfare program. This means that families who are enrolled in CalWORKS when they have a child can’t receive an extra $128 a month in order to pay for housing, food, and other necessary expenses that new parents inevitably incur. In December 2014, California Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) proposed SB-23 in order to repeal the Maximum Family Grant rule, calling it “a classit, sexist, anti-democratic, anti-child policy” because of the ugly welfare queen stereotype (a woman who… Read more »

Child Free by Choice

Our society is based in many ways on children and families. Our culture devotes massive amounts of time and resources to the raising of children. Certainly this is good, as children are the future of our society, and that investment is worthwhile. But one side effect of this culture is the automatic expectation that people have children. I understand that as a man, I certainly don’t face the same type or intensity of pressures as my wife or any woman in our society does. And some of that comes from people believing that a woman’s job is to have children. So part of being seen as an adult woman in our society is having children. So as a man I don’t face the same level of stigma for not having… Read more »

California’s Cruel Policy that Keeps Families in Poverty

At the end of last month SB 23 passed its first committee in the California Legislature.  For those of you who don’t know, SB 23 is a bill that seeks to repeal the CalWORKs Maximum Family Grant Rule (MFG) which bars families from receiving additional aid for any child born during the time that family is already receiving CalWORKs aid. A family receiving CalWORKs is a family who is struggling. How can a state say that they are not willing to provide assistance to any additional children knowing that children who grow up in poverty end up with poorer health, have behavioral and emotional problems, and are at higher risk of unintended pregnancy in their teen years? This is inhumane. What’s worse is that the rule applies to every member of… Read more »

Public Assistance is Reproductive Justice

Recently, my home state of Kansas passed a law that places several restrictions on the usage of benefits received from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF), commonly referred to as welfare. Among other things, the bill prohibits TANF benefits from being used at swimming pools, movie theaters, cruise ships, and tattoo parlors. Also, the bill limits ATM withdrawals from the TANF account to $25 per day. On top of these new restrictions, Kansas also requires recipients of TANF benefits to be working or looking for work, and has instituted a drug testing policy for those who qualify. And Kansas isn’t the only state to be fighting this “problem” of the luxury of being poor. Missouri lawmakers have been pushing for a bill greatly restricting what type of groceries… 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 »

To Shop or Not to Shop?

With Thanksgiving only a week away, people are already starting to talk about their opinions on Black Friday. Much has been said about Black Friday shopping from people on both sides of the issue. There are some people who would prefer that we restrict whether stores can be open on Thanksgiving day or the next day, saying people deserve to have that time off of work. There are others who insist that Black Friday is a great day for our economy, touting record numbers of sales that day. Both sides have legitimate arguments, so let’s take a look at the reasons given for each position. Reasons not to Shop 1. Consumerism There has been a movement to make Thanksgiving and Black Friday two days where it is socially unacceptable to… Read more »

RJ Tech Talk: Male Contraceptive Pill

Hooray! Male birth control will be available by 2017. What is male birth control? The Parsemus Foundation, a company that works on making healthcare affordable, is working on developing Valgasel: a pill made for men that will prevent contraception from happening. Luckily for you, guys, this is not a hormonal method! It targets a physical mechanism that targets the sperms little tiny tails and stops them from swimming. Also, the process if reversible and sperm will completely viable once again. As with any form of contraceptive pill, a barrier method will also be required to prevent transferring STIs between partners. What happens inside of bodies that take Valgasel? When sperm are created and stored in the testis (aka balls), and when they make there way from their storage center to exit… Read more »

RJ Tech Talk: Egg Freezing

As new technology is being developed for reproductive health, many questions come up as to how each product can fit into the framework justice. Technology’s impact on gender, sexuality, and reproductive choices has vastly expanded over the past fifty years. I’ve chosen to explain oocyte cryopreservation, or egg freezing, one tech product I’ve been seeing in the media a lot and provide links to other sources that talk about its use within reproductive justice, controversial or not. Oocyte cryopreservation, also known as egg freezing, is a procedure where a woman’s oocytes (eggs) are extracted, frozen, and the preserved. The eggs can be thawed later on when the person wants to become pregnant, transferred after fertilization to the uterus as embryos. Recently, egg freezing has been in the news because Facebook… Read more »

Why I Married Young

Hello, my name is Paul. I’m a 22 year old college senior, and I’ve been married for 3 and a half years now. Yes, I married my high school sweetheart. We’ve been together since we were a sophomore and a junior, respectively, and we were engaged before I even graduated. After my first year in college (her second), we were married, and we’ve been together ever since. Quick Disclaimer: This post is not an endorsement of young marriage or marriage in general. I only seek to promote respect for everyone’s relationship decisions. Also, this is dealing with my personal story, so there is only discussion of a cisgender, heterosexual experience. This is not everyone’s experience, and that is precisely why I say we should always respect everyone’s relationship choices. In… Read more »