ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: family matters

Doing More Than Filling the Gaps in Sex-Ed

One of my younger brothers is in the midst that casual dirtbag period of early tween-dom. You know the one—where he every other joke is about jerking off and his ratio of obnoxiousness to actual humor is 10 to 1. Still, he’s my brother, and I love him, and he’s not a jerk a decent amount of the time. The two of us have a fairly open and honest relationship actually, and we talk about his crushes, about politics, and yes—even about sex. Seeing as he currently attends the same Catholic school I attended for all of grade and middle school—which still calls it’s “sex-ed” program “Adam and Eve” and segregates boys and girls only to give them the same talk about chastity, the evils of the “homosexual lifestyle,” etc…. Read more »

Lost in Translation: API Sex and Sexuality

The United States suffers from an unfortunate epidemic known as abstinence only programs. These sex after marriage talks are a common procedure in awkward health and sex-education classrooms around the country. For LGBT folks, abstinence only programs do us no good because, you know, we can’t really get married, and if we have to wait until after married, we’re going to be on a dry-spell for quite a while. Some advocates of abstinence only programs believe it is the right of the parents to have that conversation with their children, but for the API community, that is never a conversation we ever have. The API community is very private and though I’ve never been a parent myself, I honestly believe our parents don’t want to encourage the ideas of “promiscuity.”… Read more »

Shanesha Taylor: The Case of Punishing the Poor

With the reproductive justice movement, the discussion often gets bogged down in life or death rhetoric. Pro-choice advocates also assume the fight is over as long as Roe V. Wade is in place. We have abortion clinics, Obamacare allows for insurance to cover contraceptives, and women have the right to vote. However, there’s a huge difference between what the laws allow and the access that is given. Abortion restriction laws have sweeping effects for low-income, women of color who struggle to keep a roof over their head and food on the table. The case of Shanesha Taylor is more important than ever. News broke out earlier this week of Shanesha Taylor, a mother of two being arrested for child abuse charges. Her two children have been taken into the custody… Read more »

Make Roe Real: How I Make My Personal Life Political

This week marks the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the famous Supreme Court Case that “guaranteed” the right to abortion to American women. But as we discussed just last month, subsequent court cases like Planned Parenthood v Casey seriously compromised the Roe promise, especially for young people. Limited funding and restrictive laws like parental notification requirements make it hard for young and low-income people to get the abortion care that they may need. There are many ways to help make the promise of Roe real for everyone. As a young, generally broke, over-committed college student I sometimes worry that I don’t have the monetary or social capital to really make a difference. But then I remember that the personal is political and by sweating the small stuff, fighting the… Read more »

Why Should This 21-Year-Old Woman Care about Paternity Leave?

So often the conversations around reproductive justice focus solely on what happens to a person and their (sometimes potential) fetus before birth – contraception, abortion care, safe sex, and sex education.  Especially as a young person who is in no rush to start a family, what matters most me today is access to the contraception and abortion care which will enable me to make informed and conscientious choices about my future family life.  At age 21, on the cusp of graduating college and moving on to “the real world,” babies weren’t high on my Christmas list and they won’t be for quite awhile.

Having the Reproductive Justice Talk with Your Parents

Most of my activist friends, myself included, have developed political values leaning far left than those of their parents possess and raised them with.   And, particularly when considering reproductive justice activism, this can cause rifts between you and your parents. I know it’s been a struggle for my red-state residing, devoutly Catholic parents, ever since I announced I was a big ol’ pro-choice queer feminist. Many of friends with not-so progressive parents just tend to shut that aspect of their life out in order to order tension and strife.  Unfortunately, depending on your parents, or your dependence on them, sometimes this might be necessary. However, I also think, while it’s hard, it’s also necessary to push those boundaries a bit and reside in uncomfortable spaces.

Immigration and Reproductive Justice: Fighting for Family Rights

This has been an exhausting and draining week for many UT-Austin students, myself being one. National headlines covered the Texas University’s Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) student organization that hosted a “Catch an Illegal Immigrant Game.” This game involved volunteers wearing pins with “illegal” on them and if students “caught” them and brought them back to a YCT member, they would receive a $25 gift card. Their goal was to create a dialogue about immigration…right.

Let’s Talk About Talking About Sex

October has been deemed “Let’s Talk Month” in the hopes to encourage families to talk about a wide range of issues related to sexuality, like body image, healthy relationships, gender and sexual orientation, safe sex, using birth control…all that good stuff. At first I thought it was strange to them to choose the month October, especially given that Halloween has claimed it since the mid 16th century. Then I remembered how my mom was more scared to talk to me about sex growing up then I was of horror stories of monsters and ghosts and the supernatural. So now October makes perfect sense.

Parental Consent is Advised (and Anti-Choice)

If you haven’t yet heard the story of Anonymous 5, the 16 year-old Nebraska Girl who had to ask the court system for permission to have an abortion and was denied because she is apparently “not sufficiently mature,” I apologize  if I’m bumming you out with the complete ridiculousness of her situation. I’m also sorry to inform you, if it’s further news to you, that Anonymous 5’s case is hardly an uncommon one—that is if you live in any one of the 39 states that require parental notification and/or consent of an abortion. Hint: that includes a whole lot of people.

Revolution With a Side of Pampers

“Mom, I love you! You’re the best!” I get to hear this every day from my amazing 6 year old son who I have been a single mother to since the day he was born. After celebrating Mothers Day this year, I found out that May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, at which point my stomach started twisting in knots. Given my own experience dealing with teen pregnancy in the conservative South, I’m always skeptical when I see prevention campaigns since they’re usually solely focused on shaming the mother’s “mistake” and not looking at a bigger picture. The Candies Foundation’s #NoTeenPreg campaign is no different. The latest print PSA’s from the #NoTeenPreg campaign show celebrities with one-liners like “You should be changing the world, not changing diapers,” and “Don’t… Read more »