ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: feminism

The Bechdel Test for Music

You might be familiar with something used to critique the film industry called The Bechdel Test. In 1985 it was created by a cartoonist named Alison Bechdel as a way to measure female representation in films. The test has three easy parts, A film has to have at least two women in it They have to talk to each other They have to talk about something other than a man Seems simple enough? Amazingly however today still about half of films don’t pass the test. As the test remains a good starting point for critiquing our film consumption I wondered if the test could be applied to other fields as well, like television or music. Then I found an article written for Pitchfork by Paul de Revere that adopts the Bechdel Test… 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 »

Podcasts for Reproductive Justice Activists

Radio is one of my favorite ways of hearing peoples stories. Sound can be a beautiful and intimate medium, allowing you to free up your other senses to do work, make art, or just chill while you are listening. RH Reality Check Possibly the most relevant podcast to this blog, Reality Cast, released by RH Reality Check covers everything related to reproductive health. From politics to media, RH Reality Check’s podcast discusses reproductive justice and also features links to other podcasts like this episode of Making Contact that talks about abortion stigma and the ways in which pop culture is shaped by discussions of abortion. The Heart The Heart is a podcast about all different types of amazing love stories. Released in partnership with sound story consortium, Radiotopia, The Heart… 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 »

Queer & Feminist Musicians That You Should Be Listening To

We need more female-identifying musicians, and as activists we need to seek them out and listen to them! In high school, I played music quiet a lot and was in a few bands. This is probably because I went to a performing arts high school, but I did notice a disparity in female artists being the only girl in the guitar department. The music scene continued to be male dominated in college, but recently I posted a status on my Facebook to request anyone who was not a white straight man to reach out to me if they were interested in starting a band. The status got a lot of attention compared to most of my posts (almost 40 likes!), but unfortunately I only received three serious inquiries to play…. 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 »

Girls Can Fix Computers, Too

Going back to school for me also means going back to work. Separate from my writing, I also work at a local computing help desk. My coworkers and I work under an overarching Information Technology department and on the day-to-day, we assist clients with account issues, software troubles and general computer problems. Many of my coworkers want to have a career in a similar field—me, not so much—and our office is pretty evenly split with men and women, although the highest-ranking staff members are mostly men. However, despite the diversity of people that I work with, there’s a large stigma against women in IT. Such a stigma, in fact, that I wrote a research paper for one of my classes on the phenomenon. Here’s the down and dirty: the help… 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 »

How To Not Catcall

The issue of street harassment and catcalling has been one that’s been making the rounds in the media, particularly social media. Several videos and articles, including this video, have gone viral. Showing the numerous instances of street harassment faced by one woman walking down the street in New York City, it shows that the experiences of some women and their interactions with strangers can be unsettling or even frightening at times. My fellow URGE blogger Caitlin also wrote about this video last week, talking about the possibly unintentional but totally real racial bias presented in the video. Since this is an issue that nearly all women face in some form, and also since there is a significant portion of men who don’t understand this issue, I thought we should have… Read more »

RJ Tech Talk: Artificial Wombs

What are artificial wombs? Artificial wombs are devices that are able to allow embryos to grow outside of a person’s body. They do not exist yet, but many predict they will be a reality within the next two decades. As a form of ectogenesis, they allow for the growth of an organism externally from a bodily womb in an artificial environment.  The artificial uterus will be able to provide oxygen, nutrients, and dispose of wastes to ensure fetal growth. This highly controlled and self-sustaining environment would be able to safeguard the baby from disease and external pollutants (eg. alcohol, drugs or other environmental pollutants). The possibilities and applications of these things are endless! Benefits: Artificial wombs have the potential to assist couples that don’t have the capabilities of producing children,… Read more »