Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Tagged: film review

Finding Reproductive Justice: “No Más Bebés” & The Limitations Of “Pro-Choice”

I’m proud to be a Latina, but I wasn’t always. Growing up in a predominantly white community in Georgia, my family and I were often targets of incredibly ignorant and hurtful microaggressions. I’ve lost count of how many times someone has made  assumptions about how my parents arrived to the United States, or where I’m really from. Even as a kid, I was hyper-aware of how different I looked from my white peers and begged my parents to speak to me in English in front of my friends.  The microaggressions I experienced as a child, questioning my belonging and citizenship, were not just incidents of routine childhood teasing, but were a part of a larger system of xenophobia. These seemingly innocuous and juvenile expressions of contempt can better be understood… Read more »

We Are Gay & We Are Pregnant: How Unpregnant Combats the Stigmas Surrounding Abortions

***SPOILERS MENTIONED. This past weekend, while in my humble dorm room eating a bag of frozen cotton candy grapes, I decided to start my 7-day free trial on HBO and watch the recently released movie Unpregnant starring Barbie Ferreira and Haley Lu Richardson. I remember quite vividly when the trailer first came out and based on my initial reaction and Twitter’s; I thought I had an idea of what type of movie I’d soon be watching; another coming of age film that’s centered around teen white girls.  And yes, it was precisely just that. But I wasn’t entirely disappointed. In this movie, we follow 17-year-old Veronica (played by Haley lu Richardson,) as she and her friend, Bailey (played by Barbie Ferreria), travel across state lines to the nearest abortion clinic…. Read more »

5 Reasons Why I Can’t Watch The Duff

View image | gettyimages.com From the moment I saw a trailer for the The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) , I knew I did not want to watch it. Granted, I have not read the book either. Even so, I know that The DUFFmovies is not for me. From what I understand, the story is about an adolescent girl named Bianca (played by Mae Whittman)  going through the trials and tribulations of high school. An “attractive guy” in her class points out that she is the DUFF of her friend group. Her “unkempt hair,” lack of make-up, and aptitude for chemistry makes her unattractive and thus undesirable to others. I can’t find myself within this narrative. I am just not looking forward to finding a person of color serve as… Read more »

Think Before You Pink: A Review of “Pink Ribbons, Inc.”

On October 17 the Women and Gender Sexuality Studies department at CSULB had a showing of a new film- “Pink Ribbons, Inc.” It was a great turn out on lower campus complete with delicious snacks. A special thanks to the legendary, brilliant, and endlessly clever Dr. Lori Baralt for hosting! (She’s a recent addition to my, “People who inspire me” list). This captivating documentary made me step back and think, “Well, damn, this situation is really messed up!” With the constant ringing of Reproductive Justice, the movie Pink Ribbons, Inc. delved into current breast cancer pop culture- you know what I’m talking about. Make-up, cleaning products, food, clothing, cars, and even products that contain carcinogenic chemicals- everything seems to wear a pink ribbon at some time or another for this… Read more »

Juno, Choice, and Stigmatizing Teen Pregnancy

When Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman’s Juno premiered five years ago, it became an immediate critical and theatrical success. Oprah, barometer of all things of-the-moment, called the indie dramedy “fresh.” Legendary movie critic Robert Ebert hailed it as “the best movie of the year.” What makes this all the more fascinating is that Juno isn’t just a little quirky independent film in a similar vein as Garden State and Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. It’s also a film about a pregnant teen, and her remarkably solitary quest to deal with her pregnancy accordingly, in a way that works for her. Simply put, Juno is all about choice. One of the most remarkable things about the 2007 film was that it put the power back in the hands of a pregnant youth…. Read more »

Review – The Education of Shelby Knox

If you’re fortunate enough have a free evening this busy fall semester, I recommend grabbing a box of Swedish Fish and watching The Education of Shelby Knox on Netflix Instant. Centering around one 15 year-old girl’s fight to bring comprehensive sex education to her abstinence-only high school, the film really gets to the heart of what it takes to inspire progress in communities where few things ever change. Setting is everything for a movie, and documentaries are no exception. Shelby Knox is a student in Lubbock, Texas, a town that—while overwhelmingly conservative and religious—has given birth to several rebellious progressive voices, including Natalie Maines and Buddy Holly. Over the course of The Education, you’ll witness Knox begin to follow in their footsteps of independent thought.


I recently attended a screening of the documentary Bully— a film that tells the story of five young people and families who have been impacted by bullying. I decided to see “Bully” because of the abuse I experienced growing up, which eventually led me to work within the reproductive justice movement. I’ve seen for most of my life how violence, whether it is physical, emotional, or verbal, can have a profound impact on quality of life. Due to the nature of bullying and the power dynamics involved, victims are often limited in the decisions they can make regarding their own bodies. “Bully” does a great job illustrating these points and lends itself to a larger conversation about how bodies that are “different” are policed and controlled in society today.