ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: identity

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 »

The Importance of Acknowledging the Spectrum of Sexuality

Something that’s often hard for me to navigate as a queer person is the own intersections of my identity. When I was taught, or rather researched on my own, the different sexualities one could possess I came across an extremely binary interpretation of sexuality. Gay, bisexual, and straight were the three orientations that I understood to exist when I was initially doing my own self discovery, so naturally because I knew I was attracted to women I figured that meant I was gay. I figured that the physical attraction I had had for men in the past was merely me mimicking the sexualities of my friends in order to appear straight and fit into our heteronormative society. But now that I’ve grown in my knowledge I’ve learned that sexuality does not… Read more »

What are the Politics of Desirability?

“Those of us who stand outside the circle of this society’s definition of acceptable women; those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference – those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are Black, who are older – know that survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to stand alone, unpopular and sometimes reviled, and how to make common cause with those others identified as outside the structures in order to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths.”  — Audre Lorde Narratives about beauty, intelligence, and kindness have mostly been centralized on white people. Psychological experiments like The Doll Test have shown that from a… Read more »

Reflecting on #BlackGirlsRock

View image | gettyimages.com Last night, I watched the airing of the Black Girls Rock Award Show on BET. It was lovely seeing the women I look to as current icons of black women excellence in the world of entertainment. The quirky Tracee Ellis Ross, the funky Janelle Monae, the soulful Jill Scott,  the mesmerizing Jada Pinkett, and the intelligent First Lady Michelle Obama. In the days leading up to the event. other hashtags like #allgirlsrock and #whitegirlsrock, emerged. Apparently, these same hashtags emerged two years ago in the lead up to the previous Black Girls Rock Award Show. The President and CEO of Black Girls Rock, Beverly Bond, addressed the hashtag in an article titled, “Exclusive: Black Girls Rock! Founder Hits Back at Insulting #whitegirlsrock“. She states: “As a… Read more »

The problem with Franco’s conversation between his “two sexualities”

Earlier this week I stumbled across an interesting interview with James Franco entitled “The straight James Franco talks to the gay James Franco.”  The title alone was enough to get me to click on the article and after reading the piece I was left with a lot of frustration to say the least. Franco was asked to do the interview by a relatively new magazine called FourTwoNine which according to the Kickstarter campaign that helped fund it in 2013, is magazine that covers “the latest news and innovations in technology, entertainment, design, media and politics, and showcases how LGBT people are living in the context of the larger world.” Sounds promising enough, but being that Franco’s article was the first I’d ever heard of the publication and considering how dissatisfied it left me I’m not feeling too… 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 »

Making Gender Equality A Reality: International Women’s Day

View image | gettyimages.com If you haven’t seen the South Africa Salvation Army’s take on the #dress controversy of last week that puzzled some, irritated some, and fascinated others, here it is: It’s #InternationalWomensDay on Sunday. We care for abused/trafficked women worldwide. Help us help them. #TheDress pic.twitter.com/tQvxQTnHib — Salvation Army IHQ (@SalvArmyIHQ) March 7, 2015 This was absolutely brilliant. #TheDress hoopla was used to draw attention to violence against women. It explores what catches our attention and the topics like abuse that some don’t want to discuss. I don’t know about you but the campaign makes me appropriately uncomfortable. It makes me want to move, to share, and to act. This campaign could not have come at a better time because the United Nations and the world observed International Women’s… Read more »

Let’s Fix the Binary Problem with Dating Apps

Recently, I’ve noticed a rising trend in the use of dating apps on my campus. The most popular of these is Tinder, which seems to have many problems associated with its binary-only friendly structure. Although Tinder allows for its users to open their sexual preferences to both “men and women,” there are no ways for queer or non-binary people to identify as anything other than a man or woman. In the spirit of sex-positivity and gender equity, I’ve compiled a list of dating apps that are non-binary or have been created by women. Although these apps don’t seem to have nearly as many users as Tinder, they written about are far less and hopefully by spreading the word about their existence they will grow! Thurst is a brand new dating… Read more »

The Sad State of Bisexuality on Television

[Warning: Spoilers about How to Get Away With Murder are ahead] My heart sank as I watched last week’s episode of How to Get Away with Murder (HTGAWM), primetime’s newest television show that has me rushing home on Thursday evenings, as Michaela Pratt yelled at her boyfriend Aiden for not telling her about a high school romance with her fellow law student Connor Walsh. In the Facebook chat with two of my other friends, we did our best to give Michaela the benefit of the doubt. Was she mad that Aiden hid something from her, making her anger a matter of (broken) trust? Was Michaela upset that he’d had a teenage fling with Connor, so that her frustration was about “sharing” her fiancé with her rival? Alas, it was not… Read more »

Fire Shut Up in My Bones: A Memoir by Charles M. Blow

The past two weeks  have been rough to say the least. It was one of these weeks when your world is turned upside down by unsettling news. I had to readjust my life and face new “normals.” I sought help from close friends and family. I deem the past two weeks and exercise in mental health. I often find that we speak of a physical health often unconnected from mental health. While going through my struggles in the last few weeks,  I came across an op-ed article entitled “Up from Pain” from one my favorite columnists, Charles M. Blow. Charles M. Blow is an opinion columnist for the New York Times. His article “Up from Pain” in the The New York Times reads like an excerpt from his recently released… Read more »