ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: intersectionality

Save Yourselves And Leave Black Women Alone

“Strong,” independent,” “resilient.” There was a time in my life where I saw these characteristics as noble and empowering. An affirmation that was important for young girls to hear multiple times throughout their life. However, I quickly realized that these characterizations had their own separate meaning when referring to Black women and girls. Lately, especially on Twitter, I’ve been coming across multiple posts reinforcing the same tired message that Black women will save the United States; that we will right the oppressive past of this country and create an equitable future for all. In light of this, I want to reiterate what has been said by Black women before me and will be said by Black women after me—we are not your mules. We will not “save” this country, we… Read more »

An Apology From a Former White Feminist

Generally speaking, if someone looks back at the things they said and did three years ago, they will at the very least cringe, if not want to go back and berate their former self, or potentially erase entire phases of their life. (Looking at you, blue-haired Caitlyn.) It’s understandable. We’re constantly changing and growing and, most importantly, learning. And you can learn a lot in three years. Three years ago, I was a White Feminist. To say that this makes me cringe is an enormous understatement. A White Feminist is not just any feminist who is white; white people can be feminists without being White Feminists. According to Everyday Feminism, White Feminism is “feminism that ignores intersectionality.” This is a problem because it narrows the focus of feminism to one… Read more »

Fight for $15 Comes to UC…Sort Of

I got a what I thought was a welcome surprise during summer vacation leading into my last year at UC San Diego when Janet Napolitano, President of the University of California, announced that the UC system would raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2017 for all of its workers and contract workers. The initial boost to $13 starting Fall Quarter would’ve given me a $2 an hour raise at my on campus jobs, exciting news for a debt-saddled coffee-dependent college student. Yet, for all of the great press the University of California has received in the wake of their announcement, it was a lukewarm response to a broader grassroots effort to secure a living wage for everyone. One aspect of the plan that has been largely overlooked is that it fails… Read more »

On Solidarity and the Movement for Black Lives

Two weeks ago, an anti-choice group released heavily-edited undercover videos aimed at discrediting and potentially dismantling Planned Parenthood. As the country’s largest provider of reproductive health care, this campaign to take down Planned Parenthood could have disastrous effects on the millions who need access to abortion and other healthcare services. The movement for reproductive health, rights, and justice swiftly rallied to Planned Parenthood’s defense against these malicious attack. Here at URGE, we did the same and were one of 92 organizations that signed on to a letter to Congress in support of Planned Parenthood’s work. Our movements  worked quickly to stand in solidarity against these attacks — that’s a good thing — but we also hope we can use this as a moment to bring our solidarity to another vital… Read more »

Being A Black Woman in the Reproductive Justice Movement

I recently asked one of my black female friends about her activism. “Why don’t you feel connected to reproductive justice and reproductive health work?” Her response was, “Access to abortion is important, but we are getting killed for simply existing. I want to focus on that.” I understood where she was coming from, because I definitely felt that exasperation too. Like many of us, I was not always familiar with the concept of reproductive justice or even feminism. These were terms I had loosely heard about before, and I vaguely remember in high school reading a Seventeen magazine article about it, but that was the gist of my exposure to it at that time. I grew up in the South—southern hospitality, really amazing sweet tea, and mouth-watering soul food are… Read more »

Black Lives Matter

Last February I attended Take Root, a reproductive conference that serves activists and allies from red states, over the course of three days on the campus of the University of Oklahoma. It was a brilliant and affirming experience. One panel stood out the most. On this panel, a pair of black midwives recounted experiences providing prenatal and delivery care to black women. One of the midwives talked about how cultural sensitivity is extremely important in her work. Apparently in the eighteen-odd months between Trayvon Martin’s murder and Zimmerman’s acquittal, she saw that the number of stress-induced complications drastically rose in black women’s pregnancies. Not only that, but several of the black women in her care had nervous breakdowns, panic attacks, and insomnia. The midwives discussed the absolute necessity of holistic… Read more »

The People’s Climate March: Bringing Movements Together

On Sunday, September 21, 2014, the People’s Climate March was held in New York City. Organizers estimated that over 400,000 people from across the globe gathered to protest climate destabilization. The rally was devised in response to the United Nation’s Climate Summit as a strategy for international environmental justice advocates. Many people in attendance of the march voiced their encouragement of governments to put sanctions on domestic industries and corporations that will decrease pollution, and called for divestment from corporations that thrive off of the exploitation of people and the environment. The People’s Climate March was the largest climate march in history, and with “2808 solidarity events in 166 countries,” it is clear that the degradation of the environmental is tied to many social justice issues. As advocates for reproductive… Read more »

The South And Marriage Equality, Part III: The Intersecti​onal Blueprint Of A Movement

From abolition to the civil rights, the American South has been the battleground for many social justice movements. When a place’s past is an intricate mural depicting so many hard-won struggles against various oppressions, it’s impossible to approach any ongoing conflict with anything but an intersectional perspective, acknowledging that all resistance to social change has originated from a common ancestor: Patriarchy. Working against patriarchy means not only working toward LGBTQ rights, but also those of women, the poor, and people of color. “Working on other issues that aren’t necessarily ‘gay issues’ may actually help to bridge whatever perceived divides there are between people of color and white gay folks. I say ‘white gay folks’ because they are “the members of the queer community most likely to be unaware of and… Read more »