Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Tagged: personal story

Who’s Your Daddy: The Problem of Paternalism

Paternalism is officially defined as “the policy or practice on the part of people in positions of authority of restricting the freedom and responsibilities of those subordinate to them in the subordinates’ supposed best interest.” In theory paternalism is benevolent in the extreme and treated as a respectable moral necessity. But in practice the idea of paternalism is extremely dangerous to autonomy and the reproductive justice movement. When I had sex for the first time one of my best friends, a man, reacted quite contrary to what I’d expected from him.

Some Words for the Man Who Told Me I Should Be Ashamed

The summer of 2012, I was a public affairs intern at Planned Parenthood Advocates of Kansas and Mid-Missouri. I’d  just finished my freshman year, and two months before the plan had been to get a job as a barista back home, to live yearning endlessly for my college town, where even if it’s not perfect, is at least a place where the pro-choice bumper stickers don’t get scraped off my car. But somehow in my feminist awakening

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.

The Politics of Finding Yourself on the Page

The Toast did a lovely piece this week that filled my stomach with butterflies upon dizzying butterflies called “Annie on My Mind and the Books that Made us Gasp.” It’s one of those small gathering of words that quickens your breath a bit because you know these words somehow, even though this is the first time you’ve seen them in this particular order, by this particular author, on this particular day. It’s about finding your you-ness, in part or in whole, in the media, and the validation that comes with knowing you’re not alone. Or to quote the author and lovely editor —“where something said helplessly inside your chest ‘Oh, that’s me. That’s us, that’s us, that’s me, thank God, that’s us.’

Navigating Masculinity on the Fence of the Gender Binary

I got up this morning and left my house, fully intending to get to the office and start working on a development plan for the new year. That’s what I should be doing right now. I should be working on a development plan. Instead I’m writing this thing. I’m writing this thing because sometimes, for my own sanity – to slow down my crazy swirling brain – I just have to write stuff down. And because this morning, as seems to increasingly be the case since I moved from the country into the big city, I crashed into myself yet again. I crashed into the reality that my perception of myself – my inherent knowledge of myself, really – doesn’t always match the way(s) I’m perceived externally. And once again… Read more »

I Am A Woman

Trigger warning: this post contains references to sexual assault and victim blaming.  It was in the back pew of a church where I first learned the universal truth That because I am a woman I am made to be raped, whether it’s with a wine bottle, or that thing between your legs, or even by a state sanctioned invasive medical procedure to tell me that I am not my own but a thing to be ruled and oppressed A woman I was taught through too close bodies and far too anxious hands that “no” means “yes” and “yes” means “whore” I was told that I should be thankful because fat girls don’t get attention, especially black girls, and boy was I lucky They threw words at me like bricks “Situational” and “boys… Read more »

What’s So Gay About RJ?

I have a photo of my grandmother on the bulletin board next to my desk. It’s a picture of her, taking a picture of Eleanor Roosevelt. The First Lady is riding in an open-air car, and my grandmother is leaning in, over the hood, for a close up. While we don’t know the story first-hand (because we only found the photo after she had died), we assume she was snapping the picture for the University of Idaho newspaper, where she worked as a reporter while in school. Both of my grandmothers went to college. Neither of my grandfathers did. Feminism, it seems, runs in the family. It’s June and it’s pride month and at Choice USA we are celebrating – highlighting some of the amazing work that our chapters and… Read more »

Why Are We Queering Reproductive Justice Anyway?

This is my first Pride Month as an out, bisexual woman of color. I am a year and change into a journey that started as a conversation with my boss about feminism and racial identity and claiming space and movement building and somehow circled around to me…possibly…liking…girls. And while I had confessed to occasional crushes or attractions to a few close friends over the years, it wasn’t until March of 2012 that I actually said these words out loud to someone in the context of who I am and not a temporary feeling or state of mind. The last year has been as exhilarating and terrifying and gratifying and painful as you’d expect. But as I told my friend Sarah over this past weekend, I don’t think I would have… Read more »

Mama’s Day: A Tribute to Two Strong Mothers

Read more Mama’s Day blogs at Strong Families Mother’s day comes every year in May, and every year I realize I have no idea what to get for my mom. What do you get for the woman that has everything? My mommy, the lady that loves me unconditionally, how can I ever repay you for deciding to be a mother again and dealing with a baby girl as inquisitive and stubborn as me? You did it by yourself, 24 hours a day – rain, sleet, or shine. You went to work, late nights and early mornings, bus rides, and soggy days caught in the rain. Many tears shed so tired, but never stopping, you are a queen. Never fitting the classic narratives of the white housewives on Mother’s Day cards,… Read more »

Masculinity and Care

This post is part of a series celebrating Choice USA’s Bro-Choice Week of Action. For more information, please visit our website and take the Bro-Choice pledge.  I’m in the seventh grade; a shy kid with a stutter, and short for my age, sitting by the front of my school long after the final bells have rung. It’s mostly empty, so I notice when that this kid, even smaller than I am, is stumbling through the parking lot, towards the front of the school. He’s carrying this black, big-ass tuba case, and I laugh–he can hardly walk–before I realize he’s crying. A nose running, chest heaving, proud-hurt-boy cry, blood running down the side of his left leg, soaking his white shin-high socks. I stop laughing. I start running. As I reach him, I realize… Read more »