ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: politics

A Reflection On The Midterm Elections

The midterm elections were a tough time for anyone invested in seeing progress for reproductive rights. While most were focused on candidates, wins in the House of Representatives and the Senate, many narrowly missed reproductive rights amendments that passed that set states back years in regards to protecting the safety of those seeking effective reproductive rights legislation. Alabama and West Virginia both rolled back the rights of so many on November 6th. West Virginia’s Amendment 1, which blatantly states that “Nothing in this constitution secures or protects a right to an abortion or requires the funding of an abortion,” will roll back any and all state funding to abortion providers in the state in the future. Alabama’s Amendment 2 goes one step further by saying explicitly to “declare and otherwise… Read more »

It Was Never A Secret

Victoria’s Secret chief marketing officer Ed Razek has come under fire after an interview with Vogue where he insinuated that trans and plus-size models are not attractive enough to be a part of the “fantasy” of their brand. The brand has been met with criticism since his comments, and #boycottvictoriassecret was a trending topic on Twitter. But let’s be honest: even if you haven’t seen what the models look like in the annual fashion show, anyone with a passing familiarity with Victoria’s Secret knows the brand always has been a blatant catering to the white male gaze. Look back at the “Perfect Body” campaign from 2014 that showcased only one type of body. Or the many extreme uses of PhotoShop. Not to mention the many instances of cultural appropriation over… Read more »

Context not Content: Today’s Political Climate

One of my most interesting classes this semester just so happens to be named Social Problems, a 300 level sociology course that I figured would be more than a breeze. I consider myself pretty well informed with an aptitude toward sociology and the social sciences. My work at URGE, a domestic violence shelter, and my studies in social work were only going to make me more prepared when entering the classroom. During our most recent online discussion, a topic came up that gave me an actual term for a phenomena I’ve seen in recent politics — namely the 2016 presidential election. Dog Whistle Politics (DWP) is the strategic and coded appeals to a certain groups of people while seemingly addressing another subject altogether. DWP and racism in politics go hand… Read more »

This “classist, sexist, anti-child” California Policy Must Go

Over twenty years ago, California was swept up in the fervor of President Clinton’s “welfare reform” policies, and, following suit, cut welfare to low income families by instituting the Maximum Family Grant Rule. The rule denies additional aid to children born to mothers who already receive cash aid through the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKS) welfare program. This means that families who are enrolled in CalWORKS when they have a child can’t receive an extra $128 a month in order to pay for housing, food, and other necessary expenses that new parents inevitably incur. In December 2014, California Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) proposed SB-23 in order to repeal the Maximum Family Grant rule, calling it “a classit, sexist, anti-democratic, anti-child policy” because of the ugly welfare queen stereotype (a woman who… 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 »

Biden, Travolta, and Entitled Touching

For whatever reason, some people feel the need to touch other people without their permission. We see this all over in society, but it seems to be common among men. More specifically, men touching women without permission. This may seem harmless to most people, but there is a very troubling nature to this kind of touching. On February 17th, our Vice President Joe Biden was doing a swearing in ceremony for the new Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter. After administering the oath of office, he stepped to the side to allow Sec. Carter to speak, and placed his hands on the shoulders of his wife, Stephanie. He left his hands there for over 20 seconds before whispering in her ear and stepping back. Of course, this is nothing new for… Read more »

Texas’ First Same-Sex Marriage: What Will Come Next?

Yesterday was a milestone day for Texans as the first same-sex marriage was performed in the Lone-Star State. It caused a lot of commotion (and rightfully so), however this does not mean that same-sex marriage is now legal in Texas. Seems a bit confusing right? Well it is, but let me break it down for you. Last February a U.S. district judge Orlando Garcia, ruled that the Texas ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. However, that was all that was ruled. Knowing his ruling would be appealed,  Garcia imposed a hold that prevented gays from immediately getting married until the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals would hear oral arguments. The 5th Circuit met on January 5, 2015 and heard from a 3-judge panel, but a decision is still yet to be… Read more »

Sending Love to our Abortion Providers

This week we commemorate the ruling of Roe v. Wade that made abortion legal in our country. In doing so, the doctors who provide abortion services need to be appreciated for their tremendously important work to keep equal healthcare rights alive in the United States. Since Roe was enacted, there have been many attempts to undermine accessibility to abortion and overturn the ruling to keep it legal. Over the past forty-two years, there have been many federal attacks to dismantle equal rights for women. From the Hyde Amendment to Planned Parenthood v. Casey to the rise of state restrictions on reproductive health providers, the doctors who choose to continue to provide abortion services are extremely valuable to anyone who supports equal rights. With all of this documented federal pushback it… Read more »

Marching against Birth Control?

Every year on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, the March for Life holds their annual protest in Washington D.C. Every year their goal is the same- the removal of a person’s right to choose abortion. But this year, the tone of the event may be different, at least for some participants. Following the recent Hobby Lobby decision over contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act, many organizations have been filing suit to remove the requirement they cover contraceptives in their health plans. March for Life Education and Defense Fund, the nonprofit that organizes the protest, is no exception. In July 2014, they filed suit for that very purpose. Although the group carefully avoids talking about whether birth control should be legal and available, it is certainly not… Read more »