ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: relationships

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 »

Shaving, Waxing, and Squeezing: The Horrors of Sex Prep

When I was in 10th grade I found myself in a particularly peculiar conversation with my grandmother. I was on my way upstairs to take a shower and I had my essentials in hand. Of those essentials one in particular stood out to her – a razor. She stared at me and said, “I’ve never shaved down there in my life and I don’t see why you need to.” Pause. Was my grandmother starting a conversation with me about her pubic hair when all I wanted to do was take a shower? Yes, yes she was. Being the angst-ridden teenager I was and still regret to this day, I scowled at her and retorted with some angry response about having hairy armpits and not caring at all about her pubic… Read more »

Child Free by Choice

Our society is based in many ways on children and families. Our culture devotes massive amounts of time and resources to the raising of children. Certainly this is good, as children are the future of our society, and that investment is worthwhile. But one side effect of this culture is the automatic expectation that people have children. I understand that as a man, I certainly don’t face the same type or intensity of pressures as my wife or any woman in our society does. And some of that comes from people believing that a woman’s job is to have children. So part of being seen as an adult woman in our society is having children. So as a man I don’t face the same level of stigma for not having… 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 »

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 »

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 »

Art After Dark: Behind Closed Doors

View image | gettyimages.com Art After Dark, is an annual student -directed production encompassing the talents of students from Spelman College, Morehouse College, and Clark Atlanta University. Art After Dark t analyzes black love, sexuality, black beauty, and spirituality through dance, singing, music, spoken word, comedy, and acting. This year’s theme, Behind Closed Doors, critically demonstrated that beauty, pain, and spirituality related to love can be filled with awkward moments that we can all relate too. As with many productions that occur on Spelman’s campus, the spectators were friends of the performers and did not hold back. They yelled out the names of their friends with pride and the audience laughed at times of humor. Kudos to the performers for sharing their talents and using their bodies to relay well-received… Read more »

Fighting Revenge Porn

Over the past several years, the problem of “revenge porn” has been growing. Revenge porn is commonly defined as sexually explicit material (usually photos or videos) posted online without the subject’s consent. This has been used as a tool to get revenge on a former partner, where usually this material was recorded consensually at the time, but is now a weapon to embarrass, harass, or humiliate the subject. It is an example of how sex crimes have adapted to the digital age. Any person can be the victim of this type of cyber sex crime, although it is far more likely for a woman to be the victim at the hands of her male partner. It can be devastating for the subject, with consequences not only for their mental and… Read more »

How to Deal With Ignorant Comments From Loved Ones

I celebrated my two week holiday break from school by going back home and spending time with my family. I loved seeing them and was happy to have some quality time with my sisters and parents. Still, a lot of my time at home is spent biting my tongue, passive-aggressively sighing and angrily venting to my friends. You see, my parents aren’t the most well-versed in social justice issues. I love my parents a lot. I am incredibly grateful of all that they have sacrificed and all the hard work that they have put forth to make sure that they have a great life. I recognize that having loving parents is a privilege that many do not have. But sometimes, I don’t love my parents. Sometimes, they say ignorant remarks…. Read more »

Why I Married Young

Hello, my name is Paul. I’m a 22 year old college senior, and I’ve been married for 3 and a half years now. Yes, I married my high school sweetheart. We’ve been together since we were a sophomore and a junior, respectively, and we were engaged before I even graduated. After my first year in college (her second), we were married, and we’ve been together ever since. Quick Disclaimer: This post is not an endorsement of young marriage or marriage in general. I only seek to promote respect for everyone’s relationship decisions. Also, this is dealing with my personal story, so there is only discussion of a cisgender, heterosexual experience. This is not everyone’s experience, and that is precisely why I say we should always respect everyone’s relationship choices. In… Read more »