ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: reproductive justice

We Make the Road By Walking: Trans-inclusive Language and Reproductive Justice

When I think about the ways that queer & trans issues intersect with reproductive justice, I don’t even know where to start. To me, one seems an intricate part of the other; the entire time I’ve been doing reproductive justice work, sexual orientation and gender identity issues have been central components. How can we possibly be liberated as LGBTQ folks without reproductive justice? And how can we meaningfully say as a reproductive justice movement that we center the voices of the most marginalized members of our communities if we aren’t taking sexual orientation and gender identity into account? The beauty of the reproductive justice framework is that it makes room for this kind of intersectional advocacy, and now more than ever I’ve seen LGBTQ issues become a part of the… 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 »

Queer Representation in Sex Education

“We’re not supposed to do it until marriage, okay?” I repeated. “But what if we’re not allowed to get married? Like me. How long am I supposed to wait?” Chad muttered, “Until the cows come home. Mooo.” I spun around and flipped him the bird. Chad held up his hands defensively. Errasco ignored us and erased the board. “I’m serious, Mrs. Errasco. How does this abstinence theory apply to us? Are we never supposed to have sex? Ever?” She set the eraser in the chalk tray and faced front. The atmosphere in the room shifted. Desks creaked. A pencil broke. Minds? Did they shake loose? Doubtful. “Well, Aimee.” Errasco’s eyes lit on me. “I guess that’s between you and your god”’ (from Julie Anne Peters’ “Abstinence Makes the Heart Grow… 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 »

A Woman’s Issue, RIP.

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.  My name is Travis Ballie and I am writing to announce the death of the “woman’s issue.” It died June 4, 1988, when an asthmatic brown boy was born into an opinionated and ambitious immigrant enclave of women. It died when that brown boy’s mother, grandmother, and aunt pooled their funds, love, and wisdom to raise him to never feel foreign in this new land of America. It died when that boy walked across the stage as the first member of his family to graduate college, the women in his life being too busy raising him to ever consider the option for themselves. That… Read more »

When Westerners Engage with International Causes: A Letter on Reflexivity

Dear Readers, On International Thinking Day, here’s some food for thought: how we think about international issues. It’s also National Margarita Day, so feel free to ponder this over a tasty drink. As activists, advocates, students, researchers, theorists, believers in justice and individuals with a cause, we know that the discussions we have in the West – America, specifically – reverberate around the world.  Likewise, Westerners listen for and try to dissect problems around the globe.  With our desire to make the world more like it should be comes the responsibility of reflexivity. Reflexivity refers to the capacity of a person or group to recognize how they have been socialized and how that socialization affects their thoughts and actions – i.e., how their background and identity have shaped and continued… Read more »

Philosophies of the Womb

Do we base our politics on our philosophy, or are our philosophies based on our politics? This is a question that I will begin to explore this semester in my Ethics of Dying course that I’m taking at the University. I find myself continually thinking about politics without really understanding the meaning of why I hold these personal beliefs, too often I think. What does it really mean to be progressive of thought, pro-choice, and accepting of unique identities? How do our experiences of self shape the way we think about others? Being prompted to really examine my belief system is mostly distressing at the beginning stages, but for me that stems from the desire to justify my feelings, which in the world of philosophy, isn’t completely necessary. For further… Read more »

Rape is a Reproductive Justice Issue

Rape is a reproductive justice issue. Choice USA is committed to a world where all people have agency over their bodies and relationships and the power, knowledge and tools to exercise that agency. Sexual and reproductive agency begins with the right to decide where, when, how and with whom we should have sex.  Nothing takes away this agency more violently than rape. Whether you have been sexually assaulted, witnessed sexual assault, cared for or listened to someone who has been assaulted or are among the millions who hear the rising number of reports of survivors of assault, rape has become a part of our everyday culture. The threat of sexual violence affects the way we experience sex, relationships and even our own bodies. As a survivor of rape, your feelings… Read more »

Open Thread: Holiday Fun Times

We hope everyone is having a safe and happy holiday season! As the holidays usually means time with family, we are opening up a thread to talk about the joys of being a reproductive justice advocate around those who may not see eye-to-eye on these issues. So, what’s the funniest comment you’ve received from friends and family about your activism for reproductive justice? It’s like group therapy, only virtual.

The Fiscal Cliff: Not Sexy but a Big Problem for your Sex Life

This post is part of a series from Campus Progress There is nothing sexy about the fiscal showdown in Washington. It’s a complicated mess. Despite that, it’s imperative that our Representatives hear from young people, and critical that they see the connection between sexual and reproductive health and the fiscal cliff. The fiscal cliff is more than a witty metaphor. Plummeting over the fiscal ledge will result in enormous cuts in Title X family planning services, benefits from the Affordable Care Act, funding for comprehensive sex education programs, and maternal health programs. And in a political climate where these programs already hang in the balance, we can’t afford to stand this one out. As young people, we already face a lot of unique barriers when it comes to accessing services and living sexually… Read more »