Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Tagged: reproductive justice

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 »

How to be an Ally: Notes on Lending a Hand to a Movement which Isn’t Yours

Back in October, my university’s Gay-Straight Alliance hosted a National Coming Out Day panel. Instead of the usual format–which generally entails queer folks sharing their coming out stories– this panel included an equal amount of queer and straight “ally” participants, all from varied backgrounds. After having our interests piqued, several of my Choice USA chapter’s members and I attended the panel. For us, allyship comes with the reproductive justice territory. We understand that there is overlap between LGBT discrimination and reproductive inequality. That said, we only stand to benefit from exposing ourselves to these conversations about the queer experience, right? So the four of us Choice USAers journeyed to the student union theater. We took our seats, shut off our phones; my co-president offered me her usual reminders to stop… Read more »

Environmental Justice and Reproductive Justice: What’s the Connection?

Last Friday, I had the opportunity of attending the One Voice Summit hosted by Advocates for Youth, SIECUS , and the Sierra Club. The panels and the multitude of discussions tied reproductive and environmental justice together in very intricate ways. One of the topics that I believe was especially interesting and relevant was about toxins in the environment panel. It tied products young people use every day and the harmful toxins that may be in them. What made me initially want to write about this is because toxic substances are in everything around us from our chap sticks, to our lotions, our perfumes, and even the receipts we get any time we shop. Seeing the connection with this made me really uncomfortable because I felt overwhelming dread that I really couldn’t escape… Read more »

So… Where Are All the Millennial Feminists?

Last month, Taylor Swift’s “I’m not a feminist, lol it’s not about boys against girls” comment springboarded a lot of Internet feelings and commentary. Jezebel’s Dodai Stewart pulled her hair out and congratulated Swift for missing the point of feminism. Meanwhile, a writer over at XOJane used Swift’s anti-feminism to justify her own tragically limited worldview. Personally, I sat back and patiently waited for Swift-related headlines to stop appearing in my Google Reader. I mean, I didn’t exactly expect a singer-songwriter who once waxed poetically, “So tell my friends that I’m obsessive and crazy/that’s fine/I’ll tell mine that you’re gay” to be a card-toting member of NOW or anything. Just when I thought the “Taylor Swift is not a feminist” horse had been beaten to death, CNN has picked up… Read more »

Transgender Reproductive Injustice: Modern Eugenics

“Little known fact about Sweden, that supposed bastion of liberal idealism: If a Swedish transgender person wants to legally update their gender on official ID papers, a 1972 law requires them to get both divorced and sterilized first.” Nicole Pasulka, Mother Jones. Sweden is considered by much of the world to be extremely liberal and gay-friendly, having one of the highest rates of popular support for same-sex marriage, and more than half of the population supports adoption by gay parents.  Given that Sweden is very liberal, it is no surprise that the law is unpopular and that attempts have been made by Sweden’s moderate and liberal parties to see the law repealed.

My Reflections

The battles have been fought, the words are immortalized in internet memes, and the impact of this election is rippling throughout the country. When the champagne and tears stop flowing in the morning the time comes when we examine the journey we’ve traveled this past year. The time has come to examine what YOU have done to contribute to where we are now. If you feel that last night was a loss, ask yourself what you didn’t do. Did you raise your voice when you felt wronged? Did you stand up for your beliefs in the face of opposition? Did you even take the time to put your beliefs on a ballot? If you feel that these next four years is a great opportunity to further progress, ask yourself if you did… Read more »