Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Tagged: reproductive justice

Reproductive Justice Violation: Shackling

I cannot imagine a place where one might stand and have a clearer view of concentrated disadvantage based on racial, gender and class inequality in the country then from inside the walls of a women’s prison. – Beth E. Richie (“Feminist Ethnographies of Women in Prison” Beth E. Richie) Prisons and jails were constructed by and for men. They then became a way of perpetuating the oppression of disadvantaged groups – like people of color, who happen to be disproportionately incarcerated. While the conception of our prison system may not seem pertinent, acknowledging this fact helps to illuminate the disadvantage that exists in these institutions today. Over the past thirty years, the number of women in jails and prisons has grown rapidly. Despite the rise in the incarcerated women population,… Read more »

Domestic Violence, Reproductive Justice & Young People Writing Their Own Narrative

“He refuses to use a condom. I’ve bought them and he throws them out.” –Survivor on the National Domestic Violence Hotline “He threatened me when I asked to use birth control, and always refused to use condoms after we became exclusive. When we decided to continue the pregnancy and marry, the overt abuse started within days of our wedding.” –Jessica’s Story The stories above are an everyday reality for women who are in unhealthy and abusive relationships.  For those who don’t know, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Each October, national and local domestic violence organizations and activists work to mourn those who have died, celebrate those who have survived, and connect those who work to end violence. The statistics around domestic and dating violence are staggering: 1 in 4… Read more »

My Encounter with Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem is my hero. She is a journalist, author, political activist, speaker, and philosopher extraordinaire. Her name is revered in the field of Women’s Studies. Steinem is to Feminism what MLK was to the Civil Rights Movement, or Gandhi was to India’s fight for Independence. She’s contributed a lot to the world around us- and has this glow of warmth that encompasses her radiant personality. She’s tall, slender, and has the most beautiful hands. She’s been in this movement for over forty years- and still as cool and hip as could be. I went to see Steinem this past Sunday at UCLA with the Justice and Gender Education Magazine and Choice USA Club from CSULB. The theater was completely packed. Audience members were given the 40th anniversary edition of… Read more »

A History in Images: 4000 Years for Choice

Today I’d like to set aside all the hate and feelings of defeat we may be feeling during this nerve-wracking time and introduce you all to a beautiful campaign I encountered this weekend. Introducing: 4000 Years for Choice, “a visual narrative about the practices of contraception and abortion from around the world for the past 4000 years. The project hopes to celebrate, inspire, and empower women and men in their reproductive lives!” The project is brought to life by Heather Ault a graphic design artist from central Illinois. She takes a different approach from more common media outlets and wants to reframe the conversation from “To-Do” to “Ta-da.” Meaning that instead of motivating people to act she highlights the accomplishments and great moments of history that have allowed us to be where we… Read more »

Why Does No One Talk About Sexual Assault in the LGTBQ Community?

For the most part, I exist within two realms: That of American women and that of LGBT Americans. When a friend makes the playful joke that my life is “sooo gay,” I can only agree. But it’s also “sooo feminist,” too. These communities aren’t mutually exclusive, though. There’s a lot of overlap between that which is feminist and that which is queer. There is no need to choose sides. If anything, this sort of dual existence has a lot of perks. I have a heightened awareness of the ways gender, sexuality, and privilege all play out in my “gay-to-day” existence. Because I care about reproductive justice, I also care about sexual freedom. And because I care about sexual freedom, I also care about consent, and the things that compromise it…. Read more »

Film Review: The Business of Being Born

I learn more from watching Netflix documentaries than I do at college. Recently my mind has been completely blown by the film The Business of Being Born . If you have a uterus, penis, or anything in between- I strongly recommend you view this film. This film leads the viewer through the process of contemporary childbirth — something society seemingly has under control. Through this film’s exploration of the hospitalized state of childbirth, an incredible number of injustices were unveiled. Until today I never questioned childbirth taking place in a hospital — it’s a social norm. This film opened my eyes to the organic, natural, spiritual, psychedelic, and extraordinary experience birth was designed to be — and how “Western Medicine” has successfully taken this right of passage away from the modern woman. This… Read more »

Reproductive Justice Glossary

Happy Monday, everyone! Throughout history, social movements have excluded individuals and groups who may have been passionate advocates of the cause.  We at Choice USA strive not only to avoid this, but to offer a strong foundation that promotes informed decision-making and consideration of this movement.  In line with this, I have compiled a basic glossary for anyone who may be just beginning to dive into reproductive justice. Additionally, I do not purport to be an expert. This glossary can also serve as a talking point.  Feel free to critique my definitions for being too simple or to suggest terms to add to the glossary. abortion – the end of a pregnancy before birth; can be “spontaneous”, also known as a miscarriage, or induced, the intentional termination of a pregnancy. Abstinence-only… Read more »

Dear Governor Brown

Also posted on RH Reality Check   There are a couple of bills on your desk  I wish to speak with you about. These bills have caught my attention And the nation’s too no doubt!   You’re the person here Who has the power to do much good! Put your autograph on these bills, Oh I wish you would!  

Being a Young Black Woman in the Reproductive Justice Movement

I must’ve been in 4th grade when I received my first exposure to “sex education.”  This came in the form of my class touring the male and female restrooms and receiving a rudimentary lesson on the vagina and the penis, complete with textbook graphics. Ever since then I was hooked. I was the little girl lecturing her friends on the correct way to use feminine hygiene products and explaining exactly what sexually transmitted diseases are. As a teen I was in an organization, Mother Wit, and I spread comprehensive sexual education, health and awareness to other young people of many backgrounds and from walks of life very similar to my own.  I’ve grown up having to battle the stereotypes of being a woman of color which everyone made me feel… Read more »

What the Hell is Reproductive Justice?

I feel compelled to explain something. What the hell is Reproductive Justice? Reproductive Justice, (or as the cool kids call it, “RJ”) is an umbrella term. Reproduction is a vague term; Justice is even harder to define. RJ is associated with, but unique to, “Pro-Choice.” Pro-Choice is a term that emphasizes abortion. RJ encompasses issues beyond abortion — some issues you may have never guessed. A just state of reproductive rights will occur when all persons have the knowledge, economic means, social power, and resources to make informed decisions for maintaining optimal sexual health. “Just” is underlined because this four-letter word is so damn rich in meaning. Eleventh grade Social Justice class defined Justice as: “The recognition that there are enough human and material resources to meet the basic needs of all life.” Read that… Read more »