ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: young people

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 »

Take Back the Night at Texas State

This week I attended my first Take Back the Night event at my university. For those who aren’t familiar Take Back the Night is a national organization that serves to create safe communities and respectful relationships. They seek to end sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, sexual abuse. The way my university organized was with a march through campus that culminated with a spoken word open mic at our outside amphitheater. I got a couple of my friends together and we met up with the other organizations that were sponsoring it and decided to march. It was a little nerve-wracking just because it was the first time that I openly marched for anything on campus. I’m an anxious person so I usually choose to show my activism in different ways, but this… 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 »

Abandon Girl Hate

Last night, with no explanation, I walked by a girl who I instantly didn’t like. It might have been because she stared at me with a look of judgment in her eyes. It might have been because she was prettier than me. It might have been because patriarchal values have taught me to hate other women. I like to think I’m a pretty accepting person. So you can imagine my internal struggle as I try and talk myself down from girl hate, the phenomenon of hating other girls based solely on the fact that they are another woman, not for any legitimate reason. Before I knew about feminism, before I knew about social justice, I internalized everything that our society tells us about women. You should judge a woman for… Read more »

The Bechdel Test for Music

You might be familiar with something used to critique the film industry called The Bechdel Test. In 1985 it was created by a cartoonist named Alison Bechdel as a way to measure female representation in films. The test has three easy parts, A film has to have at least two women in it They have to talk to each other They have to talk about something other than a man Seems simple enough? Amazingly however today still about half of films don’t pass the test. As the test remains a good starting point for critiquing our film consumption I wondered if the test could be applied to other fields as well, like television or music. Then I found an article written for Pitchfork by Paul de Revere that adopts the Bechdel Test… Read more »

Fraternities and Guilt by Association

I’m sure by now most people have seen or read about the video that was taken of members of the SAE chapter at Oklahoma University chanting racial slurs. There have been countless articles written on it, tons of media coverage, and lots of social media interaction. The hashtag #SAEHatesMe has been used to talk about all sorts of issues relating to racism in Greek life. After this video surfaced, OU president David Boren issued a statement condemning the actions of this group. I should applaud the administration for their swift action, but I also think that making a statement that “Real Sooners are not racist” is a little bit ironic. However, the statement issued was undoubtedly further than the University had to go to deal with the problem, and going… Read more »

The Flaws of Parental Notification Measures

California has a reputation for being an incredibly liberal state filled with hippies and surfer dudes, but as a California native, I can tell you that such stereotypes are far from the truth. A good deal of the state is actually very conservative. How else do you make sense of a same-sex marriage ban successfully passing when left to the voters back in 2008, in this, one of the most liberal states in the nation? It’s because of this knowledge that I wasn’t all too shocked when I found out that there’s an abortion initiative gathering signatures to mandate parental notification for teenagers. It’s important to realize that California already has a law on parental notification, but it’s not really enforced. What this measure would do is force a pregnant… 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 »

5 Things I Learned From Lobbying at the Capitol

Yesterday I did something I wouldn’t have expected myself to do in a million years. I went to my Texas State Capitol and lobbied for a package of reproductive healthcare bills under the ‘Trust. Respect. Access.’ campaign. We had bills that addressed the need for comprehensive sex education in schools, to bills that addressed  the state-mandated 24-hour waiting period for abortions. But all the bills really simply fit into the platform of ‘Trust. Respect. Access.’ which means that we: Trust Texans to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions Respect the knowledge of healthcare professionals and their medical and ethical judgement about the care each patient needs. guarantee that everyone in Texas, if so chooses, gets Access to a safe, compassionate, and timely abortion. I learned so much from the training before… Read more »

5 Reasons Why I Can’t Watch The Duff

View image | gettyimages.com From the moment I saw a trailer for the The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) , I knew I did not want to watch it. Granted, I have not read the book either. Even so, I know that The DUFFmovies is not for me. From what I understand, the story is about an adolescent girl named Bianca (played by Mae Whittman)  going through the trials and tribulations of high school. An “attractive guy” in her class points out that she is the DUFF of her friend group. Her “unkempt hair,” lack of make-up, and aptitude for chemistry makes her unattractive and thus undesirable to others. I can’t find myself within this narrative. I am just not looking forward to finding a person of color serve as… Read more »