Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Tagged: young people

A wolf in sheep’s clothing, is still a wolf

Recently, a mother in Pennsylvania was sentenced to prison because she ordered the abortion–inducing-drugs – misoprostol and mifepristone, over the internet for her daughter who was in the early stages of a pregnancy.  Before I get into the details, let’s read this quote from the prosecuting attorney in the case:  “it is vital to note that this case is not about pro-life or pro-choice. In actuality, this case is about endangering the welfare of a child through the unauthorized practice of medicine and pharmacy.” Actually, no.  The daughter in this story was not experiencing any symptoms that were abnormal for an abortion of this kind.  The abortion pill induces a miscarriage, which can lead to severe cramping, the exact symptoms the daughter was experiencing.  Therefore, the prosecutor’s claim that this… 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 »

Treat Yo’ Self: Activist Self-Care

Working to create heal communities and comfortable spaces for everyone can be draining and we need to make sure we are making time for ourselves so that we don’t burn out. You’re doing amazing work, just don’t forget to treat yourself once in a while. This past weekend my friends hosted a feminist brunch where we were able to talk about all of the stresses of activism and living in patriarchal society. We talked about everything from how Emma Watson’s feminism speech for the UN didn’t quite do us justice, how all the white boy organizers love Chris Crass and why some of us are not on board with his allyship, and about how we can keep spaces feminist within organizing while still being inclusive. As activists who are constantly devoting ourselves to… Read more »

Still Here, Still Queer

The past week has brought us great news for marriage equality in the form of the Supreme Court rejecting appeals against marriage equality from five states, a decision that in turn affects anti-marriage equality laws in six other ones. While marriage equality remains on unstable ground in Idaho and Nevada, the LGBTQ community continues to see decades of struggle for the right to marry come into fruition. In the meantime, queer young adults on campus still struggle. While marriage equality undeniably helps couples and their families, for other members of the LGBTQ community it’s often irrelevant. What’s more, the disproportional attention that marriage equality receives as an LGBTQ issue over other concerns the community has underscores much of the frustration its younger members have about their place and value in… Read more »

The Kids Will Be All Right

Earlier this week, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) approved for the first time the use of long-acting contraceptive methods (LARCs) as the first recommended choice for teens. These devices, the intrauterine device (IUD) and the implant, offer the best of protection against unwanted pregnancies for at least three and up to twelve years (ten FDA-approved). This is especially good news considering that Skyla, the newest IUD on the market, was designed explicitly for young people and/or those who haven’t given birth.  Two of the biggest reasons why it’s been difficult for those groups to find a gynecologist who would be willing to prescribe them IUDs were the slight risk of expulsion from the uterus before pregnancy has occurred, it was something that doctors used to discourage or outright deny… Read more »

Should athletes be role models?

Throughout the years, we’ve had a lot of conversations centered around whether professional athletes should be considered role models. From Charles Barkley famously saying, “I am not a role model” to many examples of athletes being involved in criminal activity, there is a clear argument for moving to separate athletes from the idea of being a role model. But, many argue that the discussion is much more complicated than that. Athletes, they say, are going to be viewed as role models whether or not they choose to act like one, simply by virtue of their celebrity status. There are plenty of examples for why professional athletes make terrible role models. Criminal behavior ranges from DUI’s and speeding tickets to murder, rape, and domestic violence. Integrity is questioned when players test… Read more »

What Fighting Sexual Assault Looks Like on My Campus

It’s no surprise to anyone even halfway paying attention to the news as of late that campus sexual assault is a buzzy topic right now. From the release of 55 universities under investigation by the federal government, to the viral picture of an alumni refusing to donate until their alma mater addresses sexual assault, to college students posting a rapist list of students who were found guilty yet never charged—sexual assault on campuses is causing a huge national discussion. Much of this media attention is credited to the White House itself assembling a task force on sexual assault. In April, the White House released a report on how campuses can combat sexual assault. These guidelines, and the task force recommendations (as well as the reason the White House even assembled… Read more »

Ways to Stay Involved in Reproductive Justice Activism Now that You’ve Graduated College

If you’re like me, you became involved with reproductive justice activism in college. College was where you first realized that underneath your sarcasm, snark and occasional misanthropic tendencies, you really wanted to be an activist. You channelled all your angst, frustration and passion into reproductive activism. It’s awesome that  you spent four years or five years or two years learning about and engaging with reproductive justice activism. Or maybe you were late to the party and have only been involved during your last semester of college. Now you’re about to graduate and you’re panicking, not because you don’t have a job — well, that too — but you’re panicking because you don’t know how to continue your activism now that college is over. Fret not dear friend, I’m here to… Read more »

Bureaucracy Busting: LGBTQ Efforts at UT-Austin

Earlier this week, the Department of Education and the Office for Civil Rights extended the Title IX clause to protect transgender students from discrimination in schools. The OCR explained, “Title IX’s sex discrimination prohibition extends to claims of discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity…” This is a monumental step for trans* folks as transgender students face sweeping forms of discrimination, bullying, and violence in the classroom. Though this is a huge step for the LGBTQ movement, when it comes grassroots approaches, how effective is youth advocacy and organizing? At Texas universities, it has become clear that top-down approaches will be the only way to create effective change.

Looking Back: (Almost) A Year of Blogging

Last July, I hopped on a plane to attend the Choice USA National Conference, where I met an engaged community of young people working and organizing for reproductive justice all over the country.  These amazing young people organized in their schools and communities for things like increasing access to sex education and resources for trans* individuals, they marched against sexual assault, they organized LGBTQ-positive events on their campus.  They were doing the important work necessary to expand and protect reproductive justice for all people in this country and I got to spend several days with them in the nation’s capital, learning and sharing. Since that conference, I have been continually inspired by the ChoiceUSA community in my year blogging for ChoiceWords.  Through this blog, I got to share my opinions… Read more »