Saturday, June 27, 2015

Celebrating Love

When I got a text from my friend Brittany on Friday morning telling me the Supreme Court had made same-sex marriage legal in all fifty states, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I never thought I would live to see that happen.
the excitement in our group chat yesterday

I was fortunate to catch about an hour of the CNN coverage in Washington and I had never heard the story of the man who the Supreme Court case was named after but now I have no doubt that Jim Obergefell will become a household name. The speech he made moved me to tears and kept me in tears for about twenty minutes.
Jim Obergefell

 One of the most exciting things for me about this is knowing that my best friends will be able to marry the people they love. I have so much love and admiration for my LGBTQ+ friends and could not imagine my life without their support and friendship. The other thing that really makes me happy about the fantastic outcome of this ruling is that my younger siblings, cousins, and someday my own children, will be growing up in a less hateful America. It gives me hope that they will grow to be open minded and accepting.

In the wake of several hate-fueled crimes against black Americans, this is one little light in a dark and difficult time for our country. Both Obergefell and President Obama addressed the recent shooting in a black church in Charleston, North Carolina. The victims of the racist crimes will not be forgotten.
President Obama's amazing speech yesterday 

But even in the wake of a tragedy, on Friday we were all given a reason to celebrate. And we are. We can celebrate love, happiness, and the dawn of a new United States. Seeing live footage of the gigantic group of people outside the Supreme Court yesterday was overwhelming in the best way. This is the icing on the LGBTQ+ Pride Month cake. And we can only go forward from here.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Video of The Week: "How Did I Fall In Love With You" by Backstreet Boys

Everyone reading this should know I have developed a really weird thing for 90s and early 2000s pop. I love it. I'm not usually into boy bands but the Backstreet Boys are definitely an exception. I have a lot of appreciation for the harmonies in this and the extremely sappy lyrics. If you like this, the rest of their music is worth the listen. Click below to hear "How Did I Fall In Love With You".

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Video of the Week: "I'm The Best" by Nicki Minaj

Before I listened to the Pinkprint album a few weeks ago, I wasn't really a Nicki Minaj fan but recently I have really started to get hooked on her music. Nicki is a powerhouse in her music and when dealing with the press and sexist questions. The song of hers that I chose for this post actually brings tears to my eyes. This song is truly powerful and encouraging. In her song "I'm The Best", Minaj raps about her mistakes and struggles as a child and young adult but you can tell there is pride behind her words when the lyrics talk of how she now has enough money to buy her mother things and can make her family proud. She also provides encouragement for other girls who are struggling with lines like "I'm fighting for the girls that never thought they could win." The line that always makes me cry though is "to all my bad bitches, I can see your halo." Nicki sets an incredible example with her powerful lyrics, confidence, and how she owns her sexuality like a "boss ass bitch." Props to her for showing young girls that even if you go through terrible things in life, you can still always come out on top.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

June/July Playlist:Summer Jamz

Yes, that is jamz. With a z. Well, summer is like, here and stuff so that's cool. I had a butt ton of fun making this playlist and I'm extremely excited to share it with everyone. Although I never ever thought I would have Britney Spears, Fall Out Boy, and Modern Baseball on the same playlist but here we are. So, go on a hike or be obnoxious and blast this while driving around in your weirdly low to the ground car, or sit under a blanket in eighty degree weather and listen to Summer Jamz.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Stats and Facts About Abortion, Sex Education, and Contraceptives

You've most likely heard the terms pro-choice and anti-choice when discussing reproductive rights. Some people have heard these phrases before but might not have the definitions straight. Allow me to "break it down, yo." Someone who is pro-choice supports the idea of keeping abortion safe and legal and making contraceptives easily accessible. People who identify as anti-choice do not support keeping abortion legal or making contraceptives easy to access. These clashing viewpoints cause a lot of issues and raise a lot of important questions about legal and safe abortions along with the way sex education is being taught in America.

Women's clinics are places that provide abortions, pap smears, birth control, and other needs related to safe reproductive health. I spoke with a fellow feminist named Megan Delilah who works as a paid clinic escort in her state. The title of clinic escort is an important one. There are a lot of anti-choice people who protest outside of women's clinics and harass the people working there and going there for services. Megan's job is to help keep these protesters in check and make sure that any patrons of the clinic get in and out safely. I asked Megan if she had ever dealt with any particularly nasty protesters and she gave me some incredible feedback.

 She said "[My experiences have] probably not been as nasty as some others, but there have been some gross moments. The first few times I did escorting it was part of an escort/counter protest campaign during the antis' 40 Days For Life campaign, (if you don't know, it's forty days of constant protesting outside of abortion clinics.) So, half of our group would hold signs and generally try to piss off the antis while the rest of us waited for patients in order to walk them in. I was doing the counter protesting aspect on one particular day, and one of the antis was putting rosaries on the fence posts outside of the clinic. He's not allowed to do that because that's clinic property, so my friend and I simply took the rosaries off the posts and put them next to a backpack he had placed on the ground. When he saw us doing that he got extremely angry, called us bitches, and threatened to slap my friend, I can't remember if my friend called the cops on him for threatening her, but if she did they didn't do anything about it." Megan also talked about anti-choice protesters that bring microphones and yell about how "everyone is going to hell, killing babies is sin, God is coming, etc." Megan has also been personally targeted by anti-choice protesters.
American anti-choice protesters

 I asked her what a normal day as a clinic escort is like and she replied with "It's usually boring. There's a lot of waiting involved. However, it's also really fulfilling because I get all kinds of relieved looks and gratitude once I let patients know that I'm there to make sure the protesters have a tougher time harassing them. The antis can be annoying sometimes, but live tweeting their antics can make it bearable, and it's always fun to drown out their terrible singing or chanting by blasting music. They're not big fans of the The Clash. I also get a lot of people 'praying for me' and by 'praying for me' they mean staring at me intently while they chant stuff in what appears to be an attempt at an exorcism. So far it hasn't worked." She summed up her usual day as "boring, fun and also extremely important." Some of the lengths the anti-choice protesters go to are insane. In Massachusetts anti-choice protesters only have to be a minimum of six feet away from a clinic when protesting. And this law was put in place because of the murders of two Massachusetts Planned Parenthood employees committed by two anti-choicers in 1994. In the summer of 2014 the Supreme Court unanimously overturned a Massachusetts law that would have put a thirty-five foot "buffer zone" between anti-choice protesters and clinics. Many people who are anti-choice base this belief on the teachings of their religion. This is evident in the quotes from Megan I shared earlier.

While abortion laws are kind of strict in America, things are worse in other nations. When I was researching this topic I found that women in developing countries account for ninety-five percent of illegal abortions. Many countries where abortion is illegal or highly restricted have significantly higher abortion rates than countries with liberal abortion laws. The approximate numbers of women who were hospitalized after unsafe illegal abortions in these countries are shocking.

Bangladesh: 71,800
Brazil: 288,700
Chile: 31,900
Colombia: 57,700
Dominican Republic: 16,500
Egypt: 216,000
Mexico: 106,500
Nigeria: 142,200
Peru; 54,200
The Philippines: 80,100

And 80,000 women die every year from complications from illegal abortions. But even with these staggering facts and statistics some minds are still unchanged. In an article by Maya Dusenberry on, I found out that pro-choice legislators took a stand more than ever in 2014.The State Legislators introduced ninety-five bills to expand access to abortion according to the Guttmacher tally, But in January of this year, the House GOP proposed a 20-week ban on abortion. This meaning that if the ban is approved, a woman will not be able to legally obtain an abortion twenty weeks or later in the pregnancy.
my favorite quote from Friends that kind of applies to this 

By the age of forty-five, three out of ten women will have had an abortion. That's a lot of ladies. A lot of middle schools and high schools teach abstinence only sex education. A lot of people think that teaching adolescents things like "nobody wants to have sex with you if you've had multiple sexual partners in the past" and "STDs are scary and there's no way to prevent them" (and we're gonna use them as a scare tactic so you don't have sex) will lower teen birth rate and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and infections. What we're not being taught is how condoms work, what the full anatomy of the male of female sexual organs are, and how to respond when someone is being pushy or abusing you sexually.

Rape is taboo. The female body is taboo. There are boys that don't even know females pee and menstruate out of different places! The subject of sexuality is never even touched on. All because adults are afraid and because of that, their kids will be afraid. Our country sexualizes the female body all the time but never bothers to talk about how crazy cool it is! If we want to, we can carry small people in our uteruses! But carrying those small people is a choice that everyone with a uterus deserves to have. Countries with the lowest abortion rates are Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. They all have liberal abortion laws, good healthcare, comprehensive sex education, and accessible contraceptives. Megan had this to say about the importance of accessible contraceptives. "[Not having accessible contraceptives] is a safety issue for women and not having this access means a lot of women dying preventable deaths." She is right in saying this. Easy access to contraceptives has saved a lot of women from a lot of pain and difficulty and that will hopefully continue. It is imperative that eventually every woman has the ability to choose. Although it is a hard goal to reach, I think we can do it.