The Truth About Women’s Healthcare

A couple of weeks ago, I participated in a march put on by the Women’s Center at my school. The march was to protest the fake women’s health center that is located right off campus. Previous to this march, I didn’t have any knowledge or awareness on what these were and that they existed. These places are essentially anti-choice organizations that are pretending to a be a medical clinic. Their goal is to prevent women from accessing an abortion, through misleading and deceptive information. These centers use deception in their advertising and websites by lying about medical facts and the services they offer. They also target low-income areas, students, and young women. These people are in a more vulnerable and impressionable state than other groups of women.

For our march, we protested across the street from the Pregnancy Resource Center. We were there to raise awareness about women’s healthcare and the need for safe, accurate, and unbiased information. Any movement is always going to meet resistance and so of course there were some people that got very angry at us. Lots of people flipped us off, called us idiots, and one man got in our faces and yelled about how bad abortion was. We were there to peacefully advocate for the pro-choice movement and to protest the misinformation coming out of the center.

These women’s health centers far outnumber abortion providers in the United States. Their intention is to mislead women about their services in order to get them through the door. Once there, women are manipulated and lied to in order to persuade them away from getting an abortion. These centers receive direct state funding, depending on what state they are located in. It is ethically wrong for the government to give funding to organizations that are anti-choice and do not give women medically correct information. Women need accurate, unbiased information so that she can make the best-informed decision for herself.

If you are pregnant or know of somebody who is, below are some resources you could utilize to help you along the way to help you make an informed decision. Below that, are resources that provide some more information on the fake women’s health centers.

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/

https://endthelies.com/about/fake-womens-health-center-locations/

https://www.prochoiceamerica.org/issue/fake-health-centers/

 

 


IMG_7977Kayla Nessmann is a third-year student at SCSU. She studied abroad in Australia last year and is majoring in English with an emphasis in Rhetoric and Writing and minoring in International Relations. Kayla is very passionate about writing, environmentalism, and violence against women’s issues. She wants to use her degree to combine writing with politics, to help make a change in the world. In her free time, she is writing her first novel, doing outdoor activities, interning at the Women’s Center, and being a Human Relations teaching assistant.

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An Open Letter to Those Who Tokenize Me…

When you ask “Are you adopted from Korea?” I hear the underlying tide of your English is so good! When you follow up my measured response of “No, I’m not” with “Are you adopted at all?” I hear the barely concealed because there are many Asian refugee children! And when you continue with “Are both of your parents Asian?” the blatant suggestion of colonialism oozes to the point I have to physically cringe.

I tell you I’m Filipino-American because I fully embrace and love that title. It does NOT mean that you can talk to me about “Asian stuff.” What does that even mean? I don’t watch anime, I’ve only seen one Korean Drama in my entire life, and my entire existence is not the plot of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before or Crazy Rich Asians.

The very phrase “Asian stuff” completely dilutes every ethnicity and culture that lives within the continent into one mono-ethnicity. My experiences and ‘stuff’ as a Filipino-American varies wildly from the experience of a Korean-American or a Japanese-American. If you want to talk Filipino culture with me, let’s talk, but I’m surely not the person to share your obsession with Kim’s Convenience. And before you get ahead of yourself, no my culture does not only consist of “Lumpia and Chicken Adobo.”

When you say “I love Asian people!” I recoil in reaction. With a history of fetishization, the comment is more predatory and offensive than a way to get into my good graces. At this point, you’re past three strikes, but I continue to speak to you because it’s only polite.

And that’s another stereotype, isn’t it? The Asian girl who will laugh and nod and accept what is being said because I’m submissive. In honesty, it’s the complete shock that someone has the audacity to pry so deeply into my personal life and then put me into the label that you deem all Asians to be. I’ve been incredibly lucky in my life for this to be the first experience of something so blatantly racist, and I’m hyper-aware now, knowing that this will definitely not be the last.

To the person who tokenized me, I leave you with this: challenge yourself and your problematic speech when it comes to Asian-Americans. Realize that we are our own individual people with individual interest and beautiful, rich, different cultures. Don’t expect us to hold your hand and explain every problematic thing to you. Do you own research! I’ll throw you a bone and give you this Ted Talk by Canwen Wu. Neither I nor any other Asian you come across are your Asian Stereotype.

Quite Sincerely,

Mariam Bagadion


CF Staff pic  Mariam Bagadion is a Filipino-American fourth year SCSU student who double majoring Gender and Women’s Studies and English. Mariam has loved writing from a young age and is excited to use this passion to bring attention to and start conversations about feminist issues surrounding identity and pop culture today. Mariam is a writing tutor at The Write Place and in her free time runs a personal blog at micarlixx.wordpress.com and is Game Master for her friends’ Dungeons and Dragons games. Social Media Consultant.

How to be Trans

It always comes as a surprise to me when I hear of discrimination within the LGBTQIA+ community. I assumed that a group of marginalized and discriminated people would stick together, having experienced social exile and not wanting to again. But then I hear someone say, “They’re too masculine/feminine to be Trans”/”They must be faking it”/”How can they say they’re Trans if they’re not…” and I’m floored at the close-minded words of a seemingly progressive concept.

What is the correct way to be Trans?

There isn’t one right way to be Trans just like there isn’t one right way to be any other letter in the acronym. Saying that someone can’t be a Trans-man because he performs femininely is like saying that a woman can’t be a lesbian because she isn’t butch and loves makeup or that a man can’t be gay because his voice is too deep.

The way that someone chooses to perform does not validate or invalidate the way they wish to identify.

The LGBTQIA+ community is filled with people who don’t fit into the Cis-normative/heteronormative boxes that society has constructed. Society said that marriage is between a man and a woman, a heteronormative belief. Lesbian and Gay individuals subvert this. Society says that men have penises and XY chromosomes while women have vaginas and two X chromosomes. The existence of transgender and non-binary individuals subvert that. It shows that there isn’t one way to be a certain gender. You can be a man with curves, with fat on your chest, and with a higher pitched voice. You can be a woman with facial hair; you can be neither on the simple basis that it’s comfortable for you. Gender and the way that it is received in society was created to restrict and label in a way that created hierarchies in our society (i.e. women as the weaker sex to keep them in the home). So why is there a correct way to be Trans? Why put someone in a category that the LGBTQIA+ community was created to resist?

If a Trans-woman says she’s a woman, she’s a woman. You have no right to tell her what she is and isn’t, just as she has no right to do the same to you.

The LGBTQIA+ community was created as a place where an individual could be themselves un-apologetically, a place where they’d be embraced for their differences and spectrum of identity. Invalidating an identity because it doesn’t fit what society says it should be is doing nothing more than participating in the oppressive system that created the need for the community in the first place.

 

 

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Mariam Bagadion is a second year student at SCSU double majoring in Women’s Studies and English. She has a passion for writing and social justice and thinks the coolest thing in the world is when the two can be combined. In her free time, she writes fiction, watches Netflix, and plays one of the three songs she knows on the ukulele.

(Feminist) Thoughts on the March

Just after the Women’s March on Washington, Carly Puch (one of our own!) wrote on her own blog about her experience participating in the march.

She brings together a thoughtful perspective on the empowering heart of the march, critiques of its unmistakable whiteness, and what both of those things mean for the kind of work we have, as feminists, ahead of us.

Here’s an excerpt…

There are improvements to be made, and particularly we white feminists can do better but what these marches symbolized was that recognition. More women are mobilized because for many it is the first time their rights are truly being threatened, whether that be attributed to their race, their class, their age or any other factor that has allowed them to turn a blind eye to injustice. Human rights campaigns in this country have been built on the backs of people of color, do not silence them, but listen and learn to those who have been fighting before you.

Continue reading here!

The kind of work we have ahead of us must not be forgotten or ignored: it must be thoughtful. We must strive to love each other, build bridges between those of us with vastly different experiances, and act beyond our fear to achieve things which may seem impossible.

What do you think?  Let us know here on the blog or write us at collectivefeminism@stcloudstate.edu

Feminism: The 2016 Edition

Reasons we still need feminism,

And More Importantly…Intersectional Feminism,

The 2016 edition

  • Because I had colleagues who said we should be happy Brock Turner got any time at all for raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster…

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  • Because of 49 victims in Orlando, who were murdered for being part of the LGBT community…
  • Because…Brexit…
  • Because, in 2016, Hollywood still puts white people in movies instead of people of color…just because “it sells”…
  • Because “Make America White Again” is an ACTUAL campaign slogan…on an ACTUAL billboard.

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  • Because #OscarsSoWhite was a hashtag…two years in a row…

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  • Because the Supreme Court still has to stop lawmakers from banning abortions… 

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  • Because…Bathroom bills…
  • Because Donald Trump is the Republican candidate for the Presidency.

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  • Because the media only uses the word “terrorist” when describing people of color…

 

 

melissa-anne-frankMelissa Anne Frank is majoring in both Women’s Studies and English Rhetoric at St Cloud State University.  She plans on continuing her education with a Master’s degree and then a Doctorate.  Melissa is a white, cisgender, pansexual who is proud to be part of the Social Media team at the St. Cloud State Women’s Center.  Melissa also writes a personal blog called Musing with Melly on WordPress. Melissa loves reading, writing, video games, spending time with her partner and two children, and crushing the patriarchy! 

Starved for Skin

In flickering eyes

Is the glow of a smoldering fire
They are sizing us up

My body transforms, a whirlwind
A temple for worship
To a stage for performance

All eyes are on me
Shadows flickering on the walls
Whispers scattering
Hurried footsteps down the hall

Their lips glisten in the dark
A shred of light
Despite the darkness trapped inside

Grumbling stomachs
Resonating like heart beats
Growling for me

They are starved
For my skin
Ravenous

For to them
I am nothing more
Than meat

 

grace-espinozas-blog-pictureGrace Espinoza is a junior undergraduate student at SCSU, majoring in Social Work. Grace works at the Women’s Center and the American Indian Center on campus. Grace is a straight, Mexican Portuguese/white woman with a passion for social justice, feminism, and poetry. She has been a published poet several times beginning in the seventh grade and is honored to contribute to Collective Feminism.

 

Reflection from the Post-Production of That Takes Ovaries

By Ruth Sybil May

A few weeks ago, I participated in the feminist play titled, That Takes Ovaries: Bold Women, Brazen Acts by Rivka Solomon and Bobbi Ausubel; of which I was a cast member. The play is an adaptation of the book similarly titled, That Takes Ovaries: Bold Females and Their Brazen Acts, edited by Rivka Solomon. The framework of the book/play is a collection of true stories submitted by ordinary people recounting an experience in which they acted of courageously and bravely, told through first-person narratives. The play was organized by recruiting a cast of diverse community members to enact these true stories on stage in front of an audience, mixing activism with performance art in a way that is humorous, yet serious and inspiring at the same time.

Within the play, I played the part of Drake, a young, transgender man on a path of self-discovery and emotional bravery. During his scene, Drake works up the courage to come out to his mother as transgender despite knowing his mother would not react well. After sharing his truth, his parents are apprehensive at first, but soon do their research so they can better support and love their son no matter what, bringing their family even closer together than before.

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Special Edition: Critiquing the Critique

Women on Wednesday is a critical program with a rich, 26 year history of highlighting the voices of diverse, intelligent, savvy and  creative people, especially women working to end sexist oppression and promote a safe, inclusive and engaged community through advocacy, education, alliance-building and women’s leadership.

On March 30th, the Women’s Center hosted Vednita Carter and Joy Friedman from Breaking Free, one of the nation’s leading organizations for working with victims and survivors of sex trafficking and prostitution, at a Women on Wednesday session titled “Sex Trafficking 201: Dynamics of Prostitution and Sex Trafficking.” We’re excited to report a record-breaking audience of 157 for this engaging presentation from two survivors about the realities of the sex industry and the experiences of prostituted women. (Follow this link to listen to an audio recording of the session and hear their powerful stories yourself!)

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Feminist Frequency Video

Good day!

FeministFrequency is a great outlet for folks who are interested in pop culture and sexism!  Anita Sarkeesian is a “media critic and creator of Feminist Frequency.”

Last week, Feminist Frequency released a new video in “Tropes vs Women in Video Games,” a series that looks at some of the ways that women are portrayed in the prominent culture of video games.

 

Take a look at their website too!  http://feministfrequency.com

Plus, Anita Sarkeesian will be at Minnesota State University, Mankato this Monday April 11th, at 7pm, for the 12th Annual Carol Ortman Perkins Lecture.  This lecture is presented by our fellow Women’s Center at Mankato State.  Here is a link to the event https://www.facebook.com/events/1038093112895537/  and a link to the Women’s Center website!  http://www.mnsu.edu/wcenter/

Scrutiny

Emma Watson, Beyonce, Amy Pohler, and Amandla Stenberg.  These women enjoy fame in today’s society.  Each of these women also provide a great role model to women and girls in terms of reaching out with feminism to better the world for women everywhere.  And yet, what I see in magazines and media coverage mostly is someone reporting about their hair, their looks, their clothing.

The scrutiny of women in the media is extremely pervasive.  Have you ever taken a look at some pictures from awards shows?  A reporter might mention the designer of the tuxedo a man is wearing, but they certainly don’t pick apart the choices he makes for his hair, clothing, or jewelry.  A woman is posed and paraded from the time she steps onto the carpet, and then each choice she makes is dissected by a panel of people, the so called “fashion police.”

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