Kickin’ It With Kara


Kara Brown


Major: Communication Minor: Africana Studies

Spring 2015 Grad (Come On May and Watch Her WHIP!)

From: Cincinnati, OH

Being enrolled in Women, Culture and Power has allowed me to better understand what it means to strive to become an feminist.  I myself have had trouble with being an conscious feminist and knowing that it does not mean to only like or claim only the aspects you want to but being knowledgeable of it all. Learning what gender means to me, identifying and openly expressing my sexuality, knowing my standpoints and location and grasping the effects of how media and culture influence everyday living has helped me become an more aware feminist especially in this complex and diverse world we live in.  One thing I will always remember from this course is the Dreamworlds: Sex and Power in Music Videos the influence that media has on the masses is just crazy to me and made me realize what I need to stop consuming when it comes to media.

Kickin’ It With Kara

Heartbeat and Political Responses


By Jackson Mattek

Thump Thump, Thump Thump

I feel my heart

Thump Thump, Thump Thump

Each ventricle has a story

Hardened by years of work

Of pain

Of the man

Don’t let heartbeat betray me

Thump Thump, Thump Thump

Heart racing

Beats per minute off the charts

As he entered me

Without permission

Without consent

I said no

He left his seed

Thump Thump, Thump Thump

He said he wanted to be with me forever

I was in love

Growing in me a shared life

One part now gone

I’m left alone

One half

To raise a new heart into the world

Can I do it?

Thump Thump, Thump Thump

Will I lose my scholarship?

Is that allowed?

He said he would pull out

He told me everything would be okay

He told me

He told me

He told me


Thump Thump, Thump Thump

Santa Maria

You know I am an honest woman




What’s growing in me

What can I do

Is it too late?

Thump Thump, Thump Thump


What are you…

Yes Daddy

Anything you say sir

I love you

I had a baby doll named Annie.

I learned how to give her CPR

So if she choked

I could re-star heart heart

She stares at me in shame from the bottom of an old toy box.

Thump Thump, Thump Thump

Don’t betray our heartbeats

What are lawmakers and the court saying morally, logically and constitutionally about the validity of the bill?

“In addition to substituting politics for a woman’s right to make healthcare decisions – with trained medical professionals – that impact her health and family, this bill … goes against the oath we took as legislators the moment we were sworn into office,” – Christie Bryant Kuhns, Ohio State House, Democrat-Northside.

“In addition to substituting politics for a woman’s right to make healthcare decisions – with trained medical professionals – that impact her health and family, this bill … goes against the oath we took as legislators the moment we were sworn into office,” – Christie Bryant Kuhns, Ohio State House, Democrat-Northside.

“Conceptually I’m for the concepts behind the heartbeat bill — I always have been — but I just don’t think it’s the right political or legal strategy,I think there is danger of unsettling or frankly harming babies with the bill because of the consequences of that being overturned.” President of Ohio Senate, Keith Faber.

Similiar laws have passed and been proven unconstititutional in other states.

“The centuries-old standard to show life is a heartbeat,” North Dakota Lawyer Daniel Gaustad posed in arguments with U.S courts.

“Has the Supreme Court ever used or mentioned the term ‘heartbeat’ as a standard?” –U.S. Circuit Judge Duane Benton

Viability is the main argument at present when i comes to fetal hearbeat detection and abortion. Vial

“Viability seems to be a scientific or medical decision, not one for judges to decide.”-U.S. Circuit Court Justice Bobby E. Shepherd 


Bloomberg. “North Dakota, Arkansas Challenge Roe in Federal Court.”Maryland Daily Record. The Daily Record, 13 Jan. 2015. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.Thompson, Chrissie. “How Anti-abortion ‘Heartbeat Bill’ Passed Ohio House.” Cincinnati Enquirer, n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.

Thompson, Chrissie. “How Anti-abortion ‘Heartbeat Bill’ Passed Ohio House.” Cincinnati Enquirer, n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.

Heartbeat and Political Responses

Who’s Life Are We Fighting For?

When Does Life Begin?


In 2011, Ohio legislation introduced the “Heartbeat Bill” that stated abortions should be deemed illegal after the first detection of a heartbeat. In most cases, this heartbeat comes as early as six weeks, the time before most woman have not even realized they are pregnant. Most arguments when discussing abortion are centered around “when is this group of cells considered a ‘person?'” We have come up with measurements of time, whether it is the first trimester or the until the first heartbeat, to determine when something has the right of personhood. People have regulated women’s bodies’ prior to Roe v. Wade as well as after, as the legislation is slowly chipped away at; the same legislation that protects the already slim amount of personal rights women have. This form of discrimination perpetuates misrepresentation and energizes a movement to limit women’s reproductive freedom. By not giving women the right to choose, a distance in humanization occurs and discrimination begins to be seen as normal.

So how can we talk freely about reasons for these regulations and so blatantly disregard them in other situations? Underprivileged youth, transgender folk, or woman just trying to make the best decisions for themselves, are not met with the same care and discriminate uproar as the fight for a fetus, when considering personhood. Shaw and Lee ask the question,”If you do grant full personhood rights to a fertilized ovum or fetus, than at what point do these rights take priority over the rights of another fully established person…?” (Women’s Voices Feminist Visions 386). Although the legislation has set forth responsibility for fetus protection, there are not nearly as many rights regarding the protection of minorities. Lauren Zuniga exposes the hypocrisy our society has set forth when defending “personhood.”

In April 2004, President George W. Bush signed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act into law. This law gave a zygote, embryo, or fetus the same legal rights as a person, which in turn, prepared the groundwork for further restrictions on abortion access. Wording is key in this statement and demands an answer to what exactly are a “person’s legal rights?” The right to affordable health care? Not for everyone. The right to feel safe when leaving their house ? Not for everyone. The right to a sustainable amount of food? Not for everyone. The right to an education? Not for everyone. Scenarios that are deemed a person’s right, are not always offered to our societal minority. Without these basic human rights set in place, being alive is not synonymous with “living.” It is one thing to bring a child into this world, but to support the child with emotional, economical, and social stability is another. When will government see that fighting for the rights of a fetus is not enough?

What Does “Pro Life” Truly Mean?

pro quality of life

So what does “Pro Life” mean? The movement is quite clear in their intentions to fight for the right of a fetus and protect the possibility of what “might have been.” But what might have been of the multiple lives that are also affected by this legislation? Mothers who are forced into unwanted pregnancies due to a limited access to affordable healthy care, child prevention services, abortions or other preventative methods, are not always met with beneficial aid from the government. Depending on a woman’s economic situation, the mother and child could be in low financial stability and forced to lean on the government for the help needed. This would lead to a poorer living situation for the mother and child (along with any other children she may have) and a higher dependence on governmental funding. On the other hand, this woman may be extremely lucky and still be financially stable after the birth of this child, but with the extra responsibility of care, her life will never be the same. This mother will face educational and job related struggles, which will inevitably lead to a lower income, housing in a poorer neighborhood, less qualified schools for the child, etc. This vicious cycle creates strife in our economic stability, however, is perpetuated by the government. How can we expect these women and children to reach their full potential when they are not given the choice and resources needed to succeed in our society? These lives (the mothers, the child, the tax payers who must fund the inevitable welfare) are dramatically affected.

We also must consider the lives that are being effected by unsafe pregnancies or abortions or the lives of women who are put in danger when seeking help from a clinic. The Anti-Abortion Clinic Across the Street reveals a startling statistic on the Choices Medical Clinic. Kathryn Joyce writes that the Feminist Majority Foundation found, “32.7 percent of clinics located near a CPC experienced one or more incidents of severe violence…” (428). Joyce goes on to define “severe violence” as: clinic blockades and invasions, bombing, arson, bombing and arson threats, death threats, chemical attacks, stalking, physical violence and gunfire. Not to mention the danger held to the physicians that provide these surgeries or other preventative measures. With the acceptance of the heartbeat bill, doctors who decide to perform an abortion to women past six weeks are charged with a fifth degree felony. That is not even considering the fear, threats, and actual death doctors face because of their work.

pro choice

Wendy Davis, a democratic representative in the Texas Senate and 2014 governor candidate, held an eleven hour filibuster to block Senate Bill 5 by delaying the passage of the bill before its midnight deadline. This bill promotes more restrictive abortion measures in one of the biggest states with an already inadequate amount of clinics. She was successful in her tactics, unfortunately however, this bill was later passed in the legislation’s second session. Sadly, Davis was also beaten by Rick Perry in the 2014 Texas governor election, which opened more doors for reproductive restrictions. In January 2014, Texas offered 25 abortion clinics to women looking for a safe abortions. Due to Perry’s sWendy Davisignage of the House Bill 2, these numbers have quickly dwindled down to a mere 8. Davis has stated that she is “pro life,” exposing the hypocrisy within our current governmental standards. She explains that her definition of “pro life” is fighting for every child that is facing poverty, food insecurities, educational disadvantageous, poor health care, and homelessness already in the U.S. America continuously turns a blind eye towards the injustice that occurs in our cities, our streets, our neighborhoods. The problem is always “there,” some mythical land, far, far away. Whether it is a different country, a different religion, or within a woman’s body, these issues are a dilemma outside of “our” realm. America will graciously meddle with the issues happening in other areas before facing the hard truth that these exact same dilemmas plague our very own country.

Written by: Anna Farris

Bassett, Laura. “‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Ban Advances In Ohio.” The Huffington Post., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.

“Lauren Zuniga’s “Personhood”” YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.

Shaw, Susan M., and Janet Lee. Women’s Voices, Feminist Visions: Classic and Contemporary Readings. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012. Print.

“Tracking Texas Abortion Access – RH Reality Check.” RH Reality Check. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.

Who’s Life Are We Fighting For?

The Choice Is Mine, Not The Government’s


The heartbeat bill is a bill that has been passed recently by the house in Ohio and is now going to the senate. It is real and it’s scary to think that the house could pass a bill that is completely unconstitutional. Unfortunately, what I think the house failed to realize by passing this bill is that women won’t stop getting abortions, they will get them illegally and many will die from their botched procedures. This was a main reason why abortion became legal in the first place, because women weren’t getting proper care from professional doctors. Not only that, but women don’t even know they are pregnant until about 6-7 weeks, to pass this heartbeat bill is practically banning abortion itself. No one will be getting abortions before the heartbeat because they won’t know they’re pregnant! This bill is not only stating that the government has a right to decide what i do with my body but that i’m also too ignorant to understand that it’s not the right choice as if the government knows better than I do. BUT I wouldn’t be a progressive activist if I didn’t understand where these heartbeat bill supporters were coming from. I get it, I don’t necessarily want people getting five abortions because they don’t use birth control and abuse the system but if we want that rape victim, that ectopic pregnancy, that underage child who didn’t know, to be able to get one, if we are to be FOR those people, then we are FOR everyone, regardless of their situation. Regardless of what brought them into that clinic they all have a story and i support them. We can’t say only those certain situations can get abortions because that’s not fair, all or nothing. So I pick all. I will always pick everyone, even if I will never get an abortion myself. It doesn’t matter what I will or will not do, it’s about those people who decided that was their choice and NOT the government’s.  I don’t mind the heartbeat supporters opinion but I do mind when it’s affecting my choice, my decision, all women’s decisions and that I mind a great deal.


The truth is…What is considered life? If we consider life to be a heartbeat why are we killing animals all over the world for our desire to eat their meat? THEY HAVE A HEARTBEAT! Animals may be less superior to humans that think the world is here to serve us, but using the heartbeat as an argument for what is considered life is therefore hypocritical. Also, we will never know what constitutes life, it could be once the baby is conceived, viable, has a heartbeat, has a soul, conception, or just the sperm in a man. The point is we have no guide book to life or what it means to have life and to regulate what constitutes that doesn’t make sense and never will. The definition of life is just an opinion and always will be. If we ask 100 people all of them will say something different.


“I would have supported her right to choose, to choose a life for herself, a path for herself, I would have died for that right, like she died for mine” -Leyla

This spoken poem is one of my favorites because of the quote above. It says everything I could possibly say in one sentence. How she captured what it means to have rights and to die for them, it’s extremely powerful and moving. I also loved the video because it comes from a place of love, she’s not saying that she’s happy about her decision but that it was her choice regardless of how she feels about it and how it was the only decision she could’ve made in that time of her life. I think we can all relate to that situation, feeling like there is only one answer and it might not be an easy one but it might be the right one at the time.

One of my friends from freshmen year of college asked me one day to take her to the clinic. I think she asked me because she knew that out of all her friends I would be the most understanding…and I was. When she came out of that building and opened up my car door I knew from that moment on the girl I once knew had died in that room. She was forever changed and I think she felt ashamed just like Leyla did. My friend did the right thing at the time but of course she will always have the “what ifs” in her head and society telling her that her decision was wrong. So when she moved out of the apartment and found herself in colorado, I knew she needed that, to get away, to find the girl I once knew. The girl who had flowers in her hair and love in her heart, the girl who got me out of a horrible situation and I will spend my entire life never knowing how to repay that, the girl who was once vibrant and happy. I hope wherever she is in the world that she found that girl I once knew because without her, the world would be a dull place.

I think all women like my friend, who made that decision, need people in there life telling them it’s okay, need videos and stories just like Leyla’s helping us realize that we have a choice. We don’t need this heartbeat bill to take away our rights and to dictate what our rights are. I need that choice, my friend needed that choice, and all women need that choice, regardless of why. I never did ask my friend why and I didn’t need to because it was irrelevant, her reason wasn’t going to change the way I viewed her. Whether she got raped or wasn’t ready it will never matter in my eyes why she got the abortion and it shouldn’t matter to anyone else either. Every women’s decision is valid.

Two Content Pages

Thalia Burgio

The Choice Is Mine, Not The Government’s

When Do We Get Our Own Voice?

Sonya Renee says everything beautifully in this performance of Women Deserve Better.  We all deserve the right to our own choices with our bodies.  The people making these decisions for women’s bodies are men.  They are taking away our voice by putting laws over our bodies.  There are many reasons listed in her performance as to why a woman may not be ready for a baby.  No matter what you would personally do, you should not let your own beliefs impact the personal freedoms of others.  The heartbeat bill does not allow personal freedom; it is unconstitutional.  If a woman gets raped, incest, ectopic pregnancy, or simply isn’t ready for a baby, she should have the right to make that decision on her own beliefs and with a doctor.  The more laws put into place restricting and eliminating abortion, the more dangerous it will become for women.  If you think that because it is illegal, it will stop, you are highly mistaken.  A lot of drugs are illegal, and the drug epidemic is pretty bad right now.  Women will still have abortions, but they will be botched procedures killing and causing unnecessary harm to many of them.  Sonya Renee makes an important point in the fact that we have to be careful who we believe with advertisements.  Her example was a girl posing by the words “women deserve better”.  This ad was sponsored by a pro-life organization.  How can you say that women deserve better when you are willing to restrict personal freedoms of women and their bodies?  There are many times that people are caught up in the picture shown to the public, they miss the deeper point.  With that advertisement, they were saying women deserve better, but we are going to restrict them from getting better.  It is ads as simple as this that can distort opinions and add shame to things like abortion.  Our society makes abortion extremely taboo and attempts to shame anyone even in support of the personal freedom.  Women deserve the right of choice, the right to have their own voice.

Our society calls women who get abortions murderers, baby killers, and associate them with the equivalent of someone who would actually take a life.  The heartbeat bill has stated that women will not be able to get abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy; the same time a heartbeat is able to be heard.  Most women don’t even know they are pregnant at this point, and wouldn’t for a couple of weeks after that point.  The heartbeat bill makes no exceptions in any case of rape or incest and will rarely make exceptions for cases involving the health of the mother. These women will still reach out for abortions, just to places not certified.  Do these women not deserve better?  Do these women not deserve their own personal freedom and choice?


Many people don’t know the differences in men and women’s health care. If you ask people the differences in symptoms for heart attacks between men and women most people will answer that they didn’t even know there are different signs.  The difference in our health care for women and men is ridiculous and a huge issue.  Most medical trials are only done on male bodies because the hormonal system is easier to figure out with medications.  After these medical trials are done, only on male bodies, they give female bodies these medications with unknown side effects that can really be dangerous to women’s health.  Even though the life expectancy is about five years longer for women than it is for men, women are expected to be sicker throughout their life time than men are.  Recently, with the affordable care act some progress has been made in the hopes of a better future for women.  It used to be considered a pre-existing condition to be a woman.  You literally could not qualify for health care because you had a pre-existing condition of being female.

Fortunately, things have changed recently on this front due to the passage of the affordable care act.  There are still many disparities in health care for women that need to be changed.  One of the main reasons it is such a big deal that people do not realize the difference in signs of a heart attacks for women is that heart disease is the number one reason for death for women in the United States. Not only do these health disparities impact issues that both genders can face, but also reproductive issues specific to women.  Women should have an affordable healthy way to control their reproductive lives and most do not have access to this.  This is restricted by laws or simply by the fact that a lot of employers do not provide adequate health insurance that covers women’s needs.  There are too many unplanned pregnancies every year because of lack of access to reliable birth control.  It is an unjust system that favors the health and promotion of health of men and this needs to change.  It should be equal care for both genders (this does not mean the same care).

Two Content Pages

Maggie Wilson

When Do We Get Our Own Voice?



I believe people should be able to control their reproduction.  What will the world be like if women can’t decide whether or not they want to have a baby? It will definitely be a closed society.

Poverty affects health. It puts stress on the people in poverty. Women of color and also immigrants are more likely to be poor.  Some people have better health care than others.  In the book its states that gender identities contribute to social movement organizing around reproductive issues. Women’s health access is one of the most important issues determining justice and equality for women.




welfare queen

Mainstream feminists of the 1960s and 1970s regarded the issue of reproductive rights as exclusively the winning of legal abortion, without acknowledging the racist policies that have historically prevented women of color from bearing and raising as many children as they wanted. History of the birth control movement and its racist sterilization programs necessarily make the issue of reproductive rights far more complicated for Black women and other women of color, who are and have been targets of this abuse. Twentieth-century birth-control pioneer Margaret Sanger from her early days as a feminist to her conversion to the eugenics movement, an openly racist approach to population control based on the slogan, “[More] children from the fit, less from the unfit.”

In launching the “Negro Project” in 1939, Sanger’s American Birth Control League argued, “[T]he mass of Negroes, particularly in the South, still breed carelessly and disastrously.” In a personal letter, Sanger confided, “We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to their more rebellious members.”

Racist population-control policies left large numbers of Black women, Latinas, and Native American women sterilized against their will or without their knowledge. In 1974, an Alabama court found that between 100,000 and 150,000 poor Black teenagers were sterilized each year in Alabama.

New legislation is on a fast track in our State House of Representatives, and will make safe abortion services virtually inaccessible to Michigan women.

While recently we’ve seen Virginia require abortion providers to follow unnecessary and burdensome regulations, Oklahoma ban safe, evidence-based uses of medications to perform early, non surgical abortions, and Georgia and Arizona ban abortions during a time in pregnancy when a woman might find out something has gone seriously wrong, Michigan politicians are attempting to do all three – and more – with one vote.

This sweeping and unprecedented assault on women endangers nearly all aspects of reproductive health care by trying to shut down health centers that provide abortion services. Doctors have come out against this legislation in droves because they know that medicine, not politics, should dictate how they treat their patients.

Denying women access to basic health care is not only offensive and wrong, it is out of touch. This year, people in Michigan and all over the country, have made it clear that we don’t want politicians restricting access to woman’s health care.  With Ohio and Michigan bordering one another a similar demonstration will be imperative for Ohio attempt to modify our legislation of reproductive justice!!!