LorettaRoss.com - Achieve Reproductive Justice through Human Rights!

‘During the in-class discussion with Ross, I asked the question of how the feminist movement could better serve African-American women. Upon asking the question, she asked me to examine the way I structured my question because in the way that I had stated it, there was an assumption that African-American women are not a part of the movement and that they needed saving by white women. While this was not my intention in creating the question, I was glad that Ross asked me to rethink the question.’

“There is always going to be oppression, the question is: will we let it energize and fuel us or exhaust us?” was something said during Loretta Ross’ speech that stuck with me. Fighting against all the hate and discrimination so many of us face on a daily basis can get extremely exhausting, and this has been a common statement from all of our speakers thus far. Yet they all have had the same advice; it is exhausting and you must take care of yourself, but you have to keep fighting, because if you don’t then who will?’ 

‘During the class lecture, we talked about how white women in the US can be persuaded into breeding through incentivizing healthcare and debt forgiveness in exchange for children. We specifically talked about white women in college selling their eggs to pay off student debt. This conversation struck me because a few semesters ago, I had seriously looked into selling my eggs to make some money for paying off my loans. Student loan debt is a thought that is constantly weighing on my mind, and I was looking for any outlet to make it go away. After talking with Ross, I realized that selling my eggs is a privilege I did not know I had because people believe that white babies are more valuable than babies belonging to minority groups. I have decided that I am not going to sell my eggs because I do not want to partake in the culture of white supremacy that uses my body to its advantage.’ 

‘This talk addressed a point that I have struggled with in my own life. I have always wondered how I can support and be involved in movements that I do not have personal experience with. I have always been afraid that it will seem as if I am using my white privilege to try and take over someone else’s narrative. Ross’ poignant acknowledgement of this issue helped me in my thinking: I can support a movement and issues that do not necessarily affect my life personally, but I cannot appropriate someone else’s struggle. I can avoid this by listening, learning and letting other’s narrative and goals inform my actions within the movement. An example would simply be asking how I can be beneficial without assuming that I know the answer or the best way to further the (feminist/reproductive justice) movement.’ 

‘Loretta Ross’ statement, “when we ask people to give up hate, we have to be there for them when we do,” really resonated with me. She discussed her experience deprogramming Klan members and how she developed the skill-set to have conversations with people she does not agree with. I have found that in my generation, the way people try to resolve an argument is by fighting fire with fire. That quote helped me realize that in order for there to be any significant change in the way that people treat others, I must offer support instead of blatantly disregarding the conflict.’ 
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