Modern Feminism: Birth control laws and the 2015 feminist awards


By Sunflower Rangel, Copy Editor

New Year, New Access to Birth Control

As Dec. 31 became Jan. 1, new laws went into effect across the country. In Oregon, birth control pills are now available without a prescription from your doctor. Now that doesn’t mean you can just walk into your local drugstore and pick up a box of “the pill.” You will need to fill out a questionnaire from a licensed pharmacist and have them assist in picking the right brand. After all that is said and done, you can receive up to a year’s supply of oral birth control. You also need to be 18 or older in order for all of this to occur. Those under 18 still need a doctor’s prescription. Obviously, other forms of birth control such as IUDs and the Nexplanon implant still require a doctor’s prescription and trip to their office. No matter what your chosen form of birth control is, this is a huge step for birth control access. Condoms are quite easy to attain but birth control pills, not so much. There are added steps. You don’t need a prescription for condoms. But you do for “the pill.” Am I the only one who thinks that’s a little messed up? Understandably, some health care professionals are worried that this availability could negate the need for their patients’ annual check-ups. People, don’t skip out on your health! Keep making those appointments and stay healthy.


2015’s Feminist Awards

There are a couple people in the public eye who just really need to be recognized for their strides in feminism this year. My picks are Amandla Stenberg and Matt McGorry. You may know Stenberg from her role as Rue in “The Hunger Games.” She’s only 17 yet proves that young people can really make an impact as well. This year she called out Kylie Jenner for posting a picture on Instagram of her hair in cornrows. Stenberg commented “when u appropriate black features and culture but fail to use ur position of power to help black Americans.” Earlier in the year, Stenberg also made a video for a school project titled “Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows.” I highly suggest watching it if you want a crash course in cultural appropriation, specifically of black culture. Stenberg is very socially aware and uses her platform to educate. She’s inspirational. Speaking of socially aware actors who use their fame to educate and are inspirational… Matt McGorry! You may recognize him from his roles in “Orange is the New Black” and “How to Get Away With Murder,” characters that are in no way feminist. Outspoken male feminists are kind of difficult to come by in this patriarchal society where men are often made fun of for simply believing in equality. Matt McGorry is one of those rare male celebrities who understands gender issues and takes to Twitter quite often to express his opinions on social topics, mostly revolving around gender and race. These tweets usually end up being pretty sarcastic yet still he still manages to make very valid points. One of my favorite threads of his is on how he likes his women and coffee. He writes multiple tweets on the topic, one of my favorites saying, “I like my women like I like my coffee: w/ infinite variations of size, color, & $ value, bc none of these determines its right to be loved.” He ends this group of tweets with a very serious point, “I DON’T like my women like I like my coffee: because women are not inanimate objects that exist solely for my consumption.” Too real. McGorry is also very involved in the Black Lives Matter movement and has written an extremely well thought out essay on the wage gap which makes a lot of important points. He’s an all around really awesome guy. More male celebrities and men in general should take after him. Here’s hoping that there will be so many awesome feminists in 2016 that I will have an even more difficult time choosing who to honor in this column next year.

Thanks for reading!