Forty years after the landmark decision, Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion, a woman’s right to make her own reproductive decisions is still a hotbed of discussion in state legislatures and a target of lawmakers. Outside of these state capitals, talking about abortion is still largely taboo.
Sarah Erdreich is trying to open up a larger discourse about reproductive rights and the next generation of women. Generation Roe: Inside the Future of the Pro-Choice Movement tackles the difficult issues of stigma, activism, pop culture and how to talk about abortion as not just a scary political battle but a more nuanced, personal choice for all women.
I had a chance to speak to Erdreich about the book and what she believes are the biggest issues facing the women who came after Roe and the right to choose. Keep reading »
This week’s issue of The New Yorker includes a feature by Margaret Talbot, on the rise of young kids and teenagers identifying as transgender. While the concept of transgender isn’t new, there’s a trend emerging; kids as young as three are identifying as trans. Depending on the openness and support of their parents, many of these kids are begin to transition before they even reach puberty.
Talbot’s article opens with the story of Skylar, an attractive and popular teenage boy who just happens to have been born a biological female. Skylar was open with his parents from the beginning about feeling like he was born in the wrong body, and thankfully, they supported his decision to live happily and healthfully as a boy. Still in high school, he got “top” surgery to remove his breasts, but doesn’t plan on getting bottom surgery. What’s more, his identifying as trans wasn’t some desperate desire to make his gender match up with a heteronormative sexuality: Skylar now identifies as a gay man.
“The whole sexuality thing never seemed like a big deal.” he says. “I never came out to anybody as gay. Sometimes I forget that coming out in terms of sexuality is a big deal.”
Skylar is lucky: again, his parents are supportive, and he happens to live in a liberal suburb of New Haven, Connecticut, where his school and friends were, if not enthusiastically supportive, at least respectful of his choice. Many, many, many transgender kids are not so lucky, and we’d be remiss to ignore their reality — one study reports that 41 percent of transgender people attempt suicide at some point.