Dawna Cornelissen

RH Reality Check

I was raised in the Northeast but now live in Texas where I am a graduate student in Women's Studies. I have a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Central Florida. I love activism and enjoy organizing on behalf of social justice issues, most importantly reproductive health and rights. My organizing experience includes chartering and serving as President of a reproductive rights group on campus and interning with a major reproductive rights organization. My research interests are primarily reproductive health and rights with a focus on Transnational Feminist activism.

Who Cares?

Since issues and concerns that are important to unmarried women are often marginalized by legislators, it is no surprise that Congress recessed last month without fixing the birth control crisis.

The Intersection of Reality and Politics

Dawna reflects on a series of events that caught her off guard: a panel discussion on various faith's perspectives on reproductive rights, the Supreme Court decision, and an awards ceremony recognizing her pro-choice student group.

Is Feminism Bad for Your Health?

It is unfortunate that in the year 2007 feminism still gathers negative media attention with such ease. For the last few weeks the blogosphere has been buzzing with fervor about a study claiming that feminism is bad for people's health. The topic has gone viral, ranging from conservative blogs such as rightthinkinggirl to liberal blogs such as feministe. All you have to do is search for "feminism is bad for your health" and up pops 11,200 results.

The fact that this topic has garnered so much attention, including kudos from Rush Limbaugh, worries me deeply. It is reminiscent of the late nineteenth century theory that education was bad for women's health, which attempted to keep women out of higher education. Fortunately this theory was dispelled, as the one about feminism hopefully will be. As absurd as it sounded, I decided to go to the source and see if there's any merit to the claim that feminism is bad for people's health.

The Texas HPV Vaccine Controversy

The biggest debate in Texas right now is over Governor Rick Perry's executive order mandating all girls entering the sixth grade to be immunized with the recently approved human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine starting in September 2008. The order, signed on February 2, has sparked all sorts of controversy: the conservatives are furious, the liberals are speechless, and the independents are suspicious. Personally, I have mixed feelings about Perry's decision as well. At first, I was elated that Perry, a conservative Republican, was able to see past the absurd argument that the vaccine would increase sexual promiscuity. But, almost as soon as Perry's order was signed, it turned out to be too good to be true.


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