Welcome to Gender Across Borders’ series on stigma, shame, and sexuality, cross-posted with RH Reality Check and in partnership with Ipas. I am proud, excited, nervous, and touched to be introducing to you eighteen poignant and provocative pieces about an issue that eludes definition: stigma.
The vision for this blog series came out of a number of discussions I had with colleagues at Ipas, a fierce and visionary global reproductive rights organization. Despite the progress that human rights advocates are making worldwide, stigma seems to pervade as a nebulous stumbling block.
The bulk of the series focuses on abortion, but there are also pieces on sex work, queerness, sluttiness, and more. An overwhelming number of submissions on a range of topics poured in from around the world. I was, and remain, immensely moved by the courage of individuals to tell their stories and examine taboo subjects. Stigma survives, in large part, on silence, and this is a collective effort to undo that.
None of us are immune to being stigmatized or perpetrating stigma against others. We put forth this series as a diving board from which to jump into critical analysis and self reflection. We hope you enjoy, ponder, and feel slightly uncomfortable. I’d like to thank Ipas, in particular Kirsten Sherk, as well as Jodi Jacobson and her fab team at RH Reality Check for their work and support.
- The Fence, Wendy Ortiz
- Stigma, Shame, and Sexuality: A Reflection on Abortion, Leila Hessini
- The Hegemony of ‘LGBT,’ Judith Avory Faucette
- A Day in the Life of a Web Cam Model, Eva Rivera
- A Pastor’s Daughter, Taonga Lisulo
- Studying Down: Thoughts on Sex Work, Steinem, and Self-Representation, Melissa Petro
- Abortion, Small Towns, and Young Lives, Paige Johnson
- Oh, The Things These Socks Have Seen, Lindsay Smith
- Ester’s Eyes: Returning from Uganda’s War a Bush Wife, Lauren Wolfe
- The “H” Word, Sarah Elspeth Patterson
- Pivotal Positions: Transforming Abortion Provider Stigma, Jennifer Coletti
- Navigating Sin and Karma in Thailand, Santi Leksakun
- An Open Letter to My Mother, Jessica Borusky
- Late One Night, Gemma Mason
- What We Can Learn From “Pro-Life” Patients, Kate Cockrill
- Abortion On Demand and Without Apology, Sunsara Taylor
- Institutionalized Stigma in Ghana, Jessica Mack
- Abortion in Malta: When Silence Kills, Marie Anne Zammit