Here at Bluestockings Mag, we’ve had a CURRENTLY CRUSHING ON section since the inception of our blog, highlighting people from around the world who are doing or have done incredible activism, usually related to gender-aware or feminist work. Recently we realized – why not expand this section to our own campus, where our peers are constantly doing inspiring, amazing work? Here’s our first BROWN UNIVERSITY CRUSH, Jennie Glass, one of the campus interns for Planned Parenthood this year.
1. Tell us about you.
Jennie Glass, 2013
Concentrating in Hispanic Studies
I’m passionate about everything from yoga to 90’s R&B. I grew up in Alaska.
2. Who is your feminist role model and why?
Hillary Clinton, always and forever. Throughout her entire career she has been an unapologetic and indomitable advocate for women. As Secretary of State, she was the first to make improving the status of women and girls a central element of US foreign policy. This is huge because sexism is often tolerated in the name of cultural relativism and hopefully the State Department will continue her legacy of commitment to family planning as part of global health and women’s rights as human rights. Maybe one day people will quit scrutinizing her hair and pantsuits and marriage – regardless, she’ll never quit being fierce.
3. Why did you decide to work at Planned Parenthood?
I’ve always been interested in women’s health and had been volunteering in the emergency room at Women and Infants Hospital for three years when I finally accepted that science classes made me miserable and there was no way I was going to practice medicine in any capacity.
I started looking for other ways to get involved in sexual and reproductive health and was so excited to learn about the Campus Action Internship because I’ve always respected Planned Parenthood as an organization.
4. What is your favorite part of being an intern there? Was there a specific moment or event that has significantly impacted you?
There is a journal at the clinic where women can share their stories while they’re waiting and I was asked to read through it and help put together a collection. Most women expressed deep shame and guilt about choosing to terminate a pregnancy and it’s so upsetting how as women we’re made to feel selfish for wanting to make decisions about our bodies and our lives. Learning about other women’s tough life circumstances and family situations me realize that true reproductive justice goes beyond the right to choose an abortion and must include economic and social justice.
5. Tell us some of the things you’re proud of.
In my life, I’m most proud of wonderful friendships here at Brown.
Related to feminism, on my semester abroad in Uruguay, I interned at Amnesty International researching their role as an international human rights organization in the local movement to decriminalize abortion. Uruguay is like Rhode Island in that it is so small you can really make an impact – on one of my very first days they told me to just pick up the phone and call the First Lady to talk to her about reproductive rights. We did months of organizing, campaigning, and lobbying and just days after I left the Senate in its very last session approved a bill decriminalizing abortion, so that was definitely a proud moment.
6. Any advice for your freshman self, or to your younger peers?
Worry less. Go out more. Chem 33 is not worth your tears.
7. What do you do when you are having a bad day?
Bake. I know Hillary doesn’t think much of women who stay at home and bake cookies but some days it just needs to happen.
8. If you could be any famous artist, who would it be and why?
Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia, Wild Flag, Sleater-Kinney) because she’s hilarious, has awesome style, and is in a girl band.
9. Favorite class at Brown?
The Intimate State: The Politics of Family, Sex, Gender with Robert Self and everything taught by Julio Ortega in the Hispanic Studies department.
10. Add a question and tag the next person that you are inspired by!
Shira Atkins – if you were a yoga posture, which would you be and why?