Home | Menu | Sign Up | Donate

‘I Refuse to Remain Silent’

‘I Refuse to Remain Silent’

“I support Planned Parenthood because I refuse to be placed in a box.

“At a young age, I began to recognize the difference in how boys and girls were treated. I felt confident speaking in class in elementary school, so I frequently volunteered to read and often raised my hand to answer questions. I made sure that others who participated less had the opportunity to speak before I did, but for some reason, my classmates said to each other and to me that I ‘talked too much.’ This confused me — plenty of boys in my class spoke as often as I did, and with far less consideration of others. Did being a girl who had the same confidence as the boys make me a know-it-all?

“In middle school, I was told that my body was a distraction. As a heat-sensitive Oregonian, I wore a tank top to school as summer approached and temperatures peaked. Plenty of boys did, too. I felt that same confusion, then shame, as a teacher approached me in the hallway and informed me that my exposed shoulders broke dress code, and that I needed to go home or change into a shirt from our gym uniform.

“In high school, I became very interested in politics. My parents and I discussed issues such as marriage equality, immigration and reproductive rights over dinner. As I learned more every day, I began vocalizing my opinions because I felt strongly about issues that concerned others’ personhood. I cannot count the amount of times that adults and peers explicitly told me to stop talking about politics because I was just a young girl who didn’t know anything.

“In college, I am now conscious every day of the culture that helps misogyny thrive. I am aware that men who do not know me are constantly waging war on my bodily autonomy, and I refuse to remain silent. Planned Parenthood empowers the girl who wants to participate in class, dress comfortably, voice her opinions and control her own body — without being shamed. Planned Parenthood stands for an apparently radical and controversial philosophy: Women can be trusted to make our own decisions.”

A student at UCLA, Mellissa B. Meisels serves as a Grassroots Organizing Fellow for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon.

Posted on August 1, 2016 in News.
Latest News
Planned Parenthood PAC of Oregon Urges Voters to Learn the Truth About Knute Buehler

Planned Parenthood PAC of Oregon today launched TheTruthAboutKnute.com, a website to educate voters about the likely Republican nominee for Oregon Governor in the 2018 election.

"State Representative Knute Buehler has tried to position himself as a moderate, but his voting record and his public statements reveal that he simply can't be trusted to protect women's health and rights," said Laurel Swerdlow, Interim Executive Director of Planned Parenthood PAC of Oregon. "In the year since Donald Trump has ...

Read More

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon Marks the 45th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Monday, January 22nd marks the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The landmark Supreme Court decision overturned a Texas statute that made it a crime to perform an abortion unless a woman's life was at stake - legalizing abortion nationwide. This anniversary also marks a year of groundswell organizing across the country with people showing support for the health, rights and full equality of all people - including access to a safe and legal abortion. Americans have sent a clear message ...

Read More

>> See all news from Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon.

Latest Campaigns
Share Your Story!

Personal stories are critical when advocating to maintain or even expand access to the vital health services that Planned Parenthood provides. By sharing your story, you can play a significant role in the work we do.

There are many levels of comfort when sharing a personal story. Please share what you are willing, and indicate your permission levels where applicable. Please note: Your story — including your name if you provide it — may appear in public advocacy projects such as Planned Parenthood websites, brochures or other printed material. Even if you do not provide your name, keep in mind that some ...

Read More

>>View more in our Action Center.