Venus Libido is one of my absolute favorite Instagram accounts. It’s sex-positive, detailed cartoons of women in everyday, not-so-pretty situations convey the reality of how difficult it can be for women to exist in this “picture-perfect” world.
But one of the account’s recent posts divided women in a way I have never seen before by posing the question, “Is shapewear anti-feminist?”
In February, Trump’s administration issued a “gag rule” with Title X, a federal program that provided reproductive health services to many of Planned Parenthood’s patients. The rule would essentially force Planned Parenthood to lie to its patients—about pregnancy options, abortion referrals, and facts about procedures.
Planned Parenthood said fuck that.
Well, they said “no way,” we said “fuck.” Then we threw an event to help educate people on how they can support PP and affordable access to healthcare. Even if you didn’t make it out to Plant Parenthood, we wanted everyone to have access to the information shared.
Dancer, artist, spiritual coach, wife, pastor—the list of roles Amy Shoemaker moves in seems endless. A Kansas City native, she got her degree in theater from Drake University and attended seminary at Pacific School of Religion, Berekely, before making her home in San Francisco for 10 years. There, she worked odd jobs in tech, established a spiritual direction practice and met her wife, Carly. But her dream was always to be an artistic minister; a Christian leader who incorporates movement, dance, and improvisation into spiritual formation. She found that opportunity last year at Broadway Church, one of only 20 (out of 2,000) Kansas City churches that are affirming of queer leadership. She and Carly have been here for almost three years.
We spoke with Shoemaker about her journey, her worship, and what it’s like being a queer, female pastor in Kansas:
When Janice Willis first opened her beauty salon in south Kansas City over 25 years ago, she couldn’t afford health insurance. Eventually, she found a plan she could afford. But even then, Willis says she was scared to go to the doctor because she still had to pay so much out of pocket.
Today, Willis is on a better insurance plan with her now-husband, but she remembers all too well what it was like not having access to affordable healthcare. And healthcare — or rather lack of access to it — is a topic that comes up frequently as Willis gets to know her salon clients.
“When you’re not married and you’re self-employed or you’re just not able to afford [healthcare], you’re just trying to make ends meet,” Willis says. “Believe this, people want to go get checked out but they just don’t have the money to do it.”
With the recent abortion bans in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, Utah, and Missouri — y’know, the cool states everyone loves to visit — reproductive rights have become a popular topic of discussion, spanning generations, genders, and ethnicities. Reproductive rights are trending harder than Keanu Reeves and for all the wrong reasons, but what do the kids think? Here’s a quick guide to help decipher what your kids are saying about reproductive rights: