Unfortunately, due to the fact that I am a science major, I’ve had very limited opportunity to do much writing here at U of M (part of the reason why I decided to do the MiW!). Last semester I took Intro to Public Health and was given a paper assignment based on a controversial public health issue (we had a few to choose from). As I read through the options my heart leapt from my chest! Finally I was presented with a topic I truly felt passionate about! Not so. I selected the controversial decision by the FDA to ban MSM (men who have sex with men) from donating blood for a full year after their last sexual encounter with another man, a ban that previously prevented them from giving blood entirely. I was more excited to write that paper than any paper I had ever been presented with until I realized it was a research paper. It was not meant to be argumentative in any way; I simply had to present the cold, hard facts and keep my writing devoid of any and all personal bias/opinions. (I mentioned this in class- I had to scrap the entire first draft because it was so obvious how I felt on the topic).
I want to repurpose this paper in a way that I can use the passion I feel instead of trying to remove the passion from it. I will concede that because it was a research paper I did learn an incredible amount on the topic, which, if anything, only served to make me want to write my argument that much more. (We live in Ann Arbor guys, we’re all progressive. To put it bluntly, I think the FDA ban is stupid). In repurposing this paper I want to turn it into a sort of argument against the necessity of the FDA ban; how outdated it is both medically and culturally and how it now has negative impacts rather than postive. However, I don’t really want it to turn into your classic academic argument paper; I’m hoping to bring a little more humanity to it, make it something that could theoretically reach an audience outside scholars or students (perhaps people of the MSM community?). I think the cold, hard medical facts behind why the ban doesn’t need to exist need to be in the paper, but I’m also thinking about adding a “cultural snapshot” aspect, if you will. A look into how the blood ban has impacted the MSM community of today, an attempt to encapsulate the emotional side behind the ban. Using articles written after the Orlando nightclub shooting might come in handy, as well as art projects protesting the ban, etc. I’m not entirely sure what the technical “form” of this paper will be, so maybe that’s where you guys can help me out
Any and all thoughts GREATLY appreciated, I need your brains.
– Janine (J9)