Why I love my girl-moms.
Girl-mom took part with the US Social Forum in Atlanta on June 27, 2007 to July 1, 2007. Hopefully there will one yearly, hopefully in the midwest this next year!
The organizations who wrote the brfefing book on reproductive rights and freedom want girl-mom to contribute. I had post this, though: (my wonderful single mama, med student friend wrote up the questions.)
*www.girl-mom.com is a progressive community aimed at young mamas, ran by young mamas. I have been a mod and most recently a site admin for the last two years.
1- yr name age/name age of kids/who you are/what you do/study
I'm Heather, classy riot grrl feminist geek. I am way pro-choice, single mama (age almost 25) to an almost 6 year old girl-child.
I am a vegan, sex-positive, gender-neutral, activist, and a bit radical and proud. I love vintage goods, moving conversations, local music/art/businesses, going to gay dance parties, animal rights, menstrual liberation, the green life, my boobs, my reproductive organs, and drinking coffee, tea and red wine. I also enjoy cooking, baking and inviting friends over for dinner. I love sewing, crafts, making stuff and going to protests/marches & rallies. And I am a freelance graphic designer.
In spare time, I write essays, listen to Prairie Public Radio, read books, learn and unlearn, deconstruct, go to farmer's markets and co-ops, and walks with my iPod. I am majoring at UND in Sociology with a minor (or perhaps double Major) in Women’s Studies. Then hopefully off to Portland or Eugene (Oregon) for my Masters and/or PhD in Sociology. I want to become a Licensed Clinical Sociologist or a Professor at a University.
2- what is the role of girlmom in your life
Wow, so much. Girl-mom has helped me learn and unlearn so much about women's issues, racism, radicalism, phobias, sexuality, trans issues, just to name a few. I think I've discovered more of who I actually am just by finding girl-mom. The community has made me more proud of who I am as a person (a poor single amazing mama & MORE!) and helped me develop more as the person I am throughout the past few years. I've discovered deconstructing and have made many amazing friendships that have helped me through so much. I've come to call a lot of them some of my best friends and I fucking LOVE them.
3- how has girlmom helped you/how have you helped others
Girl-mom has helped me be more ME. Girl-mom has helped me get past my baby-daddy to finally LEAVE him. Girl-mom has helped me get past issues of concern to me and give me the confidence to be who I am, do what I do and make the decisions I do. I've used a lot of my knowledge, education and gain from girl-mom and transformed it into some mad counseling skills, mad debates and deconstructing with others. I've learned to not victim blame in ANY situation and just be there, be a supportive community for my friends (and at times, even if it is JUST ME). And all this has gone past my mama friends and extended it other friend's lives and to help with problems. Girl-mom helped me realize how much I actually love and want to help others.
4- what do you want the future to look like in the world/us/for our community
In the world - it's so hard to say because there's always going to be different opinions, so sometimes I can just say I hope that things turn out right. Right as in no more nasty 'isms and no more ignorance, acceptance of us all and just love. For us? For us moms? I want everything that can possibly come for us because all of us work our asses off to get where we are. It's amazing to see so many women from this community and how much they've grown and gotten to where they are. I want girl-mom to continue. I want girl-mom to still do the things it does, to be amazing and help others. Girl-mom to continue past the community and the website, but to branch onto others as a postive outlook and just a look that teen, single mothers CAN have on others and the world around us and everyone else.
5- why is reproductive justice issues important to you/to girlmom
I got pregnant when I was 18 and my senior year of high school. Looking back, I sadly didn't really know much about abortion and I wish I did. I am not saying that I would have chosen that, but I wish I had more knowledge of abortion. I have always been pro-choice, but there's always that weird stigma around abortion and it's a hush-hush subject. I don't think it's fair for girls, sexually active or not, to not know about such an important issue and option they CAN have at any age, any time, any situation and to NOT FEEL BAD ABOUT IT. I also have a daughter. I want her to have all reproductive options available for her, to her and I don’t want her to go through what women did pre-Roe v Wade. And reproductive rights go beyond abortion. They span into parenting and pregnancy beyond who can have one and who shouldn't, but help radically defend these rigths for anyone past age, religion, creed, sexual orientation, class, educational status, etc. It goes into accessible rights to birth control and emergency contraception, it spans into adoptions and healthy pregnancies we chose to continue. I think all these issues are important to girl-mom, too.
6- anything else
These issues are so important and we must continue fighting for them. I suggest checking out, "The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Clinic" because that explains so much of what women went through before Roe v Wade was passed. Take a look at the history for years and years and you will see that reproductive rights and issues have always been around. It's amazing. It's not a new issue, at all. Yet we are still standing up and fighting. And fighting - we will NOT stop.