You know, in Western cultures, we give a lot of lip service to motherhood. We call motherhood special, we valorize our own mothers, we say it the most important job on earth, but in practice there’s very little out there that supports mothers as a class of people. As a culture, we can barely come to an agreement on whether children, the most vulnerable population among us, have the right to food, clean water, safe homes, and access to health care. As teenage parents, we are on the receiving end of some particularly nasty judgement because we happen to hit a lot of these buttons: we’re young, we tend to have less wealth, we tend to have less education. And because the system is set up against us, a lot of folks as satisfied just shaking their heads and telling us we should have kept our legs closed.
That’s not good enough. You do have rights. You have the right to work, to attend college, to live in safe neighborhoods, to access quality health care and nutrition for your children. Some jerk’s false perception of you as a promiscuous loser — whether this jerk be your parent, your uncle, your freshman English teacher, or some stranger — is not a valid reason to prevent you from accessing these resources. In cases like this, knowledge is power. Know what your rights are and how exactly to exercise them when someone is putting up roadblocks to keep you from reaching your goals. What someone else thinks about you is none of your business. Forget their judgement.” —
And by VCU I mean Richmond in general. I am lucky to be surrounded by so many kind and intelligent feminists!