February 22nd, 2008
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I told you about the Colorado Representative that referred to young, unmarried pregnant mothers as sluts. I urged those of you who lived in Colorado to go ahead and write letters. I wasn’t the only one urging those offended to write. A group of teen mothers from the Florence Crittendon School in Colorado wrote to Larry Liston. And, guess what? He read them.

Not only did he read them. He went to the school for pregnant and parenting teens. (I’m shocked, too.)

Whether it was a publicity stunt to fix his reputation, based on curiosity about these young mothers or simply because he felt like a heel, it looks as though some good may have come from the meeting. In this amazingly written article, the writer makes us feel as if we are there, one with the girls who have been called names and dismissed as basically worthless by one callous word. (Seriously, the article is amazing! Read it!)

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I am amazingly proud of these young mothers who found the nerve to speak up and ask the questions that they needed to ask. I applaud their courage as I have been silenced by people who have referred to me in similar ways in the past. This exchange between a student mother and Liston shows that courage.

Finally, one hand goes up. “After seeing our school, has your opinion about us changed?”

“Oh, yes,” he says. “I didn’t know your school existed until a couple weeks ago. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a tour is worth thousands more.”

Good, Liston. However, I am skeptical when he says that he never uses the word “slut.” Quite frankly, words that I never use don’t come out in public, private and especially not in front of a microphone. Words that I never use don’t even cross my mind to use when I’m discussing something of importance or even something mundane. The fact that it crossed his lips so easily must mean that it has been used in the past. And yet, from the article, it sounds like his wife gave him a pretty hard time about it. Thanks Mrs. Liston!

At the end of the article, one teen mom brings up an amazing point.

“You can’t change someone’s mind in a day,” she says.

No, you can’t. Maybe Liston still views those girls in a negative manner. Maybe not. But he’s been exposed to a group of mothers who are defying the stereotypes. And that’s exactly why you see blogging birth mothers all over the internet. We’re speaking up and speaking out and defying those stereotypes that certain individuals and groups refuse to let drift away. No, I know that some people are never going to change their mind. Some will take some time to realize the potential that a large group of mothers possesses.

And that’s why I keep on keeping on.

Major kudos to the teens at the Florence Crittenton School. You keep on keeping on, too. You have my admiration and respect.

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2 Responses to “Facing Those He Offended”

  1. dara says:

    I was looking at the website of the agency I found my potential a-f through, and I decided to take a look at the FAQ’s for adoptive hopefuls, and found this:

    What will our birthmother be like?
    Carrying a child for nine months and then giving him/her to another family to be raised is a painful and difficult action. We have found that in order for a woman to plan this and then to carry through with her commitment, she must have some very motivating factors. Some examples of motivating factors can include, but are not limited to, a strong conviction that this child must have a two parent, traditional family, or perhaps the mother is in school and is so ambitious that she will not sacrifice her career for child rearing. More commonly, we have women who find it impossible to raise a child due to financial or emotional reasons. Perhaps the dysfunction is due to something that they themselves have endured or maybe they have several children already that they are raising on their own and they simply have nothing else to give. As a result, the natural mother of your child will, in all probability, not be as “together” as you are or as “stable” as your friends and neighbors. If they were, they would not consider placing their child for adoption. Keep this in mind; it is very important!

    I plan on requesting that they change it, and finding out if the p.a.family will work with me outside of the agency.

  2. Dara; run, do not walk, away from this agency. If the family refuses to work with you because of that decision, which is your right, then they are not the family for your child. Consider this a red flag in your decision making process and reevaluate your situation. Do not work with an agency that tells families that birth parents are different than them in stability. We’re simply mothers who made a very hard decision in a very tough situation.

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