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!)
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.
For more on society, read these posts.