For Crying out Loud: Women's Poverty in the United States

By Diane Dujon; Ann Withorn | Go to book overview

BEARING WITNESS TO TEEN
MOTHERHOOD

The Politics of Violations of Girlhood

Robin A. Robinson

It's like my mother told me, "Don't get pregnant while you're young cause people talk about you. People point their fingers. They say you're no good. They call you all this stuff. And I had that in my head. So I was so embarrassed to go to the doctor. . . I refused to go to the doctor. . . I think I was eight months when I first went to the doctor. . . I was eight months, I think, when I first went to get it checked out. . . I used to think. . . to this day, two people will be sitting, talking, and I'd be paranoid they're gonna talk about me. What is wrong? Is my hair messed up? Cause my mother said I have to be perfect. I have to be what I'm not.

" Tania," 17-year-old mother who abandoned her 2-year-old son

My mother is mad at me because my daughter doesn't even know her, because I don't live with her and she doesn't want me to tell my daughter, well, you didn't help me much. . . My daughter doesn't really like the juice but I try to give it to her cause her iron level's really low.

" Ashley, " 15-year-old mother, who lives in a foster home

Did I ever have sex with anyone but my boyfriend [age 28]? You mean willingly? Besides that stuff with my father? No, just (my boyfriend). When (my boyfriend) and I would fight, social services would get on his case about statutory rape, and he would say "how do you know I was the only one?" And he always made me look bad. But he was the only guy I was with.

" Melina," 15-year-old sent to foster care at age 12 for one year when
charges of sexual abuse by her father were substantiated.

____________________
This article was written by Robin A. Robinsonin her private capacity. No official support or endorsement by the Department of Health and Human Servicesis intended or should be inferred.

-107-

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