Feminism | Posted by Becka W on 05/20/2013

How the Pregnant and Parenting Student Access to Education Act Can Help Teen Moms

My senior year of college, two of my roommates and I watched Teen Mom CONSTANTLY. I liked to pretend I wasn’t watching it, but the conversation usually went something like this:

Becka (standing in doorway): “Oh jeez, guys. You’re watching this?”

Arielle: “Yes. Absolutely.”

[10 minutes later]

Rachel: “…Do you want to sit down?”

Becka (still standing in doorway): “…..Yes. FARRAH’S CRYING FACE IS CRAZY.”

When you watch the show, the difficulties of teen parents and pregnant students become painfully clear. Recently, I was re-watching Season 1 on Netflix Instant, and it clicked – wow. The Pregnant and Parenting Student Access to Education Act would REALLY help these girls.

Title IX already affords a number of protections to pregnant & parenting students. This law requires that schools receiving federal funds

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Feminism | Posted by Meggan Watterson on 04/1/2013

A More Meaty Mary

I would always hesitate before opening the door to St. Elizabeth’s Infant Hospital because once inside, the rest of the world would cease to exist. Nothing else could compete with the presence I met once I entered. St. E’s, a Catholic Charities organization in San Francisco, was a place of mother’s milk and indigestible pain, a place for the excluded—the controversial population of pregnant teens and teen moms.

An icon of the Virgin Mary was perched on top of the refrigerator in the staff lounge. Her four-foot plastic frame was so light that she teetered every time a child-care counselor or Sister of Charity opened the refrigerator door to retrieve their lunch from inside.

She was the “classic Virgin,” I was told—the Mary most readily found in small enclaves in …

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Feminism | Posted by Natasha V on 03/11/2013

Teen Mom Shaming vs Teen Pregnancy Prevention

What is with this unnecessary need to shame, bully, and stereotype teen mothers in an attempt to decrease teen pregnancy? Teen pregnancy prevention campaigns DO NOT have to be at the expense of a teen mom’s dignity. It doesn’t work, it isn’t fair, and it’s only perpetuating a stigma that further increases the isolation of young parents who need support. Quite frankly, it’s extremely sexist too! I don’t see an ad shaming teen dads? If my comprehensive sexual educating cohorts are correct, it takes two to make a baby.

In this pathetic and desperate attempt to eliminate teen pregnancy, the adults who sat around this campaign and ok’d it knew that it would send a horrible message to teens: “Teen moms suck so don’t become one.” And of course, the …

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Feminism | Posted by Becka W on 02/6/2013

Four Things Every Young Feminist Needs To Know About Title IX

Today is National Girls & Women in Sports Day, which has people singing the praises of Title IX from soccer fields, softball diamonds, tracks, pools and countless other sporting venues – and for good reason! Title IX is an enormously important law for female athletes – no other law has done more to open doors for women and girls in athletics. While there is still work to be done, the progress we have made thanks to Title IX is tremendous.

But what many people don’t know is that the benefits and protections of Title IX aren’t limited to athletics. Here are four other ways Title IX is there for young women (and men, too):

  1. Equal Opportunities in career and technical programs in traditionally male-dominated fields

Title IX requires …

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Feminism | Posted by Cimorene on 01/9/2012

We Can’t Judge What We Can’t Understand

A few days ago, I went to school. It was a normal day until around lunchtime when I started hearing some rumors. Well, that’s not unusual: it’s high school. There will always be rumors. But these rumors were different. They were based on a newspaper article published that morning in a local online newspaper. The article told the story of a girl, age 16, who goes to my school. The article, which was based on a police report, claimed that earlier this year the girl had a stillborn baby that no one knew about. The girl didn’t know she was pregnant, had the baby in her bathtub, and then buried it in her backyard. The girl’s mother later found the body and called the police. The girl is now facing …

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Feminism | Posted by Talia on 09/14/2011

Title IX and Teen Pregnancy

I recently attended a conference call through the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) titled “Know Your Rights: A Conference Call for Pregnant and Parenting Students.” It was moderated by Melanie Ross Levin, NWLC’s senior outreach manager, and the two presenters were Jeannette Pai-Espinosa (president of the National Crittenton Foundation) and Lara Kaufmann (NWLC’s senior counsel).

You can read my full notes here, or listen to the actual call here. In short, the conference call discussed the rights that pregnant and parenting women have with regard to education. Lara Kaufmann explained how Title IX protects students, faculty, and staff at schools with federal funding from sex discrimination and how it applies to pregnant and parenting students. Jeannette Pai-Espinosa introduced her organization, explaining how it provides trauma-informed services to …

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Feminism | Posted by Reb V on 12/2/2010

Tell It Like It Is: Demystifying Childbirth for Teens

Last Sunday the Guardian website published an article highlighting the rise in reported birth trauma in the UK. The piece, reported on the National Health Service’s response to the number of women requesting caesarian sections for second births, after bad first experiences have left them too scared to opt for traditional methods.

Tocophobia, or the fear of childbirth is said to be increasing at an alarming rate on these shores and an official study is now under way. As someone who last year had a child of her own, I read the Guardian’s article with great interest, even more so when the selected interviewee Angela Almond described a ‘traumatic’ childbirth experience that was not too dissimilar to that of my own and other mothers I know. Now I would …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 07/21/2010

Forever 21′s Materntiy Line and the Normalization of Teen Pregnancy

I am 17, and when I close my eyes and think of what my life would be like if I were to become pregnant in the near future, my cynical mind goes here: I am holding a tiny child that is crying and spitting something that was probably at one time the baby food I bought instead of those jeans I *really fricken wanted* as I am on the computer, turning down the college of my dreams in favor of an educational option that will allow me to raise my little bundle of joy. I haven’t slept more than 3 hours at a time in a few months, and sleep ranks right below eating and right above breathing on my list of general priorities. I call the father of little …

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