[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 18 most recent journal entries recorded in
the GirlMom Uprising's LiveJournal:
|Friday, June 29th, 2007|
Operation Faith: Help the Runaway Mama!
Let's call her Faith. Cheesy, yes, but she really took a leap, and she's trusting these women she hardly knows to catch her and make it work. Because we promised her it would be better.
Faith is a young woman who faced childhood abuse. While still young, she began a relationship with a much older man. That was 5 years ago.
That man began by isolating her, keeping her friends and family away from her. He then began to subject her to degrading comments and actions. He told her she was stupid, ugly, and a bad person. He began to hit her shortly after.
She got pregnant and the violence escalated. When she was 3 months pregnant, he choked her to unconsciousness.
He tightened his hold on her. She was not allowed to use the phone unless she was in front of him. She had no access to the bank account or the money she earned. She was driven to and picked up from work by him every day.
She was scared of him. As his drinking increased, so did his temper. She didn’t know where to get help or how to leave him.
When she gave birth to her daughter nine months ago, no one but the abuser was allowed in the hospital, he sent her family away. When a co-worker tried to come and visit her while in the hospital, she too was turned away. She was not able to choose the name of her child.
After going home with her new baby, she wasn’t ever left alone with her daughter, the abuser never worked and was home all the time. So she stayed because she wanted her daughter. Even as the violence grew - including attacking her, dragging her down and bashing her head into the ground while she clung to her little baby, she stayed.
She did not think she was strong enough to leave him, she believed him that she was incapable of caring for herself. She believed him when he told her she was too stupid to make it on her own, and that no one would help her.
She often returned from work to be confronted with screaming, shoving and slapping. He tried to control her every move. He would tell her dozens of times a day that she should kill herself to save him the trouble of having to do it. He threatened to kill her brother, one of the few people who knew the hell she was living in.
But she was tougher than he realized. When she was pregnant she did reach out to some women who were customers at work. She began to tell her story, she called them from work or waited for them to come in. She would tell them her story in bits and pieces in the back room. They began to create a plan.
For over a year, she planned and waited to leave. She called the women in the middle of the night, sneaking out to a pay phone. She planned to leave over and over. She called the DV shelter to seek help. But she would get scared at the last minute and stay.
She found out she was pregnant again.
She did stay, telling herself she could take one more day, one more fight, one more episode of violence. Till one day she didn’t.
The fight had been brewing all day and she felt it in the air. She knew if she didn’t get out right then anything could happen. So she ran. In shorts and a t–shirt, holding her baby with nothing but a diaper she ran. She couldn’t get her possessions, she couldn’t take her baby's pictures or clothes or toys, but she wanted to live.
She wanted her daughter to live and not repeat the cycle of abuse. She wanted her daughter to see love and relationships as safe and caring. She wanted the new baby growing in her belly to begin life free of violence.
So, she is safe. She has been in our local DV shelter for 3 long, hard weeks. But she is doing it, she is starting her life over again, and we want it to be a beautiful life, and we need your help.
Help prove him wrong. She's not stupid, or worthless, she matters. She can take care of herself. And people will help her.
She has a reasonably decent job, it pays $12 and hour and she has been there for 7 years. The Shelter she is currently in has chosen her for a special transitional program because they think she has what it takes to make it on her own. The Shelter is going to be placing her in her very own apartment within the next three weeks.
All good, right? Well yes, but she left with NOTHING. Literally. No clothes, no personal items. Forget furniture, dishes, towels - she has nothing but a baby on her hip and one on the way.
And ovaries of STEEL.
We... we love Faith. Seriously, if you met her you would be reduced to a grinning pile of mush just as we are. She currently has a lawyer and is going through the painful process of protection orders and custody fights.
So what we need help with is making her a home of her own where she can raise her babies, work and be happy.
To that end we made her a wishlist at Target. (It is under one of our names because - well, we don't use her name ever, anywhere.) Everything on the list will be shipped to one of our addresses. We will have such a surprise party. Oh yes.
You can access it here:
Check out Anne Dietz's entire Wish List at:http://www.target.com/gp/registry/2QGFBJEZO1KJN
If you don't want to send an item, or shipping is a killer - you can get a Target Gift Card and tell us what to buy with it.
If Paypal is your thing, we set up a brand new Paypal account just for her, the email is dietzanne ATT gmail DOTT comfunnydyke
picked all the furnishings out according to what she knows of Faith. If you send an item, feel free to write a personal message on the gift card.
If you are broke, or just feel inclined, comment on my journal with a personal message and I will compile them into a journal for her. http://zorah.livejournal.com/
Help us make her a real home.
Crosspost freely and widely.
|Wednesday, January 12th, 2005|
Not on topic, but worth posting:
the lovely miss zorah is being held down by THE MAN in her attempts to raise money for CounterCrisis Northwest so she is asking you to paypal $8 so she can give away tickets to the Vagina Monologues at her law school campus. i do not explain well. go here to get better info!
|Friday, November 5th, 2004|
I know a lot of people on my friend's list are interested in going to Bush's inauguration January 20th. I think if we organize, share resources and plan EARLY. We can make this more possible. Are there any in the area that could put us up? If we plan on getting hotel rooms we're going to have to reserve them NOW because I imagine it'll be filling up quickly.
what do you think? Can we plan this?
*edited to take out the uprising part. I just thought this was a good place for those of us who want to go to plan, but I didn't mean for this to take away from the uprising in summer. both can still happen I'm sure.
|Friday, October 8th, 2004|
This community has been quiet for quite some time, so....
I am still willing to do a gathering in Spokane, but I need to know now in order to feel like I have time. I know there were some excellent points about the issues with diong it here (travel, lack of diversity), but no other place has really surfaced as a possibility as far as I can tell. I feel like we can't let it go any longer than this and expect organizers to have time to put on the kick ass gathering the GirlMoms deserve.
Any comments? Suggestions or Offers?
|Thursday, September 2nd, 2004|
where is everyone?
I keep seeing posts & comments in other peoples journals about people looking forward to the GM uprising & they can't wait to meet everyone there but it doesn't look like this community is very active anymore. Has planning been moved to somewhere else (another bb)? Have everyone lost interest? The only way this will happen is if people start getting envolved.
Are there mods for this community yet? Has a location been decided on? Where are people needed?
It seems like the first thing needed is a desionion on location. How about nominating a couple cities and then taking a vote? I agree with whoever said we shouldn't just pick random cities. Cities where people are willing to help out should be the ones considered. Is zorah
the only one interested in taking this on?
|Wednesday, August 11th, 2004|
So what are our options on location? I know Zorah, (near spokane right?) and her community have offered. But some people have said a more central location would be better. Is there anybody else willing to take on this? We can help but I think the person who actually lives in the town will take on a lot.
So lets start the location discussion. Then after everybody's had their say will vote.
|Friday, August 6th, 2004|
I just finished my final and I am raring to go...
SO - rosie and kaya offered to mod, I think that is brilliant, are y'all still up for it?
AND.... we need to formulate a decision making process because things have died down here & I think planning needs to start NOW for next year.
Ideas for how to move forward from here:
Form a board (there was trouble with this in MN, but I think it can be done right.
Compile a list of deas we have so far and vote
Um, anyone else have ideas?
Love to you all, mamas!
Proposals for ways to make decisions and move forward?
|Friday, July 30th, 2004|
first off, i am not a GM. i was 21 when i got pregnant.
second off, i have been to two of the last three MG's.
i knew right off the bat that this one would be different. no mommas gathered upon entering the hotel like last time.... way to many man..... and the whole gm factor.
what if we collaborated with whomever is in chicago. make our voices heard. get on the board.
i know a badass gm is in chicago.
i think we can do this.
but i dont see a reason to move away from the general mg. mamas is what it is all about right??
should we let the mn gathering guide us. or remember the la. and how cool and rad and empowering it could be??
the main reason i ask is i worked my ass off trying to do an empowerment in kc. and i got nothing. i think working with the mama community as a whole, with our own huge gm emphasis, it could be huge.
|Wednesday, July 28th, 2004|
How do we want to make decisions...
Appointed Board gets together and works it out either by consensus or majority rules?
Who gets a say...
All with GirlMoms desires weighted more heavily?
How will this work, technically?
I am willing to pay for an LJ account in order to do polls if that is considered acceptable as a way of gathering info & working through these decisions.
Have your say!
|Tuesday, July 27th, 2004|
I was sort of wondering about what julie said.. what was good about the former locations of MG? I have not been to any of them so I can't answer that.. I live in Olympia, and it's unfortunetly pretty much out of the way for most people.. however the community here is very liberal and accepting.. as well as lots of areas of Seattle. There is also an abundance of resources here that would most likely get involved. But I think finding where it is cheapest to travel to is a really good idea.. it's fairly cheap for flights and lodging in CA and FL right? How about in TX?
|Monday, July 26th, 2004|
Just some suggestions and offers of help
I posted this in the roll call, but I want to make it clear out in the open. I wasn't a teen mom, I was 21 when my oldest was born. I was also married. So I'm not really a girlmom, and I'm not an "older mom". I fall somewhere in between. I know that this "uprising" isn't about me, but I want to offer whatever support and help that I can without stepping on any toes because I feel like this is a really important project.
So. That said, I have some ideas for fundraising. How difficult is it to set up non-profit status? That might help bring in bigger donations from mother-friendly sources. We could also periodically post paypal spam in our regular livejournals begging for donations from the women that read them. I have some raffle-type ideas, as well. Maybe the bulk of the money raised could be used to lower costs as much as possible and maybe use extra to charter buses from centralized locations to the meeting? I dunno know how practical that is, and I think someone else already suggested it, anyway.
Speaking as a young mama but not a girlmom, I think it would be awesome for the focus to be on teenage motherhood, single moms, lesbian moms, and poor moms. I also really, really like the idea of centering the meeting around an event. I don't have any suggestions as to what, though.
I think Texas and Orlando, Florida are good ideas for locations because you can fly to and obtain lodging in both of those places fairly cheaply. Texas is more central, so buses would be more feasible for mamas on both the west coast and the east coast. I like the idea of using free, or cheap, facilities like community centers, public parks for parties, etc. I live in Hawaii, and I'd love to have it out here, but that obviously isn't practical. (One of the towns on the island I live on has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country, so I would love to see something like this out here. It is basically one of the biggest "problems" the local government "faces". You've never seen more attentive, attached, loving parents in your life.)
If I do come, I would be more than willing to provide childcare. That responsibility should not lie with the people whom the meeting is for. I think those of us who call ourselves allies should be willing to step up to that. I think it is important that the childcare take place in someone's home or another place equipped to deal with kids, though. I've been to conference-type things where childcare was offered in hotel rooms and I could never leave my kid there. Maybe it would be a good idea, too, to make workshop spaces as kid-friendly as possible. Maybe some mamas won't want to leave their kids at all, and I hope that could be respected.
So these are just some things I've been thinking about. I wanted to throw them out there.
I'm kinda out of the loop right now because I won't be in America until next year but I would love to see something focused on young lesbian mamas because there are so many out there.
People like me who accidentally got knocked up at like 15 and 16 and some even like me who came out while pregnant at 15 or 16 like me, young and lesbians in their 20's who don't readily identify with the mainstream whteher have given birth as a teenager or not.
We have singles, couples, planned and unplanned pregnancies, we've been with girls, boys, neither or both, we are young, old and everywhere.
Especially focused on teen lesbian mamas and single mamas because there are so many of us out there and those of us getting pregnant young planned or coming out pregnant and young need other lesbian mama support.
It's okay for me now as I have widened my support network and am older and can legally do whatever but when I was little single pregnant lesbian teenager I felt like I had nobody.
Even sometimes now being though legally allowed to do whatever the hell I want I am still societies version of young mama, recently single and it's hard trying for a baby in my situation and I must actively seek out support, let alone mamas who don't even know where to begin.
|Sunday, July 25th, 2004|
I posted this on one of Zorah's previous threads.
I am an excellent mother to two cats but that is the end of my maternal experience.
That being said, I can sleep and chauffer a ton of people if we still live here. I originally said 20, but I got some dirty looks for the partner type person.
But we can find lots of free places for people to fit. We have a pretty rad feminist community here in SpoCan.
Come on girls! SpoCan might not be very hip, but it is a great place to raise a family (that is what the Chamber of Commerce says anyway).
I will just kindly drink my own water if any of you are pregnant. *winks*
alright kids, here's julies who/what/when/where/why's
attendees- who is this gathering for? is it basically for people to post at girlmom to meet up? i don't imagine many non-girlmom related teen moms travelling to go somewhere they don't know anyone, so the only non-girlmom people will be the local teen moms. should we choose a location based around an issue, like "x is going down with x group of mamas in x place, and it's fucked up, so we'll be the mama posse swinging in to make some noise"? i'm not sure whether this happened in MN or not, but i'd like for there to be some sort of good for the community to come out of this. a vigil at an abortion clinic, some sort of rally or march, or thinking up some kind of volunteer work that can be done collectively by mamas and kiddos. i'm just afraid that it's just going to be like, all of us that post at girlmom sitting around and "giving workshops" to our friends, who have already read the threads on x topic, so finding a way to extend it beyond us, or else just saying fuck it and just deciding to rent a block of hotel rooms and have a three day party would be good.
how will we get the local teen moms involved? posting notices at schools, giving speeches in classes, WIC/Medicaid offices, clinics, social service agencies, what else? hand out Empower zines again, with flyers that we want to have a meeting of the like-minded or open-minded moms? we'd need a plan structured enough to be clear and not too out of range seeming, but flexible enough to seriously adapt to what the local mamas felt would be best. we don't want anyone's help to go to waste, we don't want anyone to get burnt out, and we don't want anyone to be nervous because they aren't exactly sure what they should be doing. the local community of wherever needs to be intricately involved, so perhaps we should choose location based on who we think local girls would relate to most/feel most comfortable with, or where there's already a solid group of moms who would commit and have ties into the community? i say this because it can't come off to locals as either "we made this for you!" or "make this for us!" it has to be a communal kind of effort, but will it be hard to balance that with the fact that girlmom is still essentially a niche site and label? (am i making sense here? i don't feel like i am)
location - what are requirements for where we have it? what was good about the location of the portland gathering, what was good about LA, what was good about MN?
my vote for anything and everything is always austin texas, but i suppose that's cuz i'm lazy. texas has lots of teen moms though! maybe we can convince one of the giant churches here with cell phone towers inside their crosses to let us have a big lock-in!
workshops- if we do em, how do we wanna do it? are we going to rent space, or do you think it'll be small enough to have them at free spaces? free space=cheaper, but could be more difficult to arrange. should we pick a place that has good public transportation? in LA, alli and i had to bribe the driver of the hotel shuttle to take us to a convenience store for cigarettes, and it kinda sucked not having a car, but the March rocked because of the Metro. I even navigated it myself one time! i guess it all really depends on size. if there's few enough people we can have workshops at free spaces, we won't need shuttles to get people around, etc.
issues - I think "From Domestic Violence to Rape to the governments assault on our reproductive freedom and bodily integrity." sounds good, but in order to not come off as something just for super hip political teen moms, we should probably also stress things like controlling parents, absent babydaddies, dirty looks at the park, "why do all my former friends hate me?" etc. Shit that most every teen mom can relate to. I'm picturing a 3D Empower zine, where we can sneak in some more radical stuff after we hook whoever hasn't been exposed to this stuff before with info on loving your body and negotiating custody or whatever. and we need a panelist primer for anyone who wants to present, so we don't wind up with an Umar situation.
Childcare - I can already say that my kiddo won't come, heh. should it be required that each mama who uses childcare works at least one shift? and people without kiddos work more? how was night childcare in MN? obviously childcare should be a main priority, but it seems like one of the hardest things to pull off. i liked what was said in i believe it was rebex's journal about holding workshops at a school, so kiddos could be in rooms with toys already and parents close by, but is that feasible for us? childcare is something that needs a lot of volunteers, but we don't want just anyone doing it. how can we evaluate and make sure everyone involved is on the up and up? perhaps if older mama/allies do show up, that'll be their main role, is as childcare volunteers?
Older mamas/allies - We know from girlmom that whether WE think someone is an ally and whether THEY think they're an ally can elicit two different answers. Would we need attendees to "prove" girlmomness? How would we do that? Age cutoff? Self-ID? Perhaps some ally guidelines, like why "But I LOOK like a teen mom!" isn't the same? I know that for me, after a certain age, it tends to be based on circumstances as to whether or not I feel the girlmom bond with someone, and there are people who are young moms, but that i don't think are girlmoms. I say that to show how we all have our own different ideas, so how would we merge that? It would be nice to say that everyone coming would be a super duper ally, but some people might come just cuz so and so is coming...
Is this entirely planned by girlmoms? Entirely for girlmoms? Or is it officially girlmom centered in the way that other gathering was unofficially white partnered AP mom centered?
Focus of the Uprising:
I am going to suggest violence against women - in all its forms.
From Domestic Violence to Rape to the governments assault on our reproductive freedom and bodily integrity. We could have workshops with family law attorneys, self defense & empowerment, activist planning, all sorts of things!
Your suggestions? Please, speak out!
I am the maintainer, but I do not have to be a mod, fer sure.
Mod suggestions? Comment here!
I have already put my hometown - Spokane Washington - out there.
Pros: Cheap, good network of support, I have a lot of resources here, accessible to Canada mamas because is northern, lots of allies in my support group to help, lots of homestay options for poor mamas, lots of Spokane GirlMoms who could use the outreach and support, international airport, urban area compact & easy to get from one place to another, close to beautiful countryside if we want a camp out...
Cons: On the west side (though not on the coast), not a big touristy town (though that makes it cheaper, and I have lots of cool places to share!) um..... that's all I can think of.
But other suggestions are welcome and we want to choose the best possible place for the most mamas!
So enter your suggestions here!