These days, all sides of the political spectrum attempt to claim mothers as a demographic they represent.  When it comes to Democrats and Republicans, it seems the mothers they speak of have “mom haircuts”, are white, “middle-class”, Christian, married, and around 40 years old.  But what about the hip, new moms?  What about working-class, single moms who educate themselves and raise a family?  What about black, feminist women?  Or young moms, who may still be in high school or college?

Screech.  Hold the phone.  Now it’s gettin’ sticky.  Most articles/pictures/sociological studies about young mamas end up shaming the women, how the public school systems/government has failed them, whether or not they should have the choice to terminate the pregnancy.  But what about celebrating these mamas? On this Mother’s Day I ask that viewers watch the above video, and think of one of the kickass young mamas in my life: Cathey Stanley.

Cathey is 23 years old, and just finished her first year of a Master’s program in teaching.  She aspires to teach secondary-level english, she is a gifted poet and writer, and she did her undergraduate degree in English at Carolina too.  She is one of the first FSU members I remember meeting, with her ponytail and her grace, she was a staple of meetings for me when I was an undergraduate myself.  About two and a half years ago, Cathey gave birth to a beautiful young boy, Jaiden.  Jaiden is a fun toddler, who likes monkeys and trains, babbles in the English and Spanish that Cathey taught him to speak, and is a proud little Tarheel.  Cathey is now a single mom, she is a student-teacher, ie she is in the classrooms almost full-time at Carrboro High School, but still has her graduate classes and exams, and an activist.  She is in the Coordinating Committee for FIST, a local socialist youth organization, where she fights for equal access for quality education.   She is working on her official candidacy for joining Worker’s World Party.  There have definitely been difficult times for Cathey, including not always having a reliable source of childcare, raising a multiracial child as a white woman, having to explain again and again why/how she is a pro-choice mama, and working on battling depression and taking time for self-care.  But she remains an inspiration to our feminist community, and is a great mom to J, on top of everything.  J is another leftist regular at meetings, rallies, and protests.

Here are some links to check out

Feminist Mother’s Day Gift Guide from Viva la Feminista, a blog about motherhood and feminism written by a Latina woman.

Feminist Mothering Advice from the megablog Feministing

Strong Families Initiative

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