by Tracy Renee Jones

She’s twenty years old now. My greatest accomplishment and most trying and involved personal project, my daughter is so very much the reason that I still exist. I wouldn’t be here had it not been for her being here. I’m not sure at what point I would go back in time and choose to do anything differently. So many links in a chain of events contributed to her being here.

Life is supposed to be precious because ‘they’ say so, but life isn’t precious. Nor is life a great blessing, nor is life a journey. Life…..is a repetitive cycle of complicated challenges, innumerable daily obstacles, disappointments, frustrations, and thankless requirements.

Life is a bitch…and then you die. I have life, because I chose to give my daughter life, because I was taught that that is the ‘right’ thing to do. I live, because I’ve always been painfully aware of what life is really like and I refuse to allow my daughter to face THIS shit on her own.

So then how do I, as a teenage mother who chose what I was convinced was ‘right’ amidst being chastised about how ‘wrong’ I was to become pregnant in the first place feel when she’s again chastised for doing what was ‘right’ and still being wrong?

“Well just don’t get pregnant!”

“You’re gonna burn in Hell, and ain’t no man gonna want you. You’ve got nothing to give a husband. You’ve been used already. Whose gonna marry you now!”

“I’m ashamed that people know you belong to me. You’re not a virgin!”

Who are these people that place rules and requirements at the feet of young people and do nothing more than offer religious morality wrapped in guilt trips as a form of birth control?

The Baby’s Momma’s Momma

How many generations of Black women (or is it all women?) must I go back to find a Black woman that was HAPPILY married, bearing children and enthusiastic about it? How many generations can YOU think of where the woman was either forced or coerced to marry a man by her family, or secretly bear a child that she didn’t want and then be forced to raise it, and/or required to give up her current life to accommodate a man and child(ren)?

Well, you might not be privy to who was forced into marriage and motherhood among the older generations of women, after all, it’s not like THEY could verbalize their frustration at becoming mothers earlier than they thought or desired. Childbirth is a punishment for women who have sex or so the Bible alludes to. Something, something Adam and Eve and God said ‘that’s what da fuck you get, being all hardheaded and shit’.

Therefore:

It’s a woman’s ‘lot’ in life to have children.

It’s a woman’s ‘job’ to have children.

A woman is SUPPOSED to have children.

I know girls 12, 13 years old that were forced to become mothers. Strangely enough, the guys who father children with girls this young rarely are the same age as the girls. I would consider this to be child molestation, but in the hood, yall call this type of thing ‘dating’. Social disrespect and disregard, circumvented back on the female to bear the blame, impounded with the responsibility of becoming a mother.

Who among you will care to argue that any and all circumstances in which young Black women bear children are merely ‘excuses’ for… getting pregnant? Is the issue with young Black girls getting pregnant or their having sex in general? I’ll save someone the trouble of having to suggest that if young girls remained virgins then these things wouldn’t happen; no abstinence is NOT part of this conversation. Just saying ‘No’ doesn’t cause that blue strip to turn back clear.

I was pregnant at 16 and delivered her at 17, I thought I was doing the “right thing”. My overtly religious mother had made it clear that since I had gotten pregnant; I MUST have her; rather, I should bring a child in the world and bear the burden of responsibility because I had sex outside of marriage. Terminating the pregnancy is murder, and that causes a double sin and who wants to do that?

Or at least that’s what partially contributed to her being here. I did and still do believe in abortion, and I had no reason to have her. But through the storm of my mother’s religious condemnation, berating, threats and endless soliloquies of all the ways in which I am a worthless whore I chose to have her. If for no reason other than I hoped that this one small act would be pleasing to someone since my very feet on Earth’s soil was too much for my mother’s genteel religious spirit to bear.

I’ll forever feel a tinge of guilt and wear the scarlet Letter “BM” for the greatest thing I’ve ever accomplished in life; becoming a Baby Momma and an “Unwed Mother”. My being a mother comes first to any and all of the things that I have accomplished in my life..and believe me…my stack of accomplishments is quite impressive but none as challenging and as awesome as my daughter is.

Getting rid of my pregnancy wasn’t right; having the baby wasn’t right. I can’t even use the excuse of my burgeoning hormones contributing to me ‘giving in’ to sin; no. My daughter was conceived within three weeks of my father’s death. I was fucked up in the head and no one noticed but the 22 year old man that fathered her. My Dad saw me talking to dude one evening; Dad told me to stay away from him. Unfortunately, my Dad dropped dead before he could really convince me to do so. But that’s okay. My ignorance and gullibility is what chose to have my daughter. But I got to choose, and that made all the difference in the trials and tribulations I’ve had to deal with while raising her alone.

But what happens when a young Black teenager is pregnant and her Evangelist religious mother forces her to “learn her lesson” and be “responsible” in a way that is totally irresponsible for all parties involved except Jesus?

Why do these people force motherhood on young women when the mother’s themselves can barely support their current family? Who are these brainwashed women that think pleasing some pretend ass deity is more important than being able to house and feed the mouths she may already be responsible for?

Who points a finger back at these women; for denying their girl children a chance at life because the girl child jeopardized that chance by fucking…with no birth control..AND getting pregnant as if her forced ignorance would have led her anywhere differently? Do these women forget what it’s like to be young? Whose choice is it when a teenager becomes a mother? Who’s choice should it be?

No one talks about them, no one talks about the mother’s who are absent either mentally or physically while daughter’s were left to maneuver a world of false promises, erratic hormones, and adult male sex predators. I ask why is it acceptable for Black women to allow young Black women to remain ignorant of their bodies and their sexual health when children are not desired nor welcomed due to a variety of historical reasons. If anyone should understand this plight, I would think it would be the Mothers, those that know what’s at stake by bearing children under less than desirable circumstances.

The Baby’s Momma’s Momma may even be out there looking for a husband to marry her to at last alleviate her shame at being an unwed mother herself. At what point in time do we blame these people, generations and generations and generations back for always being focused on some shit that doesn’t really matter. These teachings compromise our futures, our potential and the quality of life of the offspring that everyone claims to value so much but don’t or can’t contribute to the care and survival of the resulting life.

Either fucking way, if anyone else feels justified to point fingers at the young Black mother’s who share these circumstances then I want one too. But my finger, unlike theirs will not be pointing in such personal, one sided accusations. Instead, my finger points straight the fuck up in the air as my trailblazing statement for you all.

As a young Black Mother, I say fuck you.

And fuck all the ignorant ass Black mothers who thought forcing their underage daughters to have children because they can’t see anything better for their daughters then to potentially live the exact same life of struggle, desperation, dependence and frustration while they pray and hope that death in the wonderful land of Jesus will somehow redeem the pain that someone probably decided they should live through too. You know, when THEIR mother married them off, or kept them ignorant about sex and their bodies causing THEM to give birth to children they didn’t need or want.

FUCK YOU, anti abortion mother fuckers. Fuck you anti-Family Planning mother fuckers.

FUCK YOU if you think a wedding ring equals a mother fucker having a magical force field around them that bonds them to their Black woman and his child.

FUCK YOU judgmental ass religious mother fuckers that allow children to be born to children due to their poor decision making skills but can’t offer anything further than condemnation and guilt rather than love and guidance.

FUCK YOU if you accept the consensual predatory sexual exploitation of young Black girls but neglect to lay blame at the feet of these men fathering these children’s children.

FUCK YOU if all you have to offer is blame….though single mothers are usually in need of many things…what they don’t need is another person shaming them while pretending to promote ‘what’s in the best interest of the child’ while not really giving a fuck about neither the child nor the mother.

I have spoken.

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Outspoken, spunky and coming out of left field, the infamous Tracy Renee Jones is a 2005 Cum Laude graduate of New Jersey City University with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in International Law. Also member of the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society, she worked a duel career life as a para-professional during the day and an adult performer at night while perusing her education. Her writing interests include the undesirable subjects of Prisoner Rights, Child Abuse and Exploitation, Adoption, Sexuality, Human and Intercultural Relations and Politics. She writes for several online publications including the Examiner, Beyond Black and White, Clutch Magazine, The Trippie Hippie and The Kinky Courtesan. She is a featured contributor to the sex positive digital Corset magazine where she explores fetish, stereotypes and erotic presentation for women of color. Her book of poetry Me: Being Anonymous: A Book of Cursed Poem and Verse is available on Amazon for purchase. Writing from an emotional place and with a personal touch, TRJ likes her debates the same way she enjoys.....rough, uncompromising and often.