Saturday, April 20, 2002

Ariel Gore

There is a line in an old Jimmy Buffet song that says "we are the people our parents warned us about." We laugh when we hear that because we like being part of the surprise our folks got when they realized what a tactical error they'd made by having children. And so many children. Obviously, if they'd exerted a little more restraint there wouldn't be this population bulge called the Baby Boomers. The Sixties might have just been a calmer, quieter extension of the Fifties. Things might not have gotten so crazy.

So, Jimmy Buffet needs to add another line or so to that song–- to the effect that our children are the unwarned-about people now freaking out our parents even more than we did. Issues that barely got a nod from Baby Boomers way back when are being addressed and politicized and radicalized. One of those issues is teen single motherhood.

ARIEL GORE is the founder of Hip Mama. As a single, teen-age mother, she encountered traditional negative value judgments, guilt and social stigma, but little support or positive information about being a good parent or creating a strong sense of family. Hip Mama was the progressive forum she created to address those concerns. The magazine evolved to represent progressive families of all varieties and gained national recognition. Ariel, who once debated Newt Gingrich on MTV on the subject of single parenthood and welfare, is now a sought-after authority on child-rearing. She recently moved to Portland, the "city with the highest per-capita subscription rate" to Hip Mama. She is the author of The Hip Mama Survival Guide and The Mother Trip.

BEE LAVENDER joined Hip Mama in 1997 as managing editor. Former teen mom, activist and writer, she has launched new projects such as Mamaphonic and Girl-Mom, an online resource for teen parents. Ariel and Lavender are co-editors of Breeder: Real-Life Stories of a Generation of New Mothers, 36 essays from some brave new mamas.

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