There’s been a lot of talk about teenage pregnancy in the news and in films, lately. But what’s often left out is how marginalized teenage mothers are, and how institutions often discriminate against these women, rather than support them.
Katherine Arnoldi’s graphic novel, The Amazing True Story of a Teenage Single Mom, beautifully tells the story of her struggle as a young mother. Arnoldi got pregnant at 17, and with little support from her family, she worked long hours at a factory, waitressed, and generally busted her ass at low paying jobs to provide her daughter and herself with their basic needs.
Arnoldi talks about the conflict that comes from being being a mom, who loves her daughter and wants the best for her, and a teenager, who wants the opportunity to travel and get an education. She feels her whole life is ahead of her, while constantly being told that she’s given up any chance at a future.
The book follows Arnoldi as she enters into a relationship that turns abusive. Isolated and poor, she feels trapped on all sides.
But, with support from friends, including another single mom, Arnoldi leaves her partner, gets financial aid and is able to go to college. Her eduction really changes her life, and opens doors that she never thought possible.
Katherine Arnoldi is an amazing activist and advocate for teenage mothers. She emphasizes the need for support for young mothers - both from friends and family, and from institutions. She argues for the basic rights for these women, which are often denied. Arnoldi talks specifically about how teenage mothers are denied an education in this great Feministing.com article.
The Amazing True Story of a Teenage Single Mom is political, but also very moving. It’s Arnoldi’s overwhelming love for her daughter that drives her to make the world better.