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Why Bristol Palin’s Pregnancy Should Get Us Talking (It’s Not What You Think)

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Gosh, there’s been a lot of information on the news today regarding Bristol Palin’s pregnancy. It’s definitely a hot item. It’s so juicy, it might even make the jump from MSNBC to E! News.

But is all this exposure good or bad? What’s really going on here? Is the “liberal media” harping on an irrelevant issue? Is the conservative camp trying to sweep the story under the rug?

It reminds me of the film La Cage Aux Folles, or The Birdcage in the American version starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane. In the film, a conservative politician’s daughter announces her engagement to the son of a gay man. Scandalous!

The daughter tries to hide this fact from her folks. But of course it comes out eventually, and somehow the media gets wind of it, as well. And you know what that means. The conservative father has to scramble around, trying to avoid any appearance of impropriety. Hilarity ensues.

I like to imagine that the PR guru huddle following the announcement of Bristol’s pregnancy looked like something out of The Birdcage. At least I hope it did, because then it would at least be funny as well as very, very sad.

Why is no one talking about a key implication of this pregnancy? Aside from what you might think about abortion or pre-marital sex, Bristol’s predicament opens up the issue of sexual education in schools.

Sarah Palin is known for her socially conservative views and values, including support for abstinence only education. I bet that Bristol has heard more than a little about abstinence from her family. Still, despite the influence of her conservative, religious parents, Bristol chose to engage in sexual intercourse. As a teenager. Outside of marriage.

Does this mean that Sarah Palin is a bad parent? That Bristol is a bad kid? Of course not. But this is a good example of why “abstinence only” sex education is not enough to protect American teens from unplanned pregnancies.

I know it’s an election year, and no one wants to bring up a touchy subject like sex ed in the public schools. But I’d love to see “abstinence only” proponents address the questions raised by Bristol’s choice.

Of course, Bristol is only one teenager. Perhaps she’s the exception to the rule. Perhaps most teenagers who receive “abstinence only” education choose not to have sex.

I don’t think that’s the case, though. Remember the government report that came out last year? I believe we should encourage abstinence, but remain realistic about teen sexuality.

This would be a great time for people to admit that many teenagers are going to have sex no matter what you tell them. It would be great if they didn’t, but that doesn’t mean that we can stop them.

The question is, how do we deal with this fact? What is the best way to protect teenagers? What role should the government play, and what role should be taken by the family? Is this a private matter, or an issue of public health?

In the meantime, the Republicans will work to save face and the Democrats will strive to keep the scandal fresh in our memories. But whatever your views, this is an opportunity to dig deeper into these issues.

The question of how to prepare our children to survive in our over-sexed culture should not be taken lightly. 

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About Amanada

  • Ruvy

    Amanda,

    You are so caught up in America’s consumo-porn culture that you cannot see that nigh every second article at a site like AOL, for example, is about sex in one way or another. Who porked who – how to get the guy, etc., etc.

    Even the tastiest piece of wheat bread, when soaked in a soup long enough, will pick up the soup’s flavor. This happened with Bristol, and her pregnancy should be no surprise. MY wife and I could scream from now until doomsday about the evils of drunkenness. But if our kids had gone to high school in Minnesota where we lived, the likelihood of one them coming home stinking drunk from a kegger was overwhelming.

    Dumped in a culture of shit, guess what Bristol Palin wound up smelling like? How strong would the soap needed to get rid of the stink be, Amanda?

    Before you talk about “realism” in dealing with teen sex, first figure out where the sexualization of you society has come from.

    This is not a useless question. It is an exercise in logic, as well as an exercise in where to fire that double barreled shotgun every writer has in his or her hands – the ability to fashion a persuasive sentence.

  • Condor

    Amanda,
    Nice level tone. If people can remember their teen years and the effects of hormones raging through their systems….

    In HS (besides school work and sports and whatever hobby you might have had), boys were really interested in getting laid. We checked it out, we went to dances, we did everything imaginable to come up with any scenario in which we could make out and advance our “knowledge of body”…. so to speak.

    Alas it was the late 60’s and early 70’s and the girls just weren’t as sexually active as they are now. They weren’t. Oh there were a few here and there, perhaps a make out session some summer at the beach…. but not like today. For one thing working mom’s were just about non-existant, meaning… they were on patrol, ceaselessly. You were never alone for long. If you got home from school and the house was empty, it would soon be full and you would be put to the chores of hauling in groceries, hauling out garbage, yardwork, feed the dog, clean the room, make the bed, then off to the filling station to pump gas for a 1.50 an hour part time job, collect soda bottles, play a little guitar… whatever; different times to say the least.

    Today, lots of time, idle time, life is good for teens today. Working parents, single parents, lots of spicy T.V., internet that has oodles of porn. Google a female name, with the safe search off…. like Heather (I was looking up the plant, not surfing for porn)… goodness gracious… that was an eyepopping experience.

    The nature of parenting today has become very challenging. It’s wasn’t so bad when I was a younster, and even when we were raising our own. But today… whew. I don’t know, I believe it would be really tough.

    So, I’m not surprized, and I’ll not deride the girl for the oops, or perhaps she meant to become pregnant… as is often the case. We don’t know. The parents seem to be taking in stride, which is good. It’s not the end of the world, just another family member.

    Now, some folks would be totally devestated, their life would suddenly be in ruins. Off to the clinic, immediate grounding; cast off the pyria. Panic, shock, hate, lawsuits; is it really that devastating an event? I don’t think it is and by the looks of thinks neither do the Palin’s, unless I’m reading this wrong, it appears that everything is being taken in stride.

  • http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/39420/joanne_huspek.html Joanne Huspek

    As a parent, I know that no matter what you say, how you feel, or what you do, your teenage child is going to likely do the exact opposite. That’s the nature of the beast.

    To attribute Bristol’s pregnancy to the Palin family parenting style completely ignores the fact that people of this age group are not well formed in the maturity area and they have minds of their own. They think they are smarter than everyone, parents included. Add to that factors that Ruvy mentioned, and you have a cocktail for disaster. That’s why teenagers make so many poor choices.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    My experiences as a parent track Joanne’s as to the nature of teenagers, Amanda. My younger son, a sharp boy with a good head and a good heart still manages to make plenty of poor choices because (he takes after his father so much it hurts) he thinks he knows better than everybody else! I’ll not repeat my first comment to your article. It should be clear enough….

  • http://www.jasvirtuel.com Janice

    It’s not such a bad thing about her daughter being pregnant. The problem is that the mom doesn’t believe in birth control! If you don’t want your child to end up with a lot of children with different fathers, which could end up being the case here, then what’s wrong with birth control!!!

  • Baronius

    Didn’t Bill Clinton more or less order the press to stay clear of Chelsea? The press were even fairly hands-off with the Bush girls. Is this another one of those rules of etiquette that we’ve lost?

    The fact is that it’s possible to discourage teenagers from having sex. You’re not going to win every battle, but a combination of diligence, instruction, and acne breakouts can keep a lot of kids from acting on their impulses. I wasn’t the most moral kid, but common sense and good parenting kept me from making a lot of mistakes.

    Studies have shown that abstinence-only education doesn’t do much good, but they are effective when combined with abstinence programs.

  • Clavos

    Didn’t Bill Clinton more or less order the press to stay clear of Chelsea?

    He did, indeed, and he was right. And yesterday, Obama issued a statement that agrees with that, saying Palin’s, or any politicians’ (including his own) families should be off limits in the political arena.

    And they’re both right.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Bill Clinton wasn’t handing down judgement of other’s parenting skills based on his own Clavos. Palin’s self righteous right-wing bullshit on abortion and morality is different.

  • Clavos

    Bill Clinton wasn’t handing down judgement of other’s parenting skills based on his own Clavos.

    Neither is Palin, Jet.

    Her views about morality are for herself.

    She has never tried to impose them on anyone else, that’s an erroneous assumption on your part, obviously rooted in your hatred of Fundamentalist Christians, which in turn appears to be rooted in their rejection of your sexual orientation.

    You can (and we are, albeit slowly) legislate away discrimination against gays, but you can’t legislate them into accepting you. Deal with it; it’s always going to be there.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Clavos-Palin was picked by McCain because of her well-publicized Evangelical right-wings credentials, in hopes of getting the christian-right to fall into step behind him.

    But of course you knew that.

    If her credentials are called into question because of how she raised her children, verses her public opinions-that’s fair.

    She’s being judges by her own stated morals, and she doesn’t like that.

    The fact that her hypocracy has come to light has the right wing evangelicals having fits, because on one hand they are aghast at her, but on the other hand they NEED McCain to get elected so their agenda can be pushed through the legislature along with a few more far-right supreme court judges.

  • Alex

    “Does this mean that Sarah Palin is a bad parent? That Bristol is a bad kid? Of course not. But this is a good example of why “abstinence only” sex education is not enough to protect American teens from unplanned pregnancies.”

    Ruvy and Joanne, I don’t see an indictment of Sarah Palin’s parenting style here. I think what the author is saying is that, DESPITE good parenting, the message wasn’t enough. You all seem to be on the same page.

  • Alex

    “The question of how to prepare our children to survive in our over-sexed culture should not be taken lightly.”

    Also, Ruvy, did you not read this last sentence of the article???? I think the author understands your analogy of the “culture of shit” perfectly well. But maybe you didn’t make it to the end of the article before getting ticked off, eh?

  • Baronius

    Jet, were you one of the people who thought that Bill Clinton shouldn’t have been impeached for his “private life”?

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    What it says is that teenaged hormones trump parental moral teachings every time-without exceptions.

    The point is Palin is being judged unfairly by her own outspoken moral standards and the GOP is scared silly of that.

    The problem with being an unknown is that even the smallest snatches of information forms opinions.

    It has been publisized that she was picked by McCain’s handlers because of her evangelical credentials.

    It’s doubtful that it was McCain’s decision as he’s only met the woman twice before nominating her for the second highest position in the land, which should graphically illustrate how tightly the right-wing faction of the GOP is holding McCain’s balls.

    Does the Vice presidential pick matter?

    You’re damned right it does!

    Why?

    Because McCain and Obama are virtually perceived as esentially the same people (which is why they’re consistantly tied in the polls) Therefore it’s a choice between Palin and Biden.

    Considering McCain’s age and health issues, I’d say it matters.

    President Palin… think about that and shudder. Christian evangelicals still maintain that a woman’s place is in the home raising children. You can bet their shitting bricks trying to wrap their heads around that concept.

    As for the general public… a potential Chief executive who’s only military leadership experience is head of the Alaska National guard, and a state with the population of Los Angeles?

    I’ll give her this-she’s succeeded in keeping Russia from invading Alaska, and her sharp leadership has kept bin Laden from blowing up a northern slope oil well yet, so that’s something. I wonder how long that’ll take to wind up in a GOP campaign commercial?

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    No Baronius, I’m one of the people who noticed that the GOP witch hunt couldn’t pin (and still can’t) anything on him but inuendos concerning White water, so they went after a lame thing like Monica Lewinsky, hoping we wouldn’t notice their failure to prove anything and how stupid it was to impeach a president for something probably at least half of them had done themselves…

    lie about having an affair on his wife.

    The fact that he was NOT removed from office by a rabid and determined GOP led congress says a lot about how fragile and transparent their bullshit against him was.

  • Clavos

    If her credentials are called into question because of how she raised her children, verses her public opinions-that’s fair.

    Not according to Obama, who obviously is a much more unbiased person than you, Jet.

    As he said, discussing families, and especially children in the political arena is uncalled for and an invasion of privacy; he indicated, properly, that his children are off limits as well.

    The only people calling her credentials into question are the people who wouldn’t vote for her anyway, which calls their actions into question.

    The religious right is solidly behind her (as are the overwhelming majority of republicans) and is in fact applauding her because her daughter will marry the father, and is not considering an abortion.

    People may not agree with her views, that is their right, but they don’t have a right to criticize her children; those who do are showing their own poor upbringing and lack of manners and taste.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Clavos, did you used to work for the Air Force explaining away UFO’s? That seems to be where your logic is coming from.

  • Clavos

    Thanks for the compliment, Jet, but no, I’ve never worked for the AF in any capacity.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    If it was Obama’s daughter that got pregnant out of wedlock-what do you honestly think Palin would’ve said?

    If it was Obama’s daughter that had to marry a teenager for knocking her up-what would the GOP commercials be saying right now?

    You damned well what they’d be saying.

    AND you know damned well that Palin would stand up and yell it’s no one’s business but Obama’s, knowing full well that she was leaving it up to others to yell from the rooftops about it so that she’d look “nobel and above the fray”… which is exactly what Obama did.

  • Clavos

    AND you know damned well that Palin would stand up and yell it’s no one’s business but Obama’s, knowing full well that she was leaving it up to others to yell from the rooftops about it so that she’d look “nobel and above the fray”… which is exactly what Obama did.

    Wow, you have a pretty low opinion of your man’s character, don’t you Jet?

    I’m not even voting for him, and I think he has more character than that.

  • troll

    …I heard that McCain wanted to start a rumor that Obama had fathered some black children until his staff clued him in

    politics

  • Clavos

    I don’t believe the rumor troll. McCain would never stoop so low…

  • troll

    what do you mean you don’t believe my rumor…I started it so I should know

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Clavos, I’ve written an anti-Obama article, just as I’ve voiced my misgivings with McCain. What I HAVEN’T been doing is going around with a patch over my left eye and a plug in my left ear so I can perceive one point of view (the political right) like you.

    I realize and acknowledge the failings AND the good sense on both sides, we liberals have a habit of doing that – unlike you who refuse to acknowledge anything you arrogantly disagree with or admit when you’re wrong.

  • Clavos

    When I’m wrong, I will admit it.

    It could happen…

    troll. Oh. That’s different. Never mind.

    (apologies to Gilda. RIP)

  • troll

    say goodnight Clavos

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Troll wins with #22.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Who the hell appointed you referee?

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Wow, lighten up, Francis.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Anything you say Matilda

  • Rodney

    I’ve started a website with regards to this story-it has a threefold purpose

    1 To separate fact from fiction in regards to Sarah Palin

    2 To write about Alaska

    3 A girlfriend and myself are being stalked by an insane sociopath drug dealer career criminal-for the past four days she has been unable to communicate with me in any way-police are on the case but I’m trying to get the story out there for her protection in case she’s been kidnapped or worse

    The website is here.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I’ll go with #2.

  • Cannonshop

    Amanda, I think your article raises some pretty interesting points. (steps aside as Jet and Clavos tumble across the room with Troll trying to mediate)

    First point, of course, is that, like the Bush kids, we’re seeing an example of offspring that don’t necessarily help mom-and-dad’s career. I really wondered at times if the idiotic attacks on Chelsea Clinton didn’t stunt her normal emotional development and turn her into a drone for daddy’s career. It’s not natural for a kid to have zero rebellions, and it’s not, in my opinion, natural for a politician’s kid to be too focused on supporting mom-and-dad’s careers.

    To wit: Bristol going out and doing what teenagers with few options for entertainment or distraction tend to do with her boyfriend-probably (likely) against Mom’s wishes, is reassuringly NORMAL. Teenagers are walking hormones, and Preachers’ Kids are the worst in that regard. (Yah, I know Sarah’s not a preacher, but she’s AoG and Fundamentalist, and a public figure. It’s pretty close to the same thing.)

    Second: Here’s your test of whether,and WHAT family values Palin-the-Governor and Palin-the-Mom subscribe to. Did she hide it in shame? No. Did she ‘disinclude’ her own child, or disown them? no. Is there gonna be a shotgun wedding? OH, very likely so.

    Third: The grandbaby will be born. This is probably the harshest thing about it-instead of a nice, convenient Abortion that can be kept quiet, there’s going to be a teenage mom in the Palin household-probably until the baby-daddy has a full time job, unless he’s already employed at a job that pays enough to support a young family on Alaska Prices (Which are high for food, shelter, parts…everything that you have to import).
    Talk about your punishments-Bristol’s going to have to deal with being a young mother even if she goes to school-and parenting is a pretty tough job. Given the example of her mom, that’s going to be hard shoes to fill enough, but she’s also got the Press and the Media, and if by some odd off chance the election goes to the “R” column, the scuzzbags won’t leave her be.

    It should all be quite amusing to watch, for as long as the newsday is slow.

  • Cannonshop

    You know, I screwed that up. Lemme start again.

    “Amanda, Your Article raises interesting Points.”

    (and disregard the rest of my reply-it’s off-topic.)

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Thanks for your concern Cannon. however there seems to be so many people leaning against the right side of this website, that there’s a real danger of it falling over and turning into a typical Local AM radio talk show that has to fill in time between Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck.

    I’m seriously thinking of leaving until after the elections are over in order to let them continue their apparent contest to see who can come up with the best anti-liberal wisecrack.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    …this has been a recorded announcement…

  • Cannonshop

    Well… Jet, um…

    damn.

    I would suspect I’ve lost that contest several months ago-I’m not particularly good at humour, though Perhaps I try a bit too much…

    Perhaps the reason you’re hearing so much mockery of the Left, is because the Left has gotten so damned self-serious? At times, so self-serious that it’s actually strident. You can tell, because of the dearth of good (or even sharp) McCain or Palin jokes- You know you’re taking yourself too seriously when you can’t come up with a good zinger about the other side.

    The closest I’ve gotten to-date was posted on one of these threads, and involved speculations that McCain is Bristol’s beau. (If I find it again, the teller owes me a cup of coffee and a keyboard.)

    So, Here’s what I think is your real problem-you’re taking this whole thing too seriously by half.

    Sit back, relax. find three ridiculous things about your own side, then re-address the other side’s flaws. You’ll probably find something biting, funny, and that will, in fact, stick.

    Or, you can go back to gazing upon the wonders of your navel and listening to the same echo-chamber over and over again reassuring you that you must be SERIOUS, self-pitying, and all the rest of it.

    If you choose that, that’s okay, we’ll find some nice conservative to make the Palin/McCain jokes, and pretend he’s a liberal, so we can pretend to be incensed (“INCENSED I SAY!!!”) about the slurs.

    but it won’t be the same. Your best friend in peer-reviewed science, or in politics, is a good enemy. A good enemy makes you think, keeps you on your toes, occasionally gets one in you can’t deny or debunk.

    without two sides, there is no debate.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    I looked at my own comments and at the article, and decided to give the whole thing another shot.

    Perhaps, the underlying question in the piece above is how to protect our children given these realities of an oversexualized society. That is not how Amanda wrote this piece, but let’s look just a bit deeper.

    IMHO, the very first thing one needs to do is recognize “these realities” and set oneself mentally outside of them.

    Consider.

    Sarah Palin got pregnant at 18 with her first son – and then married his father, her present husband. They lucked out in their marriage. Or they worked very hard at it. They have been a success – so far. But if you look at her career – a busy professional pursuing the corruption in her society as it affected Alaska’s politics – you have to ask if she was ever able to mentally set herself outside of these realities at all.

    Working to make a marriage work, carrying children, working to raise them, keeping a house, keeping a husband happy, working to make a living, working to erase corruption in Alaskan society (starting from the school board and working up), one wonders if she ever had the time for reflection. Understanding “these realities” takes reflection. Sarah Palin’s life over the last twenty years has been a lot of work – and work does not generally leave time for reflection.

    The hard-working Palins lived in their society and did not reflect at all. Read Sarah Palin’s bio. For fun, they hunt and fish in a cold climate. That too is hard work, leaving no time for reflection. So it is no surprise that one of their daughters followed mommy’s path and became pregnant out of wedlock. Now Bristol Palin is carrying a bastard in her tummy, and her high-profile family needs to make the little bundle of joy legal. The meaning of that entire previous sentence has been virtually erased over the last thirty years by the sexualization of American society.

    When you reflect, you realize that “these realities” weren’t always realities in American society. Maybe Amanda is too young herself to understand this. But I am not. I have seen how the society I lived in changed over the decades. At first the easier availability of birth control – and the resulting easier availability of young women to sleep with – was a lot of fun. When you are fifteen or twenty, you don’t understand what you need to consider over the long run. The “long run” is getting the young lady to pull her panties down for you this evening.

    But by the time I was thirty, the easier availability of women to sleep with was no longer new or exciting. It was just reality. Pleasing a partner in bed, it turns out, is also work. More work – less time to reflect.

    When you are fifteen or twenty, and your gonads rule your brain, it never occurs to you that every young woman has a mother – who was once a young woman herself, and who still sees herself that way at age forty, fifty or fifty-five when she looks in the mirror. You never understand the fuller profile, and all the things it implies for the young woman who has your attention. If you do not reflect at all, or more to the point, if you do not have parents who reflect and who can teach you the results of their reflection – you go after the young thing in front of you and do not consider all that comes with that young thing. Israel has no shortage of pretty young women. In fact, given that various kinds of vanity improvements are more common now than they were thirty years ago, like nose jobs, braces, etc., they are even prettier than they used to look. But now, when I stand at a bus-stop and I see them, I wonder what kind of family they come from, what mommy looks like, etc. etc.

    So, the bottom line here is that protecting children from the dangers of an oversexualized society – dangers which have followed us here to Jerusalem and even to the mountain village of Ma’ale Levona – need to be combated by reflection, and by a solid line of communication with the kids, so that the product of this reflection can be shared with them. I have the distinct feeling that while there was a solid line of communication between the parents and the children in the Palin family – there has been little time for reflection. An ethic of action and doing – even if that doing isn’t always within the allowable bounds of an Assembly of G-d family – seems to have won out in the Palin family.

    There is nothing wrong with Amanda’s piece per se, It is well written. But the issue here is not whether you teach abstinence or birth control techniques to children, which is where Amanda seems to lead us. The issue is “this is where sexualizing society gets you”; teaching either abstinence or birth control techniques to children is really deciding whether to use Band-Aids or Cur-Aids to cover the wound made by sexualizing society. It’s a trivial question. It is a mere squirrel in the forest. Amanda has much bigger game to hunt – and much to reflect on in doing so.

  • Cannonshop

    *Applause*

    That’s a good post, Ruvy, becuase it goes back to what makes Sarah Palin so attractive to a lot of Conservatives-it’s not her stances, it’s that she has an ethic of “Doing”, which doesn’t really give pause to reflection. You’ve made a pretty good argument for the “Nuance” the Democrats keep talking about wrt Obama. The guy doesn’t do anything, so maybe he’s being reflective…

    excellent post.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Cannonshop,

    You’ve misread my post entirely.

    1. I have no criticisms of Sarah Palin as McCain’s VP pick. He did fine. Further, my comments have nothing to do with Obama. I’m not talking about politics here, and frankly, this article does not belong in the politics section at all. It belongs in the culture section. But there is no used crying over spilt milk.

    Sarah Palin, attractive lady that she is, is in my opinion better off in Alaska as governor – not for my sake but for the sakes of the Alaskans she has served so well. If McCain is elected, inaugurated and then keels over dead, I think she would make an excellent president for your country.

    Conservative shmonservative!! She might actually do what is right here in the Middle East instead of the evil that Bush, Clinton, and then the little monkey Bush have done, and as McCain appears to promise to continue to do.

    But let’s not go and count the babies before they’ve been born, shall we? And let’s try to stay on topic, eh?

    2. This article has nothing to do with the politics of McCain’s picking Palin or with Obama’s seeming intelligence and reflective attitude.

    It has to do with a teenage girl who couldn’t keep her panties on, and with a teenage boy who just couldn’t keep his zipper shut. In a fuckee fuckee culture, where every second article is about sex and how to get it, they only did what is natural. They went fuckee fuckee! In a consumo-porn society where every third or fourth child born is what we used to call a bastard, this is a common story, a truism.

    So what? BFD? Who cares?

    The only reason that this story (not Amanda’s article, but the whole mess about Bristol being preggy and all) rises above the common herd is that Britol’s mommy – who did the exact same thing as a teenager herself – is running for vice president of your country.

    There is no surprise here. And we can’t condemn Sarah Palin too much either, can we? The apple did not fall too far from the tree, and in America, such trees grow in huge forests.

    3. I wrote about how to protect kids from the predatory bastards who have reduced you Americans (and by extension, the rest of us) to sex crazed idiots, all in the name of making a fast buck. That is what Amanda should be writing about in this article of hers. Her article itself isn’t badly written – but she merely nods at the fact that there is a real problem, and does not consider possible solutions at all.

    She can be excused for her youth. She is young enough to be my daughter. To expect her to write with the wisdom of a thirty, forty or fifty year old just isn’t fair. But you, who have been around the block a few times and who should know better, miss that target entirely.

    Why am I not surprised?

  • Cannonshop

    Nah, Ruvy, I got your original message, but it set me to thinking…how would a person on the other side of the debate twist it?

    Seriously. I’m trying to think “Outside the box” here. How would someone on the left twist Ruvy’s excellent insight into an argument against Palin and for Obama, while missing entirely the predatory sex-obsession-culture that has permeated the U.S. and much of the western world?

    ’cause you know, and I know, that the real problem is saturation, and the saturation has happened because it appeals to the Lowest Common Denominator of thought, the adolescent “Gotta getta Laid” thinking common to people who think consequences are wrong in and of themselves.

    This has happened to Republics before-the fall of Rome from Republic to Dictatorship was accompanied by similar changes in the culture, and the overreactions against it as well. (dammit, now I’m going to have to do an article using the classics. Ah well, some actual scholarship should kill the time between picket duties during the strike, and some good, shred-able attempt at amatuer classical scholarship might even provide the wiser heads ’round here with a laugh or two.)

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Heh!

    How would someone on the left twist Ruvy’s excellent insight into an argument against Palin and for Obama, while missing entirely the predatory sex-obsession-culture that has permeated the U.S. and much of the western world?

    Cannonshop, just go to Lisa Solod Warren. She’s got all the answers to your puzzle. And she has been popping out anti-Palin screeds much faster than Sarah Palin popped out rug-rats….

    You made me smile, dude, you made me smile….

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/amanda_bittle Amanda Bittle

    Ruvy,

    I think I understand your point, but let me make sure:

    Are you saying that, because the sexualization of our nation is a problem in and of itself, we should not bother to consider how to protect our children from it in the here and now? That it is MORE important to reflect on WHY our culture is the way it is, and on how to make major changes in it?

    Teaching our children about abstinence and/or birth control IS a “band-aid,” as you say, but that does NOT mean it is not important. It will be a long time before our culture changes, I think, and in the meantime we need a survival plan.

    With this article, I did not intend to address the larger philosophical issues surrounding the bizarre and contradictory attitudes American have toward sexuality. That would require a much larger piece, probably a series of pieces.

    I do appreciate your focus on the bigger picture, though. That’s important, too. Perhaps a two-fold approach would be best? Helping our kids to navigate the culture the way it is, but also focusing on long-term changes that would create a healthier environment for future generations?

  • Ruvy

    Amanda,

    Perhaps a two-fold approach would be best? Helping our kids to navigate the culture the way it is, but also focusing on long-term changes that would create a healthier environment for future generations?

    BINGO! You hit the nail right on the head, Amanda. You got a hole in one, if you don’t mind the bad pun and mixed metaphors….

    I’ve attempted to teach our sons abstinence, (my wife pushes harder on that issue than I) but also recognize the need for birth control devices of one kind or another. That’s so that they don’t surprise us with some young lady with a rounded belly coming to stay for a while…. You just can’t be a one-note Johnny in a multi-tuned world.

    But, in addition to all this, I’ve concentrated on that bigger picture – the oversexualized society and who (in my opinion) benefits and how they (the boys) – and the rest of us – get screwed over.

    In addition, I’ve concentrated on history. You cannot know in your gut what the world was like without fatal and incurable diseases like AIDS. You are just too young to. Because of this, there was, for a few short years, an immense amount of sexual freedom. It was within this spirit of sexual freedom that young men and women (like I once was) were able to pursue each other like satyrs in a forest. Emotionally, it was a different world thirty years ago, heady with pleasures untasted and with roses that seemed to have no thorns. This too, you need to understand, and it is difficult to get that across….

    A couple of points, if I might toss them in, though. First of all, the culture will not change unless we make the effort to change it ourselves. That is a slow and difficult process. Secondly, we should be careful about moral condemnation. All of us live in glass houses when it comes to “following that which our eyes lust after”. That is why, for all of my annoyance with and contempt for America’s consumo-porn society, I don’t throw around phrases like “cheap whore”, “tramp”, “slut”, or “rutting stag” to describe those involved with all this. By those standards, I was once just a rutting stag with hot eyes and roving hands myself, and the young women who consented to enjoy sex with me would have then been tramps, sluts and cheap whores themselves.

  • pleasexcusetheinterruption

    Wow, you have a pretty low opinion of your man’s character, don’t you Jet?

    I’m not even voting for him, and I think he has more character than that.

    Oh come on Clavos, you can’t be serious. Since when did you think so highly of politicians? These campaigns go through so many details to gain any advantage possible. Of course Obama is hoping people are turned off by the Palin teenage pregnancy. And of course he wants other people to make an issue of it. And of course he wants to appear above the fray.

    I will say deep down he wishes we could all move beyond this but as long as the political arena is dominated by ‘wedge’ issues (abortion, gay marriage, sex ed, taxes, gun control etc.) it’s not going to happen.

    And do not doubt for a second the right would seize onto a Barrack family teenage pregnancy out of marriage in a heart beat. They would probably make a far bigger deal out of it than the left has.

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