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Young, Dumb and Full of--

Apparently a seventeen year old girl is pregnant, and she's going to keep the baby and marry the father, but we're not allowed to talk about that, or so Papa Obama says, and so we're going to talk about not talking about it.

Usually, I don't go for talking about American politics, but you have to laugh at this one. A teenager is pregnant because she was stupid, and like the white elephant in the room, people are going to skirt round the issue and not talk about it, while making various jokes at the expense of the girl and the parents. It's rather like you're at Xmas with the family and there's a scandal because one of your cousins has a bump and she hasn't even done the HSC yet. You think it would raise questions about sex education, about abortion, about rights, about being young and stupid and making mistakes, about the sanctity of marriage, about the rights of gays, and oh, a whole lot more you could perhaps spiral out of it and make candidates squirm around having opinions.

(Cross posted with benpeek.com for that extra goodness.)

Comments

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catsparx
Sep. 2nd, 2008 03:19 am (UTC)
the American election lead up has proved to be awesome internet viewing so far
king_espresso
Sep. 2nd, 2008 04:10 am (UTC)
Yeah, it's like watching the slo-mo demolition a very large, very ornate and once prestigious building.
benpeek
Sep. 2nd, 2008 04:18 am (UTC)
i dunno, i think i've just lost any serious interest in politics through my cynicism...
catsparx
Sep. 2nd, 2008 04:20 am (UTC)
Dude, I don't recall you ever having any interest
benpeek
Sep. 2nd, 2008 04:21 am (UTC)
before your time, before your time.
catsparx
Sep. 2nd, 2008 04:22 am (UTC)
before my time you weren't even born!
benpeek
Sep. 2nd, 2008 04:23 am (UTC)
seems about the right time frame for my interest, don't you think?
catsparx
Sep. 2nd, 2008 04:24 am (UTC)
yep
ellen_datlow
Sep. 2nd, 2008 04:31 am (UTC)
Just to be fair, there CAN be accidents even using birth control.
catsparx
Sep. 2nd, 2008 04:33 am (UTC)
true. But I don't hold much faith in the success rate of abstinence education as a realistic precaution against unwanted teen pregnancy
ellen_datlow
Sep. 2nd, 2008 04:40 am (UTC)
Kids don't always do what their parents teach them--although the evidence here does seem to indicate Bristol, might have--poor thing.
catsparx
Sep. 2nd, 2008 04:42 am (UTC)
her name is Bristol? poor thing indeed!
ellen_datlow
Sep. 2nd, 2008 04:43 am (UTC)
Yup.
king_espresso
Sep. 2nd, 2008 05:20 am (UTC)
Obviously Cockney rhyming slang never reached Alaska
mondyboy
Sep. 2nd, 2008 05:28 am (UTC)
I've got one question for you ben, just one question -

What sort of name is Bristol? Really...
benpeek
Sep. 2nd, 2008 05:29 am (UTC)
isn't it the name of some kind of paint company?

:)
king_espresso
Sep. 2nd, 2008 05:30 am (UTC)
Bristol is cockney rhyming slang for a football team - Bristol City. Bristol City = Titty.
benpeek
Sep. 2nd, 2008 05:33 am (UTC)
probably a similar bit of slang exists round bristol herself ;)
king_espresso
Sep. 2nd, 2008 05:36 am (UTC)
Yeah, it kind of reminds me of the Spoonerism you can do with Brangelica's kid, Shiloh Pitt. ;-)
mrteufel
Sep. 2nd, 2008 09:00 am (UTC)
I believe all her children are named after types of aeroplane.

?
exp_err
Sep. 2nd, 2008 05:38 am (UTC)
What gets me is that she accepted the nomination knowing what sort of public exposure and ridicule it would expose her daughter to. It could be a reasonable decision, all considerations taken into account, but it's certainly a harsh one.
mrteufel
Sep. 2nd, 2008 09:01 am (UTC)
Is it possible she didn't know? I understand her kids are taken care of by relatives, because hubby's off fishing or mining or something.
nballingrud
Sep. 2nd, 2008 12:36 pm (UTC)
Sex education, abortion, and women's rights are not only valid topics of discussion, they're essential -- but deriding the Obama camp for its sharp condemnation of making this seventeen year old girl a flash point in a national campaign seems bizarre to me. It's not often that we see moral behavior in politics, especially when it might come at the cost of some easy political points, and I think we ought to be grateful for it when it does occur. Are we so cynical now that we even scoff at the notion of protecting children -- even if they are politicians' children? Come on, man.
benpeek
Sep. 2nd, 2008 03:54 pm (UTC)
it's a political move, though, on obama's part. by saying this, he wins cred with a lot of people, because he doesn't 'stoop' to the much raking level that others have. essentially, he says, 'i have dignity, i will not use a teenager as a topic.' but what it also does is allow him to neatly skip all those topics that might be divisive in his supporters.

which may be cynical, of course, but it's hard to imagine that no one in his political campaign didn't see the easy win win of that stance.
nballingrud
Sep. 2nd, 2008 07:07 pm (UTC)
Yes, it certainly is. But it also happens to be the right thing to do. I think that counts for something. Furthermore, I don't know that any topics are being skipped. Certainly most of the ones you listed have already gotten some play in this campaign. Those topics don't need one specific teenage girl to catalyze discussion. They certainly never have before.
benpeek
Sep. 2nd, 2008 11:44 pm (UTC)
i dunno, man. maybe we'll have to come down on the other side there, since i doubt 'the right thing' has been a motivation in politics for a while now.
nerdwife
Sep. 2nd, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC)
While I see your point- the campaign's rapid insistence that Bristol "chose" to keep the baby avoids the fact that under mommy and McC, she would have no choice- I think there's a broader issue here about of the treatment of the Palins as women in this campaign. Consider the recent treatment of Sarah in the media: neatly concentric coverage of her motherhood status and rack size, insightful pieces such as "Can a Mom be Vice President?" (see the Washington Post) or Sarah's "chick flick" career, detailed in the New York Times; don't even get me started on VPILF.com.... In the end, this downplays valuable info on her platform- like her stance that creationism should be taught in science classrooms, for example. It seems we still value the sum of a woman's progeny and anatomy more than her voice; if restricting Bristol coverage means some actual voting-record evaluation of Palin may be shoehorned into media, I'm all for it.

benpeek
Sep. 2nd, 2008 11:45 pm (UTC)
hey, aren't you suppose to be writing a grant application ;p

i see your point. to be honest, i was just making a joke at the expense of the thing, in part because i find the 'right' thing of obama to be pretty self serving.
ext_106448
Sep. 3rd, 2008 08:29 pm (UTC)
Well I made the mistake of posting on www.benpeek.com and missed out on all this discussion damn it. So I'll repost here:

Not everyone is afraid to talk about it and the related issues, Amy Goodman did. (http://www.democracynow.org/2008/9/2/stream)

She also points out that Palin is a ‘pro-life’ and anti-sex ed/anti-contraceptive Republican.

Also an entertaining discussion on CNN Larry King Live: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9c12DfJ_J2A
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