2.29.2008

Babies With Babies

Feministing posted an interesting story about a Colorado state rep made a comment in public about how teen moms are "sluts" and his subsequent visit to a high school for parenting teen women. The comments following the article are probably even more interesting. I really like how some assholes want to have abstinence-only education in schools so students don't learn about contraception, then, when teens get pregnant, they don't want them to have access to abortions, but when the teens who choose to raise their children want to have a public education and/or services so they can better themselves and provide for their children, they are dismissed as "freeloaders" or "slut" or "wastes of taxpayers money".

Where's the public derision for the male "sluts" who participating in making said babies? Oh, wait, there aren't terms specifically tied to male promiscuity. My bad.

People: if you want to break the cycle of poverty among people who have only known generational poverty all their lives, we've got to figure out a system that empowers young people to gain social capital to do so--not welfare, but programs that help them figure out how to better themselves. I would much rather my tax dollars go to programs that help teen parents than to fund this bullshit war. When will the need to act punitively towards those teens (TEENS, i.e. still lacking frontal lobe development)who made mistakes quit superceding the progress we could make by giving people who have never gotten a break in life tools to make their own breaks?

I have known, over the course of my career, many parenting teens. They all have different stories, backgrounds, and circumstances that led to their current station in life. The commonality between them is that they need help. Some may grow up and abuse the system--I don't think we'll ever escape that. But most of them desperately want to escape poverty and need help to figure out how to do that. We're too busy lambasting "sluts" for getting pregnant so they could get on the dole that we can't see that breaking the cycle of poverty is possible.

Here's an example: one of my kids explained to me, in great detail, how to manipulate an interview with a social worker in order to become eligible for disability checks more quickly. She knew this because she learned from her mother. That same student had no idea what a FAFSA was or how to fill it out. Do we punish the mother's manipulation of the system by refusing to help her daughter figure out how to help herself? Because if we do that, we'll be paying for her daughter's disability checks soon enough.

Sidenote: If Juno was black, would the movie have been nominated for an Oscar? Would it even have been a comedy? Discuss.

Honestly, if we could just give Depo shots in the lunchline, we could alleviate this whole problem.

2 comments:

Rebecca said...

interesting thought about juno. . . unfortunately, it's 1am and i've battled a headache all day, and i've nothing profound to add other than the above sentence.

Reza said...
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