01 September 2008

I Blame Diablo Cody (and Jason Reitman) . . .

He's a superhunky bad-boy ice hockey player from cold country; she's a chestnut-haired beauty and popular high school senior.
(from the NY Daily News, and given that lead paragraph, wouldn't be surprised if all three journalists with a byline on this article are barely out of high school, themselves)

Folks on the left have already started up about Sarah Palin's daughter being pregnant at 17, and how that is obviously proof that abstinence only education doesn't work since Palin is for that, but her oldest daughter, Bristol, failed to abstain (not bothering with links, but have been hearing this stuff all day on CNN, Bill Bennett sounded like he wanted to give Wolf Blitzer a beatdown for his snide tone over this).

First, schools don't influence teenagers choices when it comes to their sexuality, they'll screw or not screw largely based on opportunity, popularity, attractiveness, and their own hormone stew. "Protection", and the realization that actions have consequences aren't often at the forefront of a teen kids thoughts when making decisions about that sort of activity.

Second, parents have an influence, but they can't be everywhere, they can't prevent their kids from doing the stuff that kids have done since forever. All parents can do is accept that life happens, and embrace life when life is the result of that 'life happening'. That's what the Palin family has done, and that's commendable. Lefties have been bad enough about this with Bristol Palin proceeding with the pregnancy, imagine if she had slipped off to the closest planned parenthood office and 'taken care of' her problem. Chances are, someone would have leaked it, and then the lefties would be calling Sarah Palin a hypocrite because she had a daughter end a pregnancy (which would make as much sense as blaming Gov. Palin's support for abstinence only education, but would have been ten times nastier).

Third, I don't blame Bristol, I don't blame Sarah, I don't blame abstinence only education, I blame the realities of small towns, long cold Alaska nights, time to kill, and not that many different options for killing that time, and most of all, I blame Diablo Cody (and Jason Reitman).

How much you wanna bet Bristol had seen Juno before getting pregnant herself? (a shame they don't live in Juneau, then I could play with that pair of homophones, but sounds like the kids and husband have spent most of their time in Wasilia, and didn't move to the state capital, so no Juno/Juneau jokes). There were commenters on the left who were disappointed that the character Juno didn't do the 'smart thing' and end her unplanned pregnancy. Part of the reason why that little art house movie played well beyond the art houses was (besides being well done) was that it didn't preach one way or other regarding this issue, it just showed one kids choice, and one family's (humorous) struggle to deal with the consequences. So, for showing a teen make the hard choice and proceed with an unplanned pregnancy, and showing that choice within the context of a humorous film, she paved the way for stuff like this.

(hey, my contention is no more ridiculous than saying the presence or absence of abstinence only sex ed in public schools made a difference in the personal choices this teenaged couple made)

UPDATE: I think I should be clear (just in case on the off chance that someone might actually read this), Bristol Palin's uterus is none of my business, nor is it the sole responsibility of her mother, nor do the facts as presented show Gov. Palin to be anything but a caring parent who gets to be a grandparent a little earlier than planned. Beyond that, Obama's response was the correct one, to a degree. non-adult children of politicians should be off limits, adult children of politicians (along with any other relation or acquaintence) who themselves engage in political activity, need to be scrutinized, especially if they use their special access to a powerful personage for financial gain, or contribute to their powerful relation in engaging in questionable activities.

Family stuff, should remain family stuff, but just cause someone is a family member, doesn't automatically make all their actions 'family stuff'. Clearly, a teen pregnancy should just about be the definition of 'family stuff', and most voters get that, and those that don't will only end up hurting the candidate they hope to support by making this situation a big issue.

You like how I alluded to Biden's son and brother without ever mentioning their names?

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