I don’t think of myself as having a feminist flag to wave. I don’t mind if a guy opens a door for me; however, I don’t mind if anyone holds or opens a door for me, especially if my hands are full. I don’t consider it chivalrous; I call it GOOD MANNERS.
However, Thursday night as I watched “Private Practice,” I was struck by the situation of the 12-year-old girl who was pregnant. Granted, this is TV, so the circumstances to follow can be controlled by story’s writers, but I suddenly remembered that a few weeks ago, headlines all over the world talked about a 13-year-old boy who had impregnated his 16-year-old girlfriend. But I don’t remember the last time I saw a news item about a 13-year-old girl who got pregnant — unless the father was HER father or other relative, or if she delivered the baby and stuffed it in a Dumpster.
When I was in middle school, I remember a seventh-grade girl who got pregnant, and there were no news crews following her around. The only attention she got came from other students — as well as a concerned teacher, who had to pull her aside because the girl had no idea how she had gotten pregnant. (TRUE STORY!)
Are we sending the wrong message by giving all the attention to the young fathers? I don’t even remember too much being said about the 16-year-old mother of the child. It seems as if we’re almost patting him on the back. What does that say about us?
On sort of a flip side of this situation is the Octomom. Yes, I’m going to bring her up even though I do believe she’s got more than just a few loose screws. She’s got screws that have fallen into a sewage drain somewhere. Still, would we have all these discussions and scrutiny if she were married or if the father were at least a participant in her and the children’s lives? The extra income would probably relieve some of the concerns because she wouldn’t need as much taxpayer money, and of course, there is still the issue of having another six kids at home.
But people have accused her of having babies for celebrity status, yet society has made that possible thanks to reality TV, free swag for advertisement, and endless positive media attention. Do we really think that there’s no possibility of someone who’s unstable seeing all the attention and free stuff and thinking, “Oooh, I want that, too!” However, no one seems to say anything negative about COUPLES who have experienced multiple births, and some of them had other children (granted, not six).
Is it that precious male appendage that can bring or take away all the attention or scrutiny? How fair is that?
I don’t have the answers here, and I’m sure I’ll get all sorts of controversial or confrontational comments, but I just wanted to ask these questions because I haven’t seen anyone else tackle them.