Home > family, feminism, Politics, sex, Uncategorized > I’ve changed my mind

I’ve changed my mind

I’ve decided that Bristol Palin’s pregnancy is totally a valid political issue.

Writing yesterday’s post did, eventually, help me clarify my thoughts. And I’ve decided that I understand why Obama is saying that we should lay off, but I think that the rest of us need to talk about this. Because Bristol Palin is a totally valid political issue.

Here’s why: You can’t claim that it’s a “private family matter,” if your whole damned fucking platform is based on taking that self-same private family issue and making it a political hobby horse.

These people, this party, this Sarah Palin, wants to take away my daughter’s right to make a “private choice” if she’s ever in the same situation. She and they want to make it a matter of national law and public policy.

What’s more, she wants to condemn whole piles of girls to miserable fates. The “abstinance-only” plank of the platform is a particularly insidious ways of perpetuating ignorance. If your parents were’t taught basic sexual information by their parents — and an astounding number of them were NOT — then an abstinence-only policy means that you will only ever learn about one small sliver of human sexuality. If this gets passed, then whole swathes of youths will be doomed to vicious ignorance.

(Before any one of you says that it’s impossible to be sexually ignorant in today’s society, I point you to the Florida teens who have became convinced that drinking bleach would kill AIDS and that douching with Moutain Dew would prevent pregnancy. Many of these teens were 17 and 18. As a former sexpert for a number of allegedly well-educated people, I can tell you that this kind of misinformation isn’t uncommon, regardless of class, race, or gender.)

When the GOP decided to make sexuality and birth choices part of its central tenants, it chose to elevate the private into a very public spotlight. So I’ve decided that we can discuss, debate, and deliberate using Bristol Palin as a jumping off point. I’m sorry that this young girl’s private life has been offered up on the altar of public debate, but her mother has made a series of choices which have caused it to be an inevitablity. So, let the games begin.

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  1. J. Dotson
    September 3, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    I also believe that Sarah Palin is responsible for the debate about her daughter. If she was truly interested in keeping family matters private, she would have protected her daughter rather than thrusting her into the limelight. Poor decision, I believe.

  2. September 3, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    Let’s not forget that this goes beyond just abstainance education. And it goes beyond Roe v. Wade. It goes to the heart of Griswold v. Connecticut, the decision which gave women the ability to get birth control of any kind!

    Palin is the kind of person who, like Schafly, can do whatever she chooses in social, political or public life, yet if other women want to accomplish, it is much better that THEY stay at home, that THEY have children, that THEY no longer have a voice.

    This whole Palin private matter works well – for her. I don’t want anything she has on her agenda to affect the rest of us.

  3. September 3, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Here is a link to a post I put up at TalkingPointsMemo. Check out the link to AmericaBlog (as well as the others). AB takes on the whole Griswold v. Connecticut thing quite well.

    http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/talk/2008/09/obama-who.php

  4. September 3, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    I don’t think Palin, per se, did that. McCain did to quash the “who is the baby-mama” talk. But her accepting the offer of his Veep, did indeed, do just that.

  5. September 3, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    BTW, I put up a link to the Griswold thing. It is probably in the spam bin now. I hope the blog owner releases it. It’s a very good read.

  6. September 3, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    right on! how dare them claim the “family values” platform, espouse those same values within their own family, THEN flip it when they fail dismally to be about their pro-life stance. Basically, it’s a win-win for conservatives’ children who want to screw around — they’re not taught about protection, then they get pregnant, then they get to sprout pro-life rhetoric. They’re following all the cliched party lines. far be it for democrats to point out the sad ramifications of teen age pregnancy. they call us hypocrital when they’re the real hypocrits.

  7. September 5, 2008 at 7:56 am

    what is so bad about abstinence? lets see: having confidence and pride in yourself, not having any of those regrets, making your marriage special, not worrying about pregnancy or std’s, regarding yourself as special and sacred…ohhh no! god forbid! how horrible. lets just tell everybody that they are worthless so its no big deal.

  8. September 5, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    Stellastewart, there is nothing wrong with abstinence, it is a good thing to teach and live by. But reality is that teenagers will engage in sexual activity, and they need to know how to protect themselves.

    They need to know how to not get STD’s, nasty things that can kill them.

    The need to know how to not get pregnant and possibly wind up living a life of poverty – for both them and their child.

    You can live in a fantasy world thinking that people will not have sex until they get married, and some may and I applaud that, but the reality is that abstinance only education does not work.

    It is a massive disservice to women to not allow them to control when they have children and how to protect themselves from becoming pregnant.

    If you want to stop abortions, stop women from getting pregnant. And that starts with understanding how to not get pregnant – which includes, but is not limited to abstaining from sexual behavior. Begins with….

  1. September 5, 2008 at 12:36 pm

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