Baby on board
Yeah, I know, writing about Bristol Palin’s pregnancy is so two days ago, but bear with me, I took Monday off for Labor Day. I wasn’t near my computer most of the day, I got the news myself while checking e-mail on my phone. I do so love living in the future, even if we still don’t have flying cars yet.
ANYWAY, yes, Bristol Palin, expecting a child at the ripe young age of seventeen. You know, I’m not going to criticize Bristol for getting knocked up. I’m not even going to criticize Sarah Palin for “letting it happen.” Given that Barack Obama, the child of a teenage mother himself, requested that judgment not be passed against the Palin Family for this situation, it’s disheartening to see how gleefully ugly the schadenfreude is right now coming from other Democrats. It’s bad enough that there’s a soap operatic rumor that Sarah Palin’s youngest child is actually Bristol’s child, but the new twist that he is a product of incest committed between Bristol and either her father or her older brother (no one is quite sure) is simply repugnant, and makes me a little ashamed to be a liberal. Undoubtedly, if it had been a daughter of Obama’s who was announced to be a pregnant, unwed teenager Republicans would be calling for his head mounted on a pike, but that’s not really the point. Can’t we just take the high road for once?
Calm the fuck down, everyone, it’s not like Bristol Palin got caught trading blowjobs for meth behind the local Target. She had sex, as many young people do, she accidentally got pregnant, which is an occasional consequence. Despite the common misconception that accidental pregnancies only seem to happen to poor white trash and/or minorities, in truth it’s simply a biological function that doesn’t distinguish between ethnicity, location or how much money your parents make per year. An egg is an egg and a sperm cell is a sperm cell, and when a man and a woman kinda sorta like each other, he puts his wing-ding in her hoo-ha, and sometimes that results in a beautiful cluster of tissue, which may eventually turn into a baby, or it may not. Thankfully, women still have the right to make that decision.
So it’s not an issue of Bristol Palin doing something “wrong,” it’s really “there but for the grace of God go you and I.” How many diaper-wearing bullets do you think you dodged when you were young and impulsive? Getting pregnant, or getting someone pregnant sometimes comes down to nothing more than sheer timing. And this is why I want to see anyone in McCain’s camp at this point, with a straight face, try to continue endorsing abstinence-only sex education in schools. Seriously, if they can get through an entire speech insisting that instead of access to birth control kids need to be brought up in a home with good Christian values, and that purity balls are not incredibly fucking creepy, without dissolving into a fit of giggles and saying “Sorry, sorry, I’m just messing with you guys,” I’ll give them a crisp one dollar bill. Hell, they can consider it a campaign donation. Bristol Palin and her unborn child represent living proof that “educating” desperately horny teenagers by just telling them not to have sex simply doesn’t work. It’s not a sign of a morally bankrupt society, where our teenagers are corrupted by the MTV and the internets, it has never worked. It will continue not working five hundred years from now, when twenty foot tall robots will walk the earth and we’ve all evolved to having iPod earbuds actually growing out of our skulls. I’m not saying McCain should start tossing out condoms like lollipops at his public appearances, but if he’s going to continue being that blindly, blatantly hypocritical, he really isn’t fit for the presidency.
I also find it rather distasteful that Sarah Palin is now using her daughter’s pregnancy to pander to her pro-life supporters. I’m not sure how “brave” or “heroic” her decision to keep her baby really was. After all, these decisions come much easier when your family is loaded. While teenage pregnancy can affect girls from all walks of life, it’s doubtful many of them have one parent who is an oil company executive, and another who’s a fucking governor. The majority of teenage mothers simply do not have the advantages Bristol Palin has. When I was her age I worked at McDonald’s. My father, a single parent, worked as a taxi driver. If I had gotten pregnant, I would have had to apply for WIC, perhaps welfare, Medicaid, all those programs conservatives insist are a drain on the federal budget. Baffling hypocrisy at work again: hey, teenage girls, if you get pregnant, you’re morally obligated to keep the baby even if you don’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of, but don’t come looking to the government for help. We’re not about helping deadbeat hussies who couldn’t keep their legs closed, after all.
Further, I find the Palin Family claims that “We’re happy, we’re so happy, we really couldn’t be happier!” over Bristol’s pregnancy to be a bit dubious. Really? You just couldn’t be happier that your daughter is going to be married and a mother before she’s even old enough to vote, huh? And now the father-to-be’s family, who just two days ago was refusing to even speak to the press, suddenly they’re crapping rainbows over it as well. Sarah Palin’s smiling and waving Stepford Wife approach to the situation seems rather unconvincing, as I don’t imagine most other families would be busting out the champagne and Carvel ice cream cake if their kids approached them with a blue stick in hand. If Palin is trying to appeal to women voters, it would behoove her to be honest and upfront about the situation. Give an interview to a respectable journalist (as in, not Bill O’Reilly), tell the truth about how she felt when she first heard the news. Did she cry? Curse? Yell at her kid? Did she act like a real person with feelings would actually act? If she can be that open and honest, she may be able to cure some of the damage this situation is causing. If she continues to insist that is the best news she got since Oreos became available with chocolate creme, then clearly she’s a pod person intent on turning the White House into an alien base of operations.