Today

25 Dec

Merry Christmas to you and to everyone you know who celebrates Christmas.  We do, even though the whole lot of us are secular something or others.  We like god just fine.

Anyway, Christmas is the celebration of the mis-calendarization of the day Jesus was born.  And what better day, a day dedicated to an unhappily poor pregnant woman who was convinced she conceived immaculately (hymenly speaking) to talk about Jamie Lynn Spears.

Lets get to the end first.  Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant not because her sister is a bad influence, or because her mother sucks, or because she’s white trash who pulled herself up by her Ugg bootstraps into her Robertson Blvd. life.  She’s pregnant because nobody bothers to teach girls about sex.

I’m not talking about procreation.  Kids don’t need to learn about procreation, they get it.  Mommy and Daddy roll around, a penis goes into a vagina and a baby comes out.  Dogs, Bees, Horses, Flies and some really sick fucks who like bicycles do it.  Google could easily be renamed “has anyone every fucked a ______?”  Kids can find out everything about the
mechanics of sex, the kinkitude, reassuring themselves that humping Fuzzybear isn’t the grossest thing in the world.  When you think about it, parents would do a great thing if they gave kids unlimited access, and then provided intelligent resources to research the truth behind the mythology of porn.

But that isn’t what we do.  What we do is we tell girls that they are supposed to be fuckable but not fuck, and if they do, they are sluts.  And study after study after study says the same thing: girls who are inculcated with this ideology (if I have sex I am a slut) cannot function in modern society.  Because they do have sex, for a myriad of reasons, and then once they do they see themselves as fallen, and once fallen, are willing to give up their bodies.  Girls who learn abstinence only are more likely to have multiple partners and unprotected sex.  Think of it from their point of view — you save yourself, you lose it to some guy who barely notices you the next day, and you think, “well if I am only worth this much, then why the fuck not have sex?”

This isn’t how we want our daughters thinking about sex.  I want to raise a daughter who thinks “I get to have sex and I get to do it on my terms, and I deserve to enjoy it, as much as possible, as safely as possible.”

Jamie Lynn Spears puts in stark perspective the fact that we still think of women as property, as unable to fend for themselves and as too simple to make complex decisions.  She is the product of not being trusted with her own body.  She could have had all the sex she wanted and not have gotten pregnant.

I do not believe that girls have babies as status symbols.  I think that they cope with babies by making them status symbols, but the myth of “girls have babies because they want to” dismisses everything we know about a sixteen year old girl.  She isn’t capable of making lifelong commitments.  Sex isn’t a lifelong commitment, and here is where the abstinence idiots and I part ways, and quickly.  Telling someone that is sexual that they can’t engage in sexual activity, and that any sexual contact is morally wrong isn’t the solution to the problem of teen pregnancy.  Teaching girls everything they need to know to make good decisions, by being honest and clear, by acknowledging subtlety and the complexities of being a woman, that is what they deserve.

And the most infuriating?  That the news outlets are reporting how “uncomfortable” parents are dealing with this information with their tween daughters.  This is a great opportunity for a dialogue about pregnancy, about sex, about being pro-choice (and by that I mean, that every girl makes all the choices regarding her body.)  Your daughters want information.  Why won’t you give it to them?

In the meantime, good luck Jamie Lynn.  I suspect you’ll find being a 16 year old parent difficult at best.  In your position, you are going to be a lightning rod for a lot of proselytizing. Do we have any sort of vocabulary for talking about feminism, sexism, sexual health and pregnancy?  Could we?

Happy Baby Jesus Day…

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