Monday, June 23, 2008

A bad baby boom

No one is all that surprised anymore by teen pregnancies. Girls who get "in the family way" are no longer sent away to live with a relative or placed in a home for "wayward girls." But the story out of Gloucester High School in Massachusetts last week was an attention-grabber. It seems at least eight, and perhaps more, of the high school's female students entered a pact to get pregnant and raise their children together. None was older than 16. School principal Joseph Sullivan told Time magazine that the girls gave each other high fives and starting planning baby showers when test showed they were expecting. And one of the fathers, said Sullivan, "is a 24-year-old homeless guy." Nice. School district superintendent Christopher Farmer told WBZ-TV that the pregnant posse are mostly "girls who lack self-esteem and have a lack of love in their life." He forgot one thing. They're really, really stupid. Real life is not like the movie "Juno," in which Ellen Page, shown above, is a highly intelligent girl with unfailingly supportive parents and friends - and a rich Yuppie couple waiting to adopt her child. Real life will be 3 a.m. feedings, crappy diapers and, most likely, trying to raise a child while mired in single-mother poverty. Let's see how they like it then. Of course, the ones who will suffer most are the children born to these idiots. Won't life be great for them?



Blogger Roger said...

Wow, no comments yet?

This is yet one more mark in the landscape of our country's loss of a moral compass. Perhaps there are at least two things at work in this story worth noting.

First, the girls have been raised to believe self-worth, self-esteem comes from something external. They have been led to believe that one has to be identified with something bizarre and out of the ordinary. They have no self-respect from who they are as persons, rather are seeking their respect, their worth, their esteem through this strategy. They have no sense of the significance of what they are doing, and the impact their pact will have on themselves, or the baby. They are starting life with a very heavy load to bear -- no education (may/may not graduate), and the responsibility of another life. And, that is not even considering parents, grandparents, and other relatives who will undoubtedly be involved with the baby.

This does not exonerate the men who provided the "stud service." They too are responsible for their stupid actions. Perhaps some will accept responsibility for the baby in some way, but probably some will just walk away.

In both cases, the girls and boys (men? maybe a stretch on this one) have no sense of human life. The loss of regard for human life is revealed on so many levels, and this is another example. Bearing a child, taking responsibility for rearing a child, being a parent, is a HUGE task. It is not a task for which the teenagers are ready.

Secondly, the glamor associated with sexuality has saturated our society. It transcends all manner of how teens absorb with the world provides. Teen magazines are apparently sexually targeted, and feed the appetite of the young folks. The disconnect between love and sex is unlike in any generation in my lifetime.

The other part of this aspect is the starlet and entertainment world that continues to feed the teens appetite as well. Being sexual, whether cohabitation, free sex, or other pleasures of the flesh are liberally reported in the media. Adding to that mix is the glamorization of entertainers who are pregnant. These female stars are made to be a greater people when shown in the press and TV when pregnant. Whether they are married is not the issue. Rather, they are often portrayed as something special when pregnant. I think in many cases, the entertainers go choose to have a baby as a boom to their fame, not that they want a family. No, not everybody fits this case. But, just as marriage and divorce seem to be used as a tool to get themselves in the media and give their career a boost, so too is being pregnant (along with all the pictures and publicity). In too many cases, they never raise the child, rather give them to a nanny to raise.

There is much more to say, but I'll reserve it for another topic where it fits. Seeing this incident is disheartening. To be sure, there are many, many promising teens who are paving a great future for themselves. These young people are not among that group.

June 23, 2008 at 8:48 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

There is another group that will bear the burden of these babies having babies. Taxpayers. While I'm sure that perhaps one or two of this pregnancy posse may move on to college and successfully raising her child, most are destined for some sort of government assistance, and we're going to pay for it.

Roger makes some excellent points, as usual. He did neglect to mention possibly the most important contributors to the loss of a moral compass: the parents. The parents in so many cases are so wrapped up in "getting things" that they have no time for their children. Their children become another thing to possess, an accessory to round out the rest of their goodies: the SUVs, the house they can barely afford, the credit cards, the cell phones, and so on. It's like a collection, and the children are just another piece to put on the shelf.

Having said that, how else can these kids get the attention they crave? I'm not justifying what they're doing. I think they're stupid, irresponsible, immature and reckless. I also think that the fellows who provided the stud service should, along with the mothers, be shackled with the financial responsibility of raising the babies. That's a whole other issue, though.

Everything this generation does screams, "Look at me! I'm important! I matter!" And when no one who is important in their lives (the parents) notices, they move on to behavior that becomes more and more outrageous. They see nothing wrong with what they're doing based largely on what Roger outlines.

The parents let the girls dress like sluts and don't seem to care. How can they ignore the fact that everyone is ogling their daughters when they're flashing skin to the point that it's difficult to look away? Yet they are the ones buying the clothes! The whole thing sickens me.

June 24, 2008 at 6:30 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

Roger, I can't begin to tell you how sick I am of standing in the grocery store checkout line and seeing magazines with photos of the big bellies of pregnant celebrities. It's a sad commentary on our society that people would buy a magazine because of a picture of a pregnant woman they don't even known. The ones that really repulse me are the celebs who go "shopping" for children in foreign lands. Angelina Jolie has picked out kids in Cambodia, Ethiopia and Vietnam, and Madonna spread a bunch of money around in the poor African nation of Malawi before coming home with a child. Are there not children in our own country who are in need of adoption? Can't these women just get a $5,000 purse and stick a Chihuahua in it like Paris Hilton, who, thankfully, has yet to reproduce? I have no problem with people in the United States adopting children from overseas, because there is less red tape, and it's probably less financially draining, but these celebrities, with their money, could certainly afford to "shop" at home. But that wouldn't afford them the opportunity to say, "Look at me! I'm an international humanitarian!" And I really feel sorry for Tom Cruise's wife and daughter, who are trapped in the cult of Scientology. Katie Holmes made the decision on her own, but that poor child had no choice.

June 24, 2008 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

Priguy, I agree with you that parents are complicit in the sexualization of their children, particularly their daughters. Teenage girls are allowed to leave their homes wearing tops that expose a high percentage of their breasts and shorts that are so short and tight and low-cut that only sometimes are their butt cheeks and crack covered. And, yet, any man who would look at them is some sort of pervert? Do they think men are NOT going to look at them? Of course not. That's their intention all along with their "fashion" choices. Some years ago, I was in line at the grocery store when a woman approached to get in line behind me. She was wearing some sort of halter top that exposed her breasts in a variety of ways, barely covering her nipples. Now, I'm a red-blooded American male, and I took a good, hard (no pun intended) look at her, um, offerings. She saw me looking (perhaps a full three minutes was overdoing it) and asked, "What are YOU looking at?!?" As if she had no idea. I replied, "Lady, if you're going to put them on display, I'm going to look at them." She called me an a-hole and went to another line. Now, I've been called an a-hole so many times that I might as well make it my legal name, and I'm well aware that very often I'm deserving of that name, but I don't think I was wrong in that particular case.

June 24, 2008 at 8:35 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

I am a pink-blooded French metrosexual... but I still like looking at some boobies!

I have always had this fear though...
When I was 16, I was attracted to 15 and 16 year old girls... When I was 17, same thing... 18 came and went... 19 turned to 20... but those pesky 16 year old girls were still attractive... Now, I was involved in a fulfilling relationship with a girl who would become my wife... so I didn't have to worry about checking ID's at social events. But I did think... geez, when do these girls stop looking hot? Believe it or not... they DO at some point... I look at most of them with disgust now (at age 24) and have for a couple of years now... I don't know where that tipping point was, but I am sure glad that I reached it... Granted, it was GREAT when I was younger... but now it is kind of ridiculous... you know, thinking you have to dress like a whore to be attractive.

That being said... it's time for my prunes and ensure, then it's nap time, followed by some muttering and driving too slow.


June 24, 2008 at 8:48 AM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

I think your tipping point, ellipses, was marrying a woman you love.

Brant's story about the halter-wearing indignant semi-flasher rings very true. If you don't want me to look, don't put it on display. As for the young gals, here is a story that happened to me.

I was at the gym last Sunday morning (lapsed Catholic, remember?) and a woman and her daughter came in. The woman was dressed like a woman in her 40s going to work out.

Her daughter, who I'm guessing was about 16 judging by the way she handled her keychain for ALL to see, was dressed like a typical girl her age at the gym: tight black tank top that barely covered her bright red bra and concealed just enough of her budding young boobies to be legal, and a pair of vivid blue shorts which were made from less material than was used to make both of my socks. This gym has about 60 pieces of cardio equipment and it was 8 a.m. on a Sunday, so there was no crowd. The teen gets on the elliptical machine directly in front of me. After a series of stretches, bends and twists which sufficiently loosened her up, she started her workout. Bored after 5 minutes, she paraded around the gym and then settled on a treadmill. There are 24 treadmills in this gym, and the youngster took the one right next to me.

I'm pushing 50 years old, I'm short, fat, and going gray. But I guarantee you that this gal knew she had my attention and that I was surreptitiously taking glances at her. Her mother was oblivious to all of it (see my earlier post about parents and kids-as-commodities). I'm not a lecherous old pervert, although I know it sounds like it. A good parent never would have bought her daughter the clothes this girl had on, let alone allow her to prance around in front of a man wearing them.

I'm getting off the topic. As for the celebrities and their babies, again, it's just another thing to possess, something else on the list to "get," and doing so while dragging your crew of press agents along for the ride is sickening. It's all planned...first the pregnancy, then sell the first baby pictures to the highest bidder, and then put out a press release when said star has gotten her figure back. And while we're at it, can we PLEASE lost the terms "baby bump" and "baby daddy?"

June 24, 2008 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

The easiest way to get rid of "baby daddy" would be for people, particularly those in the cycle-of-poverty subculture, to get married before they have a baby or at least form a committed relationship, rather than engage in trouser-dropping every time some low-life guy asks, producing a string of children with a variety of last names.

June 24, 2008 at 1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One day anthropologists are going to have a field day studying our obsession with celebrity reproduction and "baby bumps." It's quite a contrast to the way it once was, when pregnancy was concealed or described in euphemistic terms ("a delicate condition"). I don't think the latter is necessarily better, but it often seems that people are more interested in Angelina Jolie's brood than the movies she makes.

--Brad Hundt

June 24, 2008 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Probably because her movies, especially of late, have been failures.

June 24, 2008 at 3:35 PM  

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