Sunday, May 29, 2011

16 and Pregnant; 45 and Stupid

For those of you that know me, you know how much I hate shows like “Teen Mom” and “16 and Pregnant.”  Those of you that know me too well know that you can throw one of those shows on and I’ll sit and watch for hours upon hours, yelling at the TV screen like I’m a certified life counselor until I’ve clearly overstayed my welcome.  There are a couple reasons why we don’t have cable at my house, and not having access to those addicting, terribly frustrating pieces of TV gold may be one of those reasons.  Of course MTV would cash in on popularizing or sensationalizing something sooooo not popular or sensational, and really shouldn’t be.  Our society is headed in plenty of wrong, down-hill directions, and now we’re telling our Caucasian teens that it’s cool to get pregnant when you’re in high school just like the Latinos do?

Oh snap!  And she’s back.  Sometimes subjects rile me up so greatly that I forget to make my blogs funny or aggressively insulting. 

What started all this was waking up on a lovely spring Saturday morning, surfing to for some juicy celeb gossip, and coming across a video article that read: “Teen’s Fake Pregnancy Fools School.”  Eureka!  This is certainly worth streaming a clip from “Good Morning America.”  I was anxious to know; why and how did a teen fake a pregnancy?  The clip starts off promising.  A straight-A student in Washington gets permission from her parents, boyfriend, and school principle to make a statement about teen pregnancy.  For six months she progressively suited herself up to look like she was cooking a future welfare baby, lying to friends and teachers to conduct her social experiment.  So here’s where my brain goes: a 16 year old capable of conjuring and executing a fake pregnancy for the sake of social science, throwing aside high school popularity and her reputation (and maybe drinking), has GOT to be my mini-advocate that pregnant teens should be thrown down flights of stairs for two reasons.  Right?

WRONG.  This dark haired/eyed/skinned girl decides that pregnant girls need to learn courage!  Fooey!  By the looks of her she has at least five older siblings that are on baby #3 or #4 at age 20.  PS. The two reasons for why I believe that teen pregnancy genocide should exist is because 1. Being tossed down a flight of stairs may successfully terminate the pregnancy and 2. May successfully terminate the dumb girl that “accidentally” got herself knocked up in the first place. 

Ok, let’s get back on track and delve into some history, and talk a little like geriatrics about how times have changed.  When I was in high school we had a fairly low pregnancy rate.  (Surprising, I know.  Redmond, Oregon has that ‘never get out’ small town feel, with overwhelming support for George W. Bush, Bill O’Reilly, and perhaps the Klan.)  Most of the dummies that got fertilized were fertilized eggs of other 16 year olds.  Then Redmond High School gracefully whisked them off to the alternative school, where other fertilized eggs of 16 year olds/bad seeds went.  As a teenager with an almost fully functioning frontal lobe I gathered that being pregnant would be sucky enough – let alone adding the danger of going to school with the kid that had a gun in his locker and the kid who dropped out and needed help getting his GED.

Then you started hearing about teen girls making pregnancy pacts, and of course they made a Lifetime or Hallmark movie about it.  A group of teens would all resolve to get pregnant together, maybe to support a friend who had already gotten pregnant or because they were on PCP?  I’m not wholly sure of the circumstances.  By the time the “Teen Mom” shows aired, teen pregnancy had been rising to scary levels for parents and those who pay taxes, and it wasn’t just the girls who didn’t have a mommy or daddy at home.  It was becoming your average girl from a two-parent home with good grades and other promising attributes.  I know I’m not a teenager anymore, so I’m having trouble connecting with this new phenomenon, but I can’t remember anytime in high school when I or any of my other girlfriends ever wanted to or abstained from protecting against getting pregnant.  On the rare occasions that someone didn’t start their period on time one friend would stick around and read up on oral contraceptive failure rates while everyone else ran like it could be contagious.  It was the after high school pregnancy rates that were disappointing to me, and they were usually the friends that stuck around town and didn’t go off to college.

To clarify, it isn’t teen pregnancy that I’m angry about.  I mean sure, teen pregnancy and early-20’s pregnancy is annoying enough, because I swear to God accidents don’t happen.  There are magical contraptions called condoms, birth control pills/rings/patches, spermicidal foam, diaphragms, and there’s also pulling out, which studies and friends of mine show WORKS.  We all know of these items and concepts, and no I didn’t learn of them last year.  There are rare cases when I’ve seen someone “accidentally” get pregnant and thankfully those cases were in fully grown adults that were almost ready to start popping out wee ones anyway.  So when teen pregnancy occurs it is only the combination of retarded fertile girl meets drunken fertile boy and voila!  The plan has now become in full effect.  Teen pregnancy is just the product, popularization is the catalyst.

Now that these teen “moms” are all over celebrity magazines and Access Hollywood, who wouldn’t want to get pregnant!  Look where you could be at the ripe young age of 16!  Sure there’s that pestery baby that you’re kinda sorta supposed to take care of, but shoot, when you’re making a couple thou. an episode your Mom would be more than happy to take care of that lil’ shit for ya!  (Even though she told you all season of 16 And Pregnant that she wouldn’t.)  My mom made it very clear to me, even before she knew I had sex yet, that if I ever got pregnant and kept the baby she would only be taking care of ONE child at a time.  It was either lose my teenhood as I knew it and take care of that bastard I brought into this world, or I was out of the house.  And I knew she meant it.  Aaand I knew she’d prefer to have a cute little baby over my sassy bitch pubescent attitude any day.

So who are the idiots perpetuating this phenomena?  Besides Satan’s media outlets MTV and OK! Magazine, there are multiple groups of morons out there eating this shit up like the Real Housewives of Who Cares.  I refuse to have contact with anyone under the age of 23, but I have heard from other adults who are forced to interact with high school students that no, these shows aren’t that popular amongst them, or at least not openly talked about.  Adults between the ages of 25 and 35 could give a shit and probably have no idea what I’m talking about.  My conclusion is that it’s the moms of prepubescents and teenagers that are the culprits.  It’s just more trash for them to gossip about with their other unemployed, stay at home mom friends, rather than intellectual, pertinent subject matter.

If middle-aged moms are really the fuel for the fire, can you blame these teenagers for falling victim to it?  If my mom was more obsessed with other teenagers who are complete strangers and on a television program, and didn’t give me the time of day when I brought home an A on a school paper…I might eventually act out in a way that would really get her attention.  I know other females who seemed to be rational adults but got sucked into their mother’s idealistic expectations for a woman; it never turns out well.  I may not have been very open with my mom growing up, but she made it very clear to me where my boundaries were and what would happen if I crossed them.  She was conservative and traditional, but set an independent woman example for me that has shaped my life in very positive ways. 

I know that when I squeeze out a little rugrat or two that will be the only children I want around for at least 30 years.  It may take some tough love and a ground up birth control pill in my daughter’s breakfast every day, but my children will know my disapproval for teen pregnancy and disbelief in accidents.  If my children want a reality show of their own, I’ll force Mitch into 20 years of cocaine abuse, rock-stardom, and a British accent while I join The Talk and start my regimens of full-body Botox now.