Twenty years ago we had Murphy Brown: the TV sitcom career woman who elected to be a single mom. In the speech heard round the world, then Vice President Dan Potatoe-head Quayle, accused the career woman of "mocking the importance of a father."
Now, in 2009, we have Bristol Palin: the daughter of vice-presidential wannabe, Sarah Palin.
Bristol doesn't lament being a single mom so much as having started a family too early, without having "a career" or "her own house" and without having completed her education. All valid points.
Ironic side note: Murphy had a career but no baby-daddy. Bristol has a baby-daddy but no career.
Bristol gave an interview recently as a means of
furthering her mother's national political aspirations helping "prevent teen pregnancy." In so doing, she talked about how much she loves the baby. How she didn't "regret" having the baby "at all." How she only wished she had "waited ten years."
Waited ten years to .... what? To have sex? To have unprotected sex?
Interestingly, a regret she didn't mention was being unwed. Any moment now, I'm expecting Quayle's modern day equivalent, a self-appointed family values czar to pontificate on such a clear lapse of moral judgement. Or not, because, she is the direct descendant of one who yaks on about values.
But the whys of Bristol's marital status is none of my business. My only concern is her message to teens.
So, for the record, what does she have to say about abstinence?
"Everyone should be abstinent, or whatever, but it's not realistic." Um. Ok. She didn't want to "get into details" of what IS realistic so that's all we get.
And if not abstinence, what options does she advocate?
She advises teens to "wait."
Newsflash for Bristol: Waiting IS abstinence. Abstinence IS waiting. The two are one and the same unless you are joining a convent.
So consider the interview
a ploy to get her mother back into the national spotlight a waste of time, or worse, a public service announcement for how satisfying and fulfilling an unplanned pregnancy can be.
I know, I know. Bristol is only a teenager. She is young and naive. She is
her mother's daughter untrained in the art of crafting a message.
So spare us the television appearance, the sham cause. Or if a sincere attempt, so poorly executed as to do more harm than good.
Here is this seasoned mother's message to teenagers: Unless you are prepared to have a baby, and believe me, you are not, show us your maturity. Use protection and use contraception. Condoms can be bought at your local pharmacy, grocery, discount or convenience store. Other contraceptive choices can be gotten by attending a Planned Parenthood clinic. You can click here to find the one closest to you.
I would also suggest talking to a trusted adult before you take the big step. But I know that you won't. Hardly anyone does. The decision is so personal and private and usually made in the dark of night.
On a lighter note, I offer an opinion. Most times two heads are better than one. Take helping kids' with homework. My kids go to dad with the math and mom with the social studies. Science is a toss up.
On math night and every other night? I'm awfully glad their dad is here. And so are they.