Guest Article: Lietta Ruger (my wife and best friend) writing on Washblog: Palin situation glamorizes teen (unwed) pregnancy?

Palin situation glamorizes teen (unwed) pregnancy?

So says my daughter, who has a sixteen year old daughter she desires does not get pregnant at this tender age.  My daughter is military spouse -her husband is deployed now in Iraq in his second deployment. A deployment, btw, that Sarah Palin thinks emanates from God's plan.  Not so much what that plan is or even that God by her definitions is the same God of my son-in-law's or daughter's or her children's definitions.  But I digress. 

My daughter calls herself a proud democrat - but most of her military spouse women friends tend towards the authoritarian, follow orders republican bent.  Military itself, being authoritarian, follow orders, patriarchal culture, it follows there would be a more dominance towards the 'supposed' republican tenets. 
 
Oddly, though, my daughters friends have acknowledged they are weary of Bush Adminstration, disappointed with the Republicans in office and sick of the Iraq war (where their spouses have been deployed once, twice or more).  Despite what they have told her, my daughter finds it astounding that after the history of this last six years with Republican Administration failures, her military spouse friends have suddenly converged into joining into a 'lockstep' mentality in support of Palin simply because she is the republican VP pick.
 
In her discussions with her friends, she has said she really doesn't like how the republican handling of the unfolding Sarah Palin situation is seeming to 'glamorize' teen pregnancy.  I'd say that word fits even more so, in light of Palin's support of abstinence taught in schools in lieu of birth control; Palin position against abortion even in cases of rape and incest!  Incest for God's sake - how can anyone force a young woman to carry a child to term given the conditions of that kind of conception.  Hideously cruel!  Both pychologically and physiologically dangerous. 
 
In her acceptance speech, Sarah Palin made reference to Hillary Clinton's 18 million cracks in the ceiling - the inference being Sarah Palin could springboard off Hillary Clinton's imprint.  NOT!! They are entirely different kinds of women. 
 
In as much as population cultures have similarities, they still remain individually unique even among their own populations.  Women are not universal in their qualities any more than men are universal in their qualities.
 
Women may have a sisterhood, born of intuitive understanding of womanhood.  Women also are still working to overcome too many generations of oppression, molding their personalities to fit into a male-dominated patriarchal order.  There is still work to do for women in learning how to fully and successfully embrace our own sisterhood without those 'sisterhood' rivalries that often can erupt.
 
Sarah Palin may have desireable qualities that work for her in  a religious Evangelist culture (a patriarchally ordered culture) that brand her a woman  as defined by Evangelical definitions.  That does not imbue in her universal qualities acceptable to other women who are working hard not to follow a patriarchally ordered culture of women.  Women are still trying to find the female to male balance and tipping the scales backwards is not progress for women anywhere.
 
I love my daughter's choice of description choosing the word 'glamorizing' of teen pregnancy.  It is at this point known that Palin's daughter has an unwed teen pregnancy, not known if it is an unwanted teen pregnancy, but surely it points to why abstinence education only doesn't work any better or worse than birth control education.  Rather than glamorize the fact of Sarah Palin's teen daughter's pregnancy by downplaying all the realities that attach to the facts of teen pregnancies, perhaps a  more authentic discussion - debate about the realities of teen pregnancies, conception, and women's choice or lack thereof regarding pregnancy outcomes.
 
A woman is confined to limited choices once she is pregnant; aborting the pregnancy, keeping the pregnancy and delivering the child; keeping and raising the child herself or offering the child up to a family who can care for it.  No matter the decision, the child (whether embryo or infant) and mother will be directly impacted for the rest of their lives.  For that matter, so will the man who fathered the child. 
 
One could say the Sarah Palin situation opens a dialogue that is not unique to her family but one every family raising children, boys and girls, must face.  I agree with the 'hands off' Sarah's daughter, but that doesn't mean at all hands off the discussion.  It has been ongoing through all generations and continues to be an ongoing and necessary discussion. 
 
Thank you to Carla Axtman for her thoughts in her blog, and thank you to Arthur for opening the discussion at Washblog.   
 
On the Surge in Iraq "--we have set the bar so low it's buried in the sand at this point." - Barack Obama
by Lietta Ruger on Sat Sep 06, 2008

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