Sunday, June 28, 2015

Bristol Palin and the failure of abstinence

Why do I care that Bristol Palin is pregnant again? Normally, I wouldn't care anything about Bristol Palin - or any other 'celebrity.'

But Palin was the highly-paid spokesperson for abstinence-only sex education even when she'd had one unplanned child out of wedlock. She's still unmarried, and this is her second accidental pregnancy. She should be the spokesperson for the complete and utter failure of abstinence-only sex education.

Of course, that wouldn't pay so well, huh? And it wouldn't fit in with right-wing dogma, which is never fazed by reality.

Still, can you imagine if this had been one of President Obama's daughters? Can you imagine the talk on Fox 'News'? Can you imagine how right-wing pundits would be condemning Obama - and 'black culture' in general? Why no obsession about 'white culture' here?

Even in the 2008 election, with Republicans celebrating the Palin family, including this unmarried mother who was supposedly going to marry the baby's father (which never happened), I thought the contrast was incredible. This was a white, right-wing Christian family, so of course it was fine. And, of course, it would never shake their faith in abstinence-only sex education. Reality doesn't matter to these people.

And then Bristol Palin was hired by Candie's Foundation as a highly-paid 'ambassador' for abstinence. (Did I say "highly-paid"? Apparently, she was paid $262,000 in 2009 alone! Not your typical unwed mother, huh?) Somehow, she'd become a celebrity herself. And somehow, she was supposed to be an expert on teen-pregnancy. Somehow, this was supposed to promote abstinence-only sex education.

Well, now she's pregnant again. Again, it was an accident. Of course, she's still unmarried. But she's still white, too, in a right-wing Christian family. Again, can you imagine if this were one of Barack Obama's daughters?

I'm with Cenk here. If Bristol Palin would admit that she'd been wrong to push abstinence, that would be different. If she came out as a strong supporter of comprehensive sex education, a strong advocate of making birth control easily available to all women, condemning abstinence for failing in real-life experiences, that would be different.

But as far as I can tell, she's not. She's still a well-paid celebrity, for some bizarre reason. This won't stop that. If anything, it will just enhance her as a celebrity. She probably won't change her mind about abstinence. Her parents certainly won't. Right-wing Palin fans certainly won't.

This is faith-based thinking. You don't change your dogma just because it's been demonstrated to be wrong - not even when that's demonstrated over and over again.

But can we just recognize how very, very different this would be if she had been one of Barack Obama's daughters, instead of Sarah Palin's?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have hit the mark.