Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It is not a social experiment if it's complete bullshit.

There was a couple of topics that came up over the weekend that I wanted to talk about. One of them is about that Washington teenager who faked her pregnancy to show what assholes people can be when it comes to stereotypes and teen pregnancy. Oh so brave. Hurp.

See how inspiring she is?!

"Gaby plans to present her findings to community leaders to help other young women fight stereotypes and find the same quality she discovered along the way -- courage. " Read the rest of the story here.

You know.. when that "Teen Mom" show came out - I watched from a distance. I didn't need to watch the show - but I watched all the media around them. Honestly that show messed with my head for a second.

You see - I am the product of a teen mom. Not a 17 year old teen mom. A teen mom who was a month shy of being 14.

When that show first came out, I thought - wow, times have really changed for teen mothers. I mean these kids didn't seem to have any of the negative consequences I had become familiar with.

In my mothers generation, teen pregnancy did ruin your life. You didn't get to stay in school. Hell, in my grandmothers generation (who was also a teen mom) they "sent you away". Then you came back - not pregnant. So, just being a dropout was an improvement.

Still, being a drop out meant you were pretty much assured life in poverty. Are there exceptions. Sure. But for the vast majority - poverty is the reality.

You didn't get a working skill set. You were taking care of a kid. You didn't create a career and support yourself. The government helped out. Sure, maybe when the kid was old enough you went back to school - but you never were able to advance in any real way because a giant segment was missing from your work history. And what did it matter anyway, because you didn't even finish high school in most cases.

This is the reality of what teen pregnancy used to be.

Kids from these single mothers are at an obvious disadvantage. School is typically not as important in these types of families. Often they repeat what their family history is.

So it bugs the crap out of me that people are taking about how brave this Washington girl is about exposing stereotypes of teen mothers. Which is the most useless social experiment I've ever seen. You want to know what useful social experiments are? Trying finding out what life was like from someone who actually grew up with a barely teen mother. Those kids don't have a choice. Those kids are going to find most things in life harder because of who their parents were. Their families are completely dysfunctional.

This "social experiment" was basically the modern day equivalent to carrying around a hard boiled egg that was called bad names.

So...... brave I tell you. So brave. Not. There should a social stigma to furthering this cycle.

2 comments:

Steve Berven said...

So the whole focus of her experiment is fighting the social stigma?

I would hope that she would've used her experiences to help reinforce the idea of, oh I don't know, do whatever it takes NOT to get pregnant as a teenager?

I know it's not that easy, but it does seem a bit light-hearted for what can be a crushing burden for a young girl.

she said: said...

Yeah. Seems like. She framed it as racial stereotyping. Though none of the statements released indicate that to me. They are all the things I would have said.

"A lot of rumors were just that I was irresponsible. No college...it was bound to happen. I knew she would get pregnant. Doesn't she know she just ruined her life," she said. "

She did note that teen pregnancy was hell. Noticeably absent? Screaming - what... about...the...children.

I know wide eyed kids think they can change everything. "I will have a kid. Go to college. Have a fabulous career."

That is how they romanticize it. Reality is much more..um....Insensitive.