I’m sure you’ve heard the news by now–seventeen (perhaps eighteen) girls at a Gloucester, MA high school became pregnant as part of some demented pact to “raise their kids together.” While the girls refused to divulge the names of the fathers, various news outlets have reported that several men in their 20’s, including one 24 year-old homeless guy, procreated with the girls. So, now the complicated matter of statuatory rape is involved in this mess, too (full story).
The question everyone is asking is–Why? Why would these girls do such a crazy thing? I mean, this isn’t a pact to try to get kissed at the prom; this is pretty serious. One commentator suggested that these girls didn’t have love and support in their lives and thought having a baby would fill that void. Umm, there’s 17 of them–couldn’t they have loved and supported EACH OTHER without the babies?
I also heard that the school doesn’t hand out birth control pills, which is apparently a problem. But in this case, birth control doesn’t really matter, does it? These girls wanted to get pregnant. On one news clip, the anchor reported that hundreds of pregnancy tests were used and girls were actually hysterical over not getting pregnant.
The media is also getting the blame for glamorizing Jamie Lynn Spears‘ teen pregnancy and raving about the movie Juno. Being on the front page of tabloids with my belly sticking out amidst speculation about whether or not my boyfriend and I are still together doesn’t sound like my idea of glamor. Consider Jamie Lynn also lost her job as the title character on Nickelodeon’s “Zoey 101” and is being called “another apple” falling off the Spears family tree, she isn’t exactly having an easy go of things.
And Juno…have these people actually watched the movie? Fine, Juno gets some support, but largely she’s a hormonal blob who decides to give up her baby for adoption. People in the halls at school glare at her and the baby’s father is a wimp. Her family would rather her get expelled than pregnant. In the end, everything turns out alright. Yet I hardly think Juno is a depiction of the joys of teenage pregnancy.
“Where were the parents?” I heard someone ask. Who knows? Maybe all the girls were the products of parents who made their own pregnancy pacts in the 80’s. Obviously something’s not right at home, at least for some of these girls. They seem to lack the ability to make intelligent decisions about their futures and the futures of their babies. I mean, really, do you want a kid who forgets to take her laundry out of the washer to be a mom?
It’s not that all teen moms are losers. It’s hard, but it’s not impossible. However, this situation is definitely not ideal or even age-appropriate. How are you gonna find 17 baby-sitters on prom night? Parenting in high school should consist of kids getting bags of flour or plastic dolls to take care of in health class, not actual living beings.
Something has gone terribly wrong with these Massachusetts girls, but I don’t think we can blame Jamie Lynn, Juno, the student nurse, or birth control. This is going to sound a little crazy–but maybe we first blame the girls themselves for making such a stupid choice? It seems we want to blame everyone but the girls, who think they’re old enough to be parents. Then they’re also old enough to carry the blame.