Wednesday, August 18, 2010
While the rest of America seems to be tilting at 9/11 windmills, on this 90th anniversary of women finally being granted the right to vote by American men, I find my mind going to that Palin woman.
No, not the one who took Dan Quayle's "Dumbest Vice Presidential Pick EVER" title, although since I've gone there, how about that Ben Quayle, son of Dan Quayle? The Quayles are an established Hoosier dynasty, but Ben apparently left Indiana and is running in Arizona. I guess even Indiana has a limit on how much stupid they'll buy, although, wow, I thought once you were done in Indiana, you were pretty much done. It's like finding out that there's an NFL team you can be traded to after the Lions don't want you anymore.
Ah, Arizona. Remember when they were merely cranky about black people?
So, no, I don't really spend time thinking about Sarah Palin, although she did blip on my radar today when I found out that she criticized liberal women for "crucifying" women who don't support women's rights, and then she referred to us as witches. I think. She called us a "cackle of rads," although maybe she meant a gaggle, and meant to call us geese. Frankly, I'm not sure what she meant, and it's best not to try to examine Palin-speak too directly, lest the sight of it turn you to stone.*
The briefly governor Palin also accuses us rads of "hijacking feminism," although if you ask me, she's the one who's driving it like she stole it.
But it's the unfortunately-monikered Bristol Palin that I've been thinking about, because, for several months now, the Palin camp's message regarding Bristol has been that she has her life pulled together, and is totally still on message about abstinence being the only method of birth control that works, although, frankly, it certainly didn't work for her, did it? I mean, other methods of birth control have "failed to use correctly" statistics built into their effectiveness rates, so I don't know why abstinence shouldn't. If it did, can you imagine how low the effectiveness rating would be? I mean, when I was a teenager, I failed to be abstinent almost all of the time. I was smart enough, however, to have a back-up method - hence the gloriously child-free years that followed, during which I managed to not become the country's most egregious cautionary tale. I mean, unless we're talking about how ill-advised it is to marry an actor, because then, yes, I would probably qualify as a precautionary tale.
But anyhoo, in short, the Palin camp message has been that Bristol is just fine, which, I have to admit, puzzles me.
Because is she's fine, and not crazy, or damaged, or slutty, or disease-ridden, then what the fuck are we talking about with all this blather about teenagers needing to avoid sex?
If she's fine, then no harm done, I mean, except for the unwanted baby part, which could have been avoided if she'd slipped a raincoat on Levi's Johnston. So, except for having to drag that kid around, she's okay, right, Palins?
Then why not solve the having-a-baby part of the equation, Mr. & Mrs. Palin, instead of trying to prevent the sex part? Because I don't know if you know this - I mean it seriously seems like you may not - but you can easily prevent sex from resulting in babies. Seriously, you can - it's almost laughably simple. Whereas, trying to keep teenagers from having sex...pretty much impossible.
Unless...they have another reason for keeping teenage girls from having sex? Because we all know that it's teenage girls that we sort of collectively are really interested in keeping celibate, right? Take a look at that picture of that "Purity Ball" I put up there. You don't see any little dudes hanging out making creepy-ass pledges to their opposite-sex parents, do ya?
And look, there was just this study done, that proves that merely having sex does not affect a student's academic performance, either.
So can we all just agree then, that what we really want to control, is not the consequences of sex, but the sex itself?
And if we'll admit to that, then why not just name the grizzly in the room, and say that what we really want to control is female sexuality? And we want to control it not just by keeping females from engaging in sex as long as we can, but also keep them from avoiding the unwanted and avoidable consequences of some sex acts, and also keep them, once they are fully into adulthood, from enjoying sex in the same non-judgemental atmosphere in which men enjoy sex?
Bristol is a cautionary tale only because her parents never taught her how to procure, use, and insist upon, birth control. All Bristol did was exercise the autonomy that was rightfully hers, and for that she has become the go-to joke about dim-witted baby-having sluts by stand-up comedians everywhere, and she doesn't deserve that. I have no idea how bright Bristol Palin is or is not, but it was her right and her time to consent, and instead of it being one step on the path to healthy adult relations, that one night of sex became a millstone around her neck, and all because her parents buy into some dumbass Christian hoo-hah about the role of women. If you ask me, they should apologize to her for thinking that she wasn't worthy of knowing everything that they knew, and more. If I had a girl of my own, you can bet your ass I would know her worth.
And Bristol, if you're out there, you're worth everything, sweetie. Everything. Come and sit by me, and I will tell you more.
*See what I did there, Sarah? That's how you call someone a nasty name in a roundabout, mythical allusion-y type way.
Posted by vikkitikkitavi at 6:00 PM