Friday, July 11, 2008

Let's see just how bad we can make pregnant teenagers feel...  

57 comments
While searching through our "bad ads" pile at my internship (part of what we do is identify bad ads and rip them apart), I came across one for the Candie's Foundation, an organization that tries to help reduce teen pregnancies. I'm all for reducing teen pregnancies so that young women can enjoy being young and children can grow up in the environments they deserve, but the Candie's advertisements are some of the most condescending pieces of shit I have ever seen. They're judgmental towards young girls who get pregnant, and they basically make pregnant teens feel like stupid worthless sluts. And they always have a celebrity endorsement. Examples:



It says: "You were probably picturing a hot ride that could take you and your friends anywhere; but you got pregnant and now you're stuck pushing a stroller around while your friends are kickin' it without you."



It says: "Get pregnant and you won't be moving out of your parents house anytime soon."


MY GOD, are they serious? It seems like their mission is more to make pregnant teenagers feel like crap. Oh, and take a look at the t-shirt that they're selling:




I guess the Candie's Foundation really only sees non-pregnant abstinent teenagers as being worthy human beings. Anyone else can suck it.

What next?

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57 comments: to “ Let's see just how bad we can make pregnant teenagers feel...


  • July 11, 2008 at 11:09 AM  

    I do think the abstinence messags is ludicrous. However, I'm not sure that these messages are all that shameful. Maybe the rhetoric isn't great, but I don't think these ads are trying to say "you're stupid and worthless." I think they're trying to say "having a baby will really cut into your social life" and "having a baby when you're in high school will really impair your socioeconomic mobility." Both of these are true facts.

    I think if these ads were directed at pregnant teens, these would be more condescending. However, I'm pretty sure the intended audience is non-pregnant teenagers; these ar prevention ads rather than shaming ads. They're designed to put the viewer in the shoes of a teenage parent, not try to shame the parents who already exist.


  • July 11, 2008 at 12:14 PM  

    I think that even though they're directed at non-pregnant teens in an attempt to prevent pregnancy by making it seem like sooooo totally uncool to get pregnant... it will obviously come off condescending and shaming to the pregnant teens who see it. Of course we need to prevent teen pregnancy for the exact reasons Amy said... but I don't think it was done in a tasteful way.


  • July 11, 2008 at 1:20 PM  

    I don't see anything wrong with these ads. They are directed at non-pregnant teens and they are designed to make people think.

    Teens don't think ahead to the consequences of their actions. They all want to live for the moment and think nothing bad could ever happen to them. It's even worse today with parents who never give these kids any limits. I don't hate teens, but at some point in a person's life, you have to grow up and think about what you are doing.

    And before you get all, "you're old and out of touch", I'm in the middle- young enough to remember vividly my teen years and old enough to appreciate that my parents really weren't a couple of control freaks who didn't know anything. It turns out they were right about some things. And save the "but this", and "but that". I've heard it all and just a bunch of excuses. Time to grow up.

    I'm sick and tired of they idea that no one needs to take responsibility for their actions. Life is about choices. There is absolutely no choice we make that will not have some sort of unintended consequence somewhere down the line. Think about it. And yes. If you are a teen who gets pregnant, you have just made things a lot harder for yourself down the line. You may think you can just go have an abortion and get on with your life and it's all good from there on out. Believe me, even an abortion will stick with you. I'm pro-choice and I had an abortion a very long time ago. I don't regret my choice because I knew it was right for me, but there were psychological effects that stuck with me for a very long time.

    I have a niece who got pregnant right out of high school. All she wanted to do is hang out with her boyfriend, a guy with no job and drug issues. Her only goals in life are to work at WalMart. It's not like she doesn't have options either. She could have gone to college. But no, she just wants to hang out and have fun. Now she is 18, with a baby, married to a creepy drug addicted, with no money and very slim prospects. She had so much potential and she threw it away because she was more interested in the "moment" than thinking about what could happen if things go wrong. She is not alone. I have seen the same thing happen over and over again all over the country.

    You may the like the message but it is a hard core dose of reality and sometimes that's the only thing that gets through. All these ads are doing is asking kids to THINK for once instead of feel. And that is not a bad thing.


  • July 11, 2008 at 1:56 PM  

    ngcummings, I don't think you're giving teens enough credit. I'm twenty years old, so most of my friend are either teenagers, or in their early twenties. And pretty much all of them have sex safely and responsibly. And they all know the importance of taking responsibility for their actions.

    The choices your niece made are sad, but you shouldn't let that effect your view of ALL teenagers. After all, I know a few middle aged people with children who work at WalMart and are married to drug addicts. Are their life choices more valid simply because they aren't teenagers?

    I disagree with these ads because besides they offer no information on prevention besides, "Don't have sex." We all know that if someone really wants to have sex, they're going to. Which is why abstinence education does not work.

    These ads make it seem like if you have a child as a teenager, your life is instantly over and you have no worth anymore, except to be a parent. We all know that this isn't true.

    Also, these ads are very patronizing. They insinuate that teenagers have no other desires in life other than to go out with their friends an have a good time. Many teenagers are motivated and hard-working, and these ads are an in insult to them. They are also an insult to teenage parents, saying that they are now doomed to a future of poverty.

    There are many ways to use a blunt, hardcore message to get your point across WITHOUT shaming and paronizing.


  • July 11, 2008 at 3:05 PM  

    katie r:
    I'm not saying that ALL teenagers think this way. But, there is a common thread here. It's easy to think when you are young that you have your whole life in front of you and therefore whatever mistakes you make now shouldn't matter. But, sometimes they do. All I am saying is that teens, and people of all ages need to think about what they are doing.

    You say, "And pretty much all of them have sex safely and responsibly. And they all know the importance of taking responsibility for their actions."

    Are they having sexing with multiple partners, one night stands, bar hook-ups, people they barely know? It happens. And yes people of all ages do this but it doesn't make it responsible.

    " I know a few middle aged people with children who work at WalMart and are married to drug addicts. Are their life choices more valid simply because they aren't teenagers?"

    This just proves my point. I have nothing against WalMart as they do provide jobs in areas with few options. But what about those people that do have options? What about those kids that are at a cross road, could go either way, and make a choice to do something stupid one night? It's does change your life in ways that you may not even realize right away- aside from the obvious. These middle age people you speak of, how are they doing? Do you think if they had a chance to go back and change some things, they wouldn't do it?

    "I disagree with these ads because besides they offer no information on prevention"

    What more info do you need to prevent a pregnancy? Come on. We all know how to not get pregnant. But all the condoms and birth control in the world are going to help if you don't use the most important birth control devise you have- your brain. No one is saying don't have sex. I'm saying, think about what you are doing before you do it. If you are sure it's what you want- then go for it, but be smart about it.

    "These ads make it seem like if you have a child as a teenager, your life is instantly over and you have no worth anymore, except to be a parent. We all know that this isn't true."


    No, your life isn't over, but you just made it much harder on yourself. Take a look at what is going on in the world right now. If you want to make it out there, even just get by, you need to give yourself every advantage that you can. Parenting is the hardest job in the world and once you have a child, that child becomes your A1 priority, over everything else. No more hanging out with friends, No more free time. You are suddenly in a race to feed the kid and yourself. And you can't always expect your family to bail you out. It's not fair to them and it's not always possible for them to help.


    "They insinuate that teenagers have no other desires in life other than to go out with their friends an have a good time. Many teenagers are motivated and hard-working, and these ads are an in insult to them."

    I don't doubt that teens have other interests. These interests don't seem to take priority however. That cute guy smiles at you and says all the things you want to hear and all reason goes out the window.

    "There are many ways to use a blunt, hardcore message to get your point across WITHOUT shaming and patronizing."

    How? What else works? These ads are just trying to get you to use your brain. If they make you feel shame then you know there is probably a reason for that. The feeling of shame, or whatever you want to call it, is there for a reason. It's that little red flag that goes up when we are about to do something stupid. It says, "hey, maybe I should think about this", but we usually ignore this little voice and do the stupid things anyway.


    All I am saying is use your brain and take responsibility for your actions.


  • July 11, 2008 at 4:19 PM  

    Katie R... I completely agree with you. All the ads seem to be saying is "Don't have sex, and your life of teen frivolity won't be ruined." They don't offer information about SAFE sex, they just make it seem like if you're a teen, you're too dumb to have sex and too dumb to think of the consequences. Yes, sadly, many teens do have sex without thinking (as do adults)... but like you said, I know a lot of teens who are sexually active and smart about it.. and who are hard-working and intelligent.

    And the last ad really rubs me in the wrong way, more so than the others... "sexy enough to keep you waiting" ??? What, a guy wants to have sex with his girlfriend but she wants to wait... and since she's just sooo sexy he'll put up with it? That's fucked up! If she wasn't "sexy enough" he wouldn't bother waiting around for her?
    I don't know if the ads intended to imply that, but that's what they say to me. I think they're just trying (and failing) to make abstinence seem "sexy" (because we all know that being sexy is all teenage girls care about!). Vom.


  • July 11, 2008 at 6:53 PM  

    "And the last ad really rubs me in the wrong way, more so than the others... "sexy enough to keep you waiting" ??? What, a guy wants to have sex with his girlfriend but she wants to wait... and since she's just sooo sexy he'll put up with it? That's fucked up! If she wasn't "sexy enough" he wouldn't bother waiting around for her?
    I don't know if the ads intended to imply that, but that's what they say to me. I think they're just trying (and failing) to make abstinence seem "sexy" (because we all know that being sexy is all teenage girls care about!)."
    ------------------------
    I am an advertising professional. I'm sure that last ad was attempting to tell young women that they should decide to have sex on THEIR terms, not because they think they need to. I've heard so many girls say they have sex with their boyfriends because they are afraid they will lose him to someone else if they don't. Maybe you don't have friends who feel this way, but you can't tell me you haven't heard this sentiment over and over. Plus, look at the over sexed culture we have- Britney and Paris and Girls Gone Wild. This stuff is all messed up. There are a lot of young girls out there who believe this is how they are supposed to behave thanks to guys who are only interested in two things, getting a piece of ass and making money. Look at Joe Francis. If all you want is hot sex with no strings, then by all means go for it. But I have to believe that the majority of young women are ultimately looking for a little more then that.

    The last ad is telling you that YOU have the power to decide. That if he won't wait, than he probably wasn't worth it anyway. If a guy won't wait, he wasn't interested in you. That ad is not telling you to be ashamed, it's saying "be careful".

    BTW: It is totally uncool to get pregnant when you are a teenager. And yes, there should be a little shame there. People think they can do what ever they want when they want. Anything goes. People think they can say whatever they want too. No, you can't.

    Sadly, people don't understand this stuff until they are a little older.


  • July 11, 2008 at 7:52 PM  

    ngcummings, I work at a marketing agency with professionals, and we all have agreed that these ads are terrible, so professionalism doesn't make you correct. Everyone has different opinions, regardless of advertising skill.

    I don't think any of us can honestly say that it's "cool" to get pregnant as a teenager. And I think that anyone who has sex at a young age and doesn't use protection is misguided, but I don't think we should be throwing shame in the faces of pregnant teens. To put it bluntly: shit happens. Either you didn't use a condom, or the condom broke, or the birth control wasn't effective enough, etc. There are all different situations regarding teen pregnancies, and I don't think it's right to lump all pregnant teens together into this one shameful category. I believe in not only preventing unwanted pregnancies, but also helping those who either made a mistake or didn't take the necessary precautions and now must carry a child. Regardless of whether or not it was the "fault" of the teenager, I don't think shaming them will help the situation whatsoever.

    There are so many other advertising methods to use aside from scare tactics. You talk of this highly sexualized culture that we live in, but how is this extreme pressure to "wait" to have sex and avoid pregnancy any different from the extreme pressure to have sex at a young age? Teenagers are already feeling pressured to have sex younger and younger, so how exactly will adding on more pressure benefit the situation? We need to reach teenagers in a different way.

    We need to tell them that having a baby is a big responsibility and is truly life-changing. Teenage years should be a time of freedom and fun, so be careful when having sex. Talk to your partner about condoms and/or birth control before taking that huge risk.

    Do you see what I did there? I re-worded the message to be less condescending, and actually included information about contraceptives. That's how I think the advertisement could have been greatly improved. We need to educate teenagers about safe sex, not scare them into thinking that they'll be shunned from society should a pregnancy arise.


  • July 11, 2008 at 7:56 PM  

    I would also like to point out the fact that the large majority of the Candies Foundation advertisements use "you" language, meaning they are directly addressing pregnant females. The teenage boys who get girls pregnant are not even in the picture, as if they don't have to bear some of the hardships that are caused by a pregnancy. As if it is only the female who has to make sacrifices, and the female who should be the object of shame. I didn't think that was too fair either.


  • July 11, 2008 at 7:58 PM  

    njcumming:
    "Are they having sexing with multiple partners, one night stands, bar hook-ups, people they barely know? It happens. And yes people of all ages do this but it doesn't make it responsible. "

    Actually, I do have a friend who has lots of casual sex. But she's on birth control, she always makes sure to protect herself from STDs by using condoms, and gets regular STD tests done so that she's always aware of her health status. I find this behavior extremely responsible, whether she's had one sexual partner or one hundred. And I don't think someone should be made to feel ashamed of their sexuality if they're protecting themselves and their partners.

    "What more info do you need to prevent a pregnancy? Come on. We all know how to not get pregnant."

    You need a LOT more information besides "Don't have sex" to prevent a pregnancy. You need to know about all birth control options, including abstinence. And sadly, many adolescents don't know how to not get pregnant. Amy previously posted about how some teens believe that drinking bleach or Mountain Dew will prevent pregnancy. So obviously, more information is needed.

    "These ads are just trying to get you to use your brain. If they make you feel shame then you know there is probably a reason for that."

    Considering that I'm basically their desired demographic and my first feelings upon reading these ads were frustration and slight offense rather than deep contemplation, I don't think they've achieved their goal. And maybe some teenagers feel shame after viewing these ads because society has trained them to think that if they're sexual beings, they're automatically sluts. Not because they actually are.

    "All I am saying is use your brain and take responsibility for your actions."

    I agree with you on this point. It's extremely important that teens understand that they have choices to make in every aspect of their sex lives and that they are responsible for the outcome of those choices. However, I think the proper way to get them to understand that is through comprehensive sex education and knowledge of their options, not shame-inducing advertisements that offer no helpful information.


  • July 11, 2008 at 8:04 PM  

    You can't ignore that it's true. The abstinence one doesn't work, but kids don't see the reality of teen pregnancy enough. I mean, look how teen pregnancy is portrayed in the media lately. It's lots o' fun and barrels of laughs!


  • July 11, 2008 at 8:59 PM  

    I keep hearing people say that, but I really don't understand which "media" they're referring to.

    Is it the movie Juno? Because that entire movie was about the negative repercussions of getting pregnant as a teenager. Just because it's a comedy doesn't mean that it doesn't deal with serious issues. In fact, I thought Juno did an amazing job of capturing the emotional struggle a pregnant teenager can go through.

    Is it Jamie Lynn Spears? Because she was nearly given the boot by her network solely for getting pregnant.

    So I'm not 100% sure where these "barrel o' laughs" are coming from.


  • July 12, 2008 at 8:33 AM  

    Perhaps I can give a little perspective on this debate since I seem to be the "old fart" who regularly comments here, plus I live in a very conservative area of the country.

    You girls from New York don't have a clue what it's like to live in the belly button of the Bible Belt, where the teen pregnancy rate is the highest in the nation. I can tell you for a FACT that a lot of the teens who get pregnant here do so on purpose. They do it for a sundry of reasons, but most of them KNOW how to use a condom, they KNOW what causes pregnancy, they KNOW about birth control options, etc. They just don't care because they're intending on getting pregnant. And absolutely NONE of them have a CLUE what they're getting into when they do. How many of you 20-year-olds who have posted here have had a baby? Do you understand the responsibility that you take on when you have a child? Of course you don't. You can't even BEGIN to fathom what is in for you when you bring a child into the world. I have had three, so I know. And my three are all now young adults and they're even more demanding and more expensive now than they were when they were babies!

    Then there are the ones who get pregnant because they were raped by their fathers, step-fathers, brothers, uncles, etc. They didn't have a choice.

    Personally, I don't have a problem with these adds. I think they're pretty to the point and pretty darned accurate with their message. And no, I don't believe that they're pointed at pregnant teens or are in any way, shape, or form sending the message to pregnant teens that they're worthless, or that they have no hope. But I DO believe that they are saying that once you have a child, your life will NEVER be the same, because once you have a child, your life is NO LONGER about you--it's about that child, for the twenty to twenty-five years.

    I'm with "feministblogproject" & "ngcummings". I don't see what the rest of you are seeing in them.


  • July 12, 2008 at 1:37 PM  

    Thank you lynette!

    I guess at 40, I'm an old fart too. At least that's what I keep hearing these days- if you are over 30 you are old and used up! The joke is on the young I guess.

    It's funny because I remember using the same type of arguments when I was in my 20's. I had the same rationale. I actually remember thinking that I was never going to have any regrets. I thought I knew everything, that I what ever mistakes I made, it didn't matter because I had a lifetime to fix them. HA!

    I look back now and think just how nieve I was. I didn't realize that everything we do is connected in someway to our futures. Decisions we made in our 20's, no matter how small, can come back to bite you later, when you least expect it.

    That's why it's important to be prepared and think about what you are doing. Young people today treat sex like they are buying a new pair of shoes or something. Forget about the moral aspects, casual sex is dangerous. I'll admit, I had a sort of crazy past in my 20's, did some things that I look back at now and think I was damn lucky that I'm alive to tell the tale. You don't think about this crap when you're young. I was lucky but there are a lot of girls out there, all across the country, that aren't.

    Here is what I'm hearing from those of you you don't like these ads. You don't like the tone of the message. It's not the message so much, you just don't like being told that you may have to feel bad if you do something stupid.

    There is a culture today of parents who are afraid to discipline their kids because they feel they will damage their self esteem. So the parents tell all these kids that they are special and that it's ok if you do something wrong because someone will always bail you out. So now we have a whole generation of narcissists, 88% at the last survey, who are entering the work force with the idea that they can say and do what ever they want. There is no civility, no boundaries- anything goes. But no one is ever allowed to make you FEEL bad for doing something stupid. How dare you be forced to learn something from your actions.

    Don't take my word for it. That's fine. Unfortunately, there are somethings people just need to figure out the hard way. So go on. Do what ever you want, you will anyway because at 20 you all know everything you need to know.

    Sound like your mothers? I heard this speech a million times from mine. Guess what? She was right. Turns out our parents actually did have a clue after all.


  • July 12, 2008 at 3:25 PM  

    I would rather not participate in this debate if you're going to resort to using your age as an excuse to act condescending. I don't find that fair. I may be 20, but it doesn't mean I don't understand the seriousness of the situation. I'm offended that you implied that we are narcissists with no morals and no boundaries. Simply because we oppose the negative and judgmental tone of the advertisements does not mean that we treat sex like we're "buying a new pair of shoes." In fact, I see teen sex as a very important issue to address, which is why I feel it is crucial to educate young people about contraceptives, with the Candies Foundation failed to do. I not only oppose using scare tactics on a moral ground, but on a practical ground as well, since I feel they do not work. I would like to reduce the number of teen pregnancies, just like you would like to. We both strive for the same type of society, except the difference is that I feel it can be achieved in a different way. A way in which shame is not thrown in the faces of young people, and we stop blaming "the media" for "romanticizing" teen pregnancies. Don't accuse young people of having no morals. Your tone is highly similar to the tone of these advertisements: judgmental and condescending. I don't appreciate it. And neither I or my friends fit this mold in which you have placed all young people.


  • July 12, 2008 at 3:55 PM  

    Very well said Amy.

    I'd also like to add that maybe some young people apparently treat sex like "buying a new pair of shoes" BECAUSE of the condescending attitude that they're not capable of treating it any other way.

    Give young people more credit (and the crucial information/education they need), and you'll most likely find that they'll behave very differently.


  • July 12, 2008 at 4:47 PM  

    Thank you for saying that Amy. I don't think it's fair to be treated like a dumb clueless kid just because I'm in my 20s.

    And I would like to ask you this... if the last ad ("Sexy enough to keep you waiting") was truly about taking your sexual decision into your own hands and not feeling pressured... then why didn't it say "Smart enough to keep you waiting"? It says "Sexy" for a reason (like I said, that the girl is so sexy the guy will wait for her.. but if not then she's not worth it?).

    OF COURSE I think that teenage girls (and boys) should be empowered to make their own decisions.. to be smart about sex.. and to abstain if that's what they want. And OF COURSE I think that teens should be educated on the consequences of unsafe sex. But like Amy keeps repeating (though it seems to go unacknowledged) is that we don't disagree with the purpose of these ads, just with the way they're getting their message across. No one here said these ads should be pulled and teens should never learn about the consequences of unsafe sex... we just think that there is a better, more respectful and less condescending way of doing it.

    And just think, all of that out of our dumb 20-something year old brains.


  • July 13, 2008 at 2:38 AM  

    Some people are defending teenage pregnancy so much, I'm beginning to think that they believe it's a good thing!


  • July 13, 2008 at 1:06 PM  

    jen, if you read any of our comments you'd realize that no one is defending teen pregnancy... we think prevention is key... but all we're saying is that we don't think THESE SPECIFIC ADS are going about it the right way. instead of being informative and helpful they're using shaming scare-tactics.


  • July 13, 2008 at 2:02 PM  

    Sigh. Jen seems to have missed the point completely.


  • July 13, 2008 at 2:18 PM  

    I'm sorry you feel I've "missed the point"... just because I don't agree with you doesn't mean I don't get it.

    I actually happen to think that telling kids bluntly that having a kid as a teen can ruin their lives might be a damn good way to get them to think, "I better be extra careful". Like I said before, kids don't see enough of the negative aspects... and I in no way think that the movie Juno or Jamie Lynn Spears' situation show many of the negative affects. Juno's parents were pretty supportive, she still had her friends, and it was a fun comedy movie. Jamie Lynn Spears also has supportive parents, a boyfriend that stuck around (at least for now), and tons of money. She called it "so much fun" to OK! magazine. Most teens aren't as lucky as they.


  • July 13, 2008 at 6:19 PM  

    Who's being condescending? You mean by pointing out to you that I've been around the block a few more times than you and that I might have some knowledge, experience, perspective, and insights that you lack due to your youth that I'm being condescending?

    Whoa! Guess I'll just shut up then because you obviously know it all.

    Sheesh!


  • July 13, 2008 at 6:50 PM  

    Okay, I just had my nearly 20-year-old daughter take a look at these adds. I asked her to look at them and tell me what she thought of them. I covered up Amy's commentary on the adds and just had Lauren look at them. Then I just asked her what SHE thought of them.

    But first, let me tell you about Lauren. She is a very intelligent, articulate, graduated valedictorian in a class of over 350, National Honor society, girl, and speaks fluent French. She has just returned from a year in France as an exchange student, and is about as liberal and feminist as they come. She is pro-choice, pro-birth control education, pro-woman, probably even more-so than I. She was the charter Vice President of the first Gay/Straight alliance in her high school, and is voting for Obama in her first presidential election in November.

    She said she thought these adds were directed at teens and young adults warning them of the consequences of getting pregnant when they're not ready to have a child. Period. When asked if she felt that they were condescending her reply was, "Not in the least!" When asked if she thought they were pointed a ALREADY pregnant teens, her reply was, "Obviously not." When asked if they made her think, her reply was, "Well, yeah. They're really clever and they use youthful terms and language that get your attention".

    There you have it. Straight from the mouth of an intelligent 20-year -old.


  • July 13, 2008 at 6:59 PM  

    I'm a nineteen year old, nearly "20-something" and personally I find nothing wrong with the first two ads. Although they don't mention contraception methods, to me they come off as "stop, think and be smart before you get yourself knocked up". There is no abstinence-only overtone, just "don't have a kid before you're ready or it" one. As for the third, yes I find that a bit offensive. Not only is it abstinence only, but as a previous poster mentioned, there's a sexist tone to it, like if she wasn't hot you'd lose interest and move onto the next slut. I also don't think these ads are aimed at pregnant teenagers, but potential pregnant teenagers. And if you asked the average pregnant 16 year old, I'm sure she'd tell you she wished her boyfriend and she had thought twice before having unprotected sex.


  • July 13, 2008 at 7:13 PM  

    Lynette... I never said that all 20-year-olds would agree with me. I like to think of myself as an intelligent 20-year-old, as is Katie, and Leslie (who is actually older than 20), and we disagree with the ads. Intelligence has nothing to do with it. It's opinion and outlook. Ours differ.


  • July 13, 2008 at 7:34 PM  

    This comment has been removed by the author.


  • July 13, 2008 at 7:39 PM  

    Lynette and ngcummings--the condescension comes from saying "the joke is on the young" and implying that all our generation does is believe anyone over thirty is "used up." Which I find offensive. Also, there's an implication that we know less because we're younger. No one accused you of not knowing what's going on just because you're older.

    Jen--I don't think Jamie Lynn Spears can be considered a logical response to teen pregnancy. Most teen girls who are pregnant are not surrounded by paparazzi 24/7. That has to be taken into consideration.

    To be honest, I don't find anything really WRONG with the ads--they carry a condescending tone that rubs me the wrong way, but condescension usually does that to me. What really bothers me is that the ads are all directed towards teen girls. What about the guys? Can we emphasize the importance of a GUY using protection as well as the girl? If a dude knocks up a girl, the baby is as much his as it is hers. I think what needs to be emphasized is that just because you're not going through the act of being pregnant doesn't mean you don't have to take responsibility.


  • July 13, 2008 at 8:17 PM  

    I think some of the confusion may be on the part of the post author... sorryt Amy. These ads were created to talk to teens who ARE NOT yet pregnant/mothers, to warn them of what having a baby can do. I highly doubt that these ads were made to insult pregnant teens.

    Ads like these speak to kids on things they understand "rides, cribs", t try to get the message through. I think the amount of teens that these ads may reach and teach to be safe might outweigh the amount of pregnant teens who are traumatized by them.

    I don't think that as a society we should not be blunt about these types of issues just to not "be meanies" or politically incorrect towards some teens who made mistakes.

    Teen pregnancy is a serious thing. Attacking companies that are making an active effort to reach out and show teens some reality is just plain irresponsible.


  • July 13, 2008 at 8:19 PM  

    Nikki - I mentioned Jaime Lynn Spears because Amy did, saying that she shows some negative consequences of teen pregnancy. I was responding that she in fact doesn't because of her celebrity and wealth. You have kind of proven my point further.


  • July 13, 2008 at 8:57 PM  

    For the millionth time... nobody (not me, Amy, katie, etc.) is saying we think these ads should be pulled, and that teenagers shouldn't be taught the negative consequences of their actions. What we don't like is HOW it's being done. Yes, maybe it should be put bluntly so that it gets to teens. But again, why isn't it targeted to boys as well? It always seems to be, "Hey girls, don't get yourselves knocked up" without any attention paid to the responsibility of the boys.
    Why does that last shirt say "SEXY enough to make you wait" instead of "Smart enough" or something else? Why do the ads ONLY seem to say NOT to have sex.. as opposed to providing information about SAFE SEX as well? The language of the ads is directed towards non-pregnant teens in an attempt to warn them, but that doesn't mean the shaming and condescension won't affect the pregnant teens who see them.

    Also, I highly doubt that teenage girls will see Juno or read a story about Jamie Lynn Spears and be like "OMG pregnancy looks totally cool!". Yes, many teenagers are naive and unaware of the consequences of their actions.. but I don't think they're as dumb as everyone here seems to think they are.

    I don't know why I bother anymore because no one seems to acknowledge that all we're saying is that we don't agree with the method (but we do agree with the purpose).


  • July 13, 2008 at 8:58 PM  

    "Lynette and ngcummings--the condescension comes from saying "the joke is on the young" and implying that all our generation does is believe anyone over thirty is "used up." Which I find offensive. Also, there's an implication that we know less because we're younger. No one accused you of not knowing what's going on just because you're older."

    Nikki,

    Sorry, but I just spent the last 4 months being told that my generation is used up and no longer relevant in the grand political scheme of things. I'm a bit sick of it.

    You DO know less because you're younger. Period. This is generational. You are trying desperately to prove your maturity and independence and we are trying to save you the pain of walking into situations that you haven't yet considered. It's a question of life experience. I don't doubt your intelligence but there are book smarts and there are street smarts and you get the later only through experience. You've just begun to start living outside the confines of your parents world. You may think you have it figured out, but trust me, you will look back in ten years and think differently.

    It's frustrating for my generation to watch young girls make the same mistakes we did. You make the same arguments that we did. We didn't listen then and you don't listen now. Only difference is, you all seem to be doing it in a much bigger way. Look at the pregnancy pact girls. The teen pregnancy numbers are up significantly. It's a cycle of behavior that we can't seem to stop. It's even more of a concern now however because we live in a much more dangerous world and an over-sexed culture.

    You all have mothers, sisters, aunts, etc... giving you the benefit of their experience but you all dismiss it as being condescending and insulting to your intelligence. You say, instead of putting us down, why don't you give us proactive advice? Pay attention. We are. You just don't want to hear it.

    And don't tell me teens don't know how to avoid pregnancy. They are handing out condoms in schools now. Health professionals have posted info all over the place. It's out there if you want it bad enough. Your generation has far more access to info then we did. You can find whatever you want online in a moments notice and you mean to tell me that you can find info on birth control? Give me a break.

    The only thing you seem to object to about these ads are that they are making you feel bad. Oh, we can't make you feel bad if you do something stupid. That's it? You just don't want to feel shame?

    Let me tell you something. Life is hard. It's a cold hard world out there. There are NO guarantees. If you don't give yourself every single advantage you can, you just make it harder for yourself later.

    Again, all we are saying is, use your brain.


  • July 13, 2008 at 9:18 PM  

    ngcummings...

    You make the argument that because you're older and have more life experience, you know more about this than we do. Then why don't we make the argument that because you're older, you're out of touch? Because it's not true! No one HERE said that! I think we all have something to contribute.. you contribute valuable life experiences, we contribute knowledge of a group of teenagers we are closer in age to (and therefore might understand better). Instead of arguing about who knows more, why don't we all realize we contribute something? And believe me, making us feel like we're dumb kids isn't going to make us want to listen to you. Except for the fact that we ARE listening to you. We aren't ignorant.

    You said the teen pregnancy rates are getting higher... do you know WHERE they're the highest? In states that enforce abstinence-only education in schools (it's a fact... I'm sure Amy would provide a statistic if you'd like one). And what do these ads seem to say? "Don't have sex, it'll mess up your life." Sounds like abstinence to me! It tells teens not to have sex but doesn't provide any safe-sex options (birth control, condoms, etc.).

    Don't presume that I dismiss the advice of my mother, aunts, grandmothers, etc... I simply dismiss strangers on the internet who only seem to want to prove that those who are younger don't know shit. I am 23 years old, and I have a lot to learn.. but there is a lot I've already learned. I have a good head on my shoulders and I didn't get it by being told I shouldn't get my dumb ditzy ass knocked up. I bring a lot to the table and I have no respect for people who dismiss ME.


  • July 13, 2008 at 9:45 PM  

    "The only thing you seem to object to about these ads are that they are making you feel bad. Oh, we can't make you feel bad if you do something stupid. That's it? You just don't want to feel shame?"

    Well said.

    Ladies, I come from the generation where pregnant teens were shipped off to live with a relative and forced to give their babies up for adoption. And if you couldn't find a relative who would take you, you were sent to a home for unwed mothers. Talk about shame! These adds, (which aren't even directed at pregnant teens), are NOTHING compared to the shame that was levied upon the unfortunate girls of our generations and those of our mothers. And while I in no way, shape, or form condone such harsh and callous treatment of teens who find themselves in such circumstances, I do believe that there is absolutely nothing wrong with a little healthy fear. There is nothing condescending in me at all when I explain to my daughters that they are taking great risks by making bad choices and that they need to force their brains to rule over their hormones when they find themselves in the situation. They're not stupid, and neither are their friends, but they ARE teenagers, and they can and often do act on impulse, and with callous regard to the consequences. That is, whether you like my pointing it out to you or not, the nature of youth. And I will remind them, at the risk of their thinking I'm being condescending, over and over again to be smart and be safe.


  • July 13, 2008 at 9:55 PM  

    I don't think that anybody's political affiliation, age, or study abroad experiences makes them any more qualified to voice an OPINION. Yes people, we are talking about opinions here. Thank god for the First Amendment which allows you to voice those opinions, whether they are naive, old fashioned, smart, right, wrong, stupid, or whatever else you may find them to be. Age, young or old, does not validate someone's opinion any more.

    Personally, I feel that the ads imply teenage girls are stupid. Honestly though in, our society we don't need to see a poster to remind us that we can get pregnant from sex. Everybody knows that. If we are going to prevent teen pregnancies, you have to say a little more then "It won't be fun or cool or sexy to have a baby." Perhaps this is where comprehensive sex education and/or pregnancy prevention targeted towards teen men (who have just as much of a part in getting pregnant as a teenage girl) should come into play.

    Sometimes teens do need a reality check, but I don't feel that it is because they are stupid or don't understand the consequences of their actions. I think it is because in our society today, older people don't give younger people the opportunity to be responsible, or show others what they are dealing with. Just look at the school district I graduated from. Not only was there a "special" school that pregnant teens would get encouraged to transfer to, but they wouldn't be allowed to attend classes once they were past a certain point in their pregnancy. Don't you think a better reality check for the “stupid, carefree teenagers” would be having their pregnant friend's water break in the middle of fourth period? We need to not criminalize pregnancy in the minds of teens, but show them the real consequences of their actions. I know many girls that have had children before graduation, and they all love their children with all of their hearts. Yes, they probably wish that they had never gotten pregnant, but would they trade away their child now to go back to having a cool "crib" or "ride"? Never.

    One issue that I seem to have is why should we be using posters to educate young people about sex anyways? Why should teens base all of their ideas about teen pregnancy off of blockbuster movies and teenage pop princesses? Do we really want our young people to follow in the footsteps of the Spears sisters?! Where are the parents and teachers and mentors in all of this? Maybe, if the 30-40 something year olds were more apt to have frank discussions with teens about pregnancy that didn't involve condescending language and rudeness this wouldn't be an issue. Most teens are afraid to talk about sex with their parents because they think it will be assumed that they are already having it. If they are, parents aren't going to be able to stop them, the same way that abstinence only education doesn't stop them. Making it "not allowed" will only make teens want to do it more. At least parents can have frank discussions about how to have safe sex, and maybe even throw in some talk about having a healthy body image so these teenage girls don't feel like they have to have sex in order to keep a boyfriend. Girls don’t know what to do anymore - one side of society is telling them, “be sexy and have boys like you and be provocative” and the other is saying “DON’T HAVE SEX! Boys don’t like sluts, you have to stay pure and abstinent and that will make you happy.” How are they supposed to balance the two? Let’s hope the education in schools is teaching them to read - they can see the Candie’s Foundation posters while waiting to catch the bus to go have sex with their “baby daddy.”

    One thing that people haven't brought up is the media outlets that are showing the very negative side of teenage pregnancy. Look at the show "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" on ABC Family, which follows a high school student who finds out that she has gotten pregnant, or "The Baby Borrowers" on NBC, which takes teen couples who think they are up to the challenge of raising kids, and lends them children of progressively rising age to watch 24.7 just like if they were parents. It's tag line is, "It's not reality TV, it's birth control." Just a thought.

    Just because you don't feel it is condescending, ngcummings and lynette, doesn't mean it won't come across that way to the girls that I am sure you want to help just as much as I do. I'm sure that your comments are coming from a good place, and it is important for people to pass on the knowledge that they have learned in the hopes that some won't have to make the same mistakes. Perhaps though, some compassion for the girls going through a very confusing part of life, pregnant or not, would make the situation better for everyone.


  • July 13, 2008 at 10:18 PM  

    I'm sure it is confusing for you, for you are getting mixed signals. I shudder and ask "WTF?", when I see the ads for shows like "Girls Gone Wild", and all the hoochie mamas who shake their boobs and butts at men, and who present themselves to men as nothing but sex objects. I wonder what happened to the women's movement of my generation? I wonder if the girls of this up-and-coming generation even have a clue what the women of the Women's Suffrage Movement went through to secure women the right to vote, the right to own property, the right to inherit property. I wonder if they understand what the women of the 1920's, 1930's, 1940's & 1950's had to go through to secure the right to birth control. Did you know that it wasn't until the 1970's that women in ALL 50 states could get birth control before they were married?

    The reason that these adds are pointed at girls is because girls are the ones who bear the heavier consequences of an unexpected/unwanted pregnancy. It happens to OUR bodies, not theirs, therefore we bear the heavier consequence and therefore the heavier responsibility. You might not think that's fair or right, and it probably isn't, but that's the way it is, and that's the way it most likely will be for a long, long, time. Girls' brains are wired differently than boys and we're the ones, who because we bear the greater consequences, who are naturally going to be more responsible. Aiming ads like these at guys is about as effective as aiming ads for lipstick at them.


  • July 13, 2008 at 10:30 PM  

    If we are going to prevent teen pregnancies, you have to say a little more then "It won't be fun or cool or sexy to have a baby."

    Exactly! Lynette, ngcummings... maybe there needs to be some shock value in educating teens... so it's in there face that there actions have negative consequences. But I reiterate, there is no useful information in these ads other than "Don't have sex, having a baby will screw up your otherwise cool life." There's no "You can choose to abstain, or if you do have sex, here are your options for safety." I would maybe be more okay with these ads if they offered something educational after their message.

    And I understand that because women are the ones who carry the baby, that we deal with more of the consequences than men. But that doesn't mean that boys/men should be excluded ENTIRELY from teen pregnancy prevention ads/programs/education/etc.

    Teenage girls should learn that they have much, much more to offer than sex.. that they don't need to feel pressured to have sex so that guys will like them. But shouldn't guys also learn to appreciate girls/women for who they are and that they shouldn't pressure them into sex? It goes both ways.


  • July 13, 2008 at 10:33 PM  

    ahhh I meant "In their face"

    I have fallen victim to the there/their/they're issue, my life is over. :(


  • July 13, 2008 at 10:35 PM  

    "But shouldn't guys also learn to appreciate girls/women for who they are and that they shouldn't pressure them into sex?"

    Yeah, in an ideal world. But this isn't an ideal world and getting boys to think like this is going to take a whole lot more than good sex education. This kind of respect for women starts in the home, with their own mothers and fathers.


  • July 13, 2008 at 10:56 PM  

    "Yeah, in an ideal world. But this isn't an ideal world and getting boys to think like this is going to take a whole lot more than good sex education. This kind of respect for women starts in the home, with their own mothers and fathers."


    I think that this kind of thinking excuses boys/men's behavior.. "Well, they're naturally like this, so it's okay.. I guess..."
    I don't buy it. I don't think boys and men should be let off the hook for responsibility because we think they're somehow naturally like this. And I agree, it all starts in the home.. but does that mean we don't even TRY with sex ed? Of course not.


  • July 13, 2008 at 11:10 PM  

    "I think that this kind of thinking excuses boys/men's behavior.. "Well, they're naturally like this, so it's okay.. I guess..."

    That's not what I said, and I certainly wasn't excusing this behavior in men/boys. I won't put up with it in my own son, and I didn't put up with it with my husband, (there's a reason why he's now my EX husband). But what I AM saying is that you're being highly unrealistic if you believe that attitudes and behaviors that have been ingrained in the male species since the cave is going to be "educated" out of them and that suddenly we're going to wake up in an utopia where men treat women with respect.

    Women, INCLUDING, and MOST ESPECIALLY MOTHERS, are going to have to DEMAND that their husbands and sons treat them and all the women in their lives with respect. Women are going to have to STOP treating their sons with deference over their daughters. WOMEN are going to have to TEACH their daughters how to DEMAND respect from men, and they're going to have to teach their daughters that they were not put on this earth for the pleasure of men.

    And these are things that all the sex education in the schools CANNOT teach.


  • July 13, 2008 at 11:57 PM  

    You go Lynette!!!

    Lynette, they want to know why these ads aren't directed at the boys.

    Because sex is ultimately about responsibility and no one, no ads, insurance, schools, EVER directs this kind of stuff towards the men and boys. Think about it. We have to jump through hoops with insurance companies to get the pill and the cost keeps going up. Meanwhile, they hand out Viagra like it's candy. Birth control commercials are all about responsibility. Viagra commercials are all about having a good time. Get the idea?

    The power lies with the women. We have the power to decide what happens and what doesn't happen. Show me a man who won't turn down sex and I'll show you a Paris Hilton in a convent.

    I'm not saying all men are pigs, there ARE some very decent guys out there. BUT, like it or not, the responsibility always ends up the woman's. It's your body after all.


    Leslie- you said:
    "You said the teen pregnancy rates are getting higher... do you know WHERE they're the highest? In states that enforce abstinence-only education in schools (it's a fact... I'm sure Amy would provide a statistic if you'd like one). "

    I'm sure you heard about the pregnancy pact girls in Mass. The school has a day care on site and they hand out condoms in the nurses office. The girls didn't want the condoms though. They wanted to get pregnant.


    Look, I am not saying that anyone here is stupid. It's real easy to let good reasoning fall by the wayside when an opportunity presents itself. All I'm saying is BE SMART.


  • July 14, 2008 at 12:24 AM  

    "I think that this kind of thinking excuses boys/men's behavior.. "Well, they're naturally like this, so it's okay.. I guess..."


    Women have been working on this one for ages. Men are very slow however. You HAVE to teach them how to treat you. Their brains aren't wired to think the way we do and so you have to kind of train them. NOT ALL MEN MIND YOU. There are exceptions.

    This is why women are the caregivers, the nurturers. Men are the hunter/gatherers. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    This is the torch we pass to you, the next generation, to teach men how to behave. I don't mean tell them what to do, just guide them a little. It's an art really, a skill that takes time to master. I have a 16 year marriage to show for it. He's my best friend and my equal in every way. We NEVER fight, but it took a little trial and error to get to this point. But I digress.


    We aren't telling you you're stupid. You keep saying things like, "you keep telling us not to do it and it's only going to make us want to do it more." Soyou are acting out of spite. You are smarter that to do something out of spite.

    Or you say "why doesn't the ad say something about birth control or condoms?" You already answered your own question. Most people have already heard of these things. It's not like you can't google it for more info.

    The ads are designed to get attention and elicit a response, which they obviously have. The fact that we are having this conversation therefore, is a good thing. The ads have done their job.


  • July 14, 2008 at 12:34 AM  

    Lynette... I agree with what you said, about teaching boys/girls respect. I don't think we're suddenly going to "wake up in a utopia" where this exists.. there needs to be a lot of education (starting in the home and also at school and wherever else it can be implemented). Sex ed in schools may not be able to teach it by itself (because of the importance of teaching it at home), but for the kids who don't get proper sex ed at home... sometimes they only hear it at school. Regardless, even if they get it at home, it needs to be constantly reinforced (and not contradicted) at school.


    Also, the "pregnancy" pact teens made the news for a specific reason - because of how bizarre and rare the situation was. That is absolutely not representative of teens in the USA as a whole.

    And I don't buy the old sexist bullshit that men are just big dumb animals who don't know how to respect women and need to be taught. At some point we have to acknowledge that men are human beings just like we are who deserve to be held up to the same standards that we are. Yes, the responsibility has traditionally been put upon women to protect themselves... do you think that's right? I would hope not. So why not try to change it? I'm not saying it can happen overnight, but I don't think we should just say "Gee, well it's been going on so long, why try to change it?" Let's change it! And one way of doing that is for ads like these to be targeted at all teens. As long as we continue to target only girls, the "boys are dumb and girls need to take responsibility" shit is going to keep perpetuating. EVERYONE NEEDS TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY.

    Also, the ads should be doing more than just trying to get a rise out of people.. they should serve an educational purpose. Yes, tell teens that there are negative consequences to their actions.. but then tell them what they can do about it!


  • July 14, 2008 at 12:37 AM  

    ngcummings, the pregnancy pact was an extremely rare, chance occurrence. Kind of like a UFO sighting. Except with babies. (sorry, it's a bit late at night for me)

    My point is, that was a very odd case specific to those girls, not to whatever type of sex ed they had. And because of that I don't think it's a relevant example to use. If pregnancy pacts become a trend across the nation, THEN we have a problem.

    Also, you say: "And don't tell me teens don't know how to avoid pregnancy. They are handing out condoms in schools now. Health professionals have posted info all over the place. It's out there if you want it bad enough. Your generation has far more access to info then we did. You can find whatever you want online in a moments notice and you mean to tell me that you can find info on birth control? Give me a break."

    I'm sorry, but it's just not true that all teens know how to avoid pregnancy. Condoms most definitely were NOT given out in my high school, or any of the surrounding ones.

    And as for the internet, in my junior high and high school computer classes, the first thing we're taught is that a lot of information on the web is false.

    You insist that young people should use their brains when making decisions about sex, and I agree with you 100%. But in order to do that they need the proper information and tools.


  • July 14, 2008 at 2:37 AM  

    "And I don't buy the old sexist bullshit that men are just big dumb animals who don't know how to respect women and need to be taught."

    I never said that men are dumb. Just that they think differently than we do. They have different priorities. They don't read minds so you have to tell them what you want. Ask any man. They will tell you they would prefer you make it easy on them and just tell them what you want. It's an issue of practicality.

    Also, believe me, we have been pushing for men to take more responsibility regarding sex. It just hasn't happened yet. It's not that all men are insensitive about it, just that the issue isn't as pressing for them, unless you've been together for a while. They seem to have more of a vested interest then.

    Trust me, this is still a work in progress.


  • July 14, 2008 at 2:45 AM  

    Actually, I think the first ad could be interpreted as geared toward boys. There are all boys in the picture. Referencing "hot wheels" is gender neutral in my opinion, but some copy writer could have intended it to target boys.

    BTW: Has anyone seen the tv commercial? It has the guy and girl in the car, about to have sex and he asks her if she's sure about it. Then the voice over says something about giving yourself time to think. Then they cut to shots of different kids, both genders.


  • July 14, 2008 at 7:18 AM  

    Why do you guys constantly put words into our mouths? Where did you read anywhere here that we believe that men are "dumb animals"? Did either of us say that? Of course not! What we DID say is that men are not WIRED to think the same way that women are. Their brains are wired, by nature and evolution, to be the protectors, the warriors, the hunters, the guards of the cave. Their wiring creates in them the ability to think "in the now", about the most immediate. They can't afford to dwell on the future because if they do so that can create fear and if they fear, then they are less effective as protectors. This trait in the male brain comes from millions of years of evolution. (Psychology 101).

    Wait until you have a teenage son. You'll see it in action.


  • July 14, 2008 at 10:13 AM  

    "Men are very slow however. You HAVE to teach them how to treat you. Their brains aren't wired to think the way we do and so you have to kind of train them"

    That sounds like "big dumb animals" to me.

    In any case I realize that we disagree on something fundamental. I understand there are biological differences between men and women, but I don't go so far as to say that men's differences excuse them from the same responsibility that women have in what should be an equal partnership. I have absolutely no interest in continuing this conversation. Agree to disagree, okay? And don't tell me I'll change my mind and agree with you once I have a teenage son. Your opinion is not the only one.


  • July 14, 2008 at 12:18 PM  

    when Bush was governor of Texas, he spent $10 million on abstinence-only education. Today, Texas has the fourth-largest population in the U.S. of people living with HIV/AIDS. By the end of Bush's term as governor, Texas ranked dead last in the nation when it came to the decline of teen birth rates. Overall, Southern states have the highest rate of new HIV/AIDs infections, the highest rate of STDs, and the highest rate of teen births.

    Education is what works. Sex education. Knowledge about not only abstinence, but about birth control, condoms, and other contraceptives. If a scary and jarring statistic is necessary to catch the attention of young girls, like "3 in 10 girls will experience at least one pregnancy before reaching age 20" so be it, but for God's sake, follow it up with some solid information about safe sex. A large picture of a celebrity, along with an assumption about a pregnant teenager - like she will be ditched by her friends - does not help teenagers understand how to talk to their significant others about sex, or how to put on a condom, or the benefits of birth control. These ads just aren't good enough.


  • July 14, 2008 at 11:00 PM  

    Oy vey, this is getting ridiculous.

    Older people have had more experiences and so may know more. That's just a fact. To try to take that away from some women on this board just to assure yourself that you're finally a "grown up" is insulting even to me, at age 22.

    It is true that teaching boys to respect girls is partly the responsibility of parents to teach them so. Not all parents think "boys will be boys".

    Home education is important, comprehensive sex education is important, but whether you want to accept it or not, reality checks seep in too.

    From what I've read, even though some won't admit it, one poster in particular does seem to be saying that because some others posting are older, that they just "don't get it". This is just plain wrong.

    It's also not much of an argument to skew everything one party is saying to make it seem like they are saying the bad things you want them to say so you can assure yourself you're better and more progressive.

    When one has to flex e-muscles so much almost screaming "I'M AN ADULT! I'M GROWN UP! I HAVE PERSPECTIVE!" proves immaturity and severe insecurity.


  • July 15, 2008 at 12:36 AM  

    Jen... I would hope you were not referring to me.

    I refer you to a previous comment of mine:

    "I think we all have something to contribute.. you contribute valuable life experiences, we contribute knowledge of a group of teenagers we are closer in age to (and therefore might understand better)."


    I don't see where in that you find me trying to "take" anything away from some of the older posters on here. I also don't see how I'm trying to skew what others are saying to make myself look better... I am talking about what I think their statements imply. For a very long comment, all you seemed to do is try to insult me (or, someone else, if you weren't talking about me). You seem to be skewing what I say... funny. I truly have no more interest in this. I feel how I feel, and if others disagree then fine. But this is no place for personal attacks.


  • July 15, 2008 at 5:14 PM  

    Well, Leslie, if you assume I am talking about you, then maybe you should reflect on the fact that you assume that as what I said holds some truth, even to you.

    If you insist there be no personal attacks against you, please, do not insult, subtly or otherwise, older bloggers.

    And if your response is along the lines of telling me that I'm also wrong, and saying since I called you out on what you said you "no longer have interest", then my point on maturity has kind of been proven.

    The very phrase you yourself quoted as proving that you were not insulting the odler bloggers is, in fact, insulting them:

    "Knowledge of a group of teenagers we are closer in age to (and therefore might understand better)."

    So... because they are older, they don't have your perspective of better understanding. If you say I've skewed the quote, something's horribly wrong. This DOES demean the older bloggers. They were once young also, and do know what it is like to be a young woman. Just because you are currently a young woman or teenager does not make your partial experiences better or more understanding as theirs.

    You also demean me by saying that my "long comment" contributed nothing to this discussion but to "insult you". As far as I'm concerned, my defense of some of the women here is a great contribution.

    Hopefully in 30 years you will reflect on this (if you remember it) in a different light.


  • July 15, 2008 at 9:17 PM  

    Thanks, Jen, for the words of support. I'd like to think that my life experiences and insights will fall upon the ears of those who will appreciate them for what they are and the motivations behind them.

    My own kids brag to their friends that they have "cool" Mom, and they tell me that all of their friends say the same about both Steph and me when they meet us. We don't try to act cool--we're just who we are. But we do have a lot of insights into a lot of things and our motivations for sharing those things is really for the benefit of those who can gain by them. Pure and simple. It is never to condescend or put down.


  • July 16, 2008 at 12:40 AM  

    Oh Lord, I can see this is going nowhere. Amy, I love you dearly, but you're a big internet troublemaker! (Jaykay?).

    Listen, I'm done. I never intended to insult anyone... I know that older and wiser individuals have a lot to contribute. Anyone who knew me would know that about me, rather than jumping to conclusions. In fact, by this time next year, when I have my M.S. in speech-language pathology, I plan on working with older patients only. Why, do you ask? I don't know, my entire "personal statement" essay was about how our society needs to value and appreciate the contributions of older people, and that I want my purpose to be to help them communicate.

    But no, no, my purpose is only to get on the internet and insult anyone older than my dumb 23-year-old self. Since I know I never meant to insult anyone, and you (Jen) seem only concerned with arguing that I am insulting people... no one here is actually accomplishing anything even vaguely related to the topic of the post (preventing teen pregnancy). So why don't we all quit it, and go do something about it (in the way that we see fit).


  • July 16, 2008 at 2:53 AM  

    Well, Leslie, your plans for the future are noble ones. I came into this discussion late after viewing your interactions with the other bloggers, which seemed to be a lot of arguing and insulting on it's own, and I felt I should defend some here. Never in my post did I call you dumb for being 23. To respect the older here and admit they can have more perspective is not to say you are dumb in any sense of the word. Much of what you said in previous posts was not exactly related to the original topic, either, and did, by the end, become an argument over who has more current cultural awareness and perspective. That is not an insult, just a fact of the posts. If you wish to portray me as the meanie girl picking on you, then so be it. Although in some aspects it is ironic or hypocritical. Anyway, good luck with your M.S. and I hope your speech therapy works out well.


  • July 16, 2008 at 7:03 AM  

    And BTW, I'm old enough to be your mother, but just that. I'm only 48 so it hasn't been THAT long since I was your age.


  • July 16, 2008 at 9:32 AM  

    Lynette, I never intended to insult you or make it seem like your opinions were invalid because you were "out of touch." I disagree with some of what you said, but that doesn't mean I think it's because you're old and have no idea what's going on. It's just differing opinion. And I felt that when you presented your opinion, you were doing it in a way (whether you intended to or not) that disregarded my opinions because I was younger and didn't have the life experiences to know what's best.
    And I reiterate... whether you intended to or not (I'm just saying how it came across to me and possibly the other girls).