Thursday, March 19, 2009

An Unexpected Bit of Sympathy for the Palin Family

About a week or so ago, reports were beginning to surface that Bristol Palin, 17-year-old daughter of former US Vice Presidential hopeful Sarah Palin, has broken up with Levi Johnston, the father of her three-month old son. And apparently now it's time to laugh?

I am by no means a fan of Sarah Palin. As underwhelmed as many seem to be with Obama's presidency thus far, I think this country is better off than it would be had McCain/Palin won the election. I actively disagree with pretty much everything she stands for, but I find the glee with which some media outlets are reporting Bristol's split with her fiancee to be a bit much. Schadenfraude is not becoming, people. Am I the only one who finds this situation to be utterly sad for any number of reasons? Bristol grew up in a family, a home and a culture that teaches young people (especially women) that their sexuality is taboo, to be glossed over and not discussed. Because of politics and ideologies championed by people like her mother, her pregnancy was very likely (at least indirectly) caused by lack of information. She picked a guy who's obviously not going to be getting a McArthur Genius Grant anytime soon and she had unprotected sex (I'm assuming) with him. Her opportunistic snake of a mother accepted the VP nomination knowing this, thereby putting her in a position where she was forced to keep the baby. And now, after her mother's party loses the election, she's left with a baby at seventeen, who she will likely have to raise alone. When it's all laid out there like that in plain language, it's pretty hard to see the funny, right? I mean, isn't Bristol Palin a cross-section of what's wrong with the social politics of the religious right? Doesn't she represent the absolute failure of the Republican Party's stance on sex, sexuality and how it should be taught (or not taught) to our nation's youth? Isn't it incredibly sad that if it were up to Sarah Palin to make our policies, her grandson would very likely do the same thing to some poor girl seventeen years from now? It's sad and I feel sad for her. Still stupid, yes. But I do pity her. I know it may sound insensitive, but I look at Bristol Palin and I see the ultimate failure of the past eight years's policies and practices summed up in one perfectly broken little hockey family.

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