Friday, April 9, 2010

Bristol Palin

Bristol Palin is the new spokesperson for Candies' Foundation's abstinence only campaign -- yes, the same Bristol Palin that had a lot of sex and a baby in the last few years. Now, I agree preventing teen pregnancy is an important and admirable goal , but this campaign (and most abstinence only supporters) focuses heavily on shaming women, putting the pressure on women to prevent sexual activity, and ignoring gender stereotypes create unhealthy sexual situations.

Here is the transcript of her PSA and a LINK:

Transcript: What if I didn't come from a famous family? What if I didn't have all their support? What if I didn't have all these opportunities? Believe me, it wouldn't be pretty. Pause before you play.

According to Palin, its OK that she wanted to have sex as a teen because she is rich, has a supportive family, and is famous. Everyone that has sex but lacks these qualities... what are you thinking!?

This is a ridiculous classicist approach to preventing teen pregnancy and it has no place in the education of teens about sex.

Also, if the heavy abstinence only education did not work for Bristol Palin -- why on earth would it work for any other teens she is supposedly reaching. Part of me feels like (or kinda knows) this campaign is her effort to reassert her "purity" now that she potentially resides in the "whore" category in the mind of her parents -- and mother's most loyal followers. The PSA reeks of Bristol's self hatred and the wider conservative movements distaste for women harnessing their sexuality.

Ultimately, this campaign gives no answers. What do teens do when they find themselves having sex (like Bristol)? How do teens talk to people they trust about sex? How do women address simultaneous expectations of sex and no sex? How do men address constant assertions that being a man = have sex with a woman? What if you are sexually assaulted? WHAT DO YOU DO!?

Answers Bristol?... until you can, please go away.

(I found this lovely PSA on feministing, check it out)