Allison BalderstonMr. AdamsAP English: 0 hour17 Sept. 2011 “Alaska Style” Most would agree that good parenting includes teaching kids about sex. This is mainly toprevent pregnancies, but many parents value abstinence as an important proof of good parenting.As a standard of evaluation for being a good, loving parent, this is grossly unrealistic. At somepoint, good parenting stops and the kid’s personal responsibility takes over. The decision toabstain or have sex falls right in the teen’s lap. There is only so much parents can do to educateand protect their children. In a Political cartoon, in The Michigan Daily, Rose Jaffe drew apicture of Sarah Palin declaring, “sex ED and family planning…Alaska style” (Jaffe). Rose Jaffe Journalist and Cartoonist for the “Michigan Daily” (University of Michigan), is nodoubt intelligent and a talented writer and artist, but not necessarily an expert on teen pregnancyor the Palin family. Instead, she is giving her view and biased opinion. It seems clear that she isusing the issue of teen pregnancy to point to a perceived failure in the Palin family as a means toexpress a political opinion on Sarah Palin. Ms. Jaffe’s political views and desire to discreditSarah Palin are a shabby use of a difficult family experience. In fact, the Palins, both Bristol andSarah, did reacted well through the unplanned pregnancy. Ms Jaffe’s attack is due to Sarah’scelebrity as a rock star in politics. The entire Palin family is taken as an incredibly easy andattractive target.
Balderston2 In an interview of Bristol Palin and her family, Bristol says, “He’s not a mistake at all. He’s ablessing.” The interviewer probes Bristol, attempting to trick her into saying what she wants tohear, as if the interviewer cannot accept that Bristol truly believes what she says. There is astrong sense of judgment as the interviewer sets up a contradiction between Bristol being a goodrole model and teenage mother. How can she be a good role model and not feel that her son wasa mistake? The mistake in this interview lies in the bias and judgment of the interviewer. In fact,children do make mistakes, but that does not mean Tripp is unwanted or unloved. In fact, Bristolis a good role model, not because she is a teen mom, but because of the way she handles thechallenges that come her way in life. All she is doing is accepting what she did. She ended upwith her precious baby boy, who means the world to her and the Palin family. Each year; some 750,000 American teens get pregnant, stated by Denna at the ToastmastersMeeting. Sarah Palin spoke about her daughter, Bristol, as a commentator on the teen pregnancyissue, in the same interview, “She’s tough. She’s a great mom. We’re proud of her for taking onthis national responsibility.” Bristol is trying to do something to make more teens aware becauseof the high, growing number of American teenagers getting pregnant. Why would theinterviewer try to make Bristol out to be a bad role model? Is it because she got pregnant as ateen or because she has confronted her mistakes and is accepting responsibility as a respectablemother? Bristol Palin called teen motherhood ‘hard work,’ and Sarah Palin calls 4-month-old Tripp ‘ablessing.’ When people think of teen moms they think of young women not taking responsibilityand being careless. However, Bristol Palin admitted that having sex, especially unprotected sex,is harmful to yourself and your partner. It is not smart if you are not ready to become a parent.
Balderston3Now that she has started going through all the hardship, she is speaking to show teen girls thathaving a baby is a life choice that requires a ready, prepared set of parents. A child is not anaccessory, or something that is attached to a mother’s hip. Having a child changes a mother’slife. Her first priority becomes her child. Bristol has accepted that, which is what makes her anexcellent role model. As a pregnant teenager I face unique challenges. Teen pregnancy is obviously an issue in theAmerican society. On the other hand, I believe something should be done, instead of just passingjudgment. Four months ago, I was wondered what kind of mother I would be. I wondered what mymother would say. I remember the reactions of people I cared for. People probe me, asking "howcan you take care of a baby?" telling me "you will no longer have choices". The dirty looks andstares people give me while they stare at my growing belly when I walk in the hall ways of myhigh school or down the street. Whispering and questioning who the father is, while rumors soararound. Being a young mother is far from being glamorous. Although, I am blessed with my family and friends unconditional love and support. Withoutit I would not be able to stand tall with my head held high. I am able to live my life withoutshame or regret. Unfortunately, not all young parents are as fortunate as I am to have all thesupport and love. Saying that a pregnant teenager, like Bristol Palin, is a respectable role model is to draw avery fine distinction line between making a mistake and responsibly making the choice to live upto what you have choose to do. Not only did Todd and Sarah Palin educate their kids about
Balderston4having sex and getting pregnant, but they also gave them freedom to make their own choices,just as my mother did. Children and teenagers need to be informed because unlike me, someteenagers have no knowledge on these subjects. Our communities need to implement supportgroups and better health classes at earlier ages. Children as young as twelve and thirteen aregetting pregnant and teaching them just about abstinence will no longer suffice. It is a choice tohave sex, and I am not ashamed of my choice and would not change any of it. However, I realizeit was not a responsible choice, but I believe I responded responsibly.
Balderston5 Work CitedCelizic, Mike. "Bristol Palin Calls Teen Motherhood ‘hard Work’." MSN: Todays Parenting. Apr.-May 2009. Web. May-June 2011. <http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/30597615/ns/today-parenting/t/bristol-palin-calls-teen- motherhood-hard-work/>."Dana teenage pregnancy speech." Toastmasters Meeting. ABC toastmasters. 5 May 2011. Web. 18 Sep. 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8oIB1oD-xg&feature=related>.Jaffe,Rose. Web. May-June 2011. <http://www.michigandaily.com/content/opposite- sexBristol>."« Sacramento Dessert on Saturday Marina High School Censors ProLife Material » 50 Years of Suffering after an Abortion." California . 2 Sept. 2011. Web. 19 Sep. 2011. <http://steve.studentsforlife.org/2011/09/02/50-years-of-suffering-after-an-abortion/>.Smith, Tyler. "The Best Teen Pregnancy Speech EVER!!! ." Teenage Pregnancy. Nonprofits & Activism. 19 May 2010. Web. 18 Sep. 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uf- C1nFkqpU>."Sophmore Speech: Teen Pregnancy Video. ." 3 Dec. 2008. Web. 19 Sep. 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mTWH4neNeo>."Teenage Pregnancy Speech ." Teenage Pregnancy. CTC Public Speaking 1315. 14 June 2010. Web. 18 Sep. 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_QKjkpmuO0>.