Republicans want women poor, pregnant and stupid?

A recent editorial in the New York Sun compelled me to write the following Letter to the Editor. Whether or not it gets published therein, you have the opportunity to read it here. I hope that you’ll comment.

Sir:

I don’t often read the opinion pages of the newspaper, but yesterday found myself sitting on a train with only the previous day’s New York Sun in my bag. I had already pretty much read it, so I now turned to the Editorial section. I began to read the top comment, “Palin’s Pregnancy.”

“There seems to be a view that teenage births are somehow a bad thing. But it seems to us that it’s not the births that are the problem. It’s the environment that marginalizes teen motherhood, encourages our youth to delay marriage, provides too few incentives for family-building…”

As this text appeared to be quoted from elsewhere, and I had not yet looked to the attribution, I began to believe this was a spoof. I continued reading.

“…We’re happy to have women and men decide for themselves when to have children.”

At this point, I became angry. I looked down to the attribution, saw that it was from a previous editorial, but still didn’t quite understand. So I continued to read. I must say that it was not so much that it was difficult to finish it as it was difficult to finish it without hitting the emergency stop switch on the train!

I find the sentiments expressed in this editorial to be dangerous and other-worldly. So much so, in fact, that if ever there were to be a defining moment in my identity as a Democrat, this would be it. If you truly believe in your heart of hearts that the solution to the problems in our society today is to keep our women poor, pregnant and stupid, then there is no argument I could possibly make to counter that. It’s clear that you’re from a different world or a different dimension of my own. Marginalizes teen motherhood? Provides too few incentives for family building? Decide for themselves when to have children?

Folks, these kids are children. They’re 17. What’s wrong with having babies at age 17? They (the parents) are supposed to be in high school. They have homework to do. They have football games to go to. They have slumber parties to go to. They have forensics clubs, chess clubs, track meets, band concerts, chemistry labs, lockers and lousy lunches to deal with. This is where they’re at, and where they’re supposed to be. What on earth can you possibly be thinking to suggest that it is ok to take these kids out of this environment and make them parents, and then to decry society for not providing more incentives and job opportunities for them?

I find your editorial position to be astounding, incomprehensible, and abhorrent. If this truly echoes the position of the Republican party, then may God help us if the Republicans win again in November.

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3 thoughts on “Republicans want women poor, pregnant and stupid?

  1. We have given our children all the tools and the incentives to find themselves pregnant. My daughter-in-law found herself pregnant 17 years ago at the age of 16. With child in hand, she graduated high school with the highest honors, graduated Hunter college with the highest honor, earned two masters degrees and is now an outstanding teacher in the NYC School System. It was extremely hard for her. However, she had a community of people surrounding her that empowered her to step ahead and become a productive member of society. Admittedly there are many mothers who become impoverished as teenagers, but that does not need to happen. Killing babies to sherk responsilities that belong to the community is dead wrong. Personally I like Palin. I like the fact that she is standing behind her family in more than one way.

  2. The election has just ended. Obama has won. McCain has condeded. Palin will not be a heartbeat from the presidency after all. These are all such great relief to so many of us.

    But don’t get me wrong; I too like Sarah Palin. I would love to go bowling with her. I would love to talk politics with her. I would love to work with her. But she has no qualifications to be President of the U.S. and, consequentially, to be Vice President.

    Finally, while there may be many other success stories involving women, or girls, really, becoming pregnant at a young age, and successfully getting through this critical period of their lives, it is obvious that far more do not go that way. I remember someone once explaining to me why he didn’t wear his safety belt when driving or riding in a car. It was because his cousin had once been in a major collision, was thrown from the vehicle, just before it burst into flames. Had he been strapped in, it was concluded that he would have been killed.

    I know the words of Benjamin Disraeli, popularized by Mark Twain: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Nevertheless, there are cases where statistics provides meaningful signals. I wear my safety belt. And I don’t believe that it’s correct, or rational, or kind, to suggest that it’s a good idea for 17 year old girls to become pregnant. I say, yes, let’s continue to marginalize teen pregnancy, let’s continue to teach kids to abstain or, for God’s sake, protect, and let’s continue to vote as if our futures and our children’s futures mattered to us.

    Oh, and just to put a fine point on it: The New York Sun is no longer in business. And John McCain and Sarah Palin did not win the election. I think the tide is turning.

    – Keith

  3. To Keith,
    You think the tide is turning? Yeah watch out because the tsunami Obama has created will leave us with a mountain of debt, socialized health care that doesn’t work and no way to get out of it for the next 60 years.

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