mike vogel ‘s article in AM 10 april 2013 drives the point home in “stigmatize pregnant teens? that’s the point” raises a very poignant and pressing question of today’s youth culture.
his article really makes us wonder, if we think carefully, about why it has become urgent to convey these messages. it could be that statistics show too many teenage pregnancies. this hypothesis is supported by the fact that sex education is taught at age 10 and 11 in ny public schools now. there must be a need if one ny public school has ripped down french and latin from its attractive curriculum to put in sex ed. so they take away foreign languages which could broaden kids’ scopes, to teach them about sex. i suppose they deem that priority. but pottery stayed and other ‘necessary’ courses in the curriculum.
one of vogel’s students who had a promising future dropped out of school and got pregnant. she’s not the first, and certainly not the only one, and it is TIME someone, anyone! – thank you bloomberg!- put such ideas out there since it is NOT coming to parents and institutions to do it. they teach sex ed, but haven’t considered why it has become necessary. why not prevention, which is better than cure? abortion or giving birth have life changing effects. these visually appealing ideas with strong messages in our ny subway trains are a welcome sight to seep into everyone’s mind.
remember when it was cool to be joe cool and smoke cigarettes? and when marlboro ads and other cigarette ads were splattered all over ads, subways, magazines, screens? did that work out well? it seems that the only way it worked was its way into the young’s lungs. maybe if someone had had the hindsight of a bloomberg then, cigarette wouldn’t have caused as much irreversible damage. and the same will happen with our teenagers if this pregnancy thing skyrockets.
as a culture, sometimes extreme, we set ages for driving, for alcohol, for cigarettes now, but not for sexual habits. we give kids freedom to choose in this country, but we don’t equip them with choosing wisely. we don’t talk to them about sexual behavior or their love life because we don’t want intrude. we don’t want to interfere ,but we give them the power of choice and decision. we have lamaze classes to prepare for pregnancy, but what class exists for middle schoolers or high schoolers to make them ‘get it’ that dropping out and mothering IS NOT a choice? or is a bad choice. why do we leave them to choose when they arent’ equipped with the tools to choose between a life of hardship as a young mother or father and education?
when there’s so much positivity in the idea of dissuading teenage pregnancy, why are the ads making people angry? those people who criticized the teenage pregnancy ads engineered by bloomberg, are they thinking about teenagers and unwanted pregnancies? their attack is simply and simplistically that it’s against ‘freedom’. freedom, a forever stumbling block for change! bloomberg has mapped the city of ny and made it greener and continues to do so. he wants what’s good for our kids [not his!] whether it be to rid schools of ‘cochoneries’ [literally pigfood] like large sodas, awful candy machines in schools and now teenage pregnancy.
[for those who are thinking of voting in lhota as the next mayor: would he be as proactive as Bloomberg? if he couldn’t run trains would he run a whole city?]
some people are offended about tehtennage prganancy ads because ‘it’ stigmatizes. didn’t homosexuality once stigmatize? or being black? now we have affirmative action and no one can play that race or gender card anymore. little by little changing gears about race and gender has affected the mentality of the public at large and things have changed for the better. ideology works. ads work!
and if those naysayers think more and realize that it takes only a second to get pregnant, one moment of weakness, and if you’re not lucky a disease, too, one that may plague you for the rest of your life – they may see the good in these ads. they will see that becoming a teenaged mother or father takes away a lot of time and energy that could be put into education or a better life.
they will understand that getting pregnant at 13 or 14 can never come to any good! how is becoming a teenaged mother or father not compromising a child’s future? kids this age are still cuddling dolls in other societies because they are ”still” kids.
if, like vogel says, that teenagers have sex to get attention, it’s even worse. and more urgent to put such ads. why aren’t they getting attention from their parents? or books? or support systems at school or in their families?
if we empowered kids with discussions on and about love and sex, bloomberg wouldn’t have to do our job! we should thank him and not criticize him.