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Pillorying dignity
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-02-17 10:16:40
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It started late last week from a popular UK tabloid and gradually took over all the tabloids all around the world. By Sunday it is somewhere in all the media agencies all around the world, the issue a thirteen year-old boy and a fifteen year- old girl that became a father and mother. A boy who still spends most of his time playing computer games, football and going to school and a girl still playing with dolls and in the back garden with her friends were sexually active; so active so the girl was taking the pill and because she forgot to take it a few days she became pregnant.

But let’s get to the other elements one by one before we move to the new parents. Newspapers and especially tabloids live and thrive with stories like that and that’s the reason they literally hunt stories like that ignoring everything that has to do with human dignity, even the basic rules. So we all know – and by all I mean the whole world – the name of the boy and the girl, we all know their address and thanks to the tabloids we all had a look in their bedroom’s keyhole since all the tabloids left a lot of comments about their active sex life. I suppose a few perverts had a party with all the details that paraded in the pages of the tabloids.

Making Andy Warhol true these tabloids promise ten minutes fame to everybody pillorying the two kids because with all the photos and all the interviews with questions like “how you going to finance your new life” and answers like “what does ‘finance’ means” that’s exactly what they are doing ignoring that the boy is in the first grade and is not a surprise if he doesn’t know the meaning of the words. The media have acted like vultures over these young bodies and I’m sorry to say this is inexcusable and embarrassing but it seems like that everybody is ignoring it.

You see the tabloids after gave the chance to everybody to look into the keyhole they gave the opportunity for another blame game and a witch-hunt. So the conservative party – no I’m sorry, the most hypocrite part of the society doesn’t matter ideology - blamed the labour party and the socialists for the loss of morals. Every time I hear or read something like that I really freak out because usually it comes from people who haven’t got any sense of morals or dignity but they flag them to serve their opportunist agendas and cover their unbelievable scandals. I suppose their next suggestion is to involve the civil servants and take the baby away from the parents because they are too young completing a series of mistakes with a huge mistake.

The same people and many more will say that things like that didn’t happen in the past. This is the most amazing lie and unfortunately a lie most believe and repeat often. Things like that happened all throw the human history and they will happen in the future as well. Do you know what the difference is? The cover up and the acceptance of the fact since the accident were accompanied with a fast wedding something people today don’t think necessary. Or was it better when my thirteen-year old grandmother had her first child from a man she married just a year before with a man who was twenty years her senior? Or was my grandmother an exception? And my grandmother was lucky because she got married, how many others due to social differences were left alone with their newborn in a society that didn’t want the responsibility sending hundreds of kids in orphanages all around the world?

You don’t have to go far, just read the classics from the 19th and the 18th century to see all the examples, actually some of those classics are must to read for teenagers today. This is a very serious issue and it has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with morals but with the fact that two very young kids gambled their future due to lack of knowledge of the outcome of their acts. Otherwise that they were sexually active is not a crime! And unfortunately this is were it comes the family and the state especially the school. Let’s start from the bottom. Do you think that the teachers care or even if they care can they do something?

Unfortunately the raw answer is no, they cannot do something because most of them are hovered from exactly the same problems the parents have, insecure future, loans, credit cards and the fear of unemployment. Most of them in their hunt of survival have no time to take care of their own kids not the others’ kids. Their fears and insecurities coming with them in the classrooms living them dry to any kind of reaction. The family? Most of the time the family is absent, both parents work hard if they are lucky to cope with the necessary expenses, sometimes doing jobs they hate, humiliating and underpaid. The only time they have to deal with their kids is something like two three hours maximum a day.

I’ve read somewhere that the two families should be blamed for leaving their kids to sleep in the same room? Really? So if your twelve year-old son asks you to bring his friend to overnight the first thing you will think is that they are going to have an orgy in his room and not that they are going to pretend that they are reading and spend all the time in front the play station! If you think that they are going to have an orgy then there is something wrong with you. From the other side do you think if they want to do something you are going to stop them? You must have illusions and examples there are thousands all around us. The key for a good relationship with the kids is trust and information.

Information is the part where the state has failed, not that there are not the right books in the schools and there are not the right hours and teachers to teach the kids, what is missing is the right attitude. Our world has changed this is fact and the kids grow faster nowadays this is another fact and it is our obligation to arm the kids with this new future not preaching morals but explaining what nobody ever explained to my grandmother and obviously to those two kids, that there is a future that includes babies but first they have to make sure that they are armed to survive with dignity in this world. For this to happen we must have teacher who will not worry for their well-being but they will worry for these kids’ well-being. I’m emphasizing the role of the teachers because again unfortunately this is the thing that has changed radically nowadays; kids live more in the school yard than with their parents.

Finally the kids themselves. Personally I’m glad they kept the baby and didn’t escape to any easy solution and I really hope that this will not become the reason or the excuse to stop their studies but on the contrary and with the help of the families and the state will motivate them to study harder for a better future for them and their kid. And if we need desperately to blame somebody it would be a good start to begin with the media that like cannibals pilloried their dignity!

  
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Emanuel Paparella2009-02-17 14:49:39
Indeed, sex by itself is not a crime; it is the context in which one places it that makes it either an act of love (between two people who love each other and are committed to each other within an institution called marriage and now floundering) or a crime when it is forced upon another human being as brutal rape. Those are the two extremes of course. In between that spectrum you have all sorts of shades of gray: you have, for example, the Hugh Heffner light-hearted attitude that regards sex is a mere toy for fun and games divorced from the responsibilities that it necessarily entails. The man is now in his eighties but he has not given up his juvenile attitude toward sex and has been laughing all the way to the bank since he discovered that in a hedonistic society sex sells and sells big. Indeed, it is the duty of parents and teachers to point out the difference between mature responsible love and irresponsible sociopathology at the very least by giving the primary example of responsible mature sex. We do no service to young people when we tell them to be responsible by going to the nearest Planned Parenthood Clinic to provide themselves with a condom before engaging in sex no matter what age, when we tell them that abstinence is for idiots and religious bigots, or even worse, when we tell them that it’s ok to resort to an abortion should a pregnancy occur by mistake. Unfortunately that is the message that comes across from many so called adults, and that is too bad.


Dimitrios2009-02-17 15:43:03
Ah, I wish I had also started that early... All those wasted years...


Emanuel Paparella2009-02-17 18:45:00
Point confirmed by Mr. Dimitrios. The silver lining here seems to be that Hugh Heffener in his old age has more than made-up for what he missed in his lost years as a young man when he was growing up in a Puritan family which looked upon sex hygenically and manicheacally: good for one's body and bad for one's soul. I suppose the Puritan and the libertine will always be with us; what we desperately need now is a more responsble and holistic, perhaps evem a less Freudian approach; not easy to achieve since in the brave new world in which we live and have our being it would be deemed politcally incorrect.


Thanos2009-02-17 19:02:15
I must admit that having a daughter in ... more mature age made me ...regret that I didn't start earlier! :)


Clint2009-02-18 00:31:49
The plot has now moved on as two other under 15's have also claimed to be the father and are pushing for DNA tests. This is only unusual because the dad was 12 but here in the UK we have four times as many teenage pregnancies than the rest of Europe and increasing year on year its a real problem spiralling out of control with this story just the tip of the iceberg.


Alexander Mikhaylov2009-02-18 00:43:18
Yes, it is safer (for a modern totalitarian regimes), when children have sex instead of protesting against injustices. To give those children any legitimate life opportunities-real education,for one thing? (so, they might come to a reasonable conclusion one day, God forbid, that the world they live in has nothing to offer them anymore... Hell no! What if they might decide to get rid of demagogues then, plain and simple?)
Meanwhile... the monster enjoys himself so much peeping into keyholes of his victims. Wow! What a titillating experience for all of us!


AP2009-02-18 01:03:48
"have sex instead of protesting against injustices"?? hey, we adults know those don't exclude each other... plus, having sex doesn't necessarily MEAN having babies... you know what? too many kids with zero attention and care from anyone. they grow much faster, and they should be informed and have some guidance from responsible and caring adults - who don't seem to be available. also, I believe, more cases of teenagers having sex under alcohol and drugs - thus disregarding any consequences.


Alexander Mikhaylov2009-02-18 01:04:49
I am sure all the contemporary clandestine pimps, otherwise called ‘moviemakers’, ‘journalists’, policy makers etc. and their modest rank- and - file lackeys - child’s rights protectors, state bureaucrats and so called educators have a field day out of news like this. What makes me especially sick however, is that these aficionados of legal voyeurism (along with their beloved politically correct duck-speak- to spice their message, I guess) end up with some sort of moralizing.



Alexander Mikhaylov2009-02-18 01:10:39
plus, having sex doesn't necessarily MEAN having babies... you know what? too many kids with zero attention and care from anyone. they grow much faster, and they should be informed and have some guidance from responsible and caring adults - who don't seem to be available. also, I believe, more cases of teenagers having sex under alcohol and drugs - thus disregarding any consequences.

And who, for example, provides them with drugs? It is so easy to place all the responsibilities on kids themselves, or (which is even better) on their parents. It must be clear by now that so-called war on drugs, for example, is just another political sham. Teenage pregnancy is exactly the same issue... You do not have to be Machiavelly or Napoleon to be able to read between the lines, huh?


AP2009-02-18 01:11:58
Of course in old times many women had babies when they were 13 or 14... they were considered adults, and boys with that age worked already and could earn a living. but it's not nice, nowadays, to be still a half-child and have children of your own. I just wonder/fear that the adults who didn't care before won't care about helping them with the baby and their tasks now. The kids must have seen Juno the film...


AP2009-02-18 01:15:42
"It is so easy to place all the responsibilities on kids themselves, or (which is even better) on their parents"
hey, who's doing so? there are many adults, not just the parents.
anyhow, we don't even know if these ones had drugs or were drunk... (I dispense further details anyway)


Alexander Mikhaylov2009-02-18 01:32:19
To Mrs. Pereira: You know, I’ve got funny impression that every time I place a response on this board you never miss a chance to ‘sink your teeth in my throat’, so to speak, as if my responses trigger something in you. I wonder why… But anyway… Sex does not necessary lead to pregnancy and I know it, thank you very much. (I am forty-two years old and I have been doing it more or less regularly since I was fifteen.) I believe it is only natural (regrettably so) for teenagers to get themselves into troubles of this kind – due to the lack of experience, too much hormones etc. What I do not understand is a certain moral stand the author of tabloid news take. To say it plainly – ‘What the Hell did you expect, man?’ Forget about drugs and look at popular media instead! What does it promote, if not a teenage sexuality! Damn! It seems like anyone over twenty-two would not qualify anymore!


Alexander Mikhaylov2009-02-18 01:37:41
Speaking of alcohol and drugs... It is also clear by now that modern propaganda blames substances for all kinds of moral ills but... But how come they always exclude the most pontent drug of them all - TV - from the blacklist? Because the TV is the most powerful propagandistic tool now? (Of course, here comes Internet, but alas, it is still too unruly...)


Alexander Mikhaylov2009-02-18 01:46:34
To Mrs. Pereira: Hah! The funny thought has crossed my mind just now. Being a male (even a young one at that) what are your chances to impregnate a girl if you are drunk or stoned? I mean, when you are drunk, for example, it is rather challenging to 'get it up'...


AP2009-02-18 01:50:30
That's really your impression, Mr. Mikhaylov... we just disagree often. Though I'm not sure if the contrary is untrue.
The details about your sex life are not of interest for the subject matter.
Do kids in the UK watch much more TV than anywhere else? I don't think so... So we'll have to find out what provokes this teenager-pregnancy rates difference.


AP2009-02-18 02:00:00
If TV is a powerful propagandistic tool which impels teenagers to have sex... do they close their eyes during the condom tv ads? ... is NO TV the secret for abstinence?... And what gets you more pregnant - The Late Night Show, CNN International or MTV?


Alexander Mikhaylov2009-02-18 02:02:57
To Mrs. Pereira: A good answer!
P.S. You seem to misunderstand- My sex life is (or anyone's sex life for that matter, born and raised under the Empire which is no more) must have certain historical interest for whose who love to compare cultural attitudes... Think in terms of walking historical artifact! Surely, yuo cannot get too personal while browsing some museum collection?


Alexander Mikhaylov2009-02-18 02:04:42
If TV is a powerful propagandistic tool which impels teenagers to have sex... do they close their eyes during the condom tv ads? ... is NO TV the secret for abstinence?... And what gets you more pregnant - The Late Night Show, CNN International or MTV?

I think all three will do the job


AP2009-02-18 02:06:53
Sure, but for the anatomical details and biological possibilities just go and... Talk Sex With Sue (I bet that one is incredibly propagandistic)...


AP2009-02-18 02:09:49
... the BBC, Sky?...
should the presenters/hosts submit themselves to paternity tests too?


Alexander Mikhaylov2009-02-18 02:20:51
Sure, but who the Hell is Sue?


AP2009-02-18 05:23:25
Oh you don't know Sue... are you still living under the Empire?


AP2009-02-18 05:26:00
She has a book titled "Sex is Perfectly Natural, But Not Naturally Perfect" - check it out
you and all the teenagers who read us


AP2009-02-18 05:41:31
Other nice titles for teens and their parents... and teachers, why not?(as seen on TV...):

Dear Diary, I'm Pregnant Englander; Annick Press

Sex and Sensibility: The Thinking Parents Guide to Talking Sense about Sex, by Deborah Roffman

Beyond the Big Talk: Every Parent’s Guide to Raising Sexually Healthy Teens from Middle School to High School and Beyond, by Debra Haffner

Changing Bodies, Changing Lives: A Book for Teens on Sex and Relationships, by Ruth Bell Alexander

The Guy Book: An Owner’s Manual, by Mavis Jukes

The Real Truth about Teens and Sex: From Hooking Up to Friends with Benefits – What Teens Are Thinking, Doing and Talking About and How to Help Them Make Smart Choices, by Sabrina Weill

Changes in You and Me: A Book about Puberty, Mostly for Boys Bourgeois & Martyn; Andrews McMeel Publishing

Deal with It! A Whole New Approach to Your Body, Brain, and Life as a Gurl, by Ester Drill



Alexander Mikhaylov2009-02-19 00:57:28
OK Mum, I'll pop into a library on my way from the school


AP2009-02-19 01:28:58
right... you always promise but you never seem to read the right books...


AP2009-02-19 01:31:26
... and let's not start that discussion about school and attending it again, my son.
wtf??


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