December 21, 2007

Should Nickelodeon cancel "Zoey 101" to teach young kids a lesson about teen pregnancy?

The star, 16-year-old Jamie Lynn Spears, has gone and gotten herself pregnant by her boyfriend, the 19-year-old Casey Aldridge. (There's also the question whether you think society would be better off if the baby's father were imprisoned for 10 years for statutory rape.) David Hinckley writes:
[I]f Nickelodeon keeps Spears on its airwaves, the network will seem to be saying that unmarried teen pregnancy, a major American problem, is negotiable if the unmarried teen is a good earner....

It's not that Nickelodeon has ever lived in some '50s sitcom world where kids never face tough issues like sex. Spears' character in "Zoey" has faced them herself.

But Nick, unlike many other media, doesn't wink at ill-advised behavior or ignore its potential consequences, and that's what the current Spears flurry is really about: consequences.

All 16-year-olds make mistakes. They all need forgiveness, from others and themselves. But forgiveness does not erase consequences, and Jamie Lynn doesn't get a pass because she was unbelievably stupid, even allowing for the fact brains don't run in her family.
Wait. What's "unbelievably stupid" here? Having sex when only 16, not acing birth control, or failing to have an abortion?
It also doesn't excuse her that she has little experience with consequences, though it's true. First, there's her sister. Second, there's her mother, who got a contract from a Christian publishing house for a book on parenting while her older daughter was turning into an international poster girl for lunatic hedonism.
Is this a moral principle you want to apply across the board? Extra punishment for offenses committed by individuals whose family members have committed similar offenses? Why not extra forgiveness?

Speaking of forgiveness, a Christian virtue, it is the Christmas season, when we celebrate the birth of a child to a 14-year-old girl.

ADDED: Lots of comments inside. Let me add a few things. First, you don't know how careless she was about birth control (or whether she chose to get pregnant). Pregnancy can happen to any fertile woman who does not practice abstinence. If you insist on harsh consequences, what are you doing? You may push some young women into abstinence, but you will push others toward abortion. I'm all for teen abstinence, but I also believe in looking at the world that is and being practical and compassionate. They made some mistakes. So did you. So did your kids.

267 comments:

1 – 200 of 267   Newer›   Newest»
hdhouse said...

Christmas is Christmas. Charity is in the seasonal air. Stupid is stupid. The kid needs help right now and pretty soon there will be a newborn kid who will need more help than this one.

I'm not sure Zoey 101's writers (if any) can deal with this within the program so that point may resolve itself.

What is also dismaying is that when production people search around in the talent pool they keep coming up with members of this family.

rhhardin said...

It's to symbolize that networks are run by parents and watched by kids. Parents are expected to enforce fun-spoiling standards. That's the tradition in question here.

The need to uphold such traditions comes from soap opera news audiences.

The eternal soap opera question : can a 16-year-old mother be happy with a 19-year-old whatever-he-was. The real answer is of course yes, but not in soap opera.

Soap opera needs to undermine that answer in favor of the inner struggle, soul searching, and everlasting frustration. that women crave.

Tex said...

As the parent of a 10-year old who is impressed with what these teen stars do on and off the stage, I just want Nickelodeon to get her off the screen. If her audience was older, I might have a different view.

She was unbelievably stupid (and it does seem to run in the family) for having unprotected sex at age 16. I feel sorry for everyone involved, especially for the new baby about to be born. However, I don’t want Nickelodeon to facilitate her continued promotion as a role model for pre-teens.

Ann Althouse said...

"She was unbelievably stupid (and it does seem to run in the family) for having unprotected sex at age 16."

Do we know that she had unprotected sex? I thought the abstinence-only message was that any method of birth control can fail.

Ann Althouse said...

It's also possible that the couple is well-established and chose to have a baby, as many, many people throughout history have done at that age.

By the way, I hope no high schools are allowing their students to read "Romeo and Juliet."

John Kindley said...

If she did anything stupid, it was having sex out of wedlock. There's plenty of that stupidity, if stupidity it is, going around among people who are plenty older. The fact that she's 16 doesn't change that, except perhaps to mitigate any blame people might be inclined to put on her. People who are younger are generally a little stupider than people who are older. Nevertheless, I can understand why Nickelodeon might want to cancel the show.

Pogo said...

The worst possible economic arrangement, the one most likely to lead to poverty, is single motherhood. (Pregnancy out of wedlock counts here, regardless of any supposed plans otherwise.)

But our society is no longer able to attach shame to this condition, or really to anything at all. Shame was the primary punishment for such girls in the past, and the boys were prosecuted, if they met the statutory rape age limit, or forced to marry, and all families involved felt shamed.

Not anymore.
"In Norway, half of all children are now born to unmarried mothers. In Pettersen's county, 82% of couples have their first child out of wedlock. The numbers are similarly high for Sweden and Denmark. While many couples marry after having the first or second child, it's clear marriage in parts of Scandinavia is dying."**

The question is a fundamental one: do we actually believe that the traditional nuclear family is, as research suggests, the best method by which to raise children, or not? Or are we content with a lesser arrangement, wherein single mothers are married to the state, cared for by welfare and "Universal Pre-K and daycare"?

If we cannot use stigma to rein in unwanted behaviors, then we will reap what we sow. Forgiveness is one thing, honoring behavior that is deletirious is quite another. It is the hard work of adults to punish children when we don't want them to suffer at all, but for their own good and for the long run.

But I believe we are unable to do this anymore. We no longer have the strength to live out our virtues, which serve merely as suggestions, or even one among many acceptable alternatives.

hdhouse said...

Not sure what you mean Ann but obviously she didn't read the "abstinence-only" literature (or couldn't).

I would suggest that Casey could be in a fair amount of trouble and i believe there isn't a distinction made between consenting or not at 16 in most states. Someone is sure to be bent out of shape about this because in the end this will be about money, not sex, revenues and image, and not the kid(s).

Jenny D. said...

My issue is holding up a teenage mom-to-be as a role model for pre-teen girls. There is lots of data to show that when a teenage girl becomes a mom, she dashes her chances of finishing school, getting a good, etc. And the outlook for the baby is even more grim.

Sure, Jamie-Lynn may have plenty of money to support the child and still work. But what about all the viewers, all the girls who may begin to think having a baby at age 16 is cool.

Jamie should resign from the show and find some other media outlet for herself. Or something.

hdhouse said...

Also, as it appears Ann grabbed a lot of this from people magazine (http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20167191,00.html) it is good to note that Casey is 19 and seemingly unemployed other than accompanying Jamie Lynn to play practice and hopes to start a business or go to school someday..
kid sounds like a real "rock" doesn't he?

I'm not sure what my feelings would have been if some 19 year old had knocked up my daughter when she was 16 but "adore him" wouldn't be on the list.

Susan said...

But our society is no longer able to attach shame to this condition, or really to anything at all.

We seem to be able to attach shame to being "judgmental".

Hoosier Daddy said...

Can someone tell me why, in this age of easily availablity, not to mention, numerous varieties of birth control, why the hell kids still manage to get knocked up? I mean I grew up in a strict Catholic home plus went to Catholic school for 12 years and even I knew what a condom was for and how to use it (even though I couldn't stand the smell of burning rubber).

rdkraus said...

You all missed the best part of this story ... it's got to be Mom's book on parenting !!!

When is that gem coming out?

MadisonMan said...

If the Baby's Dad isn't charged with statutory rape, then why does the law exist on the books? Since this is Louisiana, I'll say that it's in case they catch a black 19-year-old with a 16-yo white girl. But two white kids screwing? Nothing to see here. Let's move along.

MadisonMan said...

I see I didn't answer the question. Should the program be cancelled? No. I think they should bring in a new star -- there must be plenty of talented girls who want to do it -- and Jamie Lynn can show up occasionally, with kid in tow. She should become progressively poorer and fatter as time goes by in the show and end up in real squalor while the new star of the show -- without a kid -- goes to college and pursues her dreams.

Jim C. said...

Not sure what you mean Ann but obviously she didn't read the "abstinence-only" literature (or couldn't).

Ann's meaning is perfectly clear.

rhhardin said...

R. Emmett Tyrrell on the birth of the women's movement, in a situation that didn't apply when Mary had Jesus.

A failure to imagine the interests of women other than to become like men.

Ann Althouse said...

What's the point of providing links?

I didn't read People. I read the articles I linked to, one of which goes into tons of detail about statutory rape law.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Great post.

I think people who seek stigmatize young, unmarried pregnancy so much are thinking the stigma will lead to fewer people willing to engage in young, unmarried sex, but in reality, I think the more likely effect is to encourage the young and pregnant to just have an abortion and keep quiet about the whole affair.

J said...

"pregnancy, a major American problem, is negotiable if the unmarried teen is a good earner...."

I'd prefer to see the show pulled, but if they could translate the above into "it's OK to have kids if you can afford them, not OK if you can't", it wouldn't be the end of the world. Perhaps economic argument will work where moral argument has failed.

"I'm not sure Zoey 101's writers (if any) can deal with this within the program so that point may resolve itself"


Zoey 101: The Next Generation - Ms. Spears subsists on ramen noodles and Minute Rice in a tiny section eight apartment while trying to garnish some back child support from her boyfriend's Burger King paycheck. A teaching moment if there ever was one.

Pogo said...

but in reality, I think the more likely effect is to encourage the young and pregnant to just have an abortion and keep quiet about the whole affair.

That wasn't true in the 1900s through the 1950s, when shame was in fact commonly applied, and unwed motherhood was much rarer.

More, it was then illegal to kill a child.
Now there is no shame to unwed pregnancy, teenage pregnancy and abortion.

And we have lots more of them.
Related? Chance alone?
You decide.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hoosier Daddy said...

If the Baby's Dad isn't charged with statutory rape, then why does the law exist on the books? Since this is Louisiana, I'll say that it's in case they catch a black 19-year-old with a 16-yo white girl. But two white kids screwing? Nothing to see here. Let's move along.

Not sure where this is coming from. Are you referring to the Wilson case where the the black 17 year old who was jailed for getting the blowjob from the 15 year old? Actually, if I recall correctly, he was charged under Georgia's sodomy law and not statutory rape. I believe consensual sex between minors is not an offense so had they been doing the traditional horozontal mambo, there would have been no foul.

Tex said...

Do we know that she had unprotected sex? I thought the abstinence-only message was that any method of birth control can fail.

Fair point, since she hasn’t done her obligatory tell-all interview yet. At that time, we’ll learn more details about the reasons for her stupidity. (Going out on a limb here.)

I would be a bit surprised to hear anyone arguing that teenagers having babies today, especially out of wedlock, is a positive thing for our society in the way it might have been for many years before recent times.

Why the concern about high schoolers reading “Romeo & Juliet”? It’s likely that most teenagers educated sufficiently to understand Shakespeare have a better understanding than pre-teens of events within their historical context and of complex moral issues.

Gahrie said...

This dovetails perfectly with my comments on your Child Porn post earlier.

1) There are millions of pregnant 16 year olds all over this world. Most of the preganacies are seen as perfectly normal.

2) There was a time in this country where a 16 year old preganacy would have been unremarkable.

3) Where are at a unique point in history where we are both sexualizing our youth, and indulging them in a protracted childhood at the same time. I don't think either is healthy for them or society.

Jennifer said...

I think they should keep the show on and replace her. Its not like there aren't a dillion other teen actresses dying for their chance.

She'll probably drop a CD the day after baby's born and be well on her way. Sigh.

And, I don't think the author of the quoted article is calling for "extra punishment for offenses committed by individuals whose family members have committed similar offenses" I think he's raising those issues as almost mitigiating circumstances.

As far as the statutory rape thing goes, I think the suggestion is ridiculous. If he can be prosecuted for this relationship, then her parents should be as well. They were every bit as aware of the circumstances and presumably shoulder more reponsibility. And I'm pretty sure the guy is 18, not 19. Or at least was 18 three months ago when the child was conceived.

Oh, and according to most sources they are no longer together.

Joseph Hovsep said...

I agree with Gahrie.

Hoosier Daddy, you're mistaken on the facts and the law.

Jennifer said...

Fair point, since she hasn’t done her obligatory tell-all interview yet.

Yes, she has. This announcement came from her tell-all interview brokered by Mama Spears with OK Magazine with payment contingent on first publication of the baby's pictures. Talk about disgusting.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hoosier Daddy, you're mistaken on the facts and the law.

Perhaps, as I said, that is how I recalled that particular case. If I am so mistaken, care to point out where rather than just stating so as a matter of fact?

ricpic said...

"...not acing birth control..."

Okay, call me a square, but I don't think I've ever heard the slang term acing used to mean getting or doing something right. Acing an exam I can see, but that's not the same thing.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Sorry, Hoosier. I got confused too. There are two Georgia cases, (1) the Wilson case that you cite correctly as being prosecuted under the sodomy law for a same-sex encounter and (2) the case of Marcus Dixon, who also got ten years in Georgia under the statutory rape law for a heterosexual sex with a 16 year old girl when he was 19. I was thinking of the latter.

Tim Sisk said...

While I usually agree with Ann on many issues, this isn't one of them.

A few loose points:

1). We don't know the age of Mary when she had Jesus. While it's likely that she was indeed young, its just inflammatory to throw in the line that this is the time that "we celebrate the birth of a child to a 14-year-old girl". Christmas isn't the time we celebrate the pregnancy of a 14 year old, its the time we celebrate the birth of Christ. And most Christians believe the mother was a virgin, a charge not levied toward the Spears clan.

2) Most parents of pre-teen who scorn this event aren't doing so directly to kick Spears when she is down, but rather to express upset that another one of or pre-teen children's idol has caused us to have conversations with our children at a time deemed premature to us. My nine year old has already had to see three idols fall down like this: Lindsey Lohan, Vanessa Hudgens, and now Jamie Lynn Spears. My daughter will be grown all her life, in this sliver of time she has left in childhood, must she be taught the lesson that teens learn pretty quickly, that even your hero's have faults? It's a good lesson to learn, but I'd like for her to not become jaded to the world just yet.

3) Ann, the smack against abstinence education is really offensive in that it is such a red herring.

4) Why we should tolerate sex between 19 year olds and 16 year olds is beyond me. There is a huge difference in age and maturity. Absolutely the 19 year is a predator. Ten years for this predation? I don't know, but the baby conceived could live to be 100.

5) The audience of Zoey 101 is not the same audience as high school Romeo and Juliet. And you know that Ann. You're just being offensive to draw the connection.

6) My whole life has been trying to shield my children from the sexualization of youth. I grew up in a different time (and I'm just 36). Ann, you're older than my mother (who had me when she was 19), and while you were part of the sexual revolution, that doesn't prepare you for the perspective parents of young children have now a days.

Frankly, you're snarkiness this morning sounded a lot like reading a Christopher Hitchens article. The world will only permit one Christopher Hitchens.

Tim Sisk said...

Apologies for all my grammatical slips. I'm in a hurry and I didn't have time to proof...

MadisonMan said...

The most -- would vulgar be a good adjective here? -- disgusting thing is how Britney's and Jamie's Mom whores them out for publicity. So total agreement with Jennifer re: the Ok! deal. Momma Spears apparently had children solely to make money off of them. In another line of work she'd be called a pimp. As it is she's just a stage mother gone amok.

Roger said...

Anyone who compares this situation to the birth of Christ, or Romeo and Juliette is really out there. This is the year of our lord 2007, and a sixteen year old girl getting pregnant is not a good thing. Of couse it happens, but that still doesnt make it a good thing. Of course, this will keep our voyeur TV personality cult busy for the next 7 months, so maybe its an overall plus for ratings and advertising.
Right...........

AllenS said...

Jamie Lynn is the newest, ever evolving feminist. In charge of herself and her body.

Henry said...

She should become progressively poorer and fatter as time goes by in the show and end up in real squalor while the new star of the show -- without a kid -- goes to college and pursues her dreams.

MadisonMan, that's brilliant.

They could even use Britney as a body double.

TMink said...

"I thought the abstinence-only message was that any method of birth control can fail."

I thought the statement was accurate. Are you saying that there are foolproof methods of birth control other than eschewing sexual intercourse?

Trey

rhhardin said...

Roger, it's no good deploring. That just feeds the same audience that makes it an eternal news story. They love it.

Ridicule of that audience is the way to go.

They won't care for that.

So you'll have to do it without the help of the media.

MadisonMan said...

Are you saying that there are foolproof methods of birth control other than eschewing sexual intercourse?

Homosexuality -- that's foolproof birth control.

Pogo said...

As is onanism, i.e. sex with someone you love.

Zeb Quinn said...

There was a time in this country where a 16 year old preganacy would have been unremarkable.

Oh? Really? Exactly when was that commonplace tsunami of unmarried 16-year old mothers pushing their baby budgies up and down the halls at the high school? I'm trying to remember, but, drat, it must be that Alzheimers thingie.

I know this much. My 6-year old granddaughter is a regular Zoey 101 viewer, and she heard the breathless the news shouted out on the news channel. She is now a veritable font of questions on a subject that at this point in her life she shouldn't be.

Host with the Most said...

Ann, what exactly do you think the consequences should be when you write:

Why not extra forgiveness?

What do you mean by that?

Jill said...

I didn't hear anyone at all talking about abortion, did you?

I don't have kids, and I think that at least until Spears' pregnancy is over, the show should be put on hiatus. I don't subscribe to the notion that everyone in the entertainment industry who has children out of wedlock sets a "bad example" to teens. Teens don't relate to, oh, say, Goldie Hawn having kids with Kurt Russell. But when they see someone within spitting distance of their own age being pregnant, I'm not sure they understand that it's one thing to be pregnant at sixteen when you and your family are already raking in dough through the tabloid-tainment industry and quite another when you are an ordinary kid for whom motherhood may mean not being able to finish high school, let alone go to college and become an adult the way it's done in our society. Spears has every right to decide how to deal with her pregnancy, but she does not have a right to be the star of a television show aimed at teens.

What this SHOULD be is the perfect springboard to open the doors to communication between parents and their children about sex and pregnancy.

Kirk Parker said...

hdhouse,

Maybe it's just the season or something, but it's very comforting to find something of yours I can competely agree with:

"What is also dismaying is that when production people search around in the talent pool they keep coming up with members of this family."

And I see by your 7:14 and 7:23 comments that you're really on a roll this morning. Keep up the good work!


Pogo,

No kidding about the loss of stigma. Not just on this type of situation, as you point out, but everywhere. But it's not quite true that we have replace all stigma with nothing; the other response is to criminalize things to an excessive degree. Both tendencies are bad for society.

Kirk Parker said...

Ann,

"What's the point of providing links?"

You forgot to make them self-clicking or something. Have you no consideration for your poor, overworked readers???

:-)

John Kindley said...

My parents were both 16 when I was born, and got married a couple months before I made my grand entrance. In our case things turned out pretty tragically, and my younger brother and I were raised by our aunt and uncle. I'm sure our parents' youth contributed to the way things turned out, but they didn't have to turn out the way they did. Free will was involved. In general marriage is a stabilizing influence, and perhaps it wouldn't be a bad thing if that stability came younger in a person's life more often than it does nowadays. The typical college student might do better rather than worse and even be happier with a little extra stability. (Not to mention that the idea that college is necessary to lead a productive and financially rewarding life is a misconception, and to the extent that it is true we can thank in large part various government occupational licensing schemes.) If so many people weren't passing out so much free sex, maybe young people wouldn't be overwhelmed by the sense that they'd be missing out by marrying too early.

ricpic said...

As is onanism, i.e. sex with someone you love.

Finally. The Truth!

John Z. said...

Most parents of teen and pre-teen girls are very protective of their daughters' innocence. Consequently, watch the ratings for this show drop like a stone. I imagine Miss Spears also has her own line of clothing and personal accessories. Sales for those will dry up as well.

You can debate it all you want, and tut-tut about how judgmental we all are, etc., but money talks and BS walks. Zoey 101 is toast.

Middle Class Guy said...

Conduct is conduct. People are responsible for what they do. The question should be the response to Nick if they take action or don't.

It is not up to us to judge her conduct- that is up to her parents. It is up to Nick to decide if the publicity will damage their product. Seriously, will the world be destroyed by global warming if Zoey is cancelled?

Revenant said...

What's "unbelievably stupid" here? Having sex when only 16, not acing birth control

Having unprotected sex at age 16 after your older sister has ALREADY ruined her career by having unprotected sex and getting knocked up certainly qualifies as "stupid" in my book. I have to disagree with the "unbelievably" part, though, since it is entirely believable that a member of the Spears family would do that.

That being said, I couldn't care less if they cancel the show or not.

jimbino said...

God should fire Mary in light of the bad example she sets for Fundamentalists. There still are people all over the world praying themselves into hypnosis over her, for Christ's sake!

There are some observations that need to be made here: First of all, to prosecute the putative father, the state has to show that prohibited sex took place within its jurisdiction, pretty hard to do if the actors won't testify. Secondly, the best way to get rid of stupid laws is to prosecute the high and mighty for violating them. Third, a sexually mature person has the human right to sex and to choose willing sex partners of whatever sex or age, state laws notwithstanding. Fourth, sex is good, like eating, urinating, defecating and other natural bodily functions, and nobody of any age can be hurt or ruined by it. The hurt comes from the superstition and fear that the christianists transmit to their children. The pope could make the eating of fish, pork or shellfish as "ruinous" as sex by mere edict, and the jews can do the same thing, and mutilate infants besides, and they don't even need to consult a pope!

vnjagvet said...

Fifty-one years ago, an eighteen year old high school athlete had sex with a 16 year old teen age from a prominent family. She conceived and had the child. They married, subsequently divorced, and remarried others.

Today, both are successful in all outward respects and have children and grandchildren, in spite of the event which brought consternation and shame to their respective families.

The man went on to get a PhD and to become chairman of the board of a number of successful businesses.

I know this because they were my high school classmates.

The point of this is that even in the days of "shaming", people with love and support of families and friends, people dealt with these situations in constructive ways.

Unfortunately, the Spears family is not providing such an example.

I am in the "get another star" camp as far as the show is concerned.

ricpic said...

Yup, all we've gotta do is get rid of those pesky christianists and then we can have sex with all the little boys and girls on the block, right jimbo?

vnjagvet said...

Jimbino:

I don't disagree with much that you say with these comments:

I don't know what a "Christianist" is, but if it is one who professes to be a Christian while acting precisely the opposite and not caring about the incongruity, I agree with you.

Sex is good; but it can carry adverse physical and emotional consequences after orgasm. Unless one is prepared to deal with that adversity, it might be well to consider how and when to indulge in the act.

Pogo said...

I know this because they were my high school classmates.

Yes, the exception tests the rule. But it is indiputable that such results are in fact the exception still.

Why We Don’t Marry
by James Q. Wilson

"Almost everyone—a few retrograde scholars excepted—agrees that children in mother-only homes suffer harmful consequences: the best studies show that these youngsters are more likely than those in two-parent families to be suspended from school, have emotional problems, become delinquent, suffer from abuse, and take drugs. Some of these problems may arise from the economic circumstances of these one-parent families, but the best studies, such as those by Sara McLanahan and Gary Sandefur, show that low income can explain, at most, about half of the differences between single-parent and two-parent families. The rest of the difference is explained by a mother living without a husband.
...
How did stigma get weakened by practice and undercut by law, when Americans—no less than Brits, Canadians, and Australians—favor marriage and are skeptical of welfare?

Let me suggest that beneath the popular support for marriage there has slowly developed, almost unnoticed, a subversion of it, which can be summarized this way: whereas marriage was once thought to be about a social union, it is now about personal preferences. Formerly, law and opinion enforced the desirability of marriage without asking what went on in that union; today, law and opinion enforce the desirability of personal happiness without worrying much about maintaining a formal relationship. Marriage was once a sacrament, then it became a contract, and now it is an arrangement. Once religion provided the sacrament, then the law enforced the contract, and now personal preferences define the arrangement.
...
This fact supplies us with a sober lesson: the sexual revolution—one that began nearly a century ago but was greatly hastened by the 1960s—was supposed to help make men and women equal. Instead it has helped men, while leaving many women unmarried spectators watching Sex and the City on HBO.
...
The right and best way for a culture to restore itself is for it to be rebuilt, not from the top down by government policies, but from the bottom up by personal decisions. On the side of that effort, we can find churches—or at least many of them—and the common experience of adults that the essence of marriage is not sex, or money, or even children: it is commitment."

Slim999 said...

Have you ever heard of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission? Aren't you a lawyer?

We have laws in this country that prevent employers from firing pregnant workers. (And cancelling the show because this actress is pregnant would be just that.)

Shame on you Ann! Advocating discrimination against women? Heaven forfend.

former law student said...

1900s through the 1950s, when shame was in fact commonly applied, and unwed motherhood ... was eliminated because of shotgun weddings.

The abstinence-only culture prevents preparation for sex far more effectively than it prevents sex itself. Horny teenagers who are IN LOVE will do what horny teenagers have been doing forever. Unprotected sex is a crime of passion; taking birth control or buying condoms is premeditated sex.

Discussing this, a friend of mine recalled this happened up in Wisconsin well into the sexual revolution. In small rural towns, everyone was afraid everyone would find out that they were taking birth control pills or buying comdoms. If Betty Sue's dad found out that you, Betty Sue's boyfriend, were buying condoms, you'd never see Betty Sue again. (If you weren't plowing Betty Sue, you'd have to be cheating on her.)

Paddy O. said...

By the way, I hope no high schools are allowing their students to read "Romeo and Juliet."

Funny you should mention this. When I was in high school the school had a performance of Romeo and Juliet. I was good friends with most of the cast, including Romeo. He and Juliet apparently took up their parts with zeal and committed to extra rehearsals outside of the normal schedule.

She became pregnant, something realized a month or two after the performance. She also dropped out of school. He was responsible for child support.

The problem I see it now is we're making this a culture war sort of thing, a free-love battle of generations ago. Get over the sex part, I say.

Jamie Lynn Spears is wealthy. No big deal. She can hire nannies and care takers, and tutors. She doesn't feel the weight.

Talk to any woman who had a baby at 16. I know more than a few. All of them regret it. All of them feel like they were taken advantage of in a time in which they were desperate to find love.

That's the other problem with so many conversations about sex. By making it about the act we completely dismiss the psychological issues that might be happening. Britney has illustrated these, and not for the best of her babies. Her actions, and likely those of her sister, are not of carefully considered life moments. Nor are they the result of cultural patterns of arranged marriages where the baby enters into a world of enforced responsibility (as what happened with Mary).

These are troubled kids making troubled decisions that affect other lives. That's the foundation for sexual ethics.

Because while Jamie Lynn is wealthy most of her audience is not, and if they follow her model or think that it's okay they will entirely and radically affect the rest of their lives, and almost always in a way that destroys their potential future.

Parents who are upset are parents who don't want to raise their own grandchildren. They are parents who want the best for their children, to send them off to college, to marry a successful loving mate, to be fulfilled in their own childhood and adulthood.

As for forgiveness... that's not really for us to do. She didn't do anything to me and it's hubris to think I can either judge or forgive her. I can wish for her best, as I do, and also wish that others don't make the mistakes she did, for the sake of their lives. I can also do my part to help build communities where sex isn't seen as the only source of validation and acceptance.

paul a'barge said...

Althouse, I don't know how you get yourself into these logical conundrums where the only two choices are (1) to pat the girl on the back or (2) to have her head on a pike.

What happened to the context and the nuance? It seems to have swished right over the top of your head.

Pogo said...

Horny teenagers who are IN LOVE will do what horny teenagers have been doing forever.

Bullshit.
From The First Measured Century
(see chart page 71)
Premarital Sexual Activity
Percentage of 19-year-old unmarried white women with sexual experience
**1900 = 6%
**1991 = 74%
**2002 = 95%
"...at the beginning of the century, most American women entered their first marriages as virgins. At the end of the century, about one-quarter of them did. ... But from 1900 to 1960, the increase in premarital sex occurred at the same time as a drop in the average age of first marriage."

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Our society has extended "childhood" into ridiculous extremes. Some people are even trying to excuse the murder of a 7 year old by a 16 and 17 year old by saying that their minds are not yet developed at that age..... BULL http://www.ripten.com/2007/12/20/two-teens-kill-7-year-old-girl-with-supposed-mortal-kombat-moves/

The human race is biologically designed to have children and take on adult responsibilities beginning in the early teen years. You are SUPPOSED to have children when you are young. Not when you are in your 40's. That has been the pattern for hundreds of thousands of years. My parent were 17 and 18 years old when I was born. That was a normal age to have children in those days. As a result when I was a grown woman, they were still young people able to enjoy life.

We (as a society) have decided that humans are children all the way up the the age of 25. We don't expect them to take on responsibilities and excuse childish behavior long after in most societies they would have been productive citizens for at least a decade. So we have the biological imperative of breed or die conflicting with society's rules. No wonder we are so conflicted with teen pregnancy.

Should she be dropped from the show? Probably. I actually like MM's idea of allowing her to be on the show and show the difficulties and biological progression of a teen pregnancy in this "current" society. That'll learn 'em.

Smilin' Jack said...

Speaking of forgiveness, a Christian virtue, it is the Christmas season, when we celebrate the birth of a child to a 14-year-old girl.

Yeah, it's fun to read these comments with the substitutions Jamie Lynn -> Mary, Zoey 101 -> Christmas, and Casey -> God.

Cancel Christmas! Jail God! All those manger scenes are having a terrible influence on our kids!

John Kindley said...

My parents were both 16 when I was born, and got married a couple months before I made my grand entrance. In our case things turned out pretty tragically, and my younger brother and I were raised by our aunt and uncle. I'm sure our parents' youth contributed to the way things turned out, but they didn't have to turn out the way they did. Free will was involved. In general marriage is a stabilizing influence, and perhaps it wouldn't be a bad thing if that stability came younger in a person's life more often than it does nowadays. The typical college student might do better rather than worse and even be happier with a little extra stability. (Not to mention that the idea that college is necessary to lead a productive and financially rewarding life is a misconception, and to the extent that it is true we can thank in large part various government occupational licensing schemes.) If so many people weren't passing out so much free sex, maybe young people wouldn't be overwhelmed by the sense that they'd be missing out by marrying too early.

Pastafarian said...

Think about this. She could potentially be a grandmother by the age of 30.

Alan said...

Pogo, the problem with that six percent figure, back in those days if you weren't married by the age of 19 you had to be pretty ugly. Which obviously influences the possibility of any sexual activity. :)

Pogo said...

"you had to be pretty ugly. Which obviously influences the possibility of any sexual activity"

Oh, I dunno about that.
How do you explain Rosie O'Donnell?

Bruce Hayden said...

A lot of thoughts here, but the first one is that there is a lot of correlation between those who condemn this and who oppose the extension of SCHIPS to 25 year olds, and, of course, the opposite.

The question is when does childhood end and adulthood begin? The two parents-to-be are reasonably mature sexually, and he is likely at about his sexual peak. Yet, for good reasons I think, society is pushing up the age of marriage and kids as education becomes ever more important in determining life success.

kimsch said...

When (perhaps) 14-year-old Mary was filled with the Holy Spirit and made pregnant, 14-years-old, while young, was still a very acceptable age to be married.

Also, Mary wasn't running around having premarital sex with her boyfriend at the time.

Pogo at 7:05am said it well in my opinion.

The fact that Lynne Spears was to write/publish a parenting book is a total joke. Or, if it is published maybe it would be a instructive manual on what not to do...

By the way, does anyone know about Britney and Jamie Lynne's father? Was he in their lives?

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
former law student said...

Pogo, your source first states a number of caveats about pre-1950 sexual activity data, then attempts to sweep them all away with a "Nevertheless" that I find to be unconvincing. People living in a period of sexual repression are simply not going to speak frankly about their sexual activity to curious strangers.
Large-scale research about sexual activity in the United States did not begin until Alfred Kinsey’s 1948 study, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, and a companion volume about females published in 1953. Before that time, the subject had been in the closet. Thus, most of the quantitative information about sexual activity in America during the first half of the century is based on retrospective interviews
with middle-aged and older people. To make matters worse, some of Kinsey’s sampling methods and interpretations were questionable.
After the Kinsey era, research about sexual activity flourished. In Kiss and Tell: Surveying Sex in the Twentieth Century, Julia Ericksen refers to hundreds of sex surveys. But as she points out, this collective effort was impeded by ideological conflicts, linguistic ambiguities, unrepresentative samples, and the tendency of ordinary people to give less than truthful answers about sensitive matters.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The question is when does childhood end and adulthood begin?

Well there was a time when a 16-17 year old was expected to take a leading role in being a wage earner in a household and getting married at that age wasn't anything out of the ordinary. A high school education much less a college one was a rarity and getting a paying job was expected.

Nowadays, we infantalize 25-30 year olds in how we refer to our 'children' fighting in Iraq or living at home with mom and dad in your 20s.

If you were 20 still living with your parents say, 40-50 years ago, you were either an invalid being taken care or vice versa.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hoosier Daddy, the smell of buring rubber? You old Speed Racer you!!!!

Not to brag but I wore earplugs too cause the screaming hurt my eardrums.

But seriously folks....

Danny said...

Can they replace her on the show? I thought it was illegal to fire a woman because she was pregnant. So many hot topic statues come into play!

Alan said...

Also, Mary wasn't running around having premarital sex with her boyfriend at the time."

Yeah, it was the Holy Spirit. (snicker)

Trooper York said...

Are you sure that was why she was screaming?

PatCA said...

I agree completely with Madison Man. Replace her with another star and show the reality of a teenage mother's life.

The analogy to the birth of Jesus or to Romeo and Juliet is off. Different times, different cultures, and especially different Fathers.

Bruce Hayden said...

Looking at it now from a parental point of view, I would definitely keep any daughter of mine younger than Jamie from watching Zoey. Heck, I am someone who forbade Barney until about age six due to the apparent forced politically correct racial mix (though Sesame Street was just fine because it didn't appear to be by the numbers).

I have been lucky to have offspring on whom logic works. Therefore, I have always been up front with this sort of thing, explaining that I was not allowing the watching of this because Jamie Lynn was a bad role model. But said offspring have been hearing for a long time about good and bad role models, so this would not come as a big surprise.

I would then go on and explain that almost all girls in Jamie Lynn's situation ruin their lives by doing this. She might not, because she can likely buy her way out of the problems that will arise, but most of the middle school girls watching her show don't have the money to do the same.

And yes, as a parent, I have seen the show, and am not sure that they can pull off replacing her.

former law student said...

The descendants of the Scotch-Irish, or Ulster Scots, have a tradition of early fooling around. Consider one Loretta Webb:
She was married to Oliver Vanetta Lynn, commonly known as "Doolittle", "Doo", or "Mooney" (for moonshine), on January 10, 1948, a few months before she turned 14.[4] In an effort to break free of the coal mining industry, Lynn moved to Custer, Washington, with her husband, at the age of 14. The Lynns had four children by the time Loretta was 17 and she was a grandmother at age 29.

Bruce Hayden said...

Let me clarify my last point. Jamie Lynn would be a high schooler if she went to school. I don't know if she does or doesn't but would not be surprised by private tutoring - a lot of the kid stars do that for any number of reasons.

My point is that her audience is likely middle school girls, though I do know that a lot of high schoolers do watch too. It is the message to the middle schoolers and younger that is the question here.

kimsch said...

Danny, with TV and movies it can be a bit different. Morals clauses are still written into contracts. Sometimes appearance changes while under contract are forbidden. A contract can call for the actor/actress to not change hairstyle, cut, color. Sickeningly, contracts can even call for the actor/actress to maintain a certain weight...

So, if there are any such clauses in Jamie Lynn's contract, she can be fired even though she's pregnant.

Cedarford said...

Tim Sisk - Why we should tolerate sex between 19 year olds and 16 year olds is beyond me. There is a huge difference in age and maturity. Absolutely the 19 year is a predator. Ten years for this predation? I don't know, but the baby conceived could live to be 100.

Stupid because you are describing a "crime" that is unprosecutable given tens of millions of below 18 teens do it - unless the 16-year old's parents and the courts see the older one as a definite predator (the Georgia case was influenced by the black guy not dating her and nailing her in an opportunistic tryst when alcohol and drugs were given to the 16 year old)

The younger Spears is dumb, but moralists would not be in a high lather against her if she had just gone out and quietly had the kid legally whacked. They wouldn't have known. No calls against her for moral turpitude, no calls to cancel her show.

As Gharie said, we have messed up our social norms in America enormously. WE sexualize 16-year olds as objects of desire because our brains are hardwired with biological knowledge that 16-18 is the best time for fertile females to have a healthy fetus and survive childbirth in absence of modern intervention medicine. At the same time, we tell those hotties and young studs full of hormones that they are in an extended childhood and should avoid sex, if they wish to be considered "good human beings".

And riddled the process with perverse disincentives for the smartest and most productive citizens to reproduce and rewarded non-contributing or marginally contributing trash sectors of our society for reproducing early and often. Ending up with lifetime parasite black grandmothers pregant with their 8th welfare baby at age 29 while celebrating the birth of their 1st "grandchilluns" and celebrating only 3 of their own chilluns is in jail. Ending up with desperate 40-year old female executives shopping around for doctors that can make some "miracle baby" spring up in their old, unused wombs that won't have Down's syndrome or other late-pregnancy genetic issues - who non-breed people like themselves out of existence for "career excitement and growth."

Solutions, to high reproduction of undesirable portions of the population, low reproductive rates of the intelligent, the morality of teen relationships is complex and may of necessity have to be done in a non-democratic way to best order a state and it's society for the future and prevent it's decay, as Lee Kwan Yew of Singapore said. Singapore is in the same bind as the US, as the cream of their society has a birth dearth while the trash were producing excessive babies and burdening the taxpayers and causing a slide in the average talent and ability of Singapores citizens to compete in the future. Even in an authoritarian-democrat state though, governmental solutions have not worked too well as powerful economic and social reasons still push high-performers away from having families, and encouraging the trash element with welfare no one has the heart to do away with and changing moral acceptance.

Danny said...

What if she got an abortion and disclosed that publicly? Do you think Nickelodeon has an abortion clause in their contracts? Wow.

Bruce Hayden said...

The problem with Pogo's statistics is not that they are incorrect, but that they don't really show what I think he probably means.

The likely reason that most 19 year old single women were still virgins a 100 years ago is that the non-virgins were already married, and that was a decided majority of them. Indeed, probably most of them.

So, without good birth control and easily accessible abortion, the girls who screwed around would get pregnant, and then be married off, pronto, most often in time to legitimize the kids on the way, i.e., a "shot gun wedding".

But that worked just fine back then. Likely both families lived right by the young couple, and the extended family would make sure it worked. A 17 year old boy doesn't need a high school education to run a plow, just the strength he was growing into. And his 16 year old bride doesn't need as much in parenting skills with her mother and his taking an active role in the parenting.

Beth said...

Not sure what you mean Ann but obviously she didn't read the "abstinence-only" literature (or couldn't).

That was my first thought when I heard this story. It would be nice if the Spears kids could actually go to school and learn something instead of being put out to work for their pimps. Had she not been sent out to work every day, and apparently left to raise herself through her early teens, she might have encountered some information about abstinence, or how to use a condom or other means of birth control. I just feel sorry for her, because this is going to change the whole trajectory of her life. But given the Spears family history, maybe that will actually work out better for her. Perhaps papa and mama will have to do something to support themselves now.

My mother got pregnant at 16, and my father was 19, almost 20, at the time. Her life was never easy, and she gave up so much.

Meanwhile, the local joke is that the Spears family put the "ho" in Tangipahoa. Just thought I'd share that.

Bruce Hayden said...

Danny,

As a parent, I would be no happier with an abortion as her having the kid. Bad role model all the way around.

If you want your daughter sexually active at 16, that is your choice. It isn't mine.

kimsch said...

Danny,

If she were to have had an abortion do you honestly think that that fact would have been shouted from the rooftops? Also, if she were to have had an abortion she wouldn't have a growing abdominal area now would she? Announcing the pregnancy since she's keeping the baby derails all the "is that a baby bump?" gossip. If she'd had an abortion, there wouldn't be a baby bump to wonder about.

rhhardin said...

1963 joke ``I don't care what that angel said, Mary, you're in trouble.''

Alan said...

Cedarford, I wouldn't worry about offending anyone with your post. If Brittany weren't able to sing her family probably would've been black too, chillun and all.

Bruce Hayden said...

Not sure of how old Jamie Lynn was when she got herself knocked up. But regardless, the chances of prosecution for statutory rape are near zero.

First, Eugene Volokh (volokh.com) has had several threads about statutory rape over the years, and the last one maybe last week. Most states make some provision for kids of somewhat similar ages, and the standard in many jurisdictions is about three years (which is what we appear to have here), and others two. I am not sure what state law would control here, but if CA, I would expect CA law to be pretty liberal here.

Secondly, I found almost a decade ago that the police were fairly unwilling to prosecute statutory rape cases, even when it is a slam dunk. In this case, the girl was almost 16, which was the magic age in AZ at the time. She got drunk at a party, passed out, and woke up to find some guy doing her. She claimed rape, and he claimed consent. He was 10 years older, so statutory rape was slam dunk. Between a physical exam and the sheets, it was easy to show sex, but not garden variety rape beyond a reasonable doubt. So, no prosecution.

Beth said...

Ending up with lifetime parasite black grandmothers pregant with their 8th welfare baby at age 29 while celebrating the birth of their 1st "grandchilluns" and celebrating only 3 of their own chilluns is in jail.

Geez, Ann, at least "jeweejew" never attempts "dialect" in making a point. As long as Cedarford comments here, your "troll" policing has no credibility at all.

Trooper York said...

Trixie: Move it, Speed! It's getting ugly out there!
Speed Racer: Wait a minute; I have to get my condom on. Oh yeah, ohhhhh yeah baby! Whose you’re daddy? Whose you're Hoosier Daddy!
Trixie: Tatsuo Yoshida
Speed Racer; Huh!
(Speed Racer, 2008)

reader_iam said...

Why is a 6-year-old "regularly" watching Zoey 101?

If a 6-year-old is being affected by this news, the fault lies not with Jamie Lynn Spears, but with some questionable judgment on the part of the child's parents.

Likewise, if a 9-year-old has been affected by the crash-and-burn of Lindsey Lohan (whose fall from grace started a couple of years ago; do the math) or Vanessa Hudgens, then perhaps the child's parents ought to be questioning their decision to encourage their kids to look to famous teen-agers as role models. Or to get too involved in the celebrity/fame-following thing. This has been a weird, weird trend for a while, and I don't get why parents buy into it. It's not as if some of the risks aren't obvious.

And yeah: I'm "old" (almost 47) and can remember the days of stigma. But I have a 7-1/2 year old, and so I CAN relate to what's out there.

There's a reason why my kid doesn't (because I don't allow it) watch stuff like Zoey 101. At his age.

reader_iam said...

Or get into the following teen-celebrities thing.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Are you sure that was why she was screaming?

Come to think of it, it was followed by laughter....

rhhardin said...

I don't know that adults are much better off, in looking for love, validation or sex.

Respectability for a woman comes from how good a deal she made for herself.

Not being a virgin used to affect how good the prospective deal could be. I doubt it has any effect today.

A guy is still looking for sex, and if he winds up being needed as well, that is the woman shows him she's satisfied with him, he winds up loving the woman, which is what she wanted after all.

There are lots of ways that can fail at any age. If the woman's a teen idol, it's not likely to work out on first principles right off the bat. Maybe she figures the baby will love her for herself, the fanatasy of perfect love that she didn't stick it out to seek in her boyfriend.

The actual problem is that she dumped the boyfriend.

Freder Frederson said...

Geez, Ann, at least "jeweejew" never attempts "dialect" in making a point. As long as Cedarford comments here, your "troll" policing has no credibility at all.

Ahh Beth, you don't understand, "Cedarford writes many interesting comments and is not trolling." Just because he is a raving lunatic abusive racist, it doesn't matter. He is a right-wing lunatic abusive racist who agrees with Ann most of the time, so by definition, he is not a troll.

He can wish people dead (and in fact encourage people to lynch me), call people traitors, and spew all kinds of eugenic, anti-semitic and racist nonsense but as long as he occaisionally writes something "interesting" (and you've got to hand it to Cedarford, he is rarely boring), he is okay with Ann.

rhhardin said...

As P.J.O'Rourke wrote long ago on his childhood, he didn't know they were poor. He just thought they were broke.

He turned out okay.

Freder Frederson said...

Solutions, to high reproduction of undesirable portions of the population, low reproductive rates of the intelligent, the morality of teen relationships is complex and may of necessity have to be done in a non-democratic way to best order a state and it's society for the future and prevent it's decay, as Lee Kwan Yew of Singapore said.

And I hope these solutions include madatory sterilization for racist pricks like you.

Beth said...

perhaps the child's parents ought to be questioning their decision to encourage their kids to look to famous teen-agers as role models. Or to get too involved in the celebrity/fame-following thing. This has been a weird, weird trend for a while, and I don't get why parents buy into it.

reader, I agree. But I also remember faithfully tuning in to "The Monkees" when I was a kid, and watching the Beatles' cartoon. Our parents must have looked at both gruops and thought they looked stoned, but we watched anyway. Even H.R. Puffenstuff was one long hallucinogenic trip (puffing stuff????) I still remember Mama Cass in a bathtub full of fruit. I guess only the Archies were a safe bet, being virtual. Oh, and Josie and the Pussycats.

Beth said...

freder, I'm not as inclined to believe Ann is all about the right wing, so that explanation falls short for me. But I admit I'm mystified.

Zeb Quinn said...

Why is a 6-year-old "regularly" watching Zoey 101?

What? You're going to need to explain your thesis that even before about 72 hours ago a 6-year old oughtn't have been permitted to watch Zoey 101.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Most of you, including Ann, seem to be missing the most important point. What would be best for the child?

Beth said...

And I should add, cedarford isn't right wing; I think he falls into that old populist category that stretches itself to hold a wide range of ideas.

Trooper York said...

The best thing for the child is that she would be adopted by Angelina Jolie.

John said...

I agree with the idea that we infantalize teenagers. Throughout most of history, women were married and pregnant by the time they were this girl's age. If she wants to get knocked up and start a family, more power to her.

Nicholodian, however runs a children's networkd. Ms. Spears is employed as a child actor playing a child in a children's show. I don't doing that is compatable with being an expectant mother and an adult. Nicholdeaon needs to tell Spears "we are happy with your dicisions to become a knocked up tramp like your sister. We wish you well in your career choice. But, since you are now an adult, we are afraid that you can't be a child actor on our network anymore".

MadisonMan said...

Zeb, I don't think a 6-yo should be watching TV period. Six-year-olds should be playing, inside or out, or reading.

It helps to have no cable. And to have the only TV in the coldest, darkest, least comfortable part of the house.

Revenant said...

Just because he is a raving lunatic abusive racist, it doesn't matter. He is a right-wing lunatic abusive racist who agrees with Ann most of the time, so by definition, he is not a troll.

A troll is a person who deliberately tries to start arguments in order to abuse other posters, e.g. christopher and Lucky.

Cedarford is just a lone nut. He doesn't really engage with the other posters here at all.

Freder Frederson said...

And I should add, cedarford isn't right wing; I think he falls into that old populist category that stretches itself to hold a wide range of ideas.

No, Cedarford is plainly and simply a Nazi (not even a Neo-Nazi). He has expressed undying admiration for the policies and practices of Nazi Germany (except for the Autobahn system). And today he has expressed a pechant for the Nazi system of breeding good Aryan children to create a master race while prohibiting the propagation of inferior stock.

I'm sure he secretly thinks concentration and extermination camps are a grand idea.

former law student said...

Why is a 6-year-old "regularly" watching Zoey 101?
I'm gonna go waaaaaaaay out on a limb and say it's because Nickelodeon offers children's programming.

former law student said...

he has expressed a pechant for the Nazi system of breeding good Aryan children to create a master race while prohibiting the propagation of inferior stock.

A fine example of the genetic fallacy. Moreover, it's not a question of Nazi (or other) eugenics; Singapore merely wants its brightest and most talented citizens to marry and reproduce, but they're too busy working all day. Bright and talented people are the only natural resources that Singapore has.

Shawn Levasseur said...

"What is imprortant for the child"...

Probably for the rest of us to feel that celebrity gives us all the right to put someone's life on trial.

More people are up in arms over the Spears girls' lives rather than if they were a family down the street from them. Or so it seems.

I find such griping about the personal lives of celebrities distasteful. How'd you like it if your personal life was held up to be judged by the world?

Sure they're in the public eye. Doesn't make it any more right.

Trooper York said...

Spritle: Speed you must hurry. There is a new entrant into the race. She is very dangerous.
Speed Racer: Who is she?
Spritle: They call her Britney Spears. She is driving a 1969 Pontiac GTO with two car seats facing the wrong way with the screaming babies in the back seat. She said that fear makes her car go faster.
Speed Racer: How can I compete? What can I put my car that will engender the same degree of terror?
Spritle: How about a naked Hillary Clinton in all her leather skinned glory and Mike Huckabee holding a bible with a cross painted over his shoulder on the back window.
Speed Racer: Too late, that was already done in the Arkansas 500. Can’t we get something in the race that doesn’t have anything to do with Arkansas.
Spritle: It doesn’t look that way.
(Speed Racer, 2008)

reader_iam said...

Zeb: You consider a 6-year-old a young teen, or even a young tween,? You think encouraging the idolization of celebrity and and the lives of teens is a good thing for a first-grader? To everything there is a season.

But to each his own. What other parents choose to do is strictly not my business. However, I'm just not gonna be all that sympathetic to the plight of parents who encourage their young kids to watch tween/teen shows and follow teen celebrities, but then get all upset when one of those teens do a teen thing or get into teen-type trouble. Then we hear the cry: Bad role model! Bad role model! Well, why did you encourage that sort of role model to begin within? What purpose does it serve? Hell, I don't want my son acting even like a fine, upstanding teen-ager--because it would still be inappropriate. He's not a teen. And in my opinion, the teen attitude doesn't look good on younger kids, nor do I think it's healthy.

Shawn Levasseur said...

All that said, Nickelodeon would be right to cancel Zoey 101.

It's a kids show, and they'd be forced to deal with the fact that it's star was pregnant, it would change the entire nature of the show. It'd become a show that Nick probably wouldn't want anyway.

MadisonMan said...

How'd you like it if your personal life was held up to be judged by the world?

I'm not a celebritney. If I chose to pursue fame, well, gossip is a trade-off that goes along with fame. Spears' Mom pimped them out to the world to make money. If she's pissed that we're talking about her daughters (I really doubt that she is), it's her own fault. If Jamie Lynn is pissed that we gossip about her, she should blame her mother.

Geoff Matthews said...

"The world will only permit one Christopher Hitchens."

I soooo want to make a Highlander joke.

THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE! (slice)

As far as the topic, dang. A 16 year old gets knocked up by a 19 year old boy from church? If I were the father of the girl, I'd be furious. I'd want him charged. HE should know better. Let's demand a little responsibility from the adults in this scenario. I'm talking child support and everything else. Maybe not 10 years in prison, but 10 years probation and sex offender status.

reader_iam said...

FLS: Nickelodeon offers a combination of program for different age groups of young people. The target demos of different shows vary, and the shows are written in reflection of that.

Nickelodeon wants to be the safe haven

I disagree with the premise. It's not a "safe haven," and I don't know why on earth parents are expecting such a thing. It seems like an abdication of vigilance, in my view. Many will disagree, and that's fine. It's just my opinion.

Michael said...

The Zoey 101 audience are the six to twelve year old girls, and I have two daughters that fall into that range and watch the show (although my eleven year old is a more faithful watcher than my eight year old.) While that age group is Nickelodeon's audience, they still need to keep the parents of those viewers happy, and I am not happy. Ideally Ms. Spears should quit (or be allowed to quit) but given the her family's history I don't see that. Anyone want to bet if the show will be this Sunday night?

Alan said...

Geoff Matthews,

I wonder how many teenage suicides take place due to parents like you?...

KG2V said...

RE:"If you were 20 still living with your parents say, 40-50 years ago, you were either an invalid being taken care or vice versa."

I do know that a great number of Vets coming home after WWII (which is a bit more than 60 years ago) lived at home with their parents for a couple of years, while out finding a wife.

Interestingly, a lot of those vets, when it came time to buy a house bought "Mother Daughter" homes - Mom and Dad lived in the other part of the house, to get them out of the apartments.

Realisticaly, in the draft Era, a son moved out at 18 - either off to college, or to the Army - was gone 2-4 years, came home for a short period of time, and went and married

reader_iam said...

he Zoey 101 audience are the six to twelve year old girls

I question that's the intended target (on the six side), but OK, if you say so. All I can say is, I think it's pretty funny that people can get upset about the Vast Difference In Age between 16 and 18, but not 6 and 12. I mean funny-weird.

M. Simon said...

Nuclear families are radioactive.

Solar is better.

anonymous said...

>>Speaking of forgiveness, a Christian virtue, it is the Christmas season, when we celebrate the birth of a child to a 14-year-old girl.<<

Non sequitur. Are you saying that BECAUSE it's Christmas we should view the Spears fiasco in some different light? Or that since it's Christmas, centered around the birth of Jesus to a young Mary, that we are to feel some sort of added compassion for young Ms. Spears situation? If I recall correctly, Mary WAS married at the time of Jesus' birth and the fact that she was young has absolutely no bearing as to events in the here and now of 2007, other than that to note that Mary had freely submitted to and was following God's will.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Speed Racer: Wait a minute; I have to get my condom on. Oh yeah, ohhhhh yeah baby! Whose you’re daddy? Whose you're Hoosier Daddy!

Hey, that's not even funny. I would never bed a girl named Trixie.

I do have some principles. If you don't like them I have others.

jeff said...

My God, how many Spears kids are there? There isn't a backlog of them is there? Like the Osmonds?

john said...

Freder,

Why wouldn't Cederford like the autobahn?

Freder Frederson said...

If you were 20 still living with your parents say, 40-50 years ago, you were either an invalid being taken care or vice versa.

Don't be ridiculous. My parents lived with their parents until their wedding day in 1955 (when they were 23 and 25). My dad had lived in the same room, which he shared with two brothers, from the day he was born until he got married except for two years in the Air Force. His brothers didn't leave home til they got married either. Same for my mom's sister.

reader_iam said...

Heh. People sure enjoy questioning Lynn Spears' parenting judgment (and it BEGS to be questioned, even judged, and I do), but they sure don't like it when their own is questioned.

None of us have a crystal ball. Statistically speaking, I'll bet someone's young kid among readers here will go onto to get pregnant (or impregnate) as a teen. And whose fault will that be?

Jamie Lynn Spears? Nickelodeon?

reader_iam said...

Jeff: LOL.

M. Simon said...

geoff,

If he gets sex offender status it will be hard to find a place to live.

Is that good for the child?

Plus they won't be able to have any of their kid's friends over to play. Is that good for the kid?

Of course in Saudi Arabia they know how to deal with rape. Death for the rapist. Death for the rapee. Problem solved. The kid? Things are tough all over.

Freder Frederson said...

Why wouldn't Cederford like the autobahn?

I don't know. A few weeks ago he was ranting on about how limited access highways were a Jewish-socialist conspiracy (and not the good kind). So I figured he doesn't like Autobahns either.

JAM said...

Jenny D. said...

Sure, Jamie-Lynn may have plenty of money to support the child and still work. But what about all the viewers, all the girls who may begin to think having a baby at age 16 is cool.

The issue I worry about is not so much that girls will think it is "cool", but that they will see it simply as something not to worry about, or take precautions against.

It is unfortunate, and more so for her because she gets to be the poster child (sadly accurate term) for her situation. So all the ills of society can be attributed to and blamed on her, just because she happens to be famous.

There's plenty of blame to go around here, not least Nickelodeon itself, for being a contributor to the culture of premature sexualizaton of young people.

Cancel the show? Or replace Miss Spears? The bottom line certainly is in question no matter what they end up doing. But any "message" sent by the network should be irrelevant. It should be parents who guide their children in how to think about these issues. We shouldn't be abandoning our children to be raised by media personalities, celebrities and television networks who are after all more interested in selling them things than in teaching them things.

jeff said...

"Geoff Matthews,

I wonder how many teenage suicides take place due to parents like you?..."

Your kidding. You think there is a father out there that wouldnt be pissed that some unemployed slacker knocked up his 16 year old daughter?

Trooper- I was with you until the naked Hillary thing. I had to bail at that point.

Hoosier daddy- A good friend of mine married a trixie. Trust me, if you saw her you would rethink that particular principle.

M. Simon said...

anon,

Are you sure Jamie Lynn Spears is not following the Maker's will? And if you are so sure of the Maker's will what stocks should I invest in?

Trooper York said...

Next on FOX reality: The Gravid Life starring celebrity pregnant unwed mothers. Jamie Lynn Spears, Nicole Ritchie, Hallie Berry and Flavor Flav star as these celebrity hosebags sit around the house, eat pickles and ice cream and bitch about the dudes who knocked them up. The first one to drop a rug rat wins $1,000,000 for any charity they chose except Planned Parenthood. Hosted by Shar Jackson and Ant with special appearances by New York, Brigitte Nielsen, Scott Baio, and Donald Trump.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Don't be ridiculous. My parents lived with their parents until their wedding day in 1955 (when they were 23 and 25). My dad had lived in the same room, which he shared with two brothers, from the day he was born until he got married except for two years in the Air Force. His brothers didn't leave home til they got married either. Same for my mom's sister.

Why? To me living with mom and dad in your 20s unless you're an invalid is ridiculous. Get a job and start becoming your own person.

Zeb Quinn said...

MM-

Actually, the best way is to raise the child to live with TV, to put it into its proper context, and to understand it and regard it for what it is and for what it is not. As for my granddaughter, she doesn't particularly like TV. Zoey 101 a few times a week, and similarly for another Nickelodeon show, is about it for her. She is quite busy with tap dancing, swimming, and other activities.

And it was on the all news channel that I was watching, not Nickelodeon, where the news about Britney's 16-year-old little sister Jaime was shouted out, and my granddaughter was within earshot. Nothing objectionable on Nick to my knowledge. Is the news objectionable? Should the all news channel have refrained from covering the story? Naw. Well, mostly naw. They didn't need to sensationalize it and shout it out the tabloid way they did. But other than that, I'm blaming the parents. Not even Jaime so much. The parents.

This isn't the end of the world. These things and much more need to be explained to the child. This event just forces us to explain some things earlier than we wanted.

Revenant said...

"And I should add, cedarford isn't right wing; I think he falls into that old populist category that stretches itself to hold a wide range of ideas."

No, Cedarford is plainly and simply a Nazi (not even a Neo-Nazi).

Um, Freder, the Nazis WERE populists, and mixed right-wing ideas (such as nationalism) with left-wing ideas (such as socialism).

exhelodrvr1 said...

Geoff,
"A 16 year old gets knocked up by a 19 year old boy from church? If I were the father of the girl, I'd be furious. I'd want him charged. HE should know better. Let's demand a little responsibility from the adults in this scenario. "

They had been dating for 2-3 years. The "real" adults (the parents) didn't do anything to stop that.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hoosier daddy- A good friend of mine married a trixie. Trust me, if you saw her you would rethink that particular principle.

Well as I said, I do have other principles. I'm sure I could find a loophole somewhere.

M. Simon said...

Fan Video

reader_iam said...

If you think the TV/celebrity culture is a contributing factor to the over-sexualization of younger kids and, later, bad choices young people can sometimes make (and I do think it contributes, among various factors), there's a very obvious thing you can do, at least while your kids are young.

Abstain! Abstinence isn't just for sex, you know--or horny teens.

Dennis said...

"It's also possible that the couple is well-established and chose to have a baby, as many, many people throughout history have done at that age."

But what is more likely in 2007, Ann, that a sixteen year old has carefully planned to have a child at 16 or that a couple of teenagers got knocked up unexpectedly? From what I heard, Spears's mother wasn't in on the family planning.

"By the way, I hope no high schools are allowing their students to read "Romeo and Juliet.""

Is there some alternative version of Romeo and Juliet in which the consequences of R&J's behavior aren't disastrous? The one I know ends with a dual suicide that's unlikely to make kids think emulation is a good idea.

M. Simon said...

My mom slept in a bed with her three sisters. She says her most vivid memory of that time was feet in her face.

She figured out what to do about it. She married a sailor.

M. Simon said...

I think sex organs and hormonal activity lead to the over sexualization of children.

Castration and infibulation are the answer, traditionally.

You see once we strayed from tradition all was lost.

Freder Frederson said...

Um, Freder, the Nazis WERE populists, and mixed right-wing ideas (such as nationalism) with left-wing ideas (such as socialism

I don't consider genocide and extreme racial supremacist doctrine to be part of populism (not to mention starting wars that kill well in excess of 50 million people). That kind of sets the Nazis apart from Will Rogers or Alf Landon.

M. Simon said...

Cancel the show? Or replace Miss Spears?

Which do you think will be the most profitable?

M. Simon said...

You know I have a better idea. Stop having children.

Have robots instead. If you tell Them "no sex" they listen.

It is very effective too. I know of very few robots have sex. And none have children without marriage.

Freder Frederson said...

Why? To me living with mom and dad in your 20s unless you're an invalid is ridiculous. Get a job and start becoming your own person.

Then you would really hate Germany. Even today it is common to find multiple generations living in the same house.

Seriously, it is only within the last 40 years or so that young people had the financial means to be able to move out of their parents house before they married, or even after. My God man, people simply couldn't afford to get their own place, even if when they did have a job. Life was hard, wages were low and housing was expensive.

Trooper York said...

Freder, google Tom Watson, the Georgia politican not the golfer.
Just for fun.

Trooper York said...

M. Simon, rent Blade Runner.

M. Simon said...

Statistically speaking, I'll bet someone's young kid among readers here will go onto to get pregnant (or impregnate) as a teen. And whose fault will that be?

Hillary's.

If they promoted gay sex in schools we would see far less of this sort of thing. In fact it used to be traditional. You see what leaving tried and true traditions causes?

Trooper York said...

Trooper York, get a life. (Sorry posting out loud).

M. Simon said...

M. Simon, rent Blade Runner.

One of my faves.

edgelady said...

I think what bothers me most of all is this is a really pathetic situation that members of this family seem determined to play out in public.

Pogo said...

former law student said...
Pogo, your source first states a number of caveats about pre-1950 sexual activity data, then attempts to sweep them all away with a "Nevertheless" that I find to be unconvincing.


So you give me an anecdote in place of actual data? That you find convincing?

You simply have no evidence that the rate of premarital sex was always and forever at the exact same rate as occurs now, in fact the data available since the Kinsey report also suggests the practice has been increasing in frequency for decades, as is unwed motherhood (sorry, single motherhood ...got to avoid the dreaded heteronormativity), as is the feminization of poverty in the last 100 years.

I wonder if those things are related somehow?

Trooper York said...

Well that kind of kills you're no sex with robots meme. Although I admit that was always suspicious of Dr. Smith on Lost in Space. He did spend a lot of time greasing up that robot.

Ann Althouse said...

Host with the Most said..."Ann, what exactly do you think the consequences should be when you write: Why not extra forgiveness? What do you mean by that?"

I object to the columnist's argument that we should be more harshly punitive toward someone whose family has committed similar wrongs, as I said. I think extra forgiveness is in order, because the young person had less of a chance to learn how to behave.

PatCA said..."The analogy to the birth of Jesus or to Romeo and Juliet is off. Different times, different cultures, and especially different Fathers."

Same human body with genetically programmed urges. (Except we need to think of Mary as being above the mere humanity that afflicts us all and afflicted us most severely when we were teenagers.)

Beth: "Geez, Ann, at least "jeweejew" never attempts "dialect" in making a point. As long as Cedarford comments here, your "troll" policing has no credibility at all."

In fact, this is not trolling by my definition or by any common definition. Look it up. I'm not going to explain it every time Cedarford offends you. He's got a point of view and he isn't trying to derail the conversation. He is participating in good faith, and he's using some forms of expression that you find hateful. It is not the same as what the trolls I've banned were doing. If you don't like what he's saying, just argue with him. The ideas are there in the open to be argued with. That is not trolling.

exhelodrvr1 said..."Most of you, including Ann, seem to be missing the most important point. What would be best for the child?"

Reread what I said about sending the father to prison. And this underlies everything I'm saying about Spears. Too many people here are promoting a position that will encourage abortion.

M. Simon said...

I don't have a cite but I seem to recall that in colonial times 1/3 of the marriages were shotgun marriages.

Freder Frederson said...

He's got a point of view and he isn't trying to derail the conversation.

Yeah right! Bringing up black women having babies isn't trying to derail the conversation. His little rant about diluting the gene pool was completely irrelevant.

kimsch said...

M. Simon, The UPS man just dropped off the new re-release of Blade Runner with 5 discs, (1)the new 2007 final director's cut,(2)a "making of" disc, (3)the original 1982 theatrical, the 1982 international, the 1992 director's cut, (4) art and featurettes disc, and (5) a pre-release workprint. Packaging:
Unique 5-disc digi-package with handle which is a stylish version of Rick Deckard's own briefcase. In addition, each briefcase will be individually numbered and in limited supply.
* Lenticular motion film clip from the original feature
* Miniature origami unicorn figurine
* Miniature replica spinner car
* Collector's photographs
* Signed personal letter from Sir Ridley Scott (although I don't know how personal the letter can be, I don't think it's addressed to me by name...)
Kewl Beans...

Trooper York said...

Yeah, I got that for Christmas. Man o Man good stuff. I love Joanna Cassidy.

Zeb Quinn said...

Zeb: You consider a 6-year-old a young teen, or even a young tween,? You think encouraging the idolization of celebrity and and the lives of teens is a good thing for a first-grader? To everything there is a season.

I missed this, so I'm answering it out of sequence. Have you ever raised a little girl? With my two now grown daughters, then plus helping out with my granddaughter, this is the third for me. Little girls love teenaged girls. I can't say why, just that they do. They idolize them. That's really the target market of Zoey 101, and that's who is really watching it. Little girls. Little 6-year old girls like my granddaughter. Don't believe me? Watch it and see who the advertisers are that fill up all the advertising slots. It's all little girl stuff.

john said...

Someone asked earlier if there were any more Spears kids coming along. Not sure about younger siblings, but there is a somewhat famous older one in England. Check her out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0iTdk1wF6A

reader_iam said...

that's who is really watching it.

Because they're being permitted to. What part of my points aren't you getting? You don't have to agree with them, but I don't see not getting them.

Kids are attracted to all sorts of things. They like all sorts of thing. So?

And Zeb--I'm sure you're going to think this is really silly, but here goes: I've always sort of thought being female--you know, being born female, being a little girl, being a female tween, being a female teen-ager & so forth--gives me at least a little insight into, well, being female. At different ages. That's before I even get to any other consideration.

Call me nuts, but there it is.

Christy said...

Shall we discuss what would happen to this young woman under Sharia law?

reader_iam said...

I have watched Zoey 101, by the way. I routinely check out shows and networks kids are watching...for obvious reasons. Knowledge is power.

jeff said...

Joanna Cassidy was smoking hot. Sexy voice too. Wouldn't have minded a little Jamie Lynn action with her back in the day if you know what I mean.
Respectfully John, I can't bring myself to click on that link. I am all Spearsed out.

rcocean said...

"Yeah right! Bringing up black women having babies isn't trying to derail the conversation. His little rant about diluting the gene pool was completely irrelevant."

If you don't llke Cederford, Don't read him! JFC, what is this your fourth post complaining about CF? YOU seem to be the one derailing the conversation.

Usually, CF posts on a thread once or maybe twic, so he's easy to skip (unlike some other posters).

Hoosier Daddy said...

Then you would really hate Germany. Even today it is common to find multiple generations living in the same house.

Yeah I probably would. I'd hate the thought of bring home some hot fraulien and saying keep it down so we don't wake up the folks.

My God man, people simply couldn't afford to get their own place, even if when they did have a job. Life was hard, wages were low and housing was expensive.

It was? Funny cause I seem to recall a lot of folks complaining that all those good paying manufacturing jobs from the days of yore have all gone to China leaving us with minimum wage service stuff.

vnjagvet said...

Of course, that is the reason the Blogger puts the name at the beginning of the comment. It encourages skipping like I typically did for Maxine and LOS.

I still read your stuff, though, Freder, although I seldom agree with you:>)

Hoosier Daddy said...

former law student saidSingapore merely wants its brightest and most talented citizens to marry and reproduce, but they're too busy working all day.

Ah that's just a lot of crap. My wife tells me the same thing all the time. She works all day...she's too busy and I'm like: Aw c'mon honey it will only take a minute.

Sarah said...

I'm amazed that the options appear to have been reduced to:

1. She keeps the baby to raise on her own and keeps her job,
2. She keeps the baby to raise on her own and loses her job, and
3. She kills the baby and keeps her job.

Adoption, anyone? Marriage? Sheesh.

Personally, I'd have a "for older kids only" 9pm informational thing with her, at about 5 months pregnant, with a bunch of other girls and women who've been through unmarried juvenile pregnancies -- and children that resulted from such unions, ranging in age from young (say, 10) to adult. And I'd work the storyline into the show, moving the show to a later-night period and only showing it on The N rather than on Nickelodeon proper. For crying out loud, the show is set in a co-ed boarding school.

reader_iam said...

I do think it's interesting that some people are advocating marriage as the solution to Jamie Lynn's problem. After all, her older sister, for example, tried that (before getting pregnant, even). From where I sit, things still didn't work out all that well. Could be just me, though.

Trooper York said...

Cedarford is just bored since he hasn't really had anything to do since he was Secretary of State in Bush 41's administration.

Zeb Quinn said...

reader_iam,

Because they're being permitted to. Kids are attracted to all sorts of things. They like all sorts of thing. So? What part of my points aren't you getting?

There is a seeming infinite number of OTHER shows that my granddaughter would surely be attracted to but is screened out from even being exposed to, but Zoey 101 was not one of them because there was nothing objectionable to Zoey 101. What part of THAT are you not getting?

And Zeb--I'm sure you're going to think this is really silly, but here goes: I've always sort of thought being female--you know, being born female, being a little girl, being a female tween, being a female teen-ager & so forth--gives me at least a little insight into, well, being female. At different ages. That's before I even get to any other consideration.

I'll take that as a circuitous admission that you've raised no girls. Me, meanwhile, I've been a boy my whole life. Little boy, adolescent, young adult, old fart, you name it. But I've had no boys and have never raised one, and I would never deign to offer advice on parenting boys. My own experience as a boy, however, came in very handy in raising girls, especially teen aged girls, because, having been one, I know firsthand the utterly impure thoughts and intentions of those walking hormone secretions known as teen aged boys, when they came calling.

AllenS said...

So, what do you think she's going to name the kid? I'm ruling out Chastity.

Roger said...

Home ownership rates can be found in this.

AllenS said...

If it's a boy, how about Shake Spears?

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

I find it passing strange that although many if not most folks posting here can agree that it would be better if this 16 year old were not in fact pregnant, there is no agreement on:

1) what, if anything, should be done to Ms. Spears regarding her show. Some seem content with allowing the pregnancy into the storyline.

2) what, if anything, resulted in the inarguably increasing rates of "single" motherhood

3) that returning to traditional behaviors that, while not entirely successful in squelching premarital sex, did more frequently result in marriage that protected kid and Mom from poverty.

As I said, as a culture we're doomed to Norway-Sweden marriages to the Welfare state, with men largely just bicycles for fish, except for the intermittent need to spawn.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger said...

Pogo: with respect to her "show" now that her pregnancy is known, might as well let the show go on. The "entertainment media" will provide all the coverage of the pregnancy with or without the show. As to the second question, if I knew the answer to that I would not be here commenting on blogs. I'd be working at CDC. I simply havent got the remotest idea (and I suspect this rate will continue to rise, along with that of general fertitility, in part because of an increasing number of hispanics who do tend to have children a bit earlier); and with respect to (3) I don't think it is possible to return to previous values--they are out of the door; your question about mitigating the adverse impact of single motherhood, which correlates positively to all sorts of bad things, is a good question--and I don't know the answer.

Smilin' Jack said...

Except we need to think of Mary as being above the mere humanity that afflicts us all and afflicted us most severely when we were teenagers.

We do? I thought even Catholics regarded Mary as fully human. And why is humanity an affliction, anyway?

Face the truth: Mary was just as stupid and irresponsible as Jamie Lynn. And God is a pedophile.

Beth said...

I think extra forgiveness is in order, because the young person had less of a chance to learn how to behave.

I agree with this sentiment; I think neither Britney nor her younger sister have had any reliable guidance in life. The parents are, as I continue to say, pimps. They're a train wreck. They live off the work of their children, and anything the entertainment industry has asked of them, they've cheerfully allowed. There are people whose children are in entertainment who have managed to make some sort of normal life -- Elijah Wood comes to mind as an example. The Spears are not one of those families. So, my response is to feel sorry for this girl, and for Britney. They never had a chance.

As for Cedarford, Ann, I obviously disagree with your take. He absolutely derails threads with deranged tangents jumping from the thread topic to his rants on blacks, Jews and pedophiles. He just buries it in copious text, framed by intro and concluding paragraphs that are somewhat on target. As for engaging him? Not unless I had ready access to a decontamination unit.

jeff said...

"Face the truth: Mary was just as stupid and irresponsible as Jamie Lynn. And God is a pedophile."

Interesting. Even as the next best thing to a atheist, I find that offensive. What sort of logic are you using to come to that conclusion?

jeff said...

"So, my response is to feel sorry for this girl, and for Britney. They never had a chance."

Please. Their "chance" was facilitated by the amount of money they earned. Many people have had it far worse who didn't turn their life into train wrecks.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zeb Quinn said...

Pogo,

The genie is out of the bottle, and absent some sort apocalyptic calamity, s/he isn't going back in anytime soon. It may be coaxed back in, but it's going to take generations to get that done.

As for your second question, it is a complicated social development. The movie industry beginning in the 20s, and thereafter the opening the work place for women, birth control, television, the "sexual revolution" of the 60s, abortion, no-fault divorce, etc. Prolly some others too. It all led to the breakdown of the family and, hence, the flowering of single motherhood.

People like to think that we are evolving to a better place socially than that of our forebears, and in some ways that is true. But to me it's obvious that in many other ways the level of our civilization has devolved.

Pogo said...

Cause I don't like herring.

It's fine with a nice red wine.
But if you have a nice red wine, why eat herring?

Nix the sweater, too.
Too Abercrombie.

Beth said...

stedman ... heh heh

Beth said...

jeff, money is a great thing, but these two girls are missing a childhood, and parents that care about their development rather than how they can be used as a mealticket. Money doesn't make up for that. I'd be willing to bet that Britney is bi-polar or has some other disorder in that category. Money just keeps her shielded from confronting that and starting treatment. Meanwhile mom and pop hang out in Kentwood at their palatial estate and deposit the checks that come in. They don't shield their kids from scrutiny, they sell the frigging rights to their stories! They're despicable. So, yes, I feel sorry for their children.

rcocean said...

"Does that mean we have to wear sweaters with reindeer on them and eat herring? Cause I don't like herring."

No, but we'll be forced to tell Swedish jokes:

Q: How do you get a one armed Swede out of a tree?
A: Wave to them!

Q: What is the penalty for suicide in Sweden?
A: Life in prison.

reader_iam said...

there was nothing objectionable to Zoey 101

Fine. That's your judgment to make. Mine differs (depending on what age group; I just don't think "tween" starts at 6, and I think a lot of the tween-targeted shows aren't even particularly great for the youngest tweens, due to how that term is now being defined). Big deal.

Jennifer said...

I feel sorry for them both as well. And the Lohan kids.

I don't think that means there shouldn't be consequences - I do think she should lose her Nick gig. But, I won't claim that they should be operating with all the values and awareness that children raised by normal parents have to guide themselves.

Like Beth said, these girls have been pimped out from such a young age and to such lengths that it disgusts me. THEIR PARENTS are the ones who deserve the stigma, our ostracization and our condemnation. Not the very young girls who are completely warped.

They need to deal with the consequences of their actions, so that they (and the little girls who idolize them) can learn from them. But, they have my sympathy.

And, as someone else stated - Casey and Jamie Lynn have been dating for a few years. He was not an adult when their relationship started, and their relationship has had her parents' blessing all along. Once again, the blame should be squarely on the parents.

Pogo said...

Casey and Jamie Lynn have been dating for a few years.
She was 14 and he 17???
Yeesh.
A college freshman once tried to date my 17 year old daughter who was still in high school.

Nothing fava beans and a nice chianti wouldn't fix.

Jennifer said...

Yes, she was 14 and he was 17. Not sure what's so horrible about that...? I dated juniors and seniors as a freshman - and I was almost a full year younger than most of the kids in my own grade due to my on-the-cutoff birthday.

Pogo said...

Not sure what's so horrible about that...?
As a father and a former 17 year old boy I can tell you this: Plenty.

17 year old boys are the closest males come to dogs in the male lifespan. Not a sedate 10 year old spaniel, but a rutting insane 3 year old mutt tugging at his chain, trying to hump even inaminate objects.

Watch Superbad and you'll understand.

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