Girl, 12, pregnant after being allowed to live with boyfriend http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25643137-421,00.html is one of the headlines on news.com.au this morning.
Interesting turn of phrase, isn't it, in terms of where the implication of blame should lie. Reading the story on the website, lots of people have fingers pointed at them except for the 15 year old schmekel responsible. It seems that in this situation, adults have failed these two children, at large and in many directions.
In any case, the attitude above and expressed in this journalist piece reminded me of a reaction I had to an early episode of Star Trek Enterprise, which I am in the middle of watching. I was going to blog about the attitudes and underlying implications of this episode at the time but things probably overtook me. Or I got bored.
One of the earliest episodes in season 1 has Commander Tucker popping over to an alien vessel to offer engineering assistance. He meets a lovely female alien, hangs out with her, goes to the holodeck to enjoy the scenery, has a sort of intense telepathic encounter there and then goes home to the Enterprise. Noone gets their kit off or kisses anyone or does anything remotely sexual.
But ... Tucker gets pregnant from the encounter.
And "hilarity ensues". He feels like an idiot because he got knocked up. He doesn't want anyone to know so he is wearing bigger and bigger clothes and trying to hide his appetite and mood swings. He wants the Captain to fix this by somehow finding the alien vessel and getting them to undo it. And of course it's all "hilarious" because it's a guy pregnant.
Thing is, I squirmed through this whole episode. It seemed that the Captain and a few others were laughing at Tucker because he sort of got caught out, with the evidence clear that he had had some fun. And he couldn't hide it. His protests of "nothing happened" were met with looks of ... "well someone's body says something different". And where the humour was supposed to work was "isn't this funny that this time the guy goes off and has fun and comes home with the consequences. Isn't it funny that the guy got 'left holding the baby'?" Well, no. I don't think that's funny at all. And there was some kind of scorn at the idea of being left with the consequences to clean up. Which, you know, is what happens to women. The rest of the time.
There was this undercurrent that ... normally men can just go off, do what they want, have their fun and piss off and not have to look back. Cause ... you know ... they don't get left holding the baby. And as someone who has to think about contraception every. single. time. I. have sex - cause like, yo, it only takes once to fuck up (excuse the pun) and you get left with a big consequence - no, I don't think the idea of it being novel to have to wear the consequences is all that funny.
The episode felt like a very sexist, condescendension to women.
Which I spose, places Enterprise in the right time slot for the Trek franchise but there you are.
If you're not shooting blanks, put the safety cap on. Or some equally unfunny reference relating penises and guns.