October 2008 Archives
Oct 31 2008America...Wake UP.
In honor of "Let's Talk" month, the Candie's Foundation launched the
Those of you wondering if your memory is going need not fear - you did not in fact see the ad anywhere in Monday's edition of USA Today. In fact, it was pulled by USA Today on Friday afternoon out of fear of offending its readers.
Now, I'm the last person to impugn the rights of freedom of speech - USA Today has the right to do and print whatever they deem appropriate. Their 11th hour rejection of the ad doesn't make them bad or unfair. Instead, I'd argue that it just makes them gigantic 'fraidy cats. For a major newspaper to reject an ad that simply encourages talking to your kids about sex based on the rationale that it might offend people shows just how inflammatory this issue has gotten. What's worse, it throws into sharp relief just how much work we still have ahead of us.
Again USA Today has the right to approve/ reject anything they want. But if it's a matter of offending their readership, in my humble opinion there are a thousand things more offensive than having an honest conversation with your kids about sex.
But that's just me.
Oct 29 2008Preaching Mixed Messages to the Choir
As a person of faith, I can't help but snicker every time something makes me remember how utterly confused God-fearing people get about issues of sex and pregnancy. From "Jesus Camp" (a variation of which I proudly attended) to purity balls (which I proudly did NOT attend) to married people sex-a-thons, I count myself among the young people in this country who received mixed, and sometimes conflicting, messages about sex for the first 18 years of my life.
Margaret Talbot at The New Yorker sums up my childhood pretty well in her recent article, "Red Sex, Blue Sex." Despite the discomfort that pious parents and their children experience when it comes to trying to understand their sexuality (and in some cases, trying to convince them that it's not even there until their wedding night), one strange phenomenon is that we are supposed to be excited when a baby results from this otherwise banned activity.
Oct 27 2008Mad About Mad Men
Sadly, more people probably heard Jon Hamm talk about Mad Men, the fantastic AMC series he stars in, on Saturday Night Live than actually watch the series itself. But, the fortunate 2 million or so viewers who caught the season finale last night got great drama and a great history lesson about a time when we were at the brink of a missile crisis, people smoked and drank in the office, and women's roles and options were a lot different than they are today.
The show also had a key theme about unplanned pregnancy among adults—something that is not as well understood or as much talked about as teen pregnancy. Without giving it away for the millions who did not see it*, two of the characters remind us that unplanned pregnancy can happen to anyone and that once someone gets pregnant when they weren't planning to, there is no easy path. I don't know what the number was in the early 1960s, but today, 3 million women—and men—experience an unplanned pregnancy each year. Some are welcomed and wanted, but many are not and result in considerable real life drama for those involved.
*Read a recap of the finale or find out where you can watch the whole episode On Demand.
Oct 24 2008Teen Pregnancy and Chuck Bass
Two of my favorite things will be together in one place tonight -- a teen pregnancy prevention ad is scheduled to run during Gossip Girl! (Actually it's three of my favorite things -- tonight's GG is directed by Vondie Curtis Hall -- an original Broadway cast member from my all-time favorite show, Dreamgirls, but I digress...) Anyway, if you're not already watching Gossip Girl for the fashions, intrigue and hilarity, you should at least tune in tonight to see the PSA.
It comes from our friends at the Candie's Foundation -- longtime allies in the fight to keep teens from getting pregnant. Perhaps you saw their big print ad in today's New York Times. It's always good to see some of the startling statistics associated with teen pregnancy laid out in black and white (and
Oct 24 2008Kids Having Kids