What This Girl Bristol Palin Has Done
Let’s put aside who Bristol’s mom is for a moment. Let’s pretend, just for the sake of argument, that Bristol Smith, a young woman from Anytown, USA is an unwed mom who broke off the engagement to her boyfriend in March 2009. A custody battle ensues that lasts into 2010; meanwhile, she becomes a spokesperson for the Candie’s Foundation which works to prevent teen pregnancy. Then in July, she and her boyfriend re-engage, but then this second engagement ends just 3 weeks later.
In March 2015, Bristol Smith gets engaged to a Marine. Two months later, she ends that engagement. One month later, in June 2015, Bristol announces that she’s pregnant again, which, in her words, is “a huge disappointment.” So Bristol has had 3 engagements and two out-of-wedlock pregnancies, one of which she called “a huge disappointment” while she worked for an organization whose purpose is to prevent unwed motherhood.
Bristol Palin, advocate for abstinence education, looks really bad at this point being unmarried, 24, and with two “baby-daddies”. I wonder had this been Sasha or Malia Obama, when the commentary would’ve been painted with a broad racial brush? At the beginning? From the very beginning?
How many times can one “stumble into sin” as Bristol Palin has before it can be determined to be wrong? How many times can one “stumble” before it’s clear they’re not walking the talk that has earned them a quarter million dollars?
We can talk of them between Bristol Palin and the Obama girls especially as far as stereotypes between urban and suburban women, but neither Chelsea nor any of the Obama girls have given birth out of wedlock, let alone twice and then made a public announcement.
One of the reasons Bristol has been subjected to so much abuse is the fact that she made herself a public figure (e.g., dancing with the stars, etc.) In contrast, the Obama girls have stayed out of the limelight as children and only recently has Chelsea Clinton made a deliberate decision to enter the public fray. As a general matter, I think that children of politicians would be well advised to stay out of the limelight as long as possible.
Some people take multiple repeats in the school of hard knocks and she is obviously one of them. Privacy should be paramount for her as it’s clear she doesn’t quite have a handle on her life. I appreciate that she has been able to profit of her stance on abstinence, and I certainly don’t expect her to be perfect for we’ve all made mistakes of varying kinds; however, if you are having troubled times, it’s best to keep quiet rather than air your dirty laundry. She should know better considering she and her family are public figures. Why give people ammunition? Is there a need to be in the public eye? Honestly, I’d respect her more if she had not announced her first baby and had otherwise kept quiet and tried to get her life in order before coming back into the spotlight. Money talks though, and the Palins live to elicit a response to remain in the public eye. Again, why even announce this pregnancy?
Neither A Heroine Nor A Role Model
It would be pretty craven to get an abortion if you have preached abstinence and pro-life for everyone else. So while she must have dreaded making her condition public (or not), I can’t really give her credit for actual bravery. A woman whom has fiercely advocated for abstinence and pro-life principles does not deserve praise for not getting an abortion, even if the fallout for “keeping” the baby is perhaps beyond what is deserved. By her very words and acts leading up to the pregnancy, she’s now only doing what she’s supposed to and certainly nothing that rises to the level of heroism by having the child. I feel sorry for her to a certain extent for the fallout she will experience, I just resist the notion that someone is a hero for sort of practicing what they preach. She is certainly no role model for any young women in this man’s opinion.