Yesterday I was watching a program on T.V,they were talking about the new ads released by New York City on teen pregnancy prevention. Everyone was just going on and on about how harsh and inappropriate the adverts were and and how it wasn't going to solve the teen pregnancy issue rather it will just stigmatize teens, how everyone knew someone who had experience with teen pregnancy and all the kids don't turn out bad. It was quite a long rant and all through I was just shaking my head and thinking of the "sex talk" when I was a teenager and how our cultures are so different. My mom left me in fear and trembling that I was sure she had her ways of knowing when those random boys blocking me at the junction will not let me go on my errands in peace. The fear of stigmatization, kept me in the straight and narrow at the beginning.
Over here we are quick to talk about the rights of a child, how everyone has a right to live how they want, but is it really the right of a child to have a child? Shouldn't a child be able to live their young lives free of adult responsibilities? We live in a world of reality T.V and I bet most people have seen the MTV series "16 and Pregnant" *and maybe they think that life is real or that they will also make it to the show*, so seeing the young pregnant girl is fast becoming a fixture. Sometimes when I even see these kids with their kids, they seem prideful, like they have achieved something. Of course they have achieved something; maybe my contact lens are deceiving me, but I don't wear contacts.
I know it is my mother's voice, which by the way is sometimes the voice of my conscience, that is saying teenagers don't have any business having sex. Most of them don't even know themselves yet, they are still having ping pongs of emotions and truckloads of hormones that they know nothing about. They shouldn't have to think of what baby will eat or how to get a second job to meet up with child support. I remember one time after my second baby, I just resumed back at work. I got back from work so tired and I just wanted to crash and forget my responsibilities for a few hours. My mom gave me 30 minutes then woke me up saying " You are a mom now, you have babies who are looking up to you for care, you need to get up and do right by them". At that point I felt she was harsh and she could have just helped me care for my children one more day, but that was the push I needed. Motherhood dawned on me. Even now at my age it overwhelms me sometimes, I wonder how a teenager is coping.
Yes, these adverts might be offensive or harsh and not really tackling the problems of teenage pregnancy at its roots but maybe it will get us talking about it and educate young girls that it is a wrong move.* Imagine your children thinking these thoughts and desist* Teenagers should be given reproductive and sexual education and the earlier we start talking to our children even before they become teenagers, the better for us.
What do you guys think? Are the adverts for this campaign too harsh?