Friday, January 28, 2005
Oh Maggie, I Wish I'd Never Seen Your Face
Thanks again to Kathy G, here's some more from traditional morals maven, Maggie Gallagher:
(Via Lexis-Nexis) August 10, 1998, Monday
AN UNWED TEEN MOM'S DILEMMA
BY: MAGGIE GALLAGHER
SUPPOSE you're an intelligent 17-year-old single girl who has just had a baby. Suppose you're even smart enough to know that, as one such young unwed mom named Chasity told The New York Times, "I made a mistake ... I'm not recommending this." Now suppose your local school's chapter of the National Honor Society, worried about sending a message that an unwed teen parent is a good role model, turns you down for membership, despite your high G.P.A.
What do you do?
If you are Chasity Glass, or her friend Somer Chipman, two 17-year- old students at Grant County High School in Kentucky, you agree to become poster girls for a new national legal campaign by the ACLU to establish unwed motherhood as the right of minor children everywhere.
Not that I blame Somer and Chasity so much. They're teen-agers after all, and teens are notoriously obsessed with their own feelings and rights. That's one of the reasons that youngsters shouldn't be parents, especially outside of marriage. But what's the ACLU's excuse?
Gender equality, intones ACLU lawyer Sara Mandelbaum self-righteously, as if the natural first step to raising women's status is to confer on teen-age girls a right to have babies. There is no social attitude or law on the books that is as big an obstacle to career achievement for women as having babies outside of wedlock, especially before adulthood.
And, incidentally, research shows that becoming an unwed mom is an equally large obstacle to eventually building a successful marriage; not only is it harder to find a good mate, but having a child with a man who is not your husband makes divorce more likely. All the way around these two girls have taken a step that may injure their own and, more important, their babies' chances in life for years to come. I wish them luck.
Yeah, a mother fighting for the right to an honor that she already earned because screeching moralists like Maggie Gallagher are worried "the message" it sends is sure to harm their babies' chances in life for years to come. I'm just sure of it. it must be true. She's an expert.
Maggie waited until she was 21 before she got knocked up by her kid's father whom she didn't bother to marry. By her own standards she was too selfish to marry for the next ten years. But she always finds others to castigate for their immorality and selfishness, rarely copping to what she would call a decadent lifestyle if another woman lived it. Her story remains vague and unknown to most people who read her material. Her close friends, the right wing think tankers and pundits in Manhattan and DC don't see anything amiss, however. (Falafels and strip poker anyone?)
The timeline suggests, although I don't have proof, that she may have been in a delicate condition while she was at Yale. I wonder what kind of message Maggie would think it sends for a pregnant college student to be allowed to receive a diploma when she is unwed. But, we needn't worry about that. If Maggie (being the paragon of honesty that she is) were pregnant at the time of her graduation from college she undoubtedly would have stayed home from the ceremony because it would set such a bad example for others.
You have to give her credit, though. She became a hypocritical wingnut harpy lecturing others about their mistakes right out of the box. That's the way it's done girls. Get with the "do as I say, not as I do" party and make some big bucks. Even an "illegitimate" child and really bad haircut won't hold you back.
Here are some more of those anti-feminist traditional values that sell so well:
...amazingly, deep within the bowels Title IX regulations (mostly used
heretofore to encourage women's sports), the federal government does define unwed pregnancy as a young girl's gender rights.
The intentions of Title IX were no doubt good: encouraging pregnant teens to stay in school. But time has proved even a high school diploma does not magically eliminate the enormous hardship that out-of-wedlock childbearing imposes. The ACLU's misguided campaign will not advance women's equality; it will no doubt encourage at least a few more immature teens to think about motherhood in terms of their own desires rather than their child's needs.
Like a lying apple cheeked Yalie mom who forgot to get married for ten years while she created a "career" as a "marriage expert."
But perhaps they might take a cue from another single young woman from Chasity and Somer's high school, who had a child a few years back. She too had good grades and she too was denied entry into the National Honor Society. But unlike Somer and Chasity, Krissy Ford decided it was not worth making a federal case of it: "I had no hard feelings at all," Krissy Ford told the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader last May. "It's something that's not worth dragging your school down. ... It's a mistake I made."
Krissy respects the decision the two younger unwed moms made, but recalls, "My focus was on my child."
If only the rest of us could be so mature.
Oh my yes. There is no doubt in my mind that the world would be a better place if Maggie had been mature enough to "focus" on her child instead of helping to create a multi-million dollar industry devoted to indoctrinating "the people" in backward bourgeois values (at which they themselves scoff) for political gain and financial profit.
In light of Maggie's love-child, I wonder how all of her fellow up-tighty righties explain the strange advice to fellow travellers (from February 1999) such as "If you are going on the moral attack, wash your own hands first," and "those of us who see clearly the connection between the privatization of morality(especially sexual morality) and the public squalor we must all live in have to be in the business not of rallying troops but of making conversions," in light of the fact that she stands accused of not only greed, avarice and mendacity in taking payola from the government, but she's also obviously someone who lived a secret life as an elitist libertine while making a living chastizing young girls for being as immoral as she is?
(Oh, what am I saying? They will resort to their usual sophistry and say that Gallagher never explicitly condemned unwed motherhood for dark haired women who graduated from Yale and besides keeping it a quasi secret is the right thing to do because she was trying to set an example. Next?)
Maggie Gallagher believes that unwed motherhood is the scourge of modern American life. In one of the self-serving screeds in which she failed to disclose that she was on the take from the Bush administration, she wrote:
But $300 million is a tiny fraction of what we spend to deal with the social problems created by high rates of illegitimacy and divorce. You know what really costs big bucks? Having one-third of our babies born outside of marriage. These children, through no fault of their own, are more likely to be poor,
welfare-dependent, to need special education, to get physically ill (Medicaid
dollars), to become substance abusers, experience mental illness, commit acts of
juvenile delinquency and become adult criminals, drop out of high school, be
held back a grade, and to go onto become young unwed mothers and fathers
themselves, perpetuating an expensive cycle of downward mobility.
Well, yes. Unless one is a high paid GOP shill who works as a "marriage expert" in no less than three of the bogus GOP propaganda front groups that call themselves "think tanks." Then you can fuck to your hearts content, get knocked up, stay unmarried for ten years while you pursue your elitist career as a "scholor" and "columnist" and still be able to hector the rest of the country about traditional morality.
Man, oh man, The right is really where the money is. I'm beginning to feel a little bit foolish for not taking advantage of it. If you can cast off all personal integrity and can bear to kiss the asses of people like James Dobson, they don't care what kind of a freak you are. What a great scam.
Update: Media Matters has all the data of the GOP front groups our gal Maggie has been sucking from for her entire "career" as a "marriage expert." (I was going to say "who do you have to blow to get some of that action" and then I realized...ohmydeargawd)
Correction: I misspelled Kathy G's name. It has been fixed in this post and the one below.
digby 1/28/2005 01:13:00 PM