Bristol Palin sat down to for her first interview since having her son in December and, true to Palin form, it was a little hard to sit through. I realize that it’s hard being a teenager. It’s hard to balance school, work, friends, family, and, um, baby daddies, but really, Bristol didn’t do a great job of convincing us she is mature enough to be a mother. She seemed very, very young, peppering the conversation with lots of “likes” (I counted 25).
I was really interested to hear what she had to say about teenage pregnancy and sex education and interviewer, Van Susteren, delivered. Bristol was forced to answer questions such as how has her life changed, how she feels about being a mother and what was it like to tell her parents she was pregnant (to which Bristol replied, “It was, like, harder than labor”).
Bristol Palin seemed really intent on people learning from her story, which I found really admirable. Unfortunately she hasn’t really come up with a game plan on how to make that happen. Throughout the interview she seemed to be telling us to “wait, like, ten years,” but I’m not really sure what we’re waiting for. Waiting to have sex? Waiting for sex education? Waiting for marriage? The whole thing seemed a little murky.
Especially when Susternen hit her with the big question: to abstain or not to abstain?
Bristol struggled with this question but ultimately said “everyone should be abstinent, or whatever, but its not realistic at all.” I was thrilled that in her own way she finally admitted that abstinence-only education is unrealistic, but I was still confused as to why she spent the rest of the interview stressing that teens should wait (“like, 10 years”) to have babies.
The thing that bothered me most about this interview is that she has so much power and influence to effect change, having experienced teen pregnancy in the public eye, but can’t manage to speak to the public to enforce these ideas (something that bothered me about her mother as well). For example, Bristol ends the interview by saying she hopes to be an example to learn from and an advocate to teen pregnancy. Yet, Bristol barely touches on the hardships of being a teen mother and explains how awesome it is when her son smiles back at her and how much she loves being a mom. I’m sure it is life changing and emotional to become a new mother, but I just really wish she had maybe talked about contraception and education instead of refusing to go into those details.
Then again, her mother has always been an advocate for abstinence, so maybe Bristol isn’t sure what she can or cannot believe.
In case Bristol was too shy to say it, I’ll say it for her: “Abstinence doesn’t work. Use Condoms!”