. . . given that our complex society makes it necessary to curb it? This is the insightful question posed by Kay Hymowitz in response to the now infamous case of the "Gloucester Girls Gone Wild"--the teenagers who reportedly made a pact (though the word now is that they dispute the "pact") that they would all get pregnant. They made good on the "pact" or, at least, they all got pregnant--one with a 24 year-old homeless man.
Hymowitz points out that arguments about the limited sexual education of these girls and their limited access to birth control miss the bigger picture. These young women wanted to get pregnant. Their sex ed--however flawed--apparently taught them enough to get that job done. Hey, where there’s a will (and no fertility problems) there’s a way! Missing in the sexual and moral educations of these young women (and most young women growing up today) is anything that works to dissuade their natural impulse to . . . gasp! . . . like and want babies. Because it turns out that most young women do like them and do want them. It is, dare I say, only natural that they should. They are designed for the purpose. But in our wisdom and maturity as a society, we created a whole host of constraints and restraints to prevent young women (who naturally want babies) from having them too early, without adequate (male) support, and without sufficient maturity to benefit said children. We also developed some sense that it is not always in the best interest of a young woman to forgo all of her youth in childrearing . . . that perhaps she had something even more personal and important to gain from waiting. But this was all a construct. It may have been a very sensible construct and one that enhanced nature’s intentions.
Today, we still labor under the preferences created by that construct. We still think it is preferable for a young woman to wait until she is older, more mature, and more stable to have children. A good number of folks still believe that it is better if she waits until she is married or, at least, in a "committed relationship." But as a rule, we do not defend these positions very vigorously because we have torn down all the old constructs. We don’t want to judge. A case like this, however, makes us scratch our heads. Why did these girls choose to get pregnant so young and unwed? We forget that the construct of feminism--that of an empowered young woman having sex free of any consequences and, least of all, pregnancy--is also a mere construct. The difference is that this construct is at war with female nature instead of working in tandem with it. It assumes that no young woman feels a natural urge to be a mother . . . it forgets that once all choices are open for discussion, some women (particularly those women who are not educated or raised by elitist feminists) will make choices that these feminists will not like. And now these feminists are at a loss for words; wagging their fingers, clicking their tongues . . . why, they’re almost as judgmental as the traditionalists they replaced! Female nature reasserted itself in the case of these young women in Gloucester. There would be something to be applauded in that if the consequences were not going to be so devastating for these young women and their (now fatherless) children. It would have been better if they had had the benefit of a more natural (though equally judgmental) construct.