Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Let Bristol Have Some Fun

This story is a few days old, but I figured I'd post it here anyway.

So, the big shock is that after the Event to Prevent teen pregnancy, Bristol went out with the other girls to a local New York club:
"Bristol was there around 1 a.m. with friends," a partygoer says. "She was trying to have fun, but she looked like she was terrified that people would recognize her and start gawking. It seems like she couldn't even relax." A second denizen of the club backed up the sighting....

So how did the dignified 19-year-old get into 1Oak to begin with?

Insists a rep for the club: "Everyone was carded."

At least she well-behaved. Says our spy: "She didn't drink at all."
Wow. What an utter non-story. Of course that hasn't stopped some of the Palin-haters from bashing Bristol for it, claiming that she got drunk when the article clearly states that she didn't even drink. Like someone said, "Sounds like she could have had more fun at a funeral."

Anyway, Salon actually defended Bristol:

Poor Bristol Palin....

Yes, she admitted while making the rounds of daytime talk shows this past Wednesday, motherhood is a blessing (she cried at Tripp's first smile!), but that doesn't mean it was OK for her to have a kid in the first place. Those who were afraid she would rely on her famous family to support her will be relieved to know that she, according to an interview with People magazine, is actually living on her own and working a "regular" job to provide for her son without any financial help from her parents (her ex, too, finally kicked in with his child support payments)...

So far, so good.

So good that, according to the New York Daily News' Gatecrasher, Bristol celebrated a job well done by wrapping up the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy by going clubbing at the hotspot 1Oak....

Though the club is 21-and-over, the same eyewitnesses said she didn't seem to be drinking, though I, personally, would sure as hell consider myself entitled to a glass of champagne after dissecting my sex and family life on national television.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that if anyone deserves a night out dancing with friends, it might be a young woman who has spent the past year working, caring for an infant, going to school and, oh yes, serving as a national symbol of fallen young womanhood, who happens to find herself in New York City and presumably with a decent baby sitter.

Surely, she was sharing the space with many 19-year-olds whose day jobs might be more easily described as "NYU student" than "frazzled mother of a 1-year-old frequently asked to declare her sexual ineligibility via press release."

(No one, I trust, needs to be reminded that Bristol's ex has done the exact opposite, at least as far as the public narrative is concerned: Clubbing might be among the most innocent activities Levi Johnston has engaged in while visiting New York City, and it's hard to think of any action that screams "sexually available" quite like posing for Playgirl.)

Last year, I pointed out that one of the things that bothers me most about the press on Bristol Palin and other teen mothers is that, thus far, they are expected to stay within a box: Their stories are narrowly focused as cautionary tales aimed at discouraging younger teens from ending up like them (i.e., pregnant) with little or no thought as to what examples they might hold for the small number of girls who do.

And one has to wonder: How many more years does Bristol have to publicly declare that her life sucks?

How many more years is she required to follow up any glowing anecdote about motherhood with some sort of dire reminder about sleepless nights and the cost of diapers?

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