Advice to Young Girls: Don’t Get Pregnant
I remember writing an article giving advice to young girls looking for a way out. The last bit of advice I struggled with. I wondered if it was politically incorrect, judgmental, or condescending. That last piece of advice was not to get pregnant:
It is tough enough in this world alone, even harder as a child raising a child. Protect yourself. These days sex is more about life and death, and less about trying not to get pregnant. You have two choices: don’t have sex or don’t have unprotected sex.
The issue was heavy on my heart and I felt like I had to scream it from the rooftops.
I think it is an important message that our young women need to hear. Hell, some of us “not so young” women need to hear it.
So it was with greater interest that I read the onslaught of criticism.
Somehow, wanting our young girls to wait until marriage to improve their own chances of survival, a future, and an eventual family when the time is right can be considered downright heresy.
- A reactionary lurch by some of our liberal friends that NWNW is anti-feminist or anti-gay.
- Other critics suggest that it is somehow inducing women to go into bad or abusive marriages.
This is not a discussion about being gay or straight. It is a conversation about young women getting pregnant by men who are content with impregnating them as a sign of love, sexual prowess, or generally poor (not-so) family planning.
Neither is it a discussion about marrying bad or abusive man. It is encouraging women to know their worth and not to settle for less than they deserve. In a lot of cases, our young women are asked or convinced to settle for just having his baby.
I was raised by only my mother. I never knew my father. I saw the pain it caused (and still causes) my mother as she gave 110 percent to raise me into a decent human being. And given what (and who) she had to work with, my mother performed miracles. She tried to love me twice as much working two jobs to provide for our little two-person family.
It wasn’t glamorous. It wasn’t easy. And it damn sure wasn’t fun.
Though I have no doubt my mother would do it all over again to arrive at this moment in time, I have no doubt she would not want me to have to go through what she did.
So why would we encourage anything less than marriage before our young women have a man’s child?
Are we telling our girls to accept “having his baby” as the prize and that they aren’t worthy of being a wife, only his baby’s mother?
It seems to me that NWNW is about increasing the chances of survival for our young women and their children.
I’m good with that.
Worth reading: Whatever Happened to Daddy’s Little Girl?: The Impact of Fatherlessness on Black Women. By Dr. Jonetta Rose Barras