Robin Brande has a discussion going on at her blog today that I think is important, and only slightly off-topic to children's and young adult books. Robin was impressed by the recent Eclipse Prom organized by Stephenie Meyer because it "was a very safe event for girls ... every girl who wanted to could go to Stephenie’s prom and feel completely accepted and welcome." Robin then talked to a friend, a former high school teacher, who said that "the hardest thing for her to hear from a lot of these girls who’d been invited to the school prom was that there was this expectation that if they said yes to the date, they were also saying yes to sex." Robin shares some well-considered thoughts about this, as do various commenters.
My own contribution to the discussion was that I happened to read about something even more appalling in Dear Abby today. This is what I posted in the comments on Robin's blog:
Apparently (according to one person’s letter to Dear Abby), there’s a new trend in the teen community called “prom babies.” Girls who are accepted to college, but aren’t ready to go, and don’t feel that they can face telling their parents about it, decide to get pregnant on prom night instead. Then they can stay home and have the baby, instead of facing the pressure of college.
I really hope that this is an isolated thing, and not something that's happening on any kind of regular basis. Because the notion of bright girls with their entire future ahead of them choosing to have babies as an escape from the pressures of their lives is heartbreaking.
Anyway, if you have teenage girls, if you know or care about teenage girls, head on over to Robin's to contribute to the discussion.
© 2009 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.