- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Baby makes two

“Perhaps in our desire not to make moral judgments about personal choices, young women wholly unprepared to be mothers are not getting the message that there are dire consequences of having (unprotected) sex with guys too lame to be fathers.

“There is a scene in the teen pregnancy movie ‘Juno’ in which the title character, a 16-year-old who has decided not to abort her unplanned baby but to give it up for adoption, is having an ultrasound. The technician, thinking she has on the examining table another knocked-up teenager planning to raise her child, makes disparaging remarks about children born into those circumstances.

“We are supposed to loathe this character and cheer when Juno’s stepmother puts her in her place. But I found myself sympathetic to the technician. Why is it verboten to express the truth that growing up with a lonely, overwhelmed mother and a missing father is a recipe for childhood pain?”

Emily Yoffe, writing on “ And Baby Makes Two: Forget Juno. Out-of-wedlocks births are a national catastrophe,” March 20 at Slate.com

Mamet’s switch

“The American playwright and director [David Mamet] has appalled many of his liberal admirers by publishing an essay in New York’s leftish newspaper Village Voice with the self-explanatory title ‘Why I am No Longer a Brain-Dead Liberal.’ Mamet … claims that ‘for many decades’ he subscribed to a ‘liberal’ world view that ‘everything is always wrong’ and yet at the same time ‘people are good.’ Now he has decided that people are basically out to look after themselves — but also that life in the U.S. is not at all bad. Mamet also provocatively suggested that George Bush is no worse than John F. Kennedy. …

“Mamet was never simply a liberal. He is not now simply a conservative. All the same, the playwright has clearly been through some sort of dramatic political metamorphosis, and the chattering classes are understandably startled.”

David Lister, writing on “From Left to Right: On the Mid-Life Political Conversions,” March 15 in the Independent

Liberating libations?

“Is Russia poised for a feminist revolution, or a catastrophic rise in female alcoholism? A Reuters story about the creation of a vodka targeting female consumers suggests the latter.

“What’s going on in Russia reflects a larger trend in women’s alcohol consumption around the world. Not only are women drinking more — according to one study, women in the U.K. and U.S. drank a third more alcohol in 2004 than in 1999.

“Some have speculated that the rise in women’s drinking has led to more female violence. … Yet seen through the scrim of studies suggesting women are already more vulnerable to alcoholism, more at risk for alcohol-related accidents and diseases and less likely to be diagnosed with a drinking problem, these gentle, aestheticized products should be labeled as what they are: pernicious and not at all cute.

“Ironically, the most successful of such campaigns, Virginia Slims’ slogan ‘You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby,’ rode feminist coattails straight into women’s pocketbooks.

“Unfortunately, liberation doesn’t always translate to enlightened behavior: Sometimes it means downing diet Bacardi breezers until you hurl, or sucking slim cigarettes until your lungs resemble blackened Swiss cheese.”

Carol Lloyd, writing on “Say ‘nyet’ to Russia’s vodka for ladies,” Thursday at Salon.com

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