Thursday, October 16, 2008

Asshole Parents, Part II

I was telling my husband about the 1st grade Obama hates babies deal, and he said, "Carlie came home and said the same thing weeks ago."

WTF? She didn't say it to me. She has asked me who I am voting for, but the conversation never went past that. We did have more political conversations during the Democratic race about the choice between Clinton and Obama, but after that she seemed to have lost interest in the whole election topic, which, since she is nine years old, is OK.

But apparently elementary school kids are talking politics on the playground, which I think we should all be doing the happy dance about. Unfortunately, kids parrot back what they've heard at home, and as we all know, they don't always do it very accurately, and messages get garbled. That is what I choose to believe, rather than believe that people that I know and like are at home telling their kids that Obama kills babies, which is what Carlie's friend told her.

The friend, cute little Janie Doe, has a lovely family.  A conservative Catholic family with a mom and a dad and some kids, all of whom are respectful and well-behaved. While talking politics at school, Janie asked Carlie, "Who are your parents going to vote for?" and Carlie said, "My parents are voting for Obama." And apparently, according to Carlie, Janie said, "Tell your parents they should vote for McCain, because Obama will let everyone kill their babies."

No lie. Nine year old girls, this is what they are talking about.

I can't even imagine Mr. and Mrs. Doe having an abortion conversation with Janie at home, because, well, I just can't even. I have not had an abortion conversation with Carlie. I remember having it with Erinna when she was in sixth grade. That was memorable.

She came home from school early in the year, starting Middle School, very BIG deal.  She was going VSAA, which is the Arts magnet school here, and her English assignment was to write a paper choosing a side on a controversial subject, and they were given a list of, like, three or four subjects.  One of which was abortion, which just about made my head explode. The others were I don't remember what, but pretty trite, like "War, good or bad?" and Erinna chose abortion.

She is telling me about the assignment and I asked her why she chose that topic. Being the overachieving student that she is, one of those I WANT TO LEARN kids, she said, "Because I know what the other two topics were about, and I don't know what abortion is, so I thought it would be good to learn something new."

And learn she did. And then she wrote a very thoughtful essay on what it means to be pro-choice, even though she didn't know the phrase "pro-choice" at the time. She just wrote what made sense to her, and basically her take was, "Wow, this sounds really horrible, I would hate to be in that position and having to make that choice. That is sad." But it never crossed her mind that someone should NOT have the CHOICE to make.

Where was I even going with this?

Oh, yeah. We are a pro-choice household. We are not a pro-abortion household. Is there anyone on the planet, truly, who is pro-abortion? I would like to think not. It's a hard choice, made at a hard time, with life-long psychological consequences. But it's a choice that women are and should always be and OF COURSE have a right to be free to make.

How does that translate into Obama hates babies and Obama kills babies? And WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE who can even made sense of that and then sell it to their children? I have never been accused of wearing rose-colored glasses, but honestly, is this real? Do people really do this? Because I had no idea.

2 comments:

Lisa Milton said...

Yes, they do it. I am sure of it and have had my share of it growing up.

It's frustrates me to no end because no complicated subject can be summed up in a soundbite, no matter what *side* you take.

I am pro choice, but in my teens, I was caught up in the anti-abortion cause, because let's face it: There's nothing happy or glamorous about it.

(It's hard for me to imagine Lexi writing a thoughtful paper on the subject next year. That surprised me! In high school, my teacher asked us to stay away from certain subjects because he was tired of emotional rants. I can just imagine...)

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