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Pregnancy Pact Myth Refuses to Die

Social conservatives refuse to give up on titillating conspiracy theory.
 
 
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One of the worst problems in American politics is that once a wingnut myth takes off, it never dies, no matter how much evidence you can marshal against it.  There are people who will go to their graves believing that there was a good reason to think that Saddam Hussein was hiding WMDs as part of his plot to re-blow-up the World Trade Center after he personally crashed a plane into it the first time.  Or, as a less hyperbolic but still baffling example, my dentist told me a couple of weeks ago that she still, in the year 2008, has to talk down patients who are in a full blown panic about fluoridated drinking water. 

Which is why the second I heard the words “pregnancy pact” on the TV, I realized two things at once: a) there was no fucking way and b) no matter how much evidence you marshaled to prove that there was no fucking way, wingnuts would believe that gangs of teenage girls are roaming the countryside, sucking up sperm from hapless men with their succubi cunts of doom in order to get their hands on that diamond-jewelry-buying welfare cash.  The fact that the movie “Juno” was blamed was just an added bonus, and evidence that teaching women such as screenwriter Diablo Cody to read and write was the first step on the road to teenage sluttitude hell. 

Well, here’s the no fucking way part: Turns out the principal, in his desperation to prove the nay-sayers that suggest that making contraception available to teenagers might help them contracept, made up the pregnancy pact.  His main source was, contrary to his initial claims, not the school nurses’ office, but the gossip in the school hallways, which as we all recall has an accuracy rate nearing utter perfection. 

Okay, so school gossip isn’t accurate, but my grasp on what legends will never die seems to be hitting it out of the park---after recovering slightly from being proven fools once again, the Wingnutteria is coming back with, “So what if the pregnancy pact wasn’t true?  Let’s believe it is anyway, because it’s politically useful for denying girls access to contraception.” “Fuck reality, we’ll believe what we want to!” has been working for a long time with wingnuts, on everything from the War on Terra to global warming, so there’s no reason for them not to resort to that tactic here. 

Moloney starts off by breathlessly recounting stories of succubi teenagers, before hastily admitting and then dismissing the fact that the entire premise of his outraged article (the pregnancy pact) is bullshit. 

Local news reports have questioned Time’s characterization of the situation, but nobody is denying that these girls knew how to avoid getting pregnant and instead chose otherwise. To young girls who see teenage pregnancy as something desirable, making a pact like this is not unimaginable.

Er.  Yeah. “There wasn’t a pact exactly, but there might as well have been, and come on, it sounds right so let’s believe it anyway.”

 
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