What’s Wrong with Shame?

by Yvonne Chase on March 8, 2013

shame on youShame On Planned Parenthood
A girlfriend called me early this morning begging me to check my inbox immediately.  She sent me the photo to the left along with an article from the Daily News about teen pregnancy.   The article said, Planned Parenthood blasted an edgy new city-sponsored ad campaign against teen pregnancy, saying it shames teen parents and their kids.  Shame on Planned Parenthood!  Haydee Morales, vice president of Planned Parenthood of New York City said, the latest NYC ad campaign creates stigma, hostility and negative public opinions about teen pregnancy and parenthood rather than offering alternative aspirations for young people.  And that’s a bad thing?

Is She Crazy?
She continues, the city’s money would be better spent helping teens access health care, birth control and high-quality sexual and reproductive health education, not an ad campaign intended to create shock value.  Teenage parenthood is simply not the disastrous and life-compromising event these ads portray.  Is she crazy? I don’t know what world she’s living in but teenage pregnancy is a disastrous and life compromising event.  If I had anything to do with the placement of these ads, they would be everywhere.  Teenage girls need to be hit in the head with these ads then sat down for an in-depth discussion about how the trajectory of their lives will change if they become pregnant.

Wrong is Right – Right is Wrong
After I read the piece and looked at the photo, I understood her urgency.  You see, several weeks ago, I told her I was accused of slut shaming.  When I was accused of it, I had no idea what it was until I read a blog post that offered an explanation.  The writer of the post had been accused of slut shaming too.  Once I read the explanation, I gagged.  Apparently, I’m slut shaming because I tell women to love and respect yourself, know your worth, set high standards, increase boundaries and keep your legs closed until marriage.  There’s something very wrong in this world when wrong is right and right is wrong.

18 and Pregnant
I was at a newsstand a couple months back when the cashier and I got into a conversation about yoga.  She asked if I knew of a place that offered pregnancy yoga.  She’s 18 and pregnant.  According to her, I’d rather be pregnant than on the street getting into trouble like everyone else.  After talking with her for well over an hour, she said, if I had you in my life, I wouldn’t be pregnant but I’ll be fineI like being pregnant.  She sure wouldn’t be pregnant if I was in her life meanwhile I’m accused of slut shaming.  You have got to be kidding!

Shame Is Bad?
“Shame” needs to make a return.  It worked back in the day.  Shame made you nervous when you had to tell your parents, I’m pregnant.  Shame stopped you from slutting around.  Shame was that uncomfortable feeling in the pit of your stomach when you knew you messed up.  Shame made you act right and live right.  Shame was good.  Today, shame is bad.  As a result, we have a generation of unashamed hot in the pants teenage girls who see nothing wrong with being pregnant.   I don’t know about you but I’d rather be accused of slut shaming than being a slut.  That would be a shame!

teen pregnancy

Something to think about…

What say you? Are you offended by the ads? Do you find them shocking and shameful? Does shame need to make its way back to society? What’s wrong with shame?

Here are 2 things I’d like you to do now:

1.  Leave a comment below

2.  Share this post if you like it

P.S. Go here and here  to read the Daily News articles

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

misssrobin March 9, 2013

I am not offended by the ads. I believe in direct communication and an open and honest discussion about consequences. But I don’t believe in shaming either. I believe guilt is a powerful motivator that helps us see what we’ve done wrong and make the appropriate changes. I believe shame is about external as well as internal judgment the leads us to believe we are worth less. It doesn’t inspire change. I encourages low self-worth, depression, and continued poor choices because “what does it matter now?” I believe information and communication are so important before. I believe after a girl finds herself in this place what she needs are support and information about her options. Shaming after the fact does no good. So I can see both sides of the argument. And from a religious standpoint, I believe guilt is of God to encourage us to repent and change but shame is of the devil to make us feel worth less and distance us from God.

Thanks for sharing. This is an important discussion to have.

Happy Sharefest. I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Reply

Yvonne March 9, 2013

Hi MissRobin,

Like you, I am not offended by the ads and I believe in direct communication coupled with open and honest discussion about consequences. I don’t believe in shaming either. I believe we’re using the wrong word as a way to silence truth.

We live in a society that wants us to keep our mouths shut. The first time anyone says something about anything, we are accused of shaming or being judgmental or a hater. If your thought, idea or opinion is different than the masses and it challenges others to take a hard look at themselves, the accusations of shaming arise.

How can anyone in their right mind see shame in these ads? Teenage pregnancy is a serious thing and I believe anything that can be done to stop it should be done. The consequences are to dire to sit around and deal with it lightly.

Thanks for sharing. Glad I found Sharefest. Have a lovely weekend.

Reply

Kristiina March 9, 2013

I have to disagree, I don’t think a positive change in society is going to come from something negative like shame. I think Robin, the commenter above me said it very well.

Every girl I know that has gotten an abortion has done it because they were so ashamed to tell their parents they were pregnant. I think if there were less shame more girls would choose to go through with the pregnancy and give the child up for adoption. I live in a very conservative state (Utah) where there is basically no sex-ed in high school and we have a very high teen pregnancy rate.

What these girls need is love and support, they shame themselves enough.

Happy Sharefest, have a good weekend, thanks for opening the discussion.

Reply

Yvonne March 9, 2013

@Kriistina, yes these girls need love and support. They also need truth. Truth is not shame. Telling a teenage girl the serious consequences of teenage pregnancy is not shame and that is the message I see in the ads.

Perhaps Planned Parenthood is upset because if every teenage girl took heed to the ads the millions of dollars that come into PP would go elsewhere? What we’re calling shame is not shame at all.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I love a great discussion. Have a lovely weekend.

Reply

MKJ March 9, 2013

I think you should rename your post and call it Shame On You. I’m not offended by the ads nor do I find them shocking and shameful. Shame on Planned Parenthood for finding these ads shameful.

Teenage pregnancy is nothing to play with. Its a serious problem. Teenage moms end up alone…he probably won’t stay with you. Raising a kid is expensive. Absent fathers are a real problem. That 18 year old girl you met at the newsstand has no idea how her life is about to change. What a sad story!

She’d rather be pregnant than getting into trouble? When shame was around, getting pregnant was considered getting into trouble and you didn’t do it because you didn’t want to get in trouble. What is she thinking?

I’ve been reading your blog for a while (first time leaving a comment) and I’m so glad you have the courage to speak truth and challenge thinking. You definitely give me something to think about.

Necessary discussion.

Reply

Yvonne Chase March 9, 2013

Hey @MKJ funny you say that. Shame On You was the original title. I changed it at the last minute.

Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. Have a great weekend.

Reply

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