When the Bloomberg administration unveiled its teen pregnancy prevention campaign last March, it was met with immediate backlash. Now the city has updated the campaign website, but the site doesn’t abandon all of the problematic language featured in the previous campaign.
At a time when the GOP is seeking ways to soften its image to appeal to women voters, while its members are callously trying to cut women’s access to programs vital to their survival, de Blasio has an opportunity to make the city more fair and just for New York City mothers and to undo much of the damage done by his predecessor.
Researchers and the general public may be unable to agree on teen pregnancy shows’ contributions to society, but what we all can agree on is that these MTV shows present tired tropes about teen moms that are harmful for young girls.
In the campaign’s SMS exchange about Anaya, the pregnant teen character who is bullied at the prom, she is no longer called a “fat loser”—now she’s just called a “loser.” Progress?
The Bloomberg Administration and NYC’s Human Resources Administration have launched a campaign whose purpose seems to be shaming and stigmatizing teen mothers. But politicians and older generations are the ones who should be ashamed for their failures to provide meaningful sexual health education or to address the social conditions that lead to teen pregnancy.
When teens become parents, they instantly become victims of discrimination, judgment, and stereotyping, not only from their peers, but from school staff as well.
The New York Human Resource Administration’s new teen pregnancy prevention campaign takes shame as a prevention tactic to an entirely new level.