It is almost one it still feels too early in the morning for this:
British young'uns Alfie Patten (age 13) and his girlfriend Chantelle Steadman (age 15) just gave birth to a bouncing baby of their own.
How is the media responding? The headlines (including this one) all feature the thirteen-year-old dad, and the articles dwell on how Alfie will cope with fatherhood. I think it's mostly shock factor inspiring the press: the couple only had sex once, and Alfie looks especially young for his age...or for a dad.
But beneath the jaw-dropping photos and videos, what is the coverage saying about acceptable parenting? Teenagers give birth all the time, but there's something about this case that is stirring up some concern about fatherhood.
While no one's condoning the couple (that is, aside from pro-life organizations), the articles seem to focus more on how Alfie needs to man-up, asking him questions like "How much do nappies cost?" and "Are you going to get job?" Do teenage moms get questions like this? Or the press to begin with? The Times quotes Alfie's father: "He could have shrugged his shoulders and sat at home on his Playstation. But he has been at the hospital everyday." Well, so has Chantelle I imagine. Are we actually celebrating Alfie's naive resolve to own up to the pregnancy? But then we remember he's thirteen? And then why print how little the teens know about parenting and not how little they know about safe sex?
Yep, still way too early for all of this....
UPDATE: Jezebel covers the story's veer towards Clusterfuck City including the inevitable backlash at teen mom and further confusing paternity issues. Is this always what we should expect when our tweens are expecting?
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