It has been suggested that the school has gone too far in accepting teen pregnancies:
The high school has done perhaps too good a job of embracing young mothers ... teen parents are encouraged to take their children to a free on-site day-care center. Strollers mingle seamlessly in school hallways among cheerleaders and junior ROTC.
But what about feminists? What attitude are they likely to take? Will they blame older men for having sex with underage girls?
Well, our own Australian feminists appear to approve of the situation. At Hoyden about Town, the feminist writer Tigtog claims that the girls are smart to take advantage of the "support structure" provided by the school and by each other and concludes:
This is a model that could actually work really well for these girls.
Lauredhel added in the comments:
I agree that I felt a little radical cheer when I heard of their plans to support each other. And I think this is exactly what the mainstream finds threatening about it. Women supporting each other, raising families, deliberately and clearly saying “We can do it”? Nothing like a hint of something that might look a little like radfem separatism to get the Patriarchy frothing at the mouth.
Beppie found this silver lining to the story:
The radical aspect of this is ... that they are planning to actually support each other– to create non-traditional family units.
Mary Tracy has the following high hopes:
I hope the girls form a commune and grow up to be badass radical feminists.
It's odd. These feminists spend a lot of time trying to pin the rape label on the average male. Here is one case where a group of men really have committed statutory rape ... and the feminists cheer.
The HaT feminists are very keen to see the destruction of the traditional family. So much so that they are heartened by some very young girls getting pregnant to older men and relying on their high school, instead of a husband, for support.
If you see society, as patriarchy theorists do, as being a contest for power and autonomy between a dominant male class and an oppressed female class, then you won't warm to the idea of a traditional family. You will want women to remain autonomous of men, which means being supported by social welfare rather than by a husband or, as an even more radical option, you will prefer women to live apart from men.
Separatism might involve a commitment to fatherless families; it might extend all the way to support for lesbian communes.
And what of the Gloucester girls? Have they really found, in teen pregnancy and single motherhood, a "model that could actually work very well".
Not according to Barack Obama. He has observed the effect of fatherless families on black communities in the US and he believes that it represents not progress but social breakdown:
BARACK Obama has demanded fathers, especially black men, shoulder their responsibility to heal broken families and restore hope in crime-ridden communities.
... The senator amplified one of his campaign themes in condemning absent fathers who have "abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men''.
"You and I know how true this is in the African-American community,'' Senator Obama said, recapping government statistics showing more than half of all black children live in single-parent households.
Such children are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of school and 20 times more likely to end up in prison, he said.
"And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it,'' said Senator Obama ...