Get The Fuck Over It

Oh, GOD, I cannot with this country right now:

My daughter’s fourth-grade teacher is unmarried and pregnant. Although she is a fantastic educator, kids at that age are bound to ask questions and are old enough that you cannot placate them with a simple answer. I asked her teacher what she told the children about her condition. She told me that she informed them she was pregnant (she is due in June, so this was obvious) and that was it. I asked her if she planned to keep the baby. She told me that was her business alone and she is not obligated to explain her marital status or plans with her child to me or anybody else. I feel that this woman has significant exposure and influence over my child and my questions were perfectly acceptable. Should I take this to the principal or switch classrooms? My husband thinks we should drop it, but I don’t want my daughter to get the impression that single motherhood is acceptable.

Prudence rightly tells this crazy nosy skank to fuck right the fuck off, but she comes right back:

I am having a hard time just “dropping” this. My daughter loves her teacher and is with her for a considerable amount of her day. Her teacher is somebody she looks up to, and now I am afraid my daughter is getting a bad example. I always plan to treat her teacher with respect, but that does not mean her condition does not have consequences at her job—which is influencing young minds!

You know what, for serious find something to DO. I am not an inordinately active person but I swear to God right now, whenever somebody tells me something you know what my first reaction is? These days? It’s “Do I need to be here for this meeting? Like, do you need me to do anything about whatever it is?” Okay, then. If something is not actually on fire, or someone else is already engaged in putting the fire out, my primary reaction is relief. Goody, I get to watch some TV or take a bath. Make myself some cinnamon rolls. Have you ever made cinnamon rolls from scratch? It’s so easy and they taste incredible.

What I mean is, how on earth do you have time to skulk around worrying and worrying about how your kid feels about her knocked up teacher? Don’t you have work or volunteering or books to read or Netflix or something? Don’t you have a kid to take care of? Doesn’t your bathroom floor ALWAYS need cleaning? I clean mine like every two days and I don’t understand it, the ferrets aren’t even IN there, how do dust bunnies get fucking everywhere? Aren’t there museums to visit or baseball games where you are, crazyface? Is this really the biggest thing you have going on? Call your friends, go see a movie. Play some chess. Eat an apple.

I’ve talked before about how we seem incapable of looking at people who are living lives we wouldn’t live and just shrugging, and this is exactly it.


32 thoughts on “Get The Fuck Over It

  1. You’re pregnant as a consequence of rape? YOU MUST NOT ABORT.
    You’re pregnant and unmarried? YOU MUST NOT BE SEEN.
    What a wonderful world.

  2. Goddamn yes. What the hell kind of mindset does it take to see a pregnant woman who will spend time with your kid and go to, “So, will you keep it?” (With the implied “OR MURDER IT???” just there on the tip of the tongue.)
    (And, given that she’s teaching through her pregnancy, isn’t that right there an implication that she intends to keep it?)
    Gawd, I am so pissed off by people who are are not merely nosy about shit that has nothing to do with them but judgmental.

  3. See, this teacher is a fucking saint. If I were her, and some hyperactive biddy were to come up to me and pester me about my pregnancy, I’d pull out the fuckin’ pepper spray and the taser; when the cops showed up, I’d say that she was threatening me–a pregnant woman–and I feared for the safety of my unborn child, so I just had to respond with an appropriate level of force.

  4. I sure like the responses from Prudence though, especially the little dig about handling unruly children.

  5. What this makes me think about the woman in question is that either she or a close family member got pregnant whilst not married and was forced into either marriage or sent off “to live with an aunt” or something during the pregnancy, and then had the baby taken away without giving her any choice. That’s the only explanation I can come up with for this, anyway, that doesn’t result in “this woman is just fucking batshit”.
    The rest of that Prudie article is full of a lot more WTF, and this time almost entirely from the letters, not Prudie herself. Check the enginerd complaining that women won’t date him because he wants a college educated woman to stay home and bearhis children and raise them while he provides forhis family…

  6. to filkertom –
    If the teacher is far enough along for the pregnancy to show, I’m thinking she must be well past the point where abortion is legal. A question about keeping the baby or not could still refer to having the baby adopted or raising it herself. Of course the nosy mom may not know that, so you’re probably right about the intention of her question.

  7. we seem incapable of looking at people who are living lives we wouldn’t live and just shrugging
    The corollary: “Freedom” means some people are going to say and do things you won’t like. Deal.

  8. Yeah well in Nashville a soccer coach at a COLLEGE let it slip that her partner is pregnant and she got fired. Because ya know … LESBIAN and PREGNANT and ZOMG our precious gumdrops can’t know about this stuff!!!! Wonder how many parents know their precious gumdrops think “abstinence” doesn’t include ass-fucking?
    I’m over everyone’s precious fee-fees. This is why I think, fuck it. If Callista and Newt made a sextape, leak the fucker to the internet already. If there’s a closeted gay Republican trolling for rent-a-boys, then it’s your patriotic duty to expose them. Hypocrisy is dragging this nation into the ground. I want to bust the fucking windows open on all of it. That way no one can lament that their precious little gumdrop might ask a question about why “Miss” Johnson is pregnant. SARAH FUCKING PALIN’S TEENAGE KID GOT PREGNANT AND HAD A BABY AND STILL ISN’T MARRIED AND YOU ASSHOLES WANT HER TO BE PRESIDENT SO SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU HYPOCRITICAL ASSWIPES.
    There. I feel better now.

  9. Hobbes, I died laughing when her response to the one about the man who won’t stop the car to let his pregnant wife pee was just, “IS EVERYBODY HERE CRAZY TODAY?”
    I could not do that job. Half the letters would just get answered with PLEASE FOR THE SAKE OF AMERICA KILL YOURSELF NEXT CASE.

  10. If A. hadn’t mentioned the “permission to pee” letter, I was going to myself.

  11. Fourth grade, huh? Let’s get this woman a reality-show contract now, because in four years (or less!) it will be hilarious to watch her reaction when her daughter’s friends start going down ‘unacceptable’ roads. Or, for that matter, her daughter.
    Because it’s going to happen.

  12. someofparts — Understood, m’friend. But, heck, the teacher said she was due in June. So she’s halfway to term, and she’s showingat her job, and she acknowledges the due date, end of story. Whether she wants to give the child up for adoption does not matter. It simply was not that mother’s business.
    What’s next, will she ask if it was an artificial insemination, or if the father was black, or can she afford to raise a kid on her salary?
    Straight up, the mom’s question was so completely out of line, it will never fish again.

  13. You know, if you want to teach your kids that single parenthood is “unacceptable”, you should expose them to as many single parents as possible. When your daughter’s teacher starts showing up at school with spit up on he sleeve, no make up, messy hair, and dark circles under the eyes, I think the kids will start to pick up that single parenthood isn’t “glamorous”. And when she snaps at them for no reason and loses her train of thought and falls asleep in the afternoon, they’ll start to understand that single parenthood is FREAKING HARD and SUCKS UP ALL YOUR FREE TIME that you used to used for like, sleeping and such.
    Wouldn’t that be a much better deterrent than “single motherhood gets mommy’s panties in a bunch”?

  14. kids at that age are bound to ask questions and are old enough that you cannot placate them with a simple answer.
    AND THAT IS NOT ANYONE ELSE’S problem. You are their parent. You have the responsibility for them and their education about the world.
    What this “what do I tell my kids” is always about is this: you feel queasy about having to explain YOUR VALUES to your kids because they may not understand why you’re such a backward asshole and no one else agrees with you. That’s it.
    If you’re really that concerned and if you really accept your responsibility as a parent, tell your kid that you condemn this woman she admires, tell her you think she’ll probably go to hell, tell her it doesn’t matter what Johnny’s parents, or Jimmy’s parents say (because you hate them too), and then deal with her disappointment and disillusionment. Because that’s your job. Your beliefs, your kid, your responsibility. Don’t try to rearrange the rest of the world so your kid never comes face to face with stuff that might make them question your values.

  15. Dorothy:
    The problem is, so many right-wing extremist motivations and philosophies don’t stand up to close scrutiny. That’s one of the reasons why eliminationist rhetoric flows so freely from them; they can’t handle the cognitive dissonance, so their solution is to (proverbially and literally) kill the messenger.
    To try to teach her kids that “Well, yes, your teacher is unmarried and pregnant but I don’t think it’s an acceptable way for a woman to live her life” means that they have to examine WHY they believe that. (Because the Bible says so? But, mommy, the Bible says we should lots of things that I don’t see you do…)

  16. How about talking with her daughter? About saying that single parenthood is difficult, that some people either choose it or find themselves in it, and that she hopes her daughter will wait to have children until she’s married. The teacher does have her child for many hours a day but she is still the mother and educating that child is still her responsibility.You have to show your kid how to deal with life, not pretend you can eliminate anyone who is living differently than you are.

  17. She’s afraid that single parenthood is going to look acceptable–not that it has any bad consequences from a utlititarian point of view. And therefore her blanket insistence that its “bad” and “morally wrong” is going to come in for a beating when her sweet young child says “OK mommy, what is the alternative? Are you wanting to get my teacher fired for having sex? Are you wanting her to have had an abortion? Would it be ok to you if she had the baby and put it up for adoption but somehow its not ok if she keeps it? Can you explain to me the exact moral perspective behind each of these desires you are expressing with respect to another woman’s body and baby? Because its NOT FUCKING MAKING ANY FUCKING SENSE ABOUT FUCKING to me.”

  18. I’d like to say that I’ve had a similar discussion several times online with a mormon woman. It comes up this way:
    Hypothetically a woman will say “I have been living with my male partner, unmarried, for nine years and we have three children. We have been invited to stay with his younger brother and brother’s wife but the wife is insisting that because we are unmarried we must sleep in separate rooms “for the sake of the children” because they don’t believe in sex outside of marriage.”
    The Mormon woman will always agree that its not only the right thing because “their house their rules” but that it is incumbent upon them to do this because otherwise their children will “not understand the importance of mommy and daddy’s values” and will become “confused” because mommy and daddy told them that “sex outside of marriage was wrong.”
    When you start to unpack this and explore its moral and philosophical underpinnings people who “believe” shit that is obviously not true become totally hysterical. I mean totally.
    One thing is that they believe absolutely in showing, not discussing, moral issues. So every moral point is some kind of charades of a dumb show. “I don’t think sex outside of marriage is a good idea” can’t be defended logically, or even historically or philosophically. Its an ipse dixit. So the “way” we “show” our children what we believe is by punishing people who believe something else. Since obviously the people who have been together for nine years and have kids aren’t suffering right now (g-d not having struck them down) and the afterlife is far off you have to bring the punishment directly to them by humilitating them or your children will think you are nuts for having this rule.
    When I pointed out that forcing a couple to sleep in different beds didn’t really take the stain off the “living together” sin and you could just as easily demand that they sleep in the same bed but abstain from sex you could see the steam coming off the computer. But why? What’s the diff? If you trust them to stay in separate beds that means you think they are honorable people who will stand by their word–so why not trust them not to fuck while under your roof? Obviously because the entire process is done in a largely unconscious way and the issue is to demonstrate to your children that adults who don’t do what mommy and daddy want get humiliated and punished. That’s the warning. Its not that non marital sex is bad for the person doing it. ITs that its bad for the authority of people who worry about shit like that: aka busybodies and moral scolds.

  19. “I feel that this woman has significant exposure and influence over my child and my questions were perfectly acceptable.”
    No. No they were not. End of story. Jesus motherfucking Christ.

  20. Oh, and also, how do you know the teacher is unmarried? She refused to comment on her marital status, right? Even if you do know that she’s not married, as long as you don’t mention that detail to your daughter, how will your daughter ever find out? As far as your daughter’s concerned, this teacher is gonna be a mommy JUST LIKE YOU, you stupid cow.
    Plus she’ll presumably get a semester of maternity leave in the fall, so by the time she starts back the whole thing will be ancient history in kids’ terms.

  21. > “and now I am afraid my daughter is getting a bad example”
    If you had a mirror you’d be aware of the bad example she IS getting.

  22. Here here! “I’ve talked before about how we seem incapable of looking at people who are living lives we wouldn’t live and just shrugging, and this is exactly it. ”
    Yes yes yes yes yes. This is an ongoing theme in my life. So many people want everyone else to do exactly what they do, be exactly like they are, and like exactly what they like. It’s insane.

  23. Didn’t we have this discussion with Dan Quayle and Murphy Brown more than 20 years ago?
    There are people in this world who don’t live their lives as you have chosen to live yours. It is not incumbent upon them to kill themselves in order not to give your children an uncomfortable thought.

  24. A fellow in my office, who is gay, met my son (13) at an office picnic and they got to talking about this Japanese anime artist they both liked. My colleague said he had some of his prints at home and my son asked if he could see them, and my colleague said he was going to frame them and my son could help. So my son spent a nice Saturday afternoon at my colleague”s house framing pictures and when he came home, my wife and I asked him did he have a good time at David’s house. It was great, said my son. Did you meet his friend Tom, said my wife. Mom!, said my son, rolling his eyes. Tom isn’t David’s friend, he’s his husband!
    Moral: they know more than you think they know.

  25. I once had an exchange with someone online who was so wrapped up in this “no children without marriage thing” that she explained to her daughter that periods are what happens to married women when they are not pregnant. That child was probably really disappointed when not being married somehow did not prevent periods.

  26. Abortion is a manual miscarriage. What if the teacher has a natural miscarriage, or something goes wrong with her pregnancy? That kind of thing happens…and it’s none of their business. She may have to deal with that. Perhaps this child’s mom can busy herself explaining how we dropped bombs on Iraqi children with our taxpayer dollars rather than involving herself in this woman’s personal life…that would be an interesting lesson.

  27. It’s things like this that make me nervous any time anyone suggests ending tenure. Sure, tenure can make it difficult to fire really horrible teachers. But on the other hand, there has to be some sort of job protection for teachers who have to contend with nutty parents like this.

  28. Speaking of doing things, could you post your cinnamon roll recipe?
    Kids usually figure out what’s going on. What takes some teaching is to get them to realize what a big deal some people make of it.

  29. So I guess that means that this asshole woman thinks that Bristol Palin is a terrible role model, too.

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