Stupid is as Stupid Does

By: G. Marie Merante

Over the weekend I decided to watch Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants part duex. Having seen the first movie years back, I decided to give the sequel a go.

It started out good. If you know anything about the story line, you know there is one pair of
jeans that four childhood friends share, fitting each one of them perfectly. In an effort to remain close during the summer weeks, they send the pants to each other around the world and wait for something magical to happen.

The movie was cute and I found myself crying intermittently through-out, but one story line went decidedly off track for me.

Tibby- played by Amber Tamblyn, decided to have sex with her boyfriend for the first time. It started out awkward and sweet as it should be, then the scene faded to black. The deed done,  Tibby reappears on screen covered with a bed sheet,  desperately trying to resume a normal conversation, but is only met with silence. Ut oh. Was this a "love her and leave her" scene?

Well, no. Instead, said boyfriend emerged from the bathroom declaring a technical difficulty: The condom had ripped during their little interlude. He is terrified out of any expression or words of comfort and Tibby… Our Tibby has a good old freaked out, stomps out and stops talking to her boyfriend all together and for the rest of the film lives in an obsessive for fear of pregnancy.

Ok. Here is where I have to step in.

Tibby is supposed to be a bit punky, a lot of a spitfire and very intelligent. She breaks against the norms of society to talk and dress as she pleases, yet all that comes to a screeching halt leaving her looking naive and stupid. I would expect a girl of her making would have a few tricks up her sleeve, but alas, no. She stares blankly into space thinking "How could this have happened to me!"


The feminist in me was left screaming in horror and I absolutely decided something needed to be done.

So here it is Ladies.Let's talk about birth control!

Moms- Talk to your girls. When they get their period, sit with them and have a frank discussion about sex. Cover what happens physically, including the inability to think straight, pregnancy and why every girl should wait…even down to the legality of it. Watch this movie with her, and point out Libby’s mistake.  It’s the perfect tool to open up the conversation if you aren’t comfortable just sitting her down.

Once you are done with filling her with the ins and outs, its time to arm her. Knowledge is power and if you give your daughter the information she needs to protect herself, she will use those powers and prevent pregnancy.

Number one on the list is Condoms. Make sure she knows what they are and make sure she knows to absolutely refuse to have sex until one is present and accounted for. Then explain, as in the movie, that condoms can be unreliable, so she will need a back up.

Here is where the film failed. Tibby should have gotten her little no longer a virgin ass, down to the local drug store, purchased Spermicide (in foam form) and promptly emptied the entire bottle into herself.

Spermicide is like bug spray for sperm. It kills on contact. Being a foam, it fills every nook and cranny inside. There is no where those little bastards can hide. Used with a condom after sex every time, you will eliminate the chances of pregnancy.

Even in Tibby's situation, where the condom might as well have never been used and Tibby was hit with the full force of their little love jam, the use of the spermicide would have dramatically decreased her risk of pregnancy, even if it was used after the fact. It would have been a better choice than sitting there thinking "Which way do I go, which way do I go?"

Being a teen mom is not a good choice for any girl. Having been one myself, I can look back and honestly say I was not prepared. I did not know enough about myself or the world to raise a child properly. I would not change it as I have a son now who I love more than words, yet a part of me believe its important to spread the word.

Talk to your kids. Give them options and offer your help. If you promise to help them with out anger or judgment when their time comes, they just might come to you. You have to keep your word though. Face it. Kids are going to have sex. Don't think your little angel would never, because she will. Sorry to break the news to you. I would rather have our kids informed than left to discover it on their own. If you are still unsure if this is a good subject to breach with your kids, close your eyes and picture your child as a teenager, coming to you with the words: Mommy, I'm pregnant.

I wish they had written Tibby as smart and resourceful. How many girls would have been left with the image of Tibby buying spermicide after the mishap. The filmmakers could have made her sweat it out still, but the proactive approach would have left an impression. Maybe just one teen, finding herself in the same situation as Tibby would remember that scene and hightail it to the local Walmart.

Sadly, its up to us and rightfully so. As I suggested, use the film or another like it, as a visual aid to your teaching. It will only be as awkward as you make it but the benefits are far reaching. Who knows how many girls your daughter will spread the word to. Maybe...just maybe, you can change the world.


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