For some reason, last week, MTV decided to air two episodes of 16 and Pregnant in a row? So we recapped them. This is the first, Jordan, who’s 17 and from Baltimore, Maryland.
Megan: Derek, “It’s your fault. I hate condoms.”
Chanel: OH THIS KID. It took eleven seconds for me to hate him.
M: I really appreciate the conversation between Jordan and her friend, Sugar, who got pregnant at around the same time and had an abortion. They both appreciate each other’s decision and are able to talk about what both of their decisions mean for each of them. “Your life still gets to move forward, and mine is moving forward in another direction.”
C: Sugar is such a boss.
M: I think this episode really emphasizes how critical parental support of teen parents is. Jordan and Derek have no money and no place to stay with a baby on the way.
C: “You need another woman figure in your corner.” So good.
M: I don’t know what makes me suspicious of people who want to help other people for no reason. What does that say about me?
C: I’m also suspicious of that. Especially when it’s something like, letting a pregnant teenager and her boyfriend who won’t get a job live in your house? I’m not that giving.
M: Sugar: “Can you get pregnant when you’re pregnant.” This girl needs some sex ed.
C: Sugar, if you can explain to me how that would work, using actual science, I will be really impressed.
Also, all this talk about strength annoys me. I’m thinking about specifically why.
M: I agree. I can’t quite put my finger on it. I think it’s because a. she is already incredibly strong and keeping everything together and b. she shouldn’t have to always feel like she has to keep everything together.
Derek is annoying me more than the other boyfriends, I think because she is totally dependent on him and he is refusing to look for a job.
C: Jordan: “I have a lot to be stressed out about.” Derek: “Like what”? Dude, are you even on this planet?
M: I think at the point where you are making a pregnant girl walk a mile in the snow because her car broke down is the point in which you step in as documentary filmmakers.
C: Gooooodd point. I always forget that there are people taping this for some reason.
M: Derek: “You’re stuck here. I’m not.” I literally gasped out loud. I am so upset that he would say that to her. She does not deserve that. I usually try to understand the boyfriends’ points of view but that was just so mean. He is all she has.
C: I can’t believe he just told her she’s breathing wrong. YOU’RE BREATHING WRONG DEREK. I’m so mad at this dude that I’m losing my respect for punctuation.
M: Jordan: “I’m sick of relying on handouts.” I understand that it’s not a comfortable feeling to have to accept help from others, but given their situation, it’s what makes sense. I wonder if this same feeling is stopping her from trying to apply for other government benefits? It would make a big difference to have support when the baby comes.
C: I’m starting to think about the impact of having people filming your life on these kids. It’s hard to know what exactly that is.
M: Yeah, especially the more popular the show gets? I imagine you also have to think about your peers watching it later.
I really needed to see that poop/diaper shot. Thank you.
C: Is it supposed to be a scare tactic? Because it’s working.
M: I’m convinced. Tracy: “I don’t have a family to fall back on.” I wonder if she was also a young parent without familial support? Maybe that’s why she feels like she should take care of these young parents.
C: Derek says Sugar is always thinking about the negative stuff that could happen. I feel like he’s probably not into the fact that she had an abortion.
M: We’ve also seen this pattern of thinking from a lot of the fathers on the show. The wanting to not think too many steps ahead or plan for anything negative to happen, whereas the moms usually are thinking farther into the future and stressed out about not having things in place to care for their children. I wonder how much of this is related, even subconsciously, to the fact that the fathers can leave the situation but the moms can’t.
C:I’m totally scared for Jordan and Evie. I also wonder about the policing around the idea that you can’t say you regretyour kid. You can say, “I regret having her now,” but not that you regret having had her? You’re allowed to say that. It’s a real feeling.
M: I mean, she did say that, kind of? That she regretted having her “at such a young age”? I see what you mean but I also kind of get where she’s coming from. Would you ever want your daughter growing up and watching this and then hearing your mom say that she regretted having you? I think she’s trying to protect her and emphasize that she loves her.
C: I agree that it’s important to protect your kid, and I also think there’s a super taboo about women ever expressing ambivalence or regret around parenting that also ties in with the stigma of both teen parenting and abortion. In general, though, I just want people to be able to say their real feelings and not feel trapped by expectations.
M: Yeah, you’re right about that.
Second recap (Savon) on the way!