The right to be upset or expecting special treatment?

It's Monday so let's start the week out with a little healthy debate. As I trolled the web this morning I came across this little tid bit:

Becoming a mother a dilemma and victory

The article details the decision of a young woman who was a awarded a track scholarship at the University of Memphis and became pregnant to keep her baby. The decision meant she lost her scholarship.

There are a lot of people up in arms about this one. They are calling it many things: illegal, immoral and just plain wrong. I'm going to hop over to the other side of the fence though. Let's look at it from the another standpoint.

This isn't a fourteen year old girl we're talking about. This young woman is a sophomore in college. That makes her 21 at least, so I'm guessing both she and her boyfriend are conversant in the current methods of birth control and the fact that using only one method can sometimes be risky...you can double up, say a condom and the pill. There's also the fact that when she was awarded the scholarship not only was she aware that the standard good grade guideline applied, she was told and had to sign an acknowledgement that if she fought, got into verbal conflicts with the coaches or became pregnant she would lose her scholarship. It's something all the students awarded the scholarship sign. So it's not like it was a surprise.

Isn't this part of the freedom of choice? She's an adult. She got pregnant, reviewed her options and choices and made the one she thought she could live with. In a perfect world the school would say, "Well, we know we gave you an athletic scholarship and now that you're pregnant you can't perform athletically, but we'll let you keep the scholarship anyway." This isn't a perfect world. Why should the University make exceptions for pregnant women? It's not like there aren't ways to prevent becoming pregnant, chief among them, not having sex.

Now...I know someone reading this is going to jump all over me for that last statement. "But Serena, this is the 21st Century. This is an era of sexual freedom. Women should be allowed to express themselves and their sexuality and not be penalized for it." Blah blah blah.....great. You go ahead and express yourself. The reality is this: You have sex, you run the risk of getting pregnant. Period. It's that simple. Even birth control isn't one hundred percent. It says so on the back of the package for cripes sake.

Freedom of choice doesn't start after you get pregnant. It starts the moment you decide to have sex. Freedom of choice means that you are choosing to accept the responsibity for everything that comes after. It isn't the University's fault that she got pregnant. Think of it this way: If she were a man and on an athletic scholarship and that man violated the terms of the scholarship, would anyone blink when they revoked it? Nope...but this is a PREGNANT woman we're talking about and that evokes all kinds of mushy "AHHHHH" feelings in most people....

Isn't is actually kind of sexist to say that BECAUSE she's pregnant she deserves special treatment? Would she deserve less if her grades had slipped or she had slapped a coach?

Weigh in on this one folks. What do you think?


super des said...

This makes sense to me. She got the scholarship for running track. You can't run track with a baby in tow. If the scholarship had been purely academic , that would be another story as we all know that you don't lose your brains when you have a baby. You do lose your athletic ability, even if just for a while. You can get it back, but that will take time.

Anonymous said...

You summed up everything perfectly. She chose a course of action that she knew would end her scholarship. Getting pregnant (or, if we back up a bit, just having sex) is about making choices and living with the consequences. Why is this news?

If a film star is chosen for a role and the contract stipulates that she must leave her hair long and blond, and she shows up the first day of filming as a cropped brunette, she made a choice that violated her prior commitment. This is that to about the zillionth degree. I'm certainly not using that example to make light, but can you see the parallel?

Why SHOULDN'T the school now pass the scholarship along to someone else, give someone else a chance to adhere to the guidelines they set and reap the reward?

Charming said...

My only question would be is if male students are held to the same standard, if the agreement they sign includes a ''don't knock anyone up'' clause because if not, that IS sexist.

Otherwise, there is no doubt she's old enough to know what time it is as far as birth control and/or abstinence. She surely has the choice to keep the baby but they certainly aren't obligated to make concessions for her choice.

viciousrumours said...

The only problem I have with your statement about men being held to "the same standard" is this: a guy getting a woman pregnant doesn't interfere with his ability to perform a sporting acitvity. The reason the "don't get pregnant" clause is in the scholarship isn't to be sexist, it's because you can't jump hurdles when you're nine months pregnant.

Now...if the school included that clause in ALL scholarships awarded to ONLY women, that would be sexist. But we're only talking about athletic scholarships. I'm guessing that athletic scholarships awarded to men have similar "don't fuck it up" clauses...like "don't roid out" and things of that nature.

Paula said...

I agree with you, VR. She could have had an abortion, but she wants the baby. Choice ---> consequences. I don't see a problem with that, but I hope she realizes that raising a child is going to require an infinite number of sacrifices beyond losing a track scholarship.

Suzanne said...

I love common sense. And I love Serena!

viciousrumours said...

What a coincidence! I Love Suzanne! Thanks for that!

Gunfighter said...

Scholarship for track: Great!

Pregnant: Great!

Choosing to keep her baby: Great!

Losing track scholarship: Bummer!

Unfair? Hell no!