There has been talk on the Internet as to whether it is fair for bloggers to discuss the situation with Bristol Palin, on the grounds that she isn’t running for political office (her mother is) and she’s entitled to some privacy. For example, this post by Jennie Rigg, which I answered in a comment but which I thought I would post an extended version of my answer to my blog here:
“jokes” about Bristol’s Bristols are not big, and they are not clever.
My cat is neither big nor clever. But that’s OK, because he isn’t meant to be; he’s meant to be a cat. Similarly jokes aren’t meant to be big and clever, they are meant to be funny. I haven’t said anything about Bristol that I wouldn’t mind equivalent things being said about me. For example my surname rhymes with a rude word and I would have no problem with people making jokes about it.
Regarding the appropriateness of humour I agree with frivolityrules.blogspot.com who says “This is England, where toilet humour, knob and tit gags have ruled for centuries. Prurience has a home, and its on the other side of the Atlantic.”
And, you know, if Bristol is pregnant and there’s going to be a shotgun wedding, that’s not ideal for anyone involved, but it’s Bristol’s business.
The implication here is that it’s no-one else’s business so we shouldn’t talk about it. I disagree with this proposition in the general case. Consider that just about everyone talks about other people and does so every day. Does that mean everyone is a bad person? I say they are not; in other words I do not think that talking about other makes one a bad person.
However, some talking about others is wrong, for example if you say things that are both derogatory about them and untrue.
(Saying things that are derogatory and true is on the whole a virtuous thing to do since it maskes it more expensive for someone to be a nasty person, and therefore reduces the amount of nastiness in the world.)
I haven’t said anything derogatory about Bristol Palin. Nor have I said anything untrue, to the best of my knowledge.
Regarding privacy, there are some things I wouldn’t do. For example I wouldn’t put someone’s home address on the Internet, except in truely extreme circumnstances, such as if it was a matter of life and death.
While on the one hand it’s fitting that Sarah Palin is having to confront the consequences of abstinence-only “education” up close and personal
I expect than on my blog I will have words in future about the Governor of Alaska’s political beliefs.
it’s really not cool to pick on a seventeen year old girl.
I don’t think I am doing so.
And I bet that shitloads of you would not be going after Palin’s family so hard if she were Samuel Palin
I think the record of my blog demonstrates that I am just as “hard” with male politicians I disagree with as female ones.
The points have all been made now
I’m not sure that’s true, for example I’m not aware that the mainstream media have discussed the possibility that Sarah Palin abused her power as Governor of Alaska to coerce Levi Johnston into marrying Bristol.
Not only that, if and when new facts emerge, one can draw new conclusions from those facts.
continuing to harp on about it begins to look like smug prurience
If I thought it was immoral for 17 or 18 year old unmarried people to have sex then it would be entirely reasonable to accuse me of prurience. But I don’t think that, and therefore it isn’t reasonable.
Question: What do you call someone who’s 17 who likes sex?