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The Nation puzzled by heartland America's 'harsh sexual morality' and its love for teen moms


We think The Nation ought to change its name to The Bubble or something because it sure doesn't know much about the actual nation. This tweet is almost a parody, but to the writer, it's a serious question. The church condemns premarital sex, and yet young mothers aren't shunned by the village. How is a brain supposed to process that?


Katha Pollitt writes:

From early childhood, women received the message—in Sunday school, church services, and religious social gatherings—that they were meant to be subservient “helpmeets” to men and should limit their aspirations, their education, and their ability to support themselves. If a mate was violent, drunken, irresponsible, it was the woman’s fault, and prayer was the answer. While the church promoted a harsh sexual morality—the ideal was early marriage, followed by babies, ASAP—it sent a mixed message: Premarital sex was sinful, but teens who had babies were revered as mothers. Evangelicalism thus ensured that many women would end up having kids before they were ready, going from one unstable relationship to the next. Thanks to the church’s disempowering teachings, they couldn’t imagine life without a man and couldn’t support themselves and their children on their own. “If you were to place a map of white evangelical Protestants over maps of women dying young and overdosing on drugs and going without jobs,” [Monica] Potts writes, “they’d line up.”


Monica Potts "escaped" Clinton, Arkansas, but her friend was not so lucky.

So this is heartland America? No wonder they call it flyover country, right?


The church's "harsh sexual reality" is that from which Potts escaped. Better to have your teen girl read explicit anal sex instructions in Teen Vogue, and if the man manages to sneak into her bonus hole, there's always abortion. That's the truly moral way.


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