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At a Target store in California, a shopper browsing the greeting card aisle was intrigued by a card that read, “Heard you’re pregnant,” but was shocked when inside the card all it said was, “Whore.”

 

In the handful of articles I found on this story, I couldn’t believe that the consensus was that either the card was funny or that it didn’t matter and anyone who was offended should chill out and get a sense of humor. Really? Shaming and bullying young, sexually active girls and young women about an unplanned pregnancy is funny? It’s no big deal that a girl was called a whore? Do you think she deserves it because she dared to make a choice of having sex without your approval?

Because let’s be clear here: this is targeting young, unmarried women and girls. Who would even think to call a married woman a whore for getting pregnant? Who assumes that a married woman getting pregnant is automatically a bad thing that she should be called names for? And who would call an older, single woman a whore for getting pregnant? Married women and older, single women are socially allowed to have sex. The fact that they have sexual desires and act upon those desires is understood and accepted. The same respect for female sexuality is unfortunately not nearly as common for young women.

When a young woman becomes pregnant, it’s as if she has done something horribly wrong. Calling her a whore signifies the stereotypes that she has slept with several men (which is also seen as something horribly wrong for a young woman) and that she must have low self-esteem because it is presumed that she lets men use her (which, though it hardly stops anyone from slinging this insult, also unfairly makes men out to be animals who only want instant-gratification sex and then discard the girl without further thought).

Calling a girl a whore for the fact that she had sex and accidentally got pregnant devalues the choice that girl made to have sex and devalues her ability to make a positive sexual decision. When someone is called a whore, they are being told that the way they have chosen to express and practice their sexuality is wrong. Teenage sexuality is not inherently wrong. But when we have a culture that believes that it is, then the girls who get outed for having sex by becoming pregnant face much harsher torment and ridicule than all the other sexually active girls. They somehow get more blame and are more publicly shunned.

But why? With the prevalence of abstinence-only programs in this country, (along with the unfortunate social stigma) is it any wonder that many teenagers don’t know about all of their birth control options, how to use them correctly, and lack access to them? And when they do have all the information, why does no one seem to accept that accidents do happen? Nothing is 100% percent effective at preventing pregnancy for people who are sexually active. So why does she still deserve to be called a whore?

And then there’s the possibility that the reason she got pregnant is because she was raped. Is she still a whore if someone raped her? And if this young woman was raped, if she had to endure something as terrifying and demeaning as rape, does she really need to hear that you think she’s the one who should be called names for what happened? Calling her a whore after she was raped further demeans and disrespects her, but more significantly, it blames her for what happened. Blaming a survivor of rape for becoming pregnant because of that rape is it’s own level of cruel. We should be ashamed that we let our society treat our young women this way. Having sex doesn’t make you a whore no matter how old you are, no matter who you had sex with, and no matter whether or not you became pregnant.

The fact that many people think this card is funny shows how little the public realizes that they are shaming young women and that doing so is wrong. We have to become more aware of how our vocabulary affects others. While most people agree that bullying is wrong, too many people participate in and condone bullying everyday. Not seeing the problem when pregnant girls are called whores IS the problem. Now you know.

  • Ashley

    Um. I think it’s hilarious and the person I’d most want to send it to is married.

  • tiffany

    its funny. people with a sense of humor laugh. Its meant for friends with a sense of humor to share a laugh together. I would have laughed if I got it at a baby shower. I personally find this “article” offensive…. People, stores, etc. are allowed to have a sense of humor, not everything is about you or your feelings.

  • Angie

    Hey, crazy, I’m pretty sure this card is intended for women who ARE married as a little something that we normal, rational adults call humor. You should look into it sometime, rather than wasting your time on your soapbox. Plus, it’ll give you more time to change the litter boxes for what I can only assume are your numerous cats.

  • NoName

    There’s a whole series of Brutally Honest cards. They’re supposed to be sarcastic, because people like to be sarcastic with their friends. Use some common sense.

  • Sean

    It’s hilarious. I bought it for my wife, and we’ve been married for years and it took us well over a year of trying to get pregnant. You need to lighten up.

  • George

    Another feminist cunt with 0 sense of humor. How surprising!

  • Anonymous

    Jesus Christ, are you saying you would give a positive pregnancy card to a rape victim? What the fuck is wrong with you?

    In what fantasy world do you live that a person would give a card to a pregnant rape victim? Exactly how insane are you?

    In typing up this article, it never ONCE passed through your tiny little mind that this could possibly be sarcasm? You saw this card at the store or far more likely saw it online somewhere and you were just filled with self-righteous indignation, correct? You thought to yourself “OH, how dare they?! TO THE INTERNET!”

    Think, no matter how difficult that may be for you. Think just a tiny little bit before you speak your stupid fucking mind.

  • Chris

    My wife was sent this card when she was pregnant with our now eight-month-old daughter. We had been married for 3 years at that time.

    “Heard you wrote an article saying this card at Target was targeting young, unmarried women and girls”

    “Bitch”

  • JoeyJay

    Humorless people like you, who take offense to every little thing and try to ruin it for others, are a big part of the reason the right wing hates liberals.

  • wowowow

    Pretty sure this card isn’t targeting unwanted pregnancies… it’s sarcasm. I would love to get this card when I get pregnant, or give it to a friends or sister who was trying to conceive. This article is bull. And I’m technically a feminist.

  • Olivia

    Hey, take the pine cone out of your ass. You have no idea who the intended audience of this card is. Take a joke.

  • Jupi

    Whoever would send this to a fucking 12 year old has issues.

    • Rimjob Jesus

      Just as many issues as the person impregnating the 12 year old in the first place!

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