Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Parenthood is not for kids

Alfie Patten, Age 13. With his BABY.

These are Images of Alfie Patten, Father to a young baby Maisie, conceived when he was 12 with his 15 year old Girlfriend.
This could easily be the pictures of a boy with his newborn sibling. But unfortunately it isn't so. In an incident that's sparked worldwide outrage, this UK based couple decided to have their baby (and were happier for it) a month ago. If that isn't enough for my conservative (Indian?) mindset, two more boys age 14 and 16 respectively have laid claim to the baby, stating that they could very well be the fathers. A DNA test is now being conducted on the three, to determine which child is in fact, the father of the baby.
Alfies father - Dennis (45) split from his wife after an affair with a 19 year old, and is reportedly the one who has advised Alfie to have a DNA test since "That's the only way to settle this".
Facts stated. Now. Such a horrific incident just brings to light the shambles that parenthood in some foreign countries is. This, in retrospect makes the Indian conservative married society and mindset seem like a blessing. The boy looks 8. E-I-G-H-T. I remember my own brother at 13, which was just 2 years ago. This is not even an age that s*xual organs are fully developed, let along the mental daring to go the whole way. Where has the innocence gone? For crying out loud, when asked how he will support his baby Alfie said he gets 'Pocket Money' of 10 pounds sometimes. It just gets worse and worse with speculations that Chantelle was having s*xual relationships with close to 8 boys at the time of conception. The mother however, trashes allegations asserting that her daughter lost her virginity to Alfie.
At 15, in my opinion even SHE is not ready to be s*xually active. For sounding like one old prude, I don't apologise. I see this incident as horrific, and disturbing. Alfies father has 8 siblings and seems to be supportive of this incident, in fact making money of it. Alfie is being paid 5 figure sums for interviews and the parents are caught in legal battle over who will get how much money.
Deemed to be a dampener on Britain's expensive s*x education theory, this just brings to light that kids today are far too exposed, blame it on the media, parents themselves, society as a whole or even the gradual breakdown of the wholesome family model. Its when you watch a popular show like Boogiewoogie and see a 5 year old gyrate (albeit very gracefully) to the likes of 'Kaanta lagaa' or other s*xually explicit popular songs number, that you know that cinema and media infuse s*xuality and vulgarity in the minds of our very young generation.
As i write this, a colleague comes to me with todays edition of the mid day with another scandal reminiscent of the Delhi school scandal with the 9th std school girl. India isn't far from all these scandals, I think we're just a little more discreet. we wouldn't proudly let our 13 year old son be photographed proudly with his son, we'd be hiding in shame and preparing to send him to boarding school or somewhere far away, whilst denying any rumours that allege the same. wont we?
I'm so shaken up right now, that I think I'm just going to hit 'Publish' and come back later with a little more focused, coherent vent.

19 comments:

hitch writer said...

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Serendipity said...

Since Ive been tagged on Facebook for the exact same tag, Ima take the easy way out and use the evergreen 'copy paste' technique to my rescue. Gimme a few days :D Will do.

hitch writer said...

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perplexed said...

he really does look like the baby's older brother. I don't think it is just us 'conservative' Indians who are shocked and worried by this incident, the world is worried... it's just not a good sign and this incident shows that things are going horribly wrong with the youth. It happens here too... but it is all behind closed doors.. No one will admit to it let alone publicizing it!

Piper .. said...

A DNA test now??!! god! What next, I wonder. And the girl seriously ought to be given a tight slap or whatever it takes to drive home some sense! She definitely looks older than 15. Atleast old enough to know what the responsibility entails!

Aditya said...

Yeah, this is big news here. Both families are on state benefits for unemployment. There may be some scam here about having children to increase the money the government gives you for being unemployed.

I have a hard time believing that the girl would let this... baby do... er... you know what. And anyway, I'm not even sure if he is capable of passing on his genetic material yet.

Else, the girl is a real head case and the baby deserves a better mother. But it's not new to the family, her older sister (now 19) had a baby when 15 too.

Imagine that - when we were running around in school pulling each others' hair, these KIDS are reproducing. WTF do they know about being parents?

If we need a license to drive, because otherwise we may harm others; I think we may soon need a license to breed else we harm the kids we're bringing into the world.

Sigh.

Amol said...

I don't know if this kind of thing happens more often now, or is just exposed more often because of sensation-driven media whores.

I do agree that children today are sexualized earlier and earlier by exposure to mass media. It must be scary to be a parent today.

I find this troubling especially in India, where our hidebound conservatism on all things sexual leave children (especially girls) vulnerable to exploitation, because they can't talk about abuse for fear of being shamed themselves. As more teenagers become sexually active, I fear that Indian girls will get even more victimized unless we loosen up as a society.

Aditya said...

one thing's for certain: the "father" has class.

Scarlett said...

Not commenting on the people involved in this incident or scam...whatever you want to call it...there's no guarantee that people who're old enough to be parents know enough about parenting! They hit their kids, have more kids than they can support, encourage kids to litter etc. And there are plenty of teenage girls getting knocked up even in India...by teenage boys. But it all hushed up. The girl has an abortion & no one even comes to know about it. Such things happen in our society as well but we are hypocritical about it. We're no better.

Serendipity said...

@ Ppplxd - I agree. I still cant get over havign the courage to do it. AT TWELVE!

@ Piper - yeah, thats where sometimes I think our strict Indian parenting way works. We're not as morally all over the place as the rest of the world.

snow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
snow said...

news these days, the world is in shambles.. this bit and that other crazy lady who went to have 8 kids, despite having 6 other kids! thank heavens, such specimens are few and far between..

Serendipity said...

Aditya - a response to you is a whole new comment!

Thats crazy, parents are fightint to divide the moeny among them?? Im sure they're both glad it happened, instant fame and money. Im aghast.
And i pity the little baby who'll grow up with even fewer morals surrounded by his childboy father.

After all, Alfies probably taken in after his father who dumped his wife for an affair with a teen, and Chantelle's elder sister who too, had a baby at 15.

Im not sure how she was turned on by this kid!!! its replusive :S and i was asking my folks last evening if hes even capable of fatherhood if he hasnt hit puberty!

And, omg i wonder who made this sweatshirt? is it in stores, or is it cutom made for him? Seems everyone wants to cash in on him. its a pity.

and whats the best part here is, Britain is one of the few nations that spends the most on s*x education (cos they want to get it right and all)

This is kindof reminding of a southpark episode i watched once where they had s*x education for these nursery kids. that was funny though (obviously in a very southpark gross way) Have u watcehd any?

Serendipity said...

Also, Ad - how do u link on a comment? :S

Hi Amol - u must get a blog :)I think its a combination of both, happens more now + media is sensation crazy so it get reported more..

Scarlett - I do agree with you. But becoming a parent at a right age i think wuld also mean that your a lot more mature in your decisons as a whole.

Parenting is an iterative process, no one gets to 'learn' how. thats what grandparents are for. :D
Also, i wouldnt call it 'hypocrisy', id call it being conservative. (ref:last few sentences of post) but yep, it would ddefinitely be hushed up and the child banished from the country to go into hiding

Serendipity said...

Hi Snow- absolutely NUTS! (But somehow, theyre gettng not so few and far between i think) and thats a scary thought..

Ashutosh Didwania said...

More than anything else, one feels sad for the newborn in the pic..could there be anyone else in the world with a more uncertain future..

Serendipity said...

Absolutely. well said.

Aditya said...

S: For linking you type [a href="http://www.google.com"]Google[/a] EXCEPT you replace the square brackets with the lesser / greater than signs. More here

Britain spends most of their money on sex education? It doesn't show then. The thing is this benefits bit is a big scam; so even if they spend money it is useless when they are LOOKING to get knocked up (pardon my french). The ads are on radio all the time, and they're seriously worried about STDs. But this won't help.

One thing I have learnt after coming here though: even though we complain about bureaucracy in India, we have to remember the Brits damn well INVENTED it! So no amount of money thrown at a problem ends up solving it here.

Also South Park... I tried watching, just couldn't get myself to like it. Meh.

The Geekie said...

o my gawd...really d innocence is lost....wat else can i say...strange