Kids these days! They just aren’t getting pregnant like they used to. The birth rate for young women ages 15 to 19 fell to its lowest ever recorded in 2010, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. States with the lowest teen birth rates are in the Northeast with Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire, while the highest are concentrated in the South/Southwest: Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
It might seem like great news that teen births have been declining over two decades. But the United States still has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the industrialized world. It’s no surprise that the states “16 & Pregnant” casting agents drool over have the strictest abortion laws and also think abstinence-only sex ed actually works. [NY Times, NY Times (2)]
“I know that this show hasn’t had an African-American in the office and I know that comes with a lot of responsibility as to how I portray this woman, but I can’t think about that. I can only go in and do what I think this woman would do. I try not to think, ‘Oh, I have to represent every single black person in the world that was there in the ’60s.’ I have to tell this one woman’s story and what that was for her. I’m kind of on the fence because as a black actress, there aren’t a lot of roles out there for us, and so you see a great show and it’s like, ‘Oh wow, I would love to be on that show. Oh, but there are no black people on it.’ So that part is frustrating and I understand that, but at the same time I don’t expect to be a part of everyone’s story if it’s not true to the story that they’re trying to tell.”
– Teyonah Parris, who plays Don’s new secretary, Dawn, on “Mad Men,” opens up about playing the first black employee at Sterling Cooper Draper Price. Creator Matt Weiner spoke really eloquently on the PBS news program “Charlie Rose” recently about how he wants civil rights issues on “Mad Men” to be historically accurate. But for Teyonah Parris’ sake, she doesn’t get stuck having to “represent every single black person in the world that was there in the ’60s.” It’s all too easy to assume one person’s story is supposed to speak for everybody. [NYMag.com]