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Teen Moms` Struggle
Aired August 16, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST (voice-over): Back to school with baby on board. There`s a Denver high school where all of its students are pregnant girls and teen parents. Teenagers already struggle with so much. Now, these kids are balancing hormones and pregnancy, homework, bills to pay and parenthood.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I get up around 6:00 every morning.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Let me help you when you`re done, OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I never imagined myself having a baby`s dad, who is in jail.
PINSKY: With only 40 percent of teen moms getting a high school diploma, this continues to be a national crisis.
And tonight, we will hear from teens who are struggling to make it and some teen moms I`ve worked with before, to give us their insight
And later, would you look twice if a woman walked on the street without a shirt or bra on? Well, one 29-year-old woman is walking around Manhattan topless. She says she has a good reason and we`ll hear from her.
PINSKY: But first, we are going to take on the topic of teen pregnancy. It is something I have been deal with in my career, particularly on media, for quite some time -- really over 20 years. So, it`s something I have been focused on, known a lot about, and I`m going to tell you, finally, we have some programming on television that is actually impacting teen pregnancy.
Catrina and Evangeline are on a new TLC show called "High School Moms" and, of course, Farrah Abraham was featured on MTV`s "Teen Moms."
Catrina, I`m going to start with you. You have two kids. What is the most difficult thing about being a teen mom?
CATRINA, STAR, HIGH SCHOOL MOMS: I think the most difficult thing for me about being a teen mom would be finding time for both of my children and just finishing high school and doing the best thing for us.
PINSKY: And, Farrah, I know you have struggled with finishing your education. These girls actually get to go to a school that is sort of dedicated to the teen mom. Do you think that would have been something helpful for you?
FARRAH ABRAHAM, STAR, "TEEN MOM": Yes, I think that would have been helpful, and I`ve actually checked into opportunities like that. So, I`m very happy that the girls have that and I have completed my education at this time. So, it was a struggle doing it on my own, but with the extra help, that`s amazing.
PINSKY: Evangeline, you know Farrah defies the odds. A significant percentage of teen moms don`t finish their education. How is this school in Denver helping you?
EVANGELINE, STAR, HIGH SCHOOL MOMS: The school in Denver is helping me by just supporting me, giving me everything I need to move up in the world and have a brighter future for my son and myself.
PINSKY: Is it important to have the support of other young girls who are going through a similar phenomenon, similar kind of life?
EVANGELINE: It is important to have girls around you going through the same thing. No one understand it is they are not going through it. So it`s big help to know that someone`s there with you going through the same thing.
PINSKY: We`re looking at footage from the TLC show right now.
Farrah, I remember a big part of your stress you were a cheerleader, and all of a sudden, you went from cheerleader to mom, and you lost all your friends. Remember that? Of course you do.
ABRAHAM: Yes, I did. Yes, I remember.
How is it with having friends at school, now with college that supports you and your child going there? Is it easier, making new friends?
CATRINA: I believe it is easier on us just because there`s girls who have gone through the same situation that we have gone through, they understand what we are like and we can relate on more than just having kids and going to school.
PINSKY: Let`s see what my viewers want to ask you guys, want to go out to the calls and start with Amber in Wisconsin.
AMBER, CALLER FROM WSCONSIN: Hi, Dr. Drew.
AMBER: I was going to say that I was a teen mom, I got pregnant at 17 and single-handedly raise my son. I just don`t think that a lot of girls are to blame as opposed to boys and girls, for having sexual activities. What do they think about that?
PINSKY: Go ahead, Catrina.
CATRINA: I feel like both parties are to blame. Boys and girls know what they are getting into when they become sexually active. So, it`s not -- it maybe the girl`s responsible ate little bit more. But boys definitely know what they are get nothing also.
PINSKY: Catrina, what do you hope the reality show teach other teens out there?
CATRINA: I -- I`m hoping that it changes, like, people`s view. Not all teen moms are bad. And we just -- there are people out there who try to, you know, continue their education and do the best things for their children and I just feel like age doesn`t, you know, define the kind of parent that you are.
PINSKY: Do you think these reality shows, either Evangeline or Catrina, encourage teen mom? Because a lot of people criticize these shows as somehow encouraging people to, if they want to get on TV, get pregnant?
EVANGELINE: Absolutely not. This show is just showing how hard it is to be a teen mom and the things we struggle with on a daily basis. I would think it`s the exact opposite of encouraging.
PINSKY: And, Farrah, "Teen Mom" on MTV, I assume you hope has a similar discouraging effect on young women?
ABRAHAM: I mean, "Teen Mom" made that affect, other teens understand the realities and hardships that are put into being a mother and taking care of a child every day. And also the peer pressures that are around us in high schools, at dances, at proms and to stay away from that and make the right choices to keep away from having sex or looking into contraceptives and really knowing their health and everything around them.
PINSK: What do you guys say to parents thought who don`t believe their kids could potentially be at risk? I always say the scariest thing a parent could say is "not my kid"? What would you guys tell the parents -- because it`s mostly parents watching my show -- what do we have to tell them?
ABRAHAM: You`re wrong. My parents said the same thing. And look, I ended up getting pregnant, yes, I was on birth control, yes, I told my parents as much as possible. But it`s still awkward to find yourself in the position your teen is pregnant and you thought they never would be. It really makes hardships and relationships in your family.
So, I would say educate them have a talk with them, sit down, watch "Teen Mom" or watch the other show on TLC and make sure that you bring up the conversation and make sure they know what`s going on and that you`re there to help.
PINSKY: Let`s get another call here, Lynda in Colorado. Lynda?
LYNDA, CALLER FROM COLORADO: Hi, Dr. Drew.
LYNDA: I had a comment about teen pregnancy. I think that anything that keeps the teenager in high school and moving toward the diploma, because the diploma is one of the first steps to having a successful life, I think.
PINSKY: Let me interrupt, Lynda and ask, do you think there will be critics out there that will say, oh, we shouldn`t have high schools like this because it makes it too easy for girls to make a mistake and still get captured and -- you know,. what I mean, those kinds of critics who say it`s too easy?
LYNDA: Yes, I can see where they say that but it doesn`t -- the way we are doing it now isn`t working.
PINSKY: Right. You are right.
LYNDA: They need to find something different.
PINSKY: You`re right.
Catrina, what do you say to what Lynda is asking about or commenting on?
CATRINA: I appreciate her support and the positive comments that she has. I believe that, you know, having the school to support us doesn`t make it easier for us to make mistakes, it just is kind of like a safety net. It -- that way we know that if we are in this situation, we still can pursue our dreams and finish the things that we want to finish.
PINSKY: Hannah in Wisconsin -- Hannah.
HANNAH, CALLER FROM WISCONSIN: Dr. Drew, I was a teen mom. There actually was a high school in Wisconsin for teen moms and pregnant women, but they actually shut it down. I was wondering do you think they are going to open up more high schools for mothers with teens and kids?
PINSKY: You know, later in this program, I`m going to talk to a woman from the national campaign to end national teen and unwanted pregnancy. I will address that question with her. Do you guys know anything about that?
HANNAH: We don`t know anything for sure, but we were hoping with this show that it would open opportunities in other states for other pregnant teens.
PINSKY: There you go.
All right, you guys are going to stay with me.
Coming up, of course, we`ll have more with the teen moms and more of your calls.
And later, we switch gears and going to talk to a woman who goes topless in public. She says to empower and help other women.
Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CATRINA: I met John at a birthday party and he asked me out. John didn`t really have a place to live. He was staying in his car.
So I beg hide dad to let him stay with us. And he told him, you have to sleep on the couch. And you cannot get my daughter pregnant.
He slept on the couch for, like, two week he is. And then he slowly, like, moved into my bedroom, which was a bad idea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Teen pregnancy rates have slowed down and I will remind people that are skeptical that slowdown began the very quarter that shows like this started airing. Young people seem to be getting the message. They are not stupid.
But still, in this country, one in six girls have a baby while they are still teenagers.
Brandy Chance is a teacher at a school for pregnant teens and teen parents.
Brandy, before the break, I asked the question whether or not these sorts of schools somehow make it easy or encourage young people. How would you respond to those sorts of critics?
BRANDY CHANCE, TEACHER, "HIGH SCHOOL MOMS": I would say absolutely not, that schools like ours in no way, shape or form increase teen pregnancy. The students come to us already pregnant. Sixty percent of our students have been out of school or sporadically attending before they even come to our school.
Our school`s focus is really getting these students educated and graduated so that they are prepared for life after high school.
PINSKY: And did you have any concerns about reality cameras showing up on your campus? Did you think it would be a net positive for the community at large, for the country, or did you have concerns?
CHANCE: I initially refused to participate in the documentary because I had concerns. I did not want my students becoming victims of reality TV. When I talked to the producer, I felt confident what they were filming was a documentary, not reality television. It took some convincing to be honest to get them into my classrooms.
But if it helps any students who are out there who want to go back to school as mothers, I think it is worth t if it helps communities and other parts of our nation decide to create programs like ours, then it`s worth it. And as long as my student remain the focus and what they are doing positively, then I -- I feel pretty good about opening up my classroom to the world.
PINSKY: Farrah, how do you respond to the idea of being a victim of reality TV?
ABRAHAM: I respond and I tried to make a bad thing into a good thing. I also feel like this high school has, you know, with teens getting pregnant, not knowing where to go, I think is great they are decreasing the dropout rates and helping them stick to school. Because as you have seen in my episodes of "Teen Mom," some of the other cast members do not stay in high school or have not moved on to college yet.
So I think it is a great thing what they have done. Reality TV is very much harder to deal with.
PINSKY: Natalie in Colorado -- Natalie, you had a comment or question?
NATALIE, CALLER FROM COLORADO: Earlier, Dr. Drew, you asked Catrina about what was difficulty that she had and she responded that it had to do with giving up time. I am wanting to know what the changes were that she has to go through in welcoming her child to her life and also wondering also, father of the baby where he is about being a father and changes or adjustments.
PINSKY: Natalie, I`m going to jump in I have three women that I`m sure would give you a small novel in response to that question, because their lives were completely changed by the pregnancy. The vast majority of the cases, the dads are nowhere to be found.
So, who wants to answer this, ladies? Who wants to give a short version of how their life was changed by having had had a baby? Everything changes.
EVANGELINE: Everything changes -- I mean, your body changes, your mind changes, your friends change, you know? And it`s really hard to adjust to that but eventually you need to get used to the fact that you`re a mom.
PINSKY: And, Farrah, that was the whole point of the show, was it not, to show how much you had to give up?
ABRAHAM: Yes. That was the big portion of what "Teen Mom" has to show and how everything changes. I do have a question, though, for this high school that is helping out teen mothers. Do they also help educate the dads as well or other teen fathers?
PINSKY: Great question. What do you do with the dads and the rest of the family, because often the grandparents are in the child-rearing as well?
CATRINA: Actually, we -- the school`s very involved with not only the mothers but with the whole family. Like once a month, we have a grandparents` breakfast. The school helps other teen dads get their GEDs or find a job if they need to.
They are very supportive. They have activities after school, like -- especially during holidays, where you can bring your whole family and just -- for Christmas, we decorate ornaments, make cookies, and it`s a very supportive school and they very much tried to keep the family intact.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a family engagement center.
PINSKY: Brandy, I want to say, Brandy, do you think -- I don`t know what the data is from your program, but if you actually had documented improvement in the behavior of the young men in terms of being fathers and staying with, forming families, those sorts of outcomes?
CHANCE: You know, our focus is really on the mother. We absolutely are interested in keeping the entire family as a family unit. However, the student defines her family. That might or might not include the father.
Like I said, our focus is really on the moms, but we do have a family engagement center where we bring in dads, grandparents, cousins, whoever it is that is helping raise that child with the student, to help them define their family.
I have interaction with a handful of young men. We do have a higher- than-average rate of students that stay with their fathers and fathers that stay involved in the students` lives. So, it`s nice to see the father in the school and see them come to events and having prom this year, seeing a lot of the dads the prom is rather exciting.
So, we are working hard to educate not only the moms but keep the entire family involved.
PINSKY: That is really important to hear, Brandy, because I`ll tell you, having worked with teen moms, one of the most disturbing for them and shattering the realities is how the dads treat them and that this idea of forming a family, which they all cling to, is something that they can`t seem to get the dad to participate in. So if you`re having improvement in those outcomes that does mean a lot for the moms.
Next up, more on teen moms.
And later, as I said, a woman who thinks all women should be allowed to go topless whenever and wherever they want, including, in this case, in Manhattan, right in the middle of the city. We will continue to take your calls.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LONDISHA, 16: In my opinion of pregnant girls is that they were nasty, they were a ho. They were having sex, period, and I wasn`t, so I didn`t -- I was like, ew, that`s gross. And now, I`m like, she had a baby, oh well. She got pregnant. It happens.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Back with the star of MTV "Teen Moms" and the stars of TLC`s "High School Mom."
Amy Kramer is with the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Amy I`ve known for a long time. She`s been working intensively in this field.
Tell me what we have called or some are calling the "16 and pregnant effect".
AMY KRAMER, CAMPAIGN TO PREVENT TEEN PREGNANCY: Thank you for having me.
So, teen pregnancy and teen births in this country have been declining precipitously for the last two decades. But since "16 and Pregnant" have been on the air and the shows more popular, there are more people talking about these issues, we are talking about them right now and there are people in homes and families, and teens and their partners talking. And that`s one of the contributors to the decline.
PINSKY: And, Amy, although we`re doing much better -- am I right to say it`s the best we`ve been since like the 1940s? Is that correct?
KRAMER: It`s the -- teen births and teen pregnancies are lower now than they have been since we started counting them.
PINSKY: OK. So, since the 1940s and yet, we are still doing horribly relative to other industrialized nations. Is that also correct?
KRAMER: That is correct. We have the highest rates of teen pregnancy and teen birth of any fully developed nation. Our closest competitor, if you will, the U.K., we are about one and a half times what they are.
But again, the rates have gone down 40 percent, which is not insignificant. If there were that kind of progress on other social or health-related issue, I think it would be making headlines all over the place.
PINSKY: And so do you support, Brandy, and schools like hers?
KRAMER: Absolutely. It`s -- you know, when you have more than half of girls who have babies before the age of 18 not graduating from high school, it`s up to everybody -- certainly educators as well -- to do what we can all do to prepare these girls for success and for productive lives and parenthood.
And certainly in this day and able and certainly in this economy, having a high school diploma is critical.
PINSKY: What is the probability of a teen mom`s child growing up in poverty?
KRAMER: I`m sorry?
PINSKY: What is the probability of a child of a teen mom growing up in poverty?
KRAMER: The probability is very high. Children born to teen mothers are much more likely to grow up in poverty, are much more likely to grow apart from their fathers, much more likely to struggle in school and face a host of problems.
PINSKY: Let`s take a call.
Melissa in Illinois. Melissa, you had a comment or question?
MELISSA, CALLER FROM ILLINOIS: Yes, Dr. Drew. I`m so excited to be on your show.
PINSKY: Thanks, Melissa.
MELISSA: My question is a 27-year-old, I have taken my time to develop my sense of self and do what I want to do, and I knew at a very young age what responsibilities that went with becoming pregnant and having children.
But I want to know what`s happening to prevent these teen pregnancies from happening. It seems like there are a lot of programs for after, but there`s not so much to educate and show the young girls --
PINSKY: Well, Melissa -- and, Farrah, I`m going to go to you on this. I think this is very much the point. That these reality shows have had exactly the impact that cognitive and educational programs has not.
When young people see the consequences of somebody like Farrah on her life, they go, oh, I get it. Farrah, has that been your experience?
ABRAHAM: Yes. And I think watching the show opens up conversation, somebody like a young teen at home is not ready to talk about sex yet or is not comfortable with their parent, but also like lots of the cast from "Teen Mom" and "16 and Pregnant" now do public speaking.
So, I was just in South Carolina, and two of their bigger counties and speaking to their teens directly and answering their questions and helping them out, whether it be teens who have, you know, had stayed abstinent or teens who are sexually active or teen parents.
I spoke to them all and I think that`s really helpful, you know having public speakers going out and speaking to them as well, not just watching it on TV. I made it a reality to show what I really gone through -- how I can really help. And I think that really inspires some teens do the right -- you know, make the right choices.
PINSKY: I agree, Farrah.
The way I say is, Melissa, it`s having a relatable source, having somebody out there they can identify with and see the real consequence on their life, that`s why shows.
Farrah, thank you for being here.
Amy, I know you agree with me on this.
And thank you to my guests from "High School Moms." It airs Sundays at 10:00 Eastern on TLC.
Thank you, Brandy, as well.
Next up, a young woman who likes to walk in public without anything above her waist. She says she is doing it to help other women. You be the judge.
Stay with us.
PINSKY: Twenty-nine-year-old Moira Johnston is making big news in the Big Apple with her bare breasts. She proudly walks around New York City without a shirt or bra.
VTR polls caught people who support her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I first arrived, it`s like, oh, it`s New York.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it`s awesome. I think that women`s boobs have been too sexualized and it`s just damn hot out here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m from Kentucky. And I thought I was seeing things.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you don`t have a problem with this at all?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
PINSKY: Yes, people stare, and she was arrested once. But Moira says that going topless in public is perfectly legal and promotes equality for women.
PINSKY (on-camera): So, what do you think? How would you react if you saw a topless woman walking down the street, downtown Manhattan? With us now, topless activist, Moira Johnston. I also have Attorney Lisa Bloom, legal analyst for Avvo.com and best-selling author of "Swagger." So, Moira, fill us in here. Why have you decided to do this?
MOIRA JOHNSTON, GOES TOPLESS IN PUBLIC: So, I originally started going topless in a yoga studio. That was the first inclination I had to go topless. And for me, it was just a matter of comfort. In the state of New York, it was certainly within my legal limit to go topless. And then, when the weather started getting nice, I stated do activism in public, in public places and wherever I can.
PINSKY: But is this something, Moira, that bothered you for a long time. I`m just wondering about your motivation. Why did you -- you know, you`ve got to have to want to make a point. I mean, it doesn`t suddenly occur to you one day to do this. You just do it. You must have been thinking about it for a while, right?
JOHNSTON: I actually wasn`t thinking about it for a while, but there are like -- there basically is like a double standard between men and women in our culture regarding exposing our bodies. A few times, I have experienced now going out with a male counterpart, whether it be a friend or somebody I`m dating.
And people actually ask the person that I`m with who is a male if they can take my picture rather than asking me, personally.
PINSKY: All right. Well, this is exactly why I brought Lisa Bloom in here to help me sort this out. Lisa, I`ve never seen you giggle quite so much about a topic.
LISA BLOOM, ATTORNEY: Wow! You know, I have to say, this is the most difficult topic I think you`ve ever asked me to analyze.
PINSKY: Well, there we go. Which side are you going to fall on? You`re ambivalent, right?
BLOOM: Look, on the one hand, I am 100 percent women`s equality.
BLOOM: And I love people who take activism into their own hands.
BLOOM: To go out and try to take a stand.
PINSKY: So, we should applaud Moira?
BLOOM: Yes. And look, -- and when I read the court case, she`s right. It is legal in the state of New York. I was completely shocked to find out that that was the case. I thought for sure there was some mistake in these news reports that said it was legal, but it is, in fact, legal, as long as it`s not sexualized, which is not. She` just walking around.
PINSKY: Well, how --
BLOOM: -- commercial purpose.
BLOOM: You couldn`t have hooters send naked women out or topless women out, you know, to promote hooters. That would not be OK.
PINSKY: Does this have anything to do with laws around public breast feeding?
BLOOM: Not exactly. It has more to do with decency. And in 1990s, a group of women, like Moira in New York said we`re going to take off our tops in a public park, and we`re going to make the point that men can do it, women can`t, and that`s sex discrimination.
And shock of all shocks, they won that case in the appellate courts in New York. I mean, if you would ask me this question on the bar exam, I would have gotten it wrong.
PINSKY: Moira, why do you think more people aren`t aware of this or are you aware -- you know, how did -- were you surprised when you became aware?
JOHNSTON: Yes, I was. I actually went to an all-women`s college, and one of my fellow students told me that it was legal, and I just was so inspired by that.
PINSKY: What state? We`re going to figure out which school?
JOHNSTON: That was in Pennsylvania. I went to more college of art and design for visual art.
PINSKY: And that`s where you found out about the law in New York?
JOHNSTON: Yes. And -- but I actually think that a lot of people don`t know about it, because it`s not customary for women to go topless in public. And I understand that it`s not as socially acceptable and there`s safety issues involved.
However, like for me, the first time I wanted to do it was in a yoga studio and because people don`t do it customarily, it had kind of this shocking response and people complained about it and didn`t know that it was legal.
PINSKY: OK. Well, let`s see what our callers want to ask or know about this. David in California. David, you`re up.
DAVID, CALIFORNIA: Hi there, Dr. Drew. How are you doing?
PINSKY: We`re good. What do you got for Moira?
DAVID: I got a couple two points. I was sitting here listening and strengthen my points even more. Number one, a man`s breast is not the same as woman`s. It is not a sexual thing. OK. You touch a man`s breast and it doesn`t do anything for --
BLOOM: Sometimes it is for some men.
DAVID: No, no, no.
BLOOM: And by the way, that`s what the court said. This is an the interesting --
DAVID: The other thing, sweetheart is the danger. OK? There`s a danger. This world, this society today it is dangerous for a woman to walk around in public with their top off.
BLOOM: But from a legal point of view, that argument doesn`t get you anywhere, because we don`t infringe on women`s rights in order to protect them. I mean, those arguments have been out the window for a long time.
PINSKY: And what did the courts say abut men?
BLOOM: So, this was so interesting. They had social science research that said that men`s breasts can be just as sexual as women`s breasts.
PINSKY: Good to know.
BLOOM: I defer to you on this.
PINSKY: Good to know, Lisa. Thank you for this.
BLOOM: No, but I guess, that`s true to think about it.
PINSKY: It`s usually not a sexual image.
BLOOM: But they could be stimulated, their breasts.
PINSKY: They can be an erotogenic zone, correct.
BLOOM: That`s what the court said.
PINSKY: But I think one of the interesting questions here and I think what David is sort of -- I think what Moira would say about this is, are they so sexualized because they`re so mysterious and covered? Is that what you say, Moira?
JOHNSTON: Yes. I do think that covering the breast does make them more mysterious and more sexual. And what I`m doing demonstrating since May is that a woman can walk around and be safe and not be sexually assaulted on the streets of New York City. That`s what my experience is.
PINSKY: Lisa, looking at Moira, she`s not the person I would have expected to be taking this --
BLOOM: Why? Why not?
PINSKY: I just don`t --
BLOOM: Because you look like a lovely young woman. I guess, that`s what it means.
PINSKY: No, no, no.
BLOOM: Is that what you`re saying?
PINSKY: She doesn`t look like -- I don`t know what it is. Why you? Why are you the one doing this?
BLOOM: Why not her?
JOHNSTON: Why me? I guess I just -- I am one of the people who`s willing to do it. So --
BLOOM: Well, and by the way, it`s not just Moira. There are people all over the country. There are organizations that you can find online, supporting women`s right to go topless, and they`ve won court rulings in other jurisdictions as well. And it`s really shocking to me.
PINSKY: Well, and by the way, this decency issue is something sort of unique to the United States, right? A lot of countries it`s not a big deal.
BLOOM: Well, but usually, it`s on a topless beach or in a park, something like that. And you know, if you know, you have noticed this is a topless beach, I think most of us can be comfortable with that.
PINSKY: Got it.
BLOOM: What`s interesting about what Moira is doing is she`s walking around New York City, topless. Although, Moira, I also think there`s a little New York City factor going on here, because when we look at pictures of you walking around, everyone is just on their phone, texting, ignoring you.
PINSKY: Right. There`s a lot of weird stuff goes on in New York.
BLOOM: -- New York City, nobody bats an eye.
PINSKY: All right. Well, next up, we`re going to ask, is there a difference between someone like Moira going topless in public versus, well, this isn`t really the question I want to ask. The question I want to ask is, you see there a woman with what we call an L-breast.
She had herself so deeply enhanced. Is that because of our preoccupation and how we treat the women`s breast that people like this have to sexualize themselves with plastic surgery? Just get into that topic a little bit. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: You want to go from an L to an M, I understand. I don`t know what that means even. Is that really meaningful or just funny letters?
LACEY WILDD, HAS SIZE "L" BREASTS: Well, it`s going to -- well, it`s letters to you, but in the big breast community, it`s a lot more than that. It will put me -- I`m not going to an M, I`m going to a MMM.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: So, by covering up too much, have we created the triple Ms of the world? Tonight, a woman`s right to go topless in public. That was my guest on the last -- you just saw there former guest, Lacey Wildd, who has L-cup breasts and wants to go bigger. So, Lisa is this world of fetishes the result of us covering up too much and fetishizing the breast?
BLOOM: Well, a woman who has that much plastic surgery is mutilating herself and causing herself health problems. And that`s completely different from what Moira is doing, which is just taking off her shirt, being au naturale, right?
PINSKY: I just wonder if there`s a connection between those two things.
BLOOM: Yes. Well, we do have -- one the hand, we`re very conservative culture sexually. On the other hand, you know, we use sex to sell everything.
BLOOM: And here`s Moira trying to walking down the middle path just saying I`m not using my breasts to sell anything.
BLOOM: I`m just walking down the street, living my life, taking off my shirt in the same way that a man could.
PINSKY: How come you don`t just do that?
BLOOM: That`s a good question.
BLOOM: I don`t have much guts as she does.
PINSKY: And so, that`s why -- because I want to ask Moira --
BLOOM: Do you walk down the street with no shirt on?
PINSKY: I was a lifeguard back in the day. Yes, I would. I mean, I get in trouble for taking my shirt off here when I change my clothes.
PINSKY: And if I were a woman, it`ll be more than just a little bit of, hey, could you ask people to leave the room, it`ll be a big deal.
PINSKY: So, Moira, you`re triggering an interesting emotional reaction in me that`s why I asked Lisa that question. When I asked you why you, I have this sort of -- you`re a young woman. You look like somebody - - you`re triggering my co-dependency. It`s like, I want to protect you and take care of you. Why are you doing this? So, I`m going to ask again, why are you doing this? Why you?
JOHNSTON: I would like women to feel empowered and take agency about their own bodies and go topless whenever they feel comfortable in their own social context in their own communities. There`s a bunch of different contexts where women might feel comfortable going topless, exercising, doing yoga, driving, gardening, in a dance studio, swimming pools, beaches, saunas, spas.
So, this is just -- it`s an issue that I care about, and so, I`m willing to take a stand for it. I`m just following my heart.
PINSKY: Am I right, though, that this is not about nudism. This is about sexism, right? You`re not advocating not wearing clothing. You`re advocating equality in clothing for men and women. Is that accurate?
JOHNSTON: Yes, that`s correct.
PINSKY: OK. Let`s go to a call. Kathy in Texas -- Kathy.
KATHY, TEXAS: Hi, Dr. Drew. Well, I have three quick points.
KATHY: First of all, Moira, I think that you`re activism and your equality for rights, I agree with you there. I think that if you want to take the shirt off, walk down the street, you should be able to do that. The second point is that I have a seven-year-old son, so morally, I know legally you can do that. Morally, I would not like my son to see that or have to explain that to him.
And the third point is I`ve been following the story about a lady who is -- has been a life-long swimmer at the local public pool and she had breast cancer and had a mastectomy, so she continued her swimming at the local pool, but she went topless.
And there was a big fuss about it, and they threw her out, and then, they finally ruled she could swim topless at the pool. So, there`s a legal, a moral, and I guess, a medical issue that I`m going to throw --
BLOOM: And what great consciousness-raising issue that is, to have a mastectomy survivor.
BLOOM: And as far as talking your kids, you know, I thought about that, too, because I have two kids, but what would you say? There is a woman walking down the street without a shirt on. I don`t think that much to explain.
PINSKY: What if you go to a beach in France? You just go, that`s how they do it here.
BLOOM: Right. But you know, I`d be less concerned about my son than about my daughter. And maybe she would feel some kind of social pressure that --
PINSKY: Oh, that`s interesting.
BLOOM: -- girls dress so skimpy to begin with. The next thing that they`re going to have to all walk around topless, you know? I mean, that would be more of a concern.
PINSKY: That`s really interesting. So, women are already tough enough about their bodies and about measuring against one another that here`s something that they`re going to be confronted with. I never thought about that. That`s interesting. Kathy in Virginia. Kathy, you have something to say?
KATHY, VIRGINIA: Yes, Dr. Drew, hi. I just think it`s kind of a silly point to be making.
KATHY: Men -- you know, the whole idea of men going after breasts and hips and, you know, idealizing certain body parts, there are hard wires for that, that`s survival of the species. We`re not too primitive a society for that.
KATHY: Until, you know, women, you`re not going to change women from being attracted to a powerful, stronger man, which is kind of what we`re hardwired to do for perpetuation of the species. Until you get rid of the strip club and places like that, it`s not that you`re not going to change it.
PINSKY: OK. Well --
KATHY: It`s always going to be a difference.
PINSKY: I`m not quite sure I get your point, Kathy, except to say that we are hardwired for predisposed to these sorts of preoccupations. I`ll grant you on that. I think Kathy sounds a little bit like Steve Santagati (ph) for just a second there. It`s kind of scared me, Kathy, a little bit. But, what about -- before we go to break, let me go to Moira and say what about places where people go to look at women?
JOHNSTON: Well, breasts can be sexual and they can also be non- sexual, and I think that`s based -- based on what the woman wants. It`s up to her. You know, every woman can choose for her breasts to be sexual or commercialized. And I`m perfectly, you know, an advocate of that. I`m also an advocate of a woman being able to bear her breasts in situations that are not sexual and not commercial.
PINSKY: Do you do both?
PINSKY: OK. So, I`m going to find out more about that, because I`m not quite sure what you`re referring to, but I want to hear where you do both. And more calls. Stay with us.
PINSKY: I`m back with Lisa Bloom and my so-called topless activist, Moira Johnston. And Moira, before the break, we found out a little something about you that completely confused the six guys behind the camera here. Wait a minute, there`s a commercial time when I can look and there`s a non-commercial time and she does both. What is it you`re doing?
JOHNSTON: Well, it is more important for me to do the activism, but I do reserve the right to use my breasts in a way that`s sexual and commercial and I am an advocate, like I said, for other women to choose when their breasts are sexual and when they`re not sexual and when they can be commercial or not.
PINSKY: Wait, Moira, I`m going interrupt you. You`re sort of speaking in code. Do you dance? Is that where the commercial piece comes in?
PINSKY: OK, you`re a dancer.
JOHNSTON: Yes. I`m an exotic dancer.
PINSKY: OK Got it. How long?
JOHNSTON: About six years.
PINSKY: OK. Does that make it easier for you to be a topless activist? I mean, does that sort of, you know what I mean, make it easier?
JOHNSTON: Well, I am confident about my body and I was confident before I started the job, but yes, of course, it reinforces the notion that I`m comfortable with people seeing my body in spaces such as public spaces.
PINSKY: Again, the men are very confused by this, Lisa.
BLOOM: You know, first of all, I think all men support her right to go topless.
BLOOM: But, you know, I think she`s winning me over.
BLOOM: I think she -- first of all, I`m going to err on the side of women`s equal rights.
PINSKY: OK. Fair enough.
BLOOM: And second of all, she is very confident about her body. You know, when you think about breast feeding, which you mentioned earlier, what is people`s hang up about breast feeding? They don`t want to see a woman`s breast in public even when it`s for the most natural use which is feeding a baby.
I mean, we`re all very hung up about that. So, she seems very confident and poised, doesn`t have any ulterior motive, so, I salute you, Moira. You won me over.
PINSKY: OK. Let`s see if --
JOHNSTON: Thank you.
PINSKY: -- with the callers. Christina in Florida. Christina, what do you got?
CHRISTINA, FLORIDA: Hi, Dr. Drew. My question is, I lived in Europe half the year, I`m an American. And I love the fact that women can be breastless at the beach. They can breastfeed in public, and it`s not about being an activist or pushing a button or anything of that kind. And why can`t we be like that?
PINSKY: Moira, do you have a reaction to that?
JOHNSTON: Well, I mean, we can. In New York State, we can.
BLOOM: Yes. And a bunch of other jurisdictions. But you know what, I`ve been to Europe many times, including a few weeks ago. I never seen anybody walking around topless in the streets.
BLOOM: On the beach. Yes. Some of the beaches, not even the majority.
PINSKY: So let`s -- let`s sort of put a nice bow around this. Gentlemen, you guys feeling better about this? Are you confused still? Steve`s good.
BLOOM: They`re all giving the thumb`s up.
PINSKY: They`re OK.
PINSKY: But Moira, honestly, I`m not so comfortable, Lisa`s daughter or my daughter would be walking around like that.
BLOOM: Well, that`s good question.
PINSKY: But we support your right to do so. Does it have to come to this, I guess, is the question. Wouldn`t it be better if we just --
JOHNSTON: That`s another --
PINSKY: Go ahead.
JOHNSTON: That`s another important point. I`m kind of pointing to a flaw as well, because after working in the adult entertainment industry, I understand and know very well that men like to see women`s breast and like to see other women`s breasts in public as well. However, how many of them would feel comfortable with their girlfriend, wife, daughter, mother, or sister doing the same?
PINSKY: None. Yes.
JOHNSTON: That`s how many.
PINSKY: But we`ll have to chew on that on our own, because I`ve got to go on break. Moira, thanks for joining us today. Lisa, of course, always a pleasure. Appreciate you coming in.
JOHNSTON: Thank you.
BLOOM: Staying abreast of the topic.
PINSKY: Thank you. I appreciate you doing exactly that. And we will be back after this.
PINSKY: Back to the phones on any topic. Alex in Florida. Alex, what do you got?
ALEX, FLORIDA: Hey. Doc, I had a severe cramp so bad that it leaves me (INAUDIBLE).
PINSKY: Are they at night?
ALEX: It could be any time, swimming, working, sleeping.
PINSKY: Are you on any medication?
ALEX: No, sir.
PINSKY: OK. And how old are you?
ALEX: Fifty now.
PINSKY: OK. One thing I will tell you, Alex, I don`t know -- again, I don`t have enough time to really do a real assessment on you here, but the one thing I will ask you talk to your doctor about is something called restless leg syndrome. Sometimes, people sort of mistake restless leg for cramps and you kind of got to get up in the middle of the night and stamp your feet around and you get these incredible pains in your legs.
They feel restless and you kind of move them around. It can be something caused by problems in the back, problems in the central nervous system, or it can be an isolated phenomenon of itself. It`s something that is relatively easily treated, but it`s not treated like muscle cramps. It`s something an imbalance of the dope mean (ph) system in the spinal cord to talk about what fancy going on in your spinal cord.
And there are medications that can really do a lot to help that. So, if these cramps occur, particularly at night, or when you`re like sitting in a theater or something, that`s a sign that it`s restless leg syndrome. Thanks for that call, Alex.
Now, I want to take a second here to kind of pull the curtain back on our show just for a second, if you guys don`t mind. If you ever wonder, Al, if you go ahead and turn the camera around for me, away from me, back to -- there we go. That`s our control room right there, and if you ever wonder who is in my ear when I`m saying, hey, whoa, whoa, are they talking to me, see if we can get that shot up.
I want to show you a picture of the person that has been in my ear all this time. There is Sarah Cardin (ph). Sarah is leaving us after today and she will be missed. Sarah, I don`t know what I`m going to do without your lovely voice in my head. I`ll probably think -- if you see me responding to the -- to stimuli and talking to people out in the world, it`s -- I think Sarah`s in my head and I`m talking to her.
But, we will miss you. It is her last day here and thank you for all you`ve done to us. You`ve been a really important part of our program. Again, you will be missed. Bye, Sarah. OK. Sarah`s -- and I`ve been driving her crazy, so she`ll be glad not to have me in her head. So, again, I want to thank you all for watching tonight.
Just a quick comment about the teen moms. I think and I hope you were convinced that that show has had the impact we all hoped it would. By giving kids a relatable source and showing them real consequences, it changes their behavior. The decline in teen pregnancy has been associated with the onset of these programs. So, I`m happy they`re doing them for one.
Thank you all for watching. Thank you all for calling. Nancy Grace begins right now.