The XX Factor

Bristol Palin: The Cautionary Tale Worth $14,000

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that Bristol Palin will be paid $14,000 to speak at a $125-a-person event benefitting the Lifehouse , a Kentucky-based home for single mothers. The center provides everything from shelter and health care to Bible studies for expectant moms. Lifehouse Executive Director Joan Smith says she hired abstinence advocate Bristol to publicize the home, but she won’t go so far as to call the teen mom a role model. “A role model to me would be that young woman who chooses to complete her high school and go directly into college and remain chaste until she’s married,” Smith tells the Courier-Journal. So if Bristol isn’t a role model, why is she speaking? With her Levi Johnston-related drama, she’s a cautionary tale for other young women who might go down the same path. “They always think the father of their child is going to be there,” Smith says.

Though it might be strange to simultaneously denigrate Bristol and yet ask her to speak at your benefit, this has always been Bristol’s complicated M.O. as an abstinence spokeswoman : She pushes a “do as I say, not as I’ve done” kind of message. And for $14,000 per speech, perhaps a little shaming from an extra-conservative nonprofit is just part of the bargain.

Photograph of Bristol Palin by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images.