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Monday, February 4, 2013

Playing the Blame Game

I recently read a great article about single motherhood entitled SINGLE MOTHERS AREN’T THE PROBLEM TODAY, ABSENT FATHERS ARE (by Cara Lemieux). 

I am very much like the author in that I get infuriated by those news reports stating that single mothers cause their children to do poor in school and that our children are destined for failure.  I also get infuriated because everyone points the figure at single mothers but forget to mention the deadbeat dads who walk away.

One of the highlights of the article is quoted below:
I can’t help but think that the way we frame single motherhood, while neglecting to mention the absent fathers, is one of the most extreme forms of gender discrimination that exists today.  And because of it, not only is mom typically left to pick up the pieces of the broken home and figure out how to put a life together for herself and her child(ren), the pressure of that is compounded by the extremely negative connotation associated with being a single mother.  And, in my opinion, that negativity can be as harmful as poverty and lack of resources.
And because the dialogue about single motherhood is framed in this way - single moms get hit with a triple whammy.  Society hands them all of the blame for the situation their families are in, while they shoulder the responsibility of raising these children alone, and at the same time they are cited as a main reasons our society is going to hell in a hand-basket.  But very few seem to be focused on the male’s role in all of this.  And that needs to change.
Perhaps, if we shifted our focus and held men more accountable for their roles in creating these single mother households, then we would begin to be able to figure out how to prompt a positive change in society.  Until then, we are just adding one more thing for the single mother to worry about – seeing herself unfairly demonized in another headline.
Now, I am not saying that women should be dismissed of the responsibility - what I am saying is - if we really want to change the statistics, we need to start talking to the party that is abandoning their responsibilities – not to the party that is doing everything in their power to live up to theirs.
This article clearly articulates my thoughts on single parenting and the blame game that is often played with single moms.  Most of us are trying and doing the best that we can while dad is doing nothing.  If, for some reason, our child doesn't measure up to your standards, talk to him not to me. 

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