As I prepare to co-host an upcoming “Battle of the Sexes” event (which I absolutely LOVE! You must come if you’re in the area. See the flyer on the facebook page for this blog), one of my impending subjects we will challenge is the “issue” of single motherhood.
This topic is important and deserves continuous discussion because this particular demographic needs all the advocacy it can get. Every question, from “do single mothers deserve to be highlighted on television?” to “do single mothers deserve their own “father’s day” cards?”, exposes us as the shameful underbelly of this otherwise pro-marriage, patriarchal society. It is inferred, or at times even blatantly stated, that WE are what’s wrong with the children of today. No fathers around. No education. Low morals. Too independent to keep a man. Too incompetent to raise productive and capable children.
What’s even more troubling is that although single mothers are not confined to one specific race or class level, White single mothers are often lost in this conversation. Carolyn Castigliac, a comedian and writer, sums it perfectly in her recent article “Please, No More Articles About Single Mothers (Except This One)“ how society differentiates White single mothers from the mothers of color. This White, divorced woman writes:
….We don’t seem to really exist in this phantom world where single mothers are [either] White teens or poor Black ladies who can’t get their Black baby daddies to marry them because (haven’t you heard?) there’s a “problem” in the Black community where Black people don’t seem to be marrying each other or barely literate Latinas who came here (probably illegally) and crapped out a bunch of anchor babies. Trash. Welfare Queens. This is what the world thinks of these women…”
Certainly, there are mothers that are absolutely unsuitable for the procreation of humankind. ABSOLUTELY (and I know a few). But perhaps too much criticism and not enough praise for our constant work and sacrifice is what keeps me riled up. And quite simply, the lack of respect from our male counterparts, who can assemble their own football team with just a few strokes, and yet are never really held accountable for actually RAISING the children.
Cheers to single mothers who do it and do it well! Everyday should be a day in your honor…