The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Oh my God, I agree with Ann Coulter...

The subject of women who can't find healthy relationships having children deliberately came up. I remember this subject arising a couple of years ago, and it's important enough to address it again.

Remember that I believe a couple of things:

1) Healthy people can find healthy relationships.

2) One of the simplest, most powerful things that makes a difference in a child's life is being raised in a two-parent home. That single thing is such an indicator in regard to poverty, crime, and teenaged pregnancy, as well as drug use and success in education.

Now, given that I believe these things, how could I possibly approve of a woman choosing to deliberately get pregnant without a partner? Given the two basic things I believe, I would have to conclude that:

1) She has avoided doing the work necessary to heal herself, is actually unable to do so.

2) The chances are that she does NOT take responsibility for her problems, blaming it on "there aren't any good men," etc. I can't see how being unable or unwilling to have a healthy relationship with an adult is qualification to have a child.

3) Not only will she not have as many resources available to the child, but she will pass her poisonous attitudes on. I shudder to think of the unconscious attitudes about men and manhood passed to the little boys and/or girls in her care.

ᅠNoting that single parents are more likely to raise children who seem incapable of forming healthy bonded relationships--men who have "baby mommas" rather than wives. Women who have "baby daddies" not husbands, it is clear that there is a chain of damage that goes on and on.

ᅠBut, you might ask, doesn't a woman have a right to her own body? Well, I never said I wanted to make it illegal. I said I think it's chickenshit, and incredibly selfish, treating a baby like a living doll, an object to project your love and need onto. And if she isn't financially stable enough to adopt, then what the hell are we saying? She isn't healthy enough to create a relationship with another human being, isn't solvent enough to convince the state she'd make a good adoptive parent...but I'm supposed to feel more sympathy for her than I do for the kid she will be supporting, nurturing, and passing her values and/or poverty to?

I won't vote against her right to do it, but I'll be damned if I'll give my approval. Human relationships are, after survival itself, probably the most common thing on this planet. Healthy people have healthy relationships. We can heal ourselves. It just isn't that hard to have a relationship, and every time I see people with a horrid history there, I see people who lie to themselves, con themselves, expect to get more than they're willing to give, blame others for their own issues.

I care FAR less for the whims of an adult man or woman (and please remember the zero respect I have for men who do not care for, or raise their children) than I do for the welfare for the innocent boys and girls just starting their lives.

This is one of the things I LOVE about Bill Cosby. He said exactly what I believe concerning parental responsibility. I've lost count of the women who got knocked up having unprotected sex with near-strangers, then down the road when those kids run the streets whining "I did the best I could!" No, you didn't. You could have kept your damned legs together, or insisted he wear a rubber, or get better birth control. Don't you dare tell me you did your best.

This is bad enough in the white community. But in the black community, it is suicide and murder. We don't have as much of a safety net, and if we want our children to survive we MUST have more "conservative" values. To insist on the "right" to have children despite our inability to create a healthy relationship is operating on the animal level at worst, the child level at best. And children cannot raise children. This is my attitude, and I won't back down from it even an inch. Any action that makes the world safer for children is "good." And the actions that increase their risk is "bad." An oversimplification, and I'm sure there are exceptions, but this ain't one of them.


Watched Bush leave the field, heard the boos, and felt sad. I've taken a huge raft of shit about this over the years, but I'll say it again: I don't believe Bush is a bad man, and I don't think he's stupid. I think he was over his head, that the Peter Principle kicked in big time, and didn't have the kind of synthesizing intellect necessary to resolve multiple inputs into singular decisions. As a result, he trusted "gut hunches" which were based on a model of a world that doesn't exist any more, and ideological positions about "Trickle Down" and "Government doesn't work" that were, without nuance, simply disastrous. I could be wrong about this, but my honest belief is that he wanted to be a good president. A great president. He wanted to serve the country, but didn't test his reality map constantly and effectively. 9/11 gave him an avalanche of power and authority, at a time when a delicate hand was needed more than a sledgehammer. When our better angels were subdued by a call to wreak havoc on those who had hurt us. I think that he was of a class of people, and surrounded by a class of people, who honestly believed that the wealthy and powerful aren't just wealthier and more powerful than the rest of us, but BETTER and more trustworthy.

I've known enough people who feel that way, but are simultaneously good and decent people, that it causes little stress to extend that to this man. God, I'm glad to see him go. I think the country sustained genuine damage under his watch...but if I'm fair, and I try to be, I give the sitting president responsibility for everything that happens after his first year, with some wiggle-room after the first six months. Was he responsible for 9/11? There is honest room for disagreement, but my answer is "No." I think that that one was a brilliant stroke, out of left field, and Monday-morning quarterbacking identifying a document talking about airplanes and Osama, out of the countless hundreds of thousands of documents coming through the White House, is ignoring the fact that no one believes something can happen until something like it happens, and nothing quite like it had ever happened before, anywhere. So, no, I don't blame him. And it is only fair to give him some of the credit for no other Al Queda attacks on American soil since then. But man oh man...I've got plenty of other stuff to blame him for, more than I know of any other President of my lifetime. We are in a terrible situation, but you know? It isn't Bush's fault for being elected. It's our fact for electing him. It's our fault for having a system where the son of a better man can piggy-back on Daddy's wealth and rolodex and take the helm of the ship of state. He wasn't a President: he was a prince. He inherited his office. If he'd had to do the work to get there from, say, Obama did...he would have been a better, stronger, smarter man. And it is quite possible that he had the potential to be that man. He just didn't have to be.

We can't afford that. Ever again. I don't know what the hell you do about that, because power wants to perpetuate itself, and pass itself to children and grandchildren. But I feel nothing but sadness at the jeering and shoe-throwing. I don't like seeing anyone treated that way, even if I understand the emotions behind the response.

Maybe, like Hannibal Lector, I simply abhor discourtesy.


Steve Perry said...

"S And it is only fair to give him some of the credit for no other Al Queda attacks on American soil since then."

Well, that doesn't necessarily follow. There weren't any such attacks *before* he was elected President, either, and the only one we had was on his watch. The man allegedly responsible is theoretically still out there, so when it comes to it, the score is Terrorists 1, Bush 0.

Given just a couple of things about security that I know a little about, not much of what was done by Homeland Security would have stopped a determined effort in those areas. And there are a plethora of places about which I know zip that I suspect are no safer than they were before.

Just to be bright and cheery and all.

Some yahoo posted on my blog last night, offering that "they" were going to assassinate our ambassadors and others if America didn't pull out of Iraq, Afghanistan, and stop supporting Israel.

The loons are still among us.

Daniel Keys Moran said...

The subject of women who can't find healthy relationships having children deliberately came up.

It takes two to tango. I don't know what percentage of fatherless children are caused by women who don't want a dad around, but it's got to be dwarfed by the number of fatherless children caused by men who don't want to be around.


As to Bush not being a bad man, as a child Bush blew up frogs with firecrackers, as a college student branded other college students with hot wires, as a governor mocked a woman he was executing, and as President committed sufficient crimes he'll have a hard time traveling abroad without fear of being arrested and hauled off to face war crimes trials.

Yeah, I think he's a bad guy. There are plenty of fine conservatives out there -- McCain, Bob Dole, Bush the Elder; among the younger crowd, Mike Huckabee and Sam Brownback ... you can make the point that this one guy is a vile human being without having it turn into a political rant.

Anonymous said...

Steve B: I wish I had the capacity for your compassion. Maybe someday.

Steve P: There weren't any such attacks *before* he was elected President... Er: not? Wasn't there a truck bomb in the basement of the Twin Towers, some while before?


Anonymous said...

As a woman, I had my fair share of unprotected and protected sex and through God's grace I never got pregnant.

As I got older and more educated, I realized this: if i cannot see myself married and stuck ;) with you for the rest of my life, then i really don't have any business putting myself in a situation where i would be having your child and dealing with you and your drama for the rest of my life (assuming the father would be active in the child's life).

I know so many friends of mine who are "book smart" but when it comes to relationships, just don't make sense (hey I was in that group too). My one friend Kathleen-she could've done anything she wanted but she got caught up with a man who did not do anything for his ONE child he already had-and ended up having 4 kids by him. Even though he is "there" physically- emotionally and financially he is NOT. He is like a 5th child. I figured to myself, she must WANT to be a single parent. My other girlfriend KNEW her "man" wasn't sh*t and for some reason she just HAD to have his baby. Just so she could somehow have some "link" to him. Has he ever sent $1 in support? NEVER. As a matter of fact, he is laid up with another female. And she STILL can't get over him. But you know what? She LOVES her baby, cares for her baby, and would kill for her baby. Another man was ready to step up and take his place, but...some people like crap.

Steve- I also believe that most of these women HONESTLY believe these men will stay because these men sell them a bill of goods (just to get the sex) and they fall for it. Some people look for love in all the wrong places.

I don't know what happened but when i realized how my parents kept a tight reign on me, even though i did dirt and hated it, when i look back, there is something to be said about having conservative values. If a man is not willing to make you his wife, then you shouldn't be having his child (let alone children).

Then there are some women who feel they can afford (financially) to be a single parent and don't believe those social ills will reach them. The man is just a transaction. If he sticks around, cool. If not, cool too.

Kami said...

To the shoe throwers: Whatever you think of the man, isn't it childish to throw shoes? I mean, come on. We're all adults here, aren't we? He's gone. Let him go and move on. There is way kewler stuff to do than cling to hatred, like make an effort to start fixing the country.

Ronn said...

I have three sisters. All three have children. Not one is with the man who fathered those children.

The sister under me was beaten and abused by the husband that she had two of her children with. She chose to leave him and raise her children. As it turned out she picked bad men all the way through. All three of hers dropped out of school and my 17 year old neice now has a three month old baby.

The sister below her isn't 100% sure who her three are by. There is one man who claims them and he's probably right. But he also beat and abused my sister. So that's two.

My youngest sister married a man, got pregnant and the INSTANT he found out, he took off. The only reason he didn't get away is because he was in the Navy. Despite that little fact, he got out of the Navy as soon as he learned that he would be forced to give up his check.

Strike three...

Myself and my wife are struggling every day to raise our three. We have been together for 17 years and we make mistakes out the ying yang. I'm hoping and working towards all of mine graduating and going to college or starting thier own businesses.

So does that make me a success? I wouldn't presume to judge my sisters. They made thier choices and have to live with them for life. I am disappointed, but then I didn't have to go through what they did.

Did they get pregnant on purpose? Two were married. One wasn't. I don't know what all this means, but I do know that life kicks such a sh*tstorm at people sometimes that they react instead of act. I wish that it was as easy as making good choices all the time, or even some of the time, but I have yet to see that in my family.

Or anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

Wow Ronn. That was deep. Really. I couldn't imagine being put through that.

Could I ask you something: were you and your sisters raised with both parents in the house?

Funny thing is both of my friends were raised in 2 parent household. As a matter of fact-most of them were. And the thing is most if not all of them ended up single parents...

Nancy Lebovitz said...

I don't know if I'm an outlier, but I don't know any women who've deliberately had children when they didn't want the father around, nor have any of the people I know told me that they were raised by a mother who chose single parenthood. What I'm wondering is whether it's possible for that to be a good enough choice-- the odds are a crude measure, and I wonder if a woman who's making a decent income and who has help from friends and/or family has significantly worse odds for her kids than most families.

As for women who make choices which are obviously bad to any observer, part of the problem is the culture, which teaches that love should override everything, including good sense.

Which segues nicely into George what extent are people responsible for their blind spots?

As for George Bush, I think he's moderately stupid and somewhat bad. If he weren't stupid, he would have realized he wasn't fit to be president. Dan Moran posted a list of evidence for his mean streak.

However, if I'm right that he was not capable of knowing he couldn't be a good president, a lot of the blame goes to people at the top of his party who let be a candidate.

Anonymous said...

Wow Ronn. That was deep. Really. I couldn't imagine being put through that.

Could I ask you something: were you and your sisters raised with both parents in the house?

Funny thing is both of my friends were raised in 2 parent household. As a matter of fact-most of them were. And the thing is most if not all of them ended up single parents...

Steve Perry said...

Kami --

Maybe waiting for karma to come round is the way to go, but if you believe somebody has done something criminal, aren't there consequences for such actions?

Somebody runs over your kid, you gonna just let that go without feeling any rancor?

There are a lot of folks out there whose kids are dead because of what Bush did, as surely as if he shot them himself.

The man came to power in a time of peace and prosperity, with a full treasury, and eight years later, is responsible for two active wars, the biggest debt ever, and if not altogether responsible for the economy being in the toilet, certainly at least partly so. U.S. relations with the rest of the world are sour, and half the clandestine agencies in the country can listen in on our phones legally, stick us in jail without benefit of redress, legally, torture us while we are there, legally, or ship us overseas for a nastier government to pound on.

Let bygone by bygones might be okay after the football game on Friday night, but this man has done massive damage worldwide. I don't think intent matters here -- evil is as evil does.

He makes Nixon look like a saint. Wins my vote for worst president ever.

A couple of thrown shoes are the least he can expect. Harsh language isn't even that.

Ronn said...

To Anonymous -

My father split when I was three. He stayed around long enough to make us and then he apparently had somewhere else that he needed to be.

It wasn't all bad, he did try to stay in touch and I even lived with him for 2 years. But it was a case of too little, too late.

My mother raised us by herself until I was 15 and then we all sort of went our own ways.

I'm sure there are people out there with much worse stories though.

Marty S said...

Nancy: Bush was not elected just once! He was reelected after four years. For this, a lot of blame goes to the Democrats who put up such lame candidates that someone like Bush could win two elections.

CronusKiller said...

I personally am skeptical of the assumed need that a child needs both parents of opposite genders in any fundamental sense, though I believe it does help because it's socially unmarked and won't recieve any flak from society. I tend to believe a supportive familial community is the most beneficial, moreso than a nuclear household.

I know I would eventually like a child (ideally one, but I'm a bit flexible), but I'm more ambivalent about a relationship- If I hit my economic criteria for a child, hopefully by personal ideal age bracket, I will start planning conception, whether or not I'm in a relationship. Even if I'm in one I still won't reproduce unless I have enough money to raise the child by myself as a safety net.

If I've naturally fallen into a relationship by that point that's all fine and good, but groping around for some guy because I want to have kids sound disingenuous to the guy, and I fear being in a convenience marriage, settling, or being settled for much more than being single, and I think forcing a relationship before kids increases that risk.

Steve Perry said...

The notion that raising kids is, done right, not the easiest of tasks makes sense. Doing it by yourself without benefit of an SO or is a strike against you, but can be overcome.

An extended family is better ...

Steven Barnes said...

I absolutely agree that there are more men abandon their children than there are women who deliberately get pregnant without being bonded.
CronusKiller: for the sake of your future child, I hope you change your mind. But if you don't, I certainly wish the both of you luck.

Unknown said...

I've actually only known one woman IRL who deliberately became a single mother, and her situation was that she adopted a nine-year-old through the county while still single, and later met a man and married - so not really the same situation that Steve's talking about. So, maybe you're not too much of an outlier, Nancy. (I have known my share of people who look for love in all the wrong places, though.)

Online, on the other hand, I've encountered more than one single mother by choice (though I still agree with Dan that choosing to get pregnant while not bonded is way less common than fathers who choose to abandon their kids).

Anonymous said...

Hi Ronn,

Thanks for being so open and answering my question. It is beautiful to see that you prevented the cycle from continuing with your family.

Keep it up. Your children depend on it. Even your sisters' children. Maybe watching you, a good man stepping up to the plate, they will seek the same.

Lester Spence said...

Most folks get cause and effect confused here.

Single motherhood doesn't cause poverty, crime, etc. Poverty causes single motherhood, crime, etc. How many of us here know professional women who've chosen to have children by themselves?

What you're in effect saying is that poor women shouldn't have kids.

Someone mentioned the importance of extended family. THIS is the key. Obama brings his mother-in-law into the White House not simply for security, but because he knows what perhaps we need to recall. It is far better to have a FAMILY raise children together, than to have one or two do it alone.

To the extent that the constitution of families, the resources they have to be safe and healthy, are aided by government, getting the cause and effect line right leads to more sound policy prescriptions. Thinking that POVERTY leads to single motherhood rather than the other way around, leads to anti-poverty prescriptions rather than anti-single-women-having-children prescriptions.

Nancy Lebovitz said...

Why don't you think Bush is a bad man? There's a sense in which everyone is doing the best they can all the time, but Bush's ideas of what constitutes good action are so damaged that I'm not sure what you mean by "bad". IIRC, there's a handy distinction in Nietzsche between bad and evil. "Bad" means unhealthy-- it's like rotten food, and there's no implication of blame. "Evil" isn't as life-centered, and I don't remember the details of the theory.

I'm sure Bush didn't mean to damage America, but I'm not sure he could have done much worse if he had been trying. He looks like a very unhappy man, but I don't know how much is that he thought he did anything wrong and how much is that people don't seem to like him and he can't figure out why.

How many children have lost parents and more in the war in Iraq? How many more have parents with PTSD? Even if it wasn't an intrinsically bad idea, what possible excuse was there for not starting out by learning as much as possible about the cultures and the language?

What kind of parent is someone whose day job is torturer going to be?

It seems to me that you're expecting women (most of them probably from homes where there was no model of a healthy relationship) to know better than to have children on their own, but not expecting George Bush with his Ivy League education to have some idea that sources of knowledge beyond his gut are useful.

What do you mean when you say it isn't that hard to have a relationship?

Master Plan said...

I would tend to agree with Lester.

I know few (one) people who choose to have kids, deliberately, without a partner.

I think it is more accurate to say that many kids of single mothers are so because the dude left.

Most dudes, not universal, but common, are not terribly willing\interested in dating\marrying a woman who already has kids. Similarly having a kid and being a single mother presents certain lifestyle challenges to dating\finding a new husband\partner.

Poverty and single parenthood often go hand-in-hand for a variety of reasons, particularly for single women (glass ceiling).

It seems a straw man to criticize single women for getting deliberately pregnant when it is a apparently statistical irregularity.

Now in a specific case of a woman who cannot find a good relationship and chooses to have a kid anyway, then maybe we are on to something, but that seems a pretty rare bird.

More often you'd see that pattern Ronn suggested. Failed relationship with abusive jerk who leaves followed by more of the same. Since people tend to remain as they are and follow what they've done before that's a trickier cycle to break, but it's also unrelated to their decision, if indeed it was a conscious and deliberate choice, to have kids.

Similarly then in that more common situation of poverty begetting poverty and bad relationships begetting bad relationships the male role models are probably going to be jerks as well, which isn't going to be very positive for the kids involved.

Because of all this I think it's statistically difficult to separate out poor women who end up single parents and other women who might deliberately chose to be single parents. Because of *that* it's hard to say what the effect of being raised by a single parent (male or female) might have on a child since the other bits of data regarding familial support, financial situation, etc, are going to be lumped in with the rest of the poor-single-parent data.

The assumptions seem to be:

Women who deliberately choose to have a child without a husband are obviously man haters.

Women who deliberately choose to have a child without a husband are poor.

Women who deliberately choose to have a child without a husband are treating the child like a doll or lifestyle accessory.

I don't think any of those follow based on the current data regarding single mothers.

I have to ask if Mr. Barnes has seen a large number of these women. Or if we're seeing a large number of women who get "stuck" with a child by their at-the-time partner and *then* become bitter. And if that is the case then...does it really say that much about them as is implied?

The underlying argument\position, that man-hating women of poor economic means who are treating their kids like accessories or pets should not be having kids...that's of course totally correct.

Of course a two parent family of ignorant poor bigots who treat their children like possessions shouldn't really be having kids either IMO.

Anonymous said...

I honestly respect and admire your ability to so earnestly seek out the potential for good in any person. Your example has inspired me to [try to] do the same, but when it comes to the former President, I don't, or won't allow myself to, have that capacity.

I'm not, at present, going to run down the encyclopedia of reasons I can't buy into the theory that he was just doing the best he could and was 'over his head,' etc. What I will say is this:
No President, and especially him, runs the country alone. And in G.W. Bush's case, his primary adviser just happened to be one of the most knowledgeable, experienced, admittedly power-hungry, unscrupulous, non-empathetic, and ruthless non-dictators of the 20th Century. His name, as we all know, is Richard 'Dick' Cheney.

Even if I could buy into your argument about W, Dick C. knew exactly what was going on and acted accordingly.

Master Plan said...

This kind of thing:

Child-development experts say that it will be years before they can make judgments about the children of single mothers by choice. There are studies showing that children of single mothers have a high incidence of emotional and academic problems, but those studies have focused mostly on poor families, many headed by teen-age mothers. There have been no long-term studies of children with single mothers who are mature and financially stable.

Two dozen middle-class single mothers, interviewed around the country, told similar stories: they wanted children very much and would like to be married, but time was running out biologically and Mr. Right had not yet appeared. They could afford to support a family on their own, and they were unwilling to miss out on motherhood simply because they were not married.


Anonymous said...

i'm glad im not the only one who was saddened. However, I believe he KNEW what he was doing every step of the way; I think he's generally badminded, and evil incarnate, lol. STILL, I felt bad that he was booed, I literally got a little misty eyed and felt sorry for him. Although the shoe incident was pretty darned funny, I couldn't help but sympathize with how he might have felt: embarrassed, ashamed...

I have a soft spot for the underdog, even if it's a rabid pit bull...

Marty S said...

George Bush was a cowboy. He road into Iraq for glory expecting to be hailed as the savior of the Iraqi people.He did this without properly evaluating possible consequences of his actions. He most probably did this not because he was a bad person, but because of an inferiority complex and the need to prove he was as good or better than his brother and father.

Anonymous said...

I can remember as a little girl believing that a boy would never tell you he loved you unless he truly did. I can remember as a teenager, my friends and I worrying about keeping “our man” doing what ever it took to prove how much we loved them. At this age no one thought about getting “caught” because only stupid girls got pregnant, besides if you and him were true soul mates you would get married and it would be beautiful just like the movies.Clearly my focus was not on a baby but keeping a boyfriend and doing what I believed would keep him to my side. Unfortunately learning the difference between what you see in movies, or what sweet words are whispered to you and the reality of parenthood sometimes are hard to learn. Some women and men take decades to understand love does cost

What saved me was my single mother (My parents divorced when I was 13). My mother was a teenage mother she had me a few months before she was married. She understood first had the hardships of raising children without support both physically and financially. She pushed us. She model good behavior. My mom went back to school got her Bachelors Degree with us tagging alone. She became a successful community organizer. My sisters and I did not have children out of wedlock.
I think the separation of our parents in many ways saved my life.

My father influence was not good. He was not raised in a way that allowed him to value us or provide more than money. His lack of presents was not the problem his lack of interest was. Do I think things would be better with a two parent family YES but it also depends on the parents.

Final note one reason I married my husband: He was a single father raising his three sons.

Pagan Topologist said...

I know two professional women who chose to have children in their mid thirties without husbands/partners. One did so by artificial insemination from an anonymous donor. The other just found a man willing to have unprotected sex with her.

Unknown said...

Ann Coulter -- i hate to say it but i had to agree with her. The ducks at the view refused to let her complete her statement..

Bush -- no i don't think he is stupid or evil. I do feel he is the average guy. the average guy or gal SHOULD not be POTUS.

Bush is an example of white mediocrity. HOw many times do we find average white dudes in positions of power?

Mike R said...

At this point, is anyone really expecting to change anyone else's opinion on former President George W. Bush?

Mike R said...

After he's been out of office for ten or twenty years, I could see some people changing their opinions on the man. After one or two days? Not a chance.

Anonymous said...

Well, as a child of a single mother, I can't share your views here. Frankly, I'd rather be here than not. I won my first competetive scholarship in eighth grade, so I can't believe that lack of a second parent somehow doomed my childhood and eventual life. Like most people, if my life is messed up, it's due primarily to my own adult decisions.

First I'd like to mention the obvious "correlation is not causation", etc. etc. in terms of poverty, single-parentdom, education, etc. which I won't belabor because I'm sure you understand.

What seems clear to me is that single-parentdom is just one factor among many factors that shape lives, and shouldn't keep people from having children any more than, say, poverty - which would probably have a far worse impact, on average - should.

For once I'll be brief as we're doing a changing of the guard here at work and I've.

Some guy

Steven Barnes said...

1) I'm not saying poor women shouldn't have kids. I'm saying that single women who deliberately get pregnant out of wedlock are making what I consider to be a VERY bad decision. The fact that wealth can buffer the decision doesn't make it a good one. I have the same disrespect for the decision if the mother has money.
2) Healthy people can find healthy relationships. The inability to form a relationship with an adult bodes not well for the health of a relationship with a child. Children aren't pets.
3) There are plenty of kids who need to be adopted. Insisting on passing on your genes when you haven't healed yourself is, in my mind, selfishness.
4) I have known several women who CHOSE to get pregnant out of wedlock. And there were stresses involved that I did NOT see when women were widowed, divorced, or abandoned...and the kids seemed to pay the price.
5) I can't really tell you why I don't think Bush is a bad man. I just don't. I could be wrong, but he just doesn't set off that alarm button. Maybe that's his gift. I'm just being honest about my response to him. I think that he is incompetent, not stupid or bad.
6) I think the work necessary to heal to find a good relationship is trivial compared to the effort necessary for a damaged person to raise a child alone. It is heartbreaking to watch.
7) Yes, an extended family is a great support. But it is terribly unfair to expect grandparents to raise rambunctious pre-teens, or uncles to perform the role-modeling fathers should be doing. They have their own lives. Again, this is just selfishness, a childish "I wanna do what I wanna do!"
8) Saying that there is a correlation between single parentage doesn't imply causation, you're right. I'm not arguing that it does. I'm saying that it is risking your future child's health, happiness and security to bet AGAINST causation. If you lose that bet, who pays the price?
9) In essence, I'm saying that to deliberately START a child's life with a strike against her is just horrid, and a prime example of non-Adult behavior.
10) Women who accidentally get pregnant and choose to keep the baby, or are divorced, or abandoned, are in a different category. Having been raised by a single mother (divorced) I have the highest respect for the struggle involved. I am VERY aware of the costs. Anyone who chooses them deliberately is not actually aware of what they're doing, and I refuse to help "norm" that behavior. I see no conceivable benefit to the community, or the children.