This morning I read one of the most offensive things I’ve read in a long time. Maybe ever. I’m not one to get offended easily since I tend to see two sides of most situations even if I don’t agree, so for me to be offended is kind of a big deal. To me, anyway.
There is a
buffoon man from my home state who gets to spew whatever nonsense he feels like as the managing editor of a local paper called The Journal Enquirer. He claims that single mothers are to blame for the decline in newspaper sales. This in and of itself is a head scratcher as to how one gets to that logic, but his reasoning is what’s offensive. As a woman and a former single mom, I am offended.
Even in a supposedly prosperous and well-educated state like Connecticut, how strong can demand for those things be now that half the children are being raised without two parents at home and thus acquiring developmental handicaps; 70 percent of community college and state university freshmen have not mastered what used to be considered basic high school skills; poverty has risen steadily even as government appropriations in the name of remediating poverty have risen steadily; and democracy has sunk so much that half the eligible population isn’t voting in presidential elections, 65 percent isn’t voting in state elections, and 85 percent isn’t voting in municipal elections?
First of all, excuse me? My oldest son has never had a “developmental handicap” due to his being raised by a single mother for the first 7+ years of his life. He has always been well-rounded, sweet, personable, got good grades, and tested highly on aptitude and IQ tests required for his PPT meetings in relation to his ADHD.
I will give him one thing: poverty is high among single parents, especially in states with ridiculously high costs of living (like Connecticut). Yes. But that isn’t always the case and just because someone is poor doesn’t mean that they’re bad parents, illiterate, unaware of world events, and don’t vote.
Let’s see how many more stereotypes this guy can pull out of his hat, shall we?
Indeed, newspapers still can sell themselves to traditional households — two-parent families involved with their children, schools, churches, sports, civic groups, and such. But newspapers cannot sell themselves to households headed by single women who have several children by different fathers, survive on welfare stipends, can hardly speak or read English, move every few months to cheat their landlords, barely know what town they’re living in, and couldn’t afford a newspaper subscription even if they could read. And such households constitute a rising share of the population.
Is he really trying to say that single mothers aren’t involved with their children? That’s a crock of bull if I’ve ever heard one. In fact, I was thinking just last night about how my relationship with Red was when it was just he and I and funny enough was going to write about it today. Then I read this drivel.
Since my son has ADHD I was very involved in his school to make sure that he didn’t fall through the cracks. It was what needed to be done for my child, so I did it. No, I am not involved in church but that is my personal choice. One has nothing to do with the other at all. It just means that either you’re (actively) religious or you’re not. Period.
I don’t know about you, but most of the single mothers that I know don’t have children fathered by multiple men. Most of them are women, like me, who are intelligent women who happened to be in a relationship with the wrong man. Had a child or more, it didn’t work out, they moved on. The end.
Yes, there are single mothers who fit the stereotypes that this man is spewing, but they aren’t the norm. All of the single and formerly single moms that I know are more like me. I had a professional career in the health insurance industry before the birth of my last baby. I have never been on welfare, even when I was laid off and dead broke. I speak English fluently and very well, thank you. I have always been a responsible renter and have never skipped out on my rent. And even at my poorest I’m pretty sure I could plunk down the money for a newspaper if I chose to.
But guess what? I don’t need to buy a newspaper. I get all of the news that I want (and some that I don’t) with a quick click of a button. I can read what I want, when I want for free. Even now that I’m married and a “traditional family”.
Not only are this individual’s comments incredibly offensive, they are not based on any kind of fact whatsoever. He is just spewing garbage for the sake of causing a stir and no other reason. The two biggest questions I have here are this: 1) Why aren’t single fathers included? and 2) Wouldn’t single parents be most apt to buy the newspaper, if even only on Sunday for coupons?
I’m heartsick and disgusted that single mothers are still treated like pariahs by some (look at my illiterate self using big words!) when they should be applauded for doing one of the hardest jobs a woman could do.
Are you or do you know a single mom? What do you think of this “gentleman’s” comments?
Image credit: Jon S via Flickr.com