Subscribe to blog via RSS

Search Blog

Single Mothers are the root of all evil?

Categories: Fighting the Stereotype

107 comments

I’m a bit of a pacifist. It takes a lot to get me red faced and spluttering things. If I’m going to freak out, it’s usually passive-aggressively, and only inside my head and whoa, I can come out with some doozy rebuttals at 3:00 in the morning (about 8 or 9 hours too late.)

I rarely comment on the politics or religion of anyone beyond my immediate family because I am reserved and fairly polite by nature and I’d rather walk into a posh restaurant wearing nothing but brown knee-highs and a fanny pack than get in a fight with anyone.

That said, I had to wait a few days to write this column because I was so infuriated by Ann Coulter’s recent declaration that Single Mothers are to blame for most of society’s evils (including rape and murder) that I thought I might start involuntarily dropping f-bombs if I started writing about it. Single Moms are singularly responsible for creating the psychopaths that are crusting our prison cells? I call bull on that, and I’d be willing to do it wobbly bodied, in just my socks.

I have to preface this by saying that I think Ann is a smart cookie. She knows how to stir up controversy, she knows how to self-promote, and I am aghast at the mind blowing thickness of her skin. The whole fact that I’m bothering to write about her here is testament that she’s doing a good job at something: this kind of publicity is what she wants. Controversy sells books. There is something fascinating about an unapologetically vehement woman. I get it.

Even though I fully realize that her intent is to cause fury and commotion, I still can’t believe that a childless woman would stoop this low. A woman who has never had children cannot understand what Motherhood is like: that’s a fact as much as every skewed statistic Ann selectively chooses for her book. To me, it’s a hell of a lot worse than Tom Cruise declaring that severely depressed women with post partum depression should buck up and take vitamins.

If you’ve been crouching somewhere under an Internet rock you may not have heard about Ann’s new book that claims, among other things, that, spurred by an “enabling” liberal media, single Moms have singularly created many of the monsters and ills of society: prison inmates, criminal minds, violent men, and social outcasts. She blames a lack of male influence, calling kids from Single Mom homes a “farm team for future criminals and outcasts.”

No where can I find evidence of any kind of acknowledgment that the men who may have left or abandoned these Mothers may have contributed to all this chaos and disaster.

I really don’t believe most sane people will give Ann’s words much merit here. To blame any one group for the downfall of society is appalling and horrific at worst, extremely dangerous at best. This kind of blind finger pointing is what causes world wars, for the love of all things holy. To pinpoint Single Mothers - many of whom have little choice in their status and are living their lives for their children - makes me nauseous.

I’ll be the first to admit my situation is not ideal. I would like Nolan’s Father to be a kind, responsible man, living with us: co-parenting, sharing the burdens and the joys. I would like to make sandwiches for two lunchboxes, and something other than Zoodles for dinner. I would love a witness to our lives and a hand over top of mine. I do believe that ultimately, our son yearns for that too.

But none of that is possible, and it’s not something that can be created by one person: and so what I want instead is to surround my son in love by family and friends, I want to provide him with excellent care when I can’t be there, and I want to learn to be a better person so that I can manage my relationship with his Father in a way that’s focused completely on the needs of our son.

I am actually still having problems writing this succinctly due to the bile that keeps rocketing up my chest, but I’ll provide you with a few to some interesting fodder on this topic. This first link is video footage of Ann’s appearance on the View. It marks the first time I’ve viewed the show that all the women, including Elizabeth Hasselback, seem to agree on something (and that’s that Ann is out of line here) And, here is a link to an LA Times blog post about Ann, the book, and the controversy, with a rebuttal by Work It Mom! blogger and well known single Mom blogger Rachel Sarah

In lieu of reading Ann Coulter’s book, I will be teaching my son tolerance. I’ll be teaching him not to judge anyone till he has walked a mile in their tired, threadbare shoes. I’ll be teaching him compassion, and honour. And hopefully, if I do things right, I’ll keep him out of prison and very far away from toxic women like Ann Coulter.



Subscribe to blog via RSS
Share this on:

107 comments so far...

  • I’m a single mom. I know little about Ann Coulter, other than that she is a conservative writer who likes to take extreme stands (which keeps her employed because there are so many extreme left stands to stand up against). Frankly, I don’t have time to read such things.

    However, I have to say that the “liberal media” (or whatever you would prefer to call it) does tend to coddle people who make mistakes, encouraging them to live in denial about the negative repercussions of their actions and the fact that they do, in fact, have control over / responsibility for them. On the Internet, this liberal coddling does seem to be the norm, and it really isn’t helpful. Because as single moms, we need to know what our kids are at risk for so that we can work that much harder to offset those risks.

    If anyone believes children in single-parent homes don’t face additional risks because of that, he/she is living in complete denial. Personally, I’d rather have all the pertinent information, and I don’t care about the attitude of anyone in the media, right or left.

    SKL  |  January 12th, 2009 at 5:25 pm

  • The thing that bothered me the most was reading the number of people who agreed with Coulter.

    It is a lack of parenting, not single parenting, that contributes to these societal ills. What about two-parent households where neither parent is ever around because both are working 80-hour week jobs and the nanny is let go after 6th grade?

    I wonder if Ms. Coulter finds it preferable for women to stay with abusive men just to stay married? Is it better for children to wake up to find their mother beaten to unconciousness on the floor? (my childhood before my mother finally said enough). Is it better to be with a man who belittles the child continually, telling them how worthless they are (I’ve seen how those kids have turned out too).

    Single parenthood is varied, and children can grow up in decent situations and less than decent situations, just as in two-parent families. The ill of society are parents who don’t make children a priority, something that happens, sadly, in families of all shapes and sizes.

    Mich  |  January 12th, 2009 at 9:19 pm

  • In my opinion, Ann Coulter does not engage in serious, thoughtful debate about anything. Her opinions aren’t worth my time and again, in my opinion, they certainly aren’t worth yours.

    Mary  |  January 13th, 2009 at 6:25 am

  • yes i saw her on the Today show and she made that statement about all the worlds evils are all the fault of single mothers. i think my jaw hit the floor. I also thought of you and this blog and wondered how she can possibly make such a blanket, untrue statement!!!

    My mother was a single mother - she tried hard not to be but what do you do when your husband leaves you with 2 kids under the age of 3? And then you remarry a couple of years later only to have him DIE before the oldest is even out of the 3rd grade?

    My sister and i (and our mother) are very fortunate to have lots of family and friends who loved us and supported us through the years. That support system means a whole lot more to children than 2 parents sharing the same roof. And we are both contributing to society - not damaging it or consuming tax dollars in prison!!

    oh how she infuriates me. i had never before watched her either. i wont even look at the view clip because i dont want to give her any more attention.

    kate  |  January 13th, 2009 at 9:25 am

  • I must have been one of those people that was crouching because I hadn’t heard of this yet. It infuriates me, even though I am not a single mom. Why doesn’t she focus on the rat bastard men who left their children and have no contact with them?? Wouldn’t that be the real source of the issue. And no, I don’t believe that all children raised by single moms turn out to be criminals - look at Obama, our new president for a great example!! It all depends on the parenting and the support system of the mom. You can have a kid with both parents end up in jail just as easily as a kid with only a mom. I think that a great mom who is single will have a kid far better off than a kid with two rotten parents!! How dare someone with no children put out a blanket judgement on single mothers. It makes me sick.

    Oceans Mom  |  January 13th, 2009 at 11:19 am

  • I just can’t take anything Ann Coulter says seriously. She says the most outlandish and ridiculous things. I think that any intelligent being knows that she only says those things to provoke people. I have absolutely no respect for her. She’s a mean-spirited and self interested woman.

    But I know how those kind of hot-button statements can really cut right to the quick of your heart. I bet she’d say the same thing about any working mother. Please remember, though, that any statement out of her mouth is automatically suspect to anyone with half a brain who knows her absurd history. Really, anything she says I almost automatically believe the opposite, that’s how ludicrous she is.

    Robyn  |  January 13th, 2009 at 12:54 pm

  • OK, I’m going to write this before I read any comments. I just watched the video and to be honest with you, I think they were being unfair to Ann Coulter. The View is a very liberal show that had her on there to attack her and what she said in her book. The hostesses asked her questions and then interrupted her while she was trying to answer. And when she did it to them, they got angry with her and made her look bad.

    I’m a long-time liberal, just turned extremely conservative because I have 3 children. When I woke up one day and saw the deceit that society had placed on me as a woman, I cried. I cried a lot and I cried for quite a few days. I cried in anger. The feminist movement has changed ladies. Using birth control does NOT make us freer. It causes us to get pregnant “accidentally” (but we all know what could happen when we have sex right?) and then we get to have this “choice” as to whether or not we will kill our baby because we’re not ready.

    My hat goes off to you who choose life. It really does. I have never been in a situation like that and I feel so blessed that I wasn’t. I was very promiscuous in college and did the birth control thing, and continued on it in between my children. But through research I have found, and now see, that single mothers have been created by society, by this “new” feminist movement. Did you know that when it started, abortion was NOT OK by the leading feminists??! Abortion hurts us almost as much as it hurts our babies. It scars us physically and emotionally and it’s not fair to us!!

    Liberal media is much to blame. I hardly watch television anymore because I’m so tired of watching shows about sex. That’s what they are about and I’m tired of it. My life does not revolve around sex. There are more important things that God put on this earth for me to worry about than when I’m going to have sex again. And liberal media has trained us, will train our daughters, and will train our sons as well, that sex is the norm. If you’re not careful about what they see, what they hear, and the music they listen to, they will revolve their lives around sex. And that is NOT what I want for my kids. I have 2 girls with a boy in between. Raising girls is so very scary nowadays. Boys for a different reason. And I will protect them to the death. I do NOT want ANY of my children thinking that sex is just something that you do. That’s what I thought and it makes me angry to this day to think about myself as that sexualized human being that I was.

    I thank God that I am where I am today. I must have had one busy guardian angel because I think I dodged a lot of bullets. The subject that Ann has touched on here is a serious one. Television is not the same, nor is our music. I used to think country music was safe, but even that’s not because it has a lot to do with sex. Everything is about sex. When we have sex, we have babies. That’s what God created sex for. And to continue to lie to our children and tell them they have the right to go around and have sex is wrong and it hurts them. Accidents happen and we end up being single mothers. Or our sons end up being deadbeat dads. And it’s not their fault. It’s the media and the women who changed the feminist movement into this kind of “freedom” we want to think we have. Sex doesn’t create freedom ladies. Using our brains and exhibiting self control does. And I think that’s what Ann would have said had she had the opportunity to on this show.

    Karen  |  January 13th, 2009 at 2:13 pm

  • I saw Ann and just read the comments. I agree that it is a lack of parenting on the whole, not single parenting, that causes the craziness that goes on.

    I am a single parent. My son was not an “accident.” His father and I planned him, and we did so while we were married. Guess what? His father cheated on me and we ultimately divorced. What am I to do? I tried to hold it together, through counseling and everything else you can think of. You can’t force someone to stay in a situation. I am a (very proud) single mother. I think there are many, many more of us in this situation than in the situation where we just had an “accident” (although I would never call the gift of a child an accident).

    There are many ways to become a single parent, not just an “accident” because we were out having too much sex while on the pill.

    Heather  |  January 13th, 2009 at 3:04 pm

  • hi Kristin! while I’m not a single mom, I could not agree with you more. this lady is truly out of line with her statements regarding single mothers. while I do think that a lack of male influences (the father) can effect a child (whether it be good or bad), I don’t agree with the statement that it is a single mother’s fault. how ridiculous! if anything (like you said), the mother does MORE to give love and care to the child living in a broken home. and again, like you said, her statements are NOT valid! she has no children, and is she even married?? I love this post and think you are right on with what you have said!

    Becca  |  January 13th, 2009 at 4:03 pm

  • Thank you, Heather, for your response to Karen’s apparent assumption that most or all of us single moms are in this boat because we are (or were) promiscuous. I for one am a single mom because I thought that my daughter’s having an absent father was better than her having a perpetually drunken father. And there are lots more of us out here.

    Also, Kristin, if it makes you feel any better, even my ultra-conservative, Limbaugh-spouting ex-husband couldn’t take Ann Coulter seriously.

    Just me  |  January 13th, 2009 at 4:57 pm

  • OK, I think that Ann Coulter says things that she shouldn’t. She doesn’t say things in a way that leaves people open to her views, that’s for sure. But a lot of what she says is the truth. And she did not, in any video that I saw, told us that being married to a man who is abusive was OK. I certainly don’t think that. I really think that she’s coming at this, obviously not from a mom’s perspective, but from a historical perspective. She has seen what single parent homes have done to our children. She did not say that we should stay with our husbands who are bad.

    And I apologize if I presented myself in a way that the only single mothers out there are promiscuous. I was merely trying to let you all know that I was a girl who always had sex on her mind and was not preaching high and mighty. And I’m most certainly not saying that all of the single moms out there ran around and had sex all the time. So I apologize if that’s the way I came off to be. I truly do.

    My post was not to DISrespect us, but to show you have we have BEEN disrespected and will continue to be disrespected as women as long as we let our society treat us this way. We are subjected to sexualized television, music, anything. I’m tired of turning on a television show and seeing sex. I just am. And as long as that continues, we, as women, are not going to be respected. We have lost the original intent of the feminist movement.

    Yes, I agree that we can do this! We are the stronger species (I believe that)! We were given what we were given because God knew we could handle it. But we are smarter than what society has portrayed us to be girls. We have bought into our sexual “freedom” and continue to have abortions. We kill our own babies and then suffer ourselves emotionally and physically. That’s not fair and it’s not right to put us through that.

    We really need to band together for our children, single mother or not. Because it’s their future, not ours.

    Karen  |  January 13th, 2009 at 5:52 pm

  • And I want to reiterate that it takes a strong woman to be a single mother. It takes a strong woman to leave the comfort of a “husband” for the better of her children. So my hat goes off to you for putting your children ahead of your own happiness.

    Again, I don’t think Ann was targeting that group of women. She was trying, if she could get her words out, to blame society for most of our girls growing up to be single parents because of mistakes. Not because their husband turned out to be a jerk.

    Karen  |  January 13th, 2009 at 5:57 pm

  • Thankfully, I think that most people don’t take her very seriously. Even many conservatives find her offensive. She was recently fired from one of the networks following the book. I think she is smarting after the last election and now it is the “libral media” that is the root of all evil. We could go back and forth all day about that one. I think it’s a shame that she gets to go on television and talk about her very hateful book. Her personal style is bizarre, even the way she looks on the book cover (some slinky black dress a la conservative cool?) I think that the most scary thing of all is that anyone published the book, or that anyone on this thread would actually give it any merit. This is an old dialogue that has no place on television, in print or anywhere. She is not married, not a mother, gives bogus statistics and has a following that includes scary people, with scary beliefs. Ann Coulter should just get herself a real life …and let’s see how she fares.

    Leslie  |  January 13th, 2009 at 6:05 pm

  • I see what you’re saying Leslie. I think Ann Coulter is offensive. I don’t think anyone would say otherwise. She lacks the ability to get her opinions across in a way that doesn’t offend.

    But I have a question. How is it OK for the media to slam Sarah Palin for supporting her daughter’s choice for life, that is, choosing to keep her baby alive, but it’s not OK for Ann Coulter to voice her opinion about the downfall of the American family? I mean, last I checked, it is a free country with freedom of speech. And the media has a responsibility to provide us with all sides, even though they tend to be harder on conservatives than liberals. And that’s just a fact.

    Karen  |  January 13th, 2009 at 9:06 pm

  • And one more question: Is the notion of a family with a mother and a father present a scary belief?

    Karen  |  January 13th, 2009 at 9:08 pm

  • Karen, I was following your argument with interest until that last comment - who is saying the notion of the nuclear family is scary? I would venture to guess that most Single Mothers understand that a nuclear family (a healthy, happy one) is optimal.

    Kristin D  |  January 13th, 2009 at 10:47 pm

  • Hi Kristin. I was asking this question because Leslie made a comment that Ann’s beliefs are scary. And I was just wondering exactly which beliefs those would be.

    Here is a link to the interview with Ann and Matt Lauer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikTcXy0wAxw&feature=related.

    She does NOT blame single mothers for anything here guys. She says single motherHOOD which was created by a liberal media, almost as something we should strive for. Her comments are not a knock against single mothers. She is merely saying that the liberal media has glorified this. And you all, if not anyone else, know how hard it is. I don’t know one single mother who would say this decision was easy.

    I’m on your side here! My sister-in-law, whom I love dearly and consider my sister, was a single mother until she married my brother-in-law. Technically, I guess she still is because her son’s father is completely out of the picture. She is a strong woman and I commend her for choosing to let her baby live. He is a wonderful boy and will make some woman happy some day. She struggled though. It’s not an easy job and I’m on your side!!

    Do you want your children to have to struggle like you did? Do you want them to grow up thinking that the actions that lead to single motherHOOD are OK? (And I’m not talking about you single mothers who had to divorce horrible husbands and fathers. You do what you have to do and I’m not here to judge.)

    The liberal media has us all fooled ladies. We are not rising up. We are being pushed down.

    Karen  |  January 13th, 2009 at 10:59 pm

  • I’m going to go out on a judgemental limb here and tell you that she is unhinged, unbalanced and toxic, as I observe her- not just in relation to this but to many, many times she has spoken. And believe me I know what I’m talking about! She just loves attention even negative attention. She makes the hairs on the back of my neck go up. Sorry- I ‘ve been holding that in for a while.

    Starrlife  |  January 14th, 2009 at 7:32 am

  • As it is, I happen to disagree with almost every issue Ann Coulter has put forward into the press, However, disagreement alone is rarely cause to discount someone entirely. What makes me unable to take Ann Coulter seriously is not her politics, her opinions, her statements or her beliefs. What makes me unable to take Ann Coulter seriously is that she acts like a child; she creates empty, inflammatory debates and then retreats into sullen, angry accusations that those in opposition with her are attacking her if they disagree.

    Come on, Ann. You need to do more than that.

    The great irony is that Ann Coulter is little to no threat against the demographics she tries to persecute, myself often included. Her arguments are unsubstantiated by her inability to hold a thoughtful, delineated discussion about her beliefs and her impact is scant beyond a few days of dog fights and interviews. The fact that she is neither married nor a mother is irrelevant. If she were able to hold up her position and arguments without resorting to empty, inflammatory defense mechanisms every time I would be much more concerned about a person like Ann Coulter. As she is now, I just can’t take her seriously.

    Amy  |  January 14th, 2009 at 8:57 am

  • What still makes absolutely no sense to me is how someone with no experience in a certain matter can write a book about it! I mean, if some person who rented an apartment and had never bought a home wrote a book on real estate would anyone read it? If someone who were overweight their whole life wrote a book on how to lose weight the proper way and why most diets fail would anyone read it? I think not! So for this book to be published by a single, nonmarried, childless person seems ridiculous. It makes no logical sense that anyone would even take it seriously much less publish it.

    Oceans Mom  |  January 14th, 2009 at 9:19 am

  • Um, sex IS the norm for human beings. And it should be, particularly in marriage. I would think that a “liberal turned conservative” who believes in God would believe in sex. I’m sure your husband does!

    Robyn  |  January 14th, 2009 at 11:39 am

  • I’m kind of with Karen on this one. I believe miss coulter to be completely over the top (as are many talking heads–frank rich anyone?) and I agree that the mainstream media is largely responsible the way we view the current family dynamic. It is neither accurate or something to be aspired to. I think single mothers are heroes. Period. I am physically and mentally incapable of even thinking about raising my kids alone. Seriously, medals. The media glorifies the situation and THAT is the tragedy. Whether you are a single parent by choice or not, that is a tough tough road for all involved. As Kristin knows better than anyone. She is to be heralded, but the media deserves a good butt kicking.

    Jess  |  January 14th, 2009 at 12:30 pm

  • Thanks Jess. I’m with you too. My husband and I have been married for 8 years and we are just now starting to get the hang of it (and three kids later). We had some pretty tough, rough spots. And don’t think for one second that I didn’t want to get a divorce. I can remember talking to my mom on the phone about it. She was encouraging the divorce, but I was scared. I was scared out of my mind to raise three kids without their dad. I was blessed enough to work things out with the help of my faith in God. But not all relationships are like that. It’s just the way it is.

    I think we have to get off the boat that Ann isn’t a mother. It doesn’t matter because she’s not criticizing you as a mother. If you can find where she does that, I will take that back. But in the video that I provided, she does not do that. I think the title provided for this article predisposes us to think that this was an evil statement by Ann. And once again, I know she is not eloquent. But if you can look past that and pay attention to the facts she uses, she is only telling the truth. She DOES use facts and statistics to base her views on, well along with a little faith too. If anyone has any info to contradict the facts that Ann presents, I would love to see it. I’m open to hearing the other side because that’s what life is about. That’s how we learn.

    Single mothers are victims. They are victims of the sexual freedom movement. This is what it is, whether we like it or not. Do you want your children to be single parents? No. I don’t think any of us would choose that path.

    Karen  |  January 14th, 2009 at 2:57 pm

  • Karen, you say that single mothers are victims? I’m a single mother and don’t feel one ounce of being a victim. I honestly never have felt that way. I absolutely love my life and could never resonate with the word victim, it just doesn’t fit at all. Why are you making that assumption? Don’t forget that single moms come in all sorts of forms and from all sorts of different situations. We’re all unique individuals with different lifestyles and beliefs and feelings. Not all of us are struggling and not all of us had some really bad thing happen to us.

    And to say that single moms are victims of the sexual freedom movement? That one is even more perplexing. I’m not even sure what to say about that, it is just sounds so broad and sweeping and ludicrous.

    Your statements aren’t very well thought out. They seem overshadowed by beliefs that come across as being incredibly limited. I really just don’t understand you.

    ~Monica  |  January 14th, 2009 at 3:55 pm

  • that woman is poison. i can’t say express how awful and wrong she is, so i will leave it at that.

    cristen  |  January 14th, 2009 at 5:12 pm

  • i just read the comments–how in the world does the “liberal media” glorify single motherhood? i don’t know what these people are talking about. also, these are some pretty conservative readers you have here, seems to me.

    cristen  |  January 14th, 2009 at 5:18 pm

  • For a pacifist you sure stirred up a hornet’s nest Kristin. Sorry to be offensive but women- she is a whackazoid! I just listened to her interview with Matt Lauer and she actually equated illegitimacy with single motherhood, as though they were the same, and she stated VERY clearly and unambiguously that the root of all social problems - jail, crime, bankruptcy of moral values- is single motherhood. She also equates single motherhood as depriving a child of fathering, which we all know is not necessarily so either. She likes to paint with a wide poisonous brush- bouncing back and forth conveniently from quote”I’m speaking extemporarily of course” to “it’s a fact “. We are the victims of a liberal media who gives a person like this airtime as though she has anything but personal opinions to offer!

    Starrlife  |  January 14th, 2009 at 6:03 pm

  • I mostly ignore Ann Coulter, and in fact turned off the Today show when I saw her segment starting, because I don’t have the energy to spend on crazy. But I would like to address a one thing that has come up in the comments. I’m a single (divorced) mom of two, so that’s where I am coming from.

    First and foremost, I am not a victim, either of my ex-husband or of society. I’ve made a series of choices in my life that have put me where I am, and if not all of them were ideal, well, they have their good sides as well as their bad. Fundamentally, I am responsible for them all, and it’s almost insulting to think that that responsibility could be taken from me and given to a ‘liberal media’.

    Gwen  |  January 14th, 2009 at 6:08 pm

  • Ugh…I come to your site for great information and support and this woman’s horrid face hit me today. Really, I was not in the mood. Ann Coulter does not care either way about this issue. She just writes and says inflammatory things to make money. Can people please stop giving her attention and making her millions and maybe she will go away??????????

    NV  |  January 14th, 2009 at 6:12 pm

  • Hi Monica. I’m going to answer your question, even though I have stated the answer several times in my other comments. Or maybe I’m not saying it right. Or maybe you are making it out to be what you want it to be so you can attack me because I’m a conservative, Catholic, stay-at-home mother who values the nuclear family. I’m not sure, but back to the answer.

    Not ALL single mothers are victims. I guess what I should have said was that single motherHOOD is victimized. Single motherhood (and AGAIN, NOT the kind of single motherhood that comes from abusive marriages) comes from a messed up form of feminism. You can see sexual freedom as wonderful, that’s fine. I used to. But not anymore. I’m all for feminism ladies, the kind where we fought for the right to vote and got it. The kind where we are able to go compete in the workplace against men and WIN!! The kind where we get equal pay for the same job (which is still something being fought). Why can’t we focus on that instead of the ability to have sex all the time and possibly become pregnant? I don’t get it. Where is our self-respect and our dignity?

    Sexual freedom for women does not create freedom for us. Because we are the ones who get pregnant, we have the babies and we are their sole provider, regardless of what we wish it to be, that’s the way it is and those are the facts. And the fact that the father can run out on us puts us even further under him as far as power goes. Being able to say no and focus our efforts on the more important things in life empowers us. Having control over our destiny will create equality.

    So we can continue to lie to our daughters and tell them it’s OK to have sex, just make sure you use contraception. Or we can treat them with dignity and respect and talk to them about their bodies and what happens to it as they grow up. We can talk to them about the repercussions of sex. There ARE consequences to having sex. So why not just not have sex? What’s so wrong with that?

    I’m not in the mindset anymore of, “Oh, well, they’re going to have sex anyway, so why not be safe about it?” What sense does that make? I mean really examine that sentence. We do not want our daughters to die from a sexually transmitted disease, so why promote sex as OK to them? We don’t want them to get pregnant so they have to raise the baby by themselves because it’s not easy. So why promote the very act that creates pregnancy? Media does that. They promote a certain way of thinking. That’s just the way it is and we all know it. We may deny it, we may get angry if someone tells us that’s what it is because it makes us angry, but it is what it is.

    I just don’t get it. The things that I write here are getting nit-picked because I’m in the minority. And that’s really OK with me. I’m used to it now and am rather enjoying it. I like having these conversations with you because it causes me to evaluate myself better and refine the way I speak. And I also hope that putting myself out there like this stimulates the thought process and really gets women to think. And because of the frustration I’ve observed here with Ann and myself, I’m assuming that you all are thinking about this a little more.

    We are quite the opposite of where we were 40 years ago when liberal thinking was in the minority. It has taken a long time, but here we are, having just voted in the most liberal Senator in the United States Senate as our President. Isn’t it amazing what freedom of speech and thought can do? But was it really freedom of thought? Or were we brainwashed into thinking that freedom meant more sex?

    Karen  |  January 14th, 2009 at 6:41 pm

  • Karen,
    Reading through all the comments I would like to point out that no one factored in, singled out or attacked you for your political positions (I’m deducing that you were referring to your political views when you use the word conservative), your religious views or the fact that you are a stay at home mother. All of those things only came to light by your own admission and, at least for me, are irrelevant. Additionally, I have not read one comment that equivocally or directly devalues the nuclear family. Like Ann, I think one’s position is only weakened when peppered with “you are attacking me because we disagree”.

    Amy  |  January 14th, 2009 at 7:32 pm

  • Amy, if you’re comparing me to Ann to insult me, I don’t consider that an insult. I’m perplexed at the fact that I’m the bad guy. But it’s OK because conservatives are nowadays. And I believe it was Leslie who said Ann and her acquaintances had “scary beliefs” and she has yet to explain what that means.

    If I take the defensive, it’s with good reason. It’s because I’m constantly asked to defend my views, my beliefs, and my position. I have only asked that others give substance to what they say about Ann Coulter, but no one has responded. And I’m a conservative in every aspect of the word.

    It just appalls me that independent, strong, smart women like the women who gather here every day on this blog cannot see the harm that media has done. It’s sad, but it only makes my job more important.

    I’m not playing victim here. I was just merely stating that I was being attacked, questioned on my beliefs. How is that fair to me because you don’t agree with me? If anything, I have finally risen above the media and everything that it stands for and does. So I’m going to keep saying what I’m saying and hope that we can make some leeway some day and bring women up, not down.

    And if you guys read my comments, you would realize that I’m not attacking single mothers at all. But no one wants to see that. You want to tell me I’m wrong. And no one wants to address the fact that I apologized for offending whoever was offended.

    It’s OK! I am really tired of talking about this, but to keep this going, I will continue as long as it takes…. This is very important to me and the structure of my family. I’m just glad that I can live my life my way and raise my kids my way without worrying about what the majority says.

    Hm, it sounds like we all might be in the same boat don’t you think? Women need to band together and stand up for our dignity, not degradation.

    Karen  |  January 14th, 2009 at 8:22 pm

  • OK, to lighten this conversation up a bit…

    Gwen, your comment, “I don’t have the energy to spend on crazy,” is the funniest thing I’ve heard in a while. I love it.

    And I am totally, totally going to steal it for my own use :). Thank you.

    Just me  |  January 15th, 2009 at 9:49 am

  • No one has attacked you, Karen. People have simply pointed out their disagreement with your views and some of the holes in your arguments. How is that fair to you? How is it UNfair? You chose to engage in this conversation, and now you don’t like it that some people disagree with you?

    I, for one, am not brainwashed. And I don’t think that painting women as incompetent children who are incapable of weighing the consequences of their actions is going to win you many supporters. Part of “my dignity,” as you put it, is the fact that I am an independent human being who holds the power over my own life to make the decisions I believe are best for me. And, like you said, I’m glad I get to live my life and raise my kid(s) without worrying about what anyone else thinks.

    Sure, there are promiscuous women. And men too. I’ve noticed you haven’t put much responsibility on men who live out their “sexual freedom.” It takes two to… tango. But I think that most women are perfectly capable of understanding that there are consequences to sex (as there are to any action), including pregnancy, and make choices for themselves about when and with whom they choose to engage in that activity. And when I teach my daughter about sex, I will make sure that she is equipped with the information she needs to use her own good judgement to make wise choices about it too. Hopefully, she will have a good, kind, committed partner with whom to raise her children someday. But if for some reason she doesn’t, I certainly am not going to blame her (or the “media”) for the ills of society.

    Robyn  |  January 15th, 2009 at 10:42 am

  • I have been following this blog very closely and responding to each question and comment, with what I consider respect for your feelings and your thoughts. I have not called anyone’s beliefs “scary” nor have I told anyone that what they think it “ludicrous” and that your statements “aren’t very well thought out.” I even had a woman from this site whom shall remain nameless go to my personal blog to give her opinion. Which, like I have stated already a couple of times, I absolutely welcome. I WELCOME the other side. I have said that before too. That’s why I came on here, that’s why I continue to respond to you. I think we learn from each other. And I just peeked and it looks like she came back and saw our comments back to her. Thank you for visiting again.

    I really don’t know how this conversation got like this. I’m on your side, and somehow you think I’m not. And for the record, I HAVE mentioned that men are responsible for their promiscuous behavior! If anyone is a feminist here, it’s me. Trust me on that one. Although I used to think more liberally, I am still a feminist at heart. I want my girls to strive for the very best, that’s why I don’t want sex to always be on their brain. I don’t want losing their virginity to be a goal of theirs. It’s not something I want to portray as important. I have these strong views because I was that way. I didn’t have the guidance that I needed.

    And please, again, I know that single mothers come from all different backgrounds and shapes and colors and I’m not talking about single mothers who had to divorce a bad husband. I have never said otherwise, so please stop bringing that up and stay on topic here. Ann Coulter, with her “colorful” and yes rude, vocabulary said some things in a way that hurt you. I can absolutely see that. I can’t pretend to know how it feels. But I want to say again that, in this instance, she was not attacking you as a single mother. She was/is attacking our society as a whole. And I agree with her, in this instance. I have seen some of the other things that she has said, and she can be quite cruel and I think she gives us who believe conservatively a bad name. I really do. Sometimes I wish she would shut up too because sometimes it goes too far. But I get the gist of what she’s saying and as a whole agree with her beliefs about society.

    But anyway. I think that if it was me, I would have used the word “optimal” a little bit more. I think we can all agree that an “optimal” family life is one with a mother and a father and the kids. We as mothers play a different role than fathers do. You guys know better than I do and I will ask you now if you think this is true? Is it true that it would be a more “optimal” life if you had a good man beside you to help you raise your children. And I use the word good here to describe men because they aren’t all “good” and good means different things to different people. But would you at least agree with me on that point?

    Karen  |  January 15th, 2009 at 11:14 am

  • I could not care less what that incendiary wench thinks.

    CAH  |  January 15th, 2009 at 12:14 pm

  • Kristin! ROCK ON!!!!! I felt the same way when I heard what Ann Coulter had to say and felt compelled to share my thoughts to! She is sooo toxic, as you say! She may have a few valid points, but who can get through it with her condescending tone and terrible demeanor. She is HORRIBLE! I wrote about her too, if you would like to take a look at my thoughts here:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephanie-elliot/whos-the-recipe-for-disas_b_157106.html

    She makes my skin CRAWL!!!

    Great article you’ve written! And you’re a terrific mother, I can tell!

    Stephanie Elliot aka Manic Mommy  |  January 15th, 2009 at 12:27 pm

  • Oops, typo:

    to share my thoughts too!

    Stephanie Elliot aka Manic Mommy  |  January 15th, 2009 at 12:29 pm

  • Karen, with all due respect, you’re receiving this type of reaction solely due to the statements you have been making. You state them as if they are fact and you have nothing backing them up. It’s like you have certain ideas in your mind and continue to write about them in your responses (and going in circles ignoring everything except the two things you keep talking about) and we are simply pointing out how your statements have no backing. You keep bringing sex and the media into the equation as the only two things that you must believe cause the things that Coulter talked about in her book. I really don’t get that. Do you seriously not believe that it’s much much more than that? Isnt’ it obvious?

    What you don’t seem to be getting is that no matter what situation someone is in, single motherhood, married, whatever … it’s about how we RAISE our children and what kind of environment we create for them that is going to provide the basis for their future.

    You seem to write about parenting as if the only focal point should be to teach our children not to have sex until they are in a loving committed relationship. What about all the other really important things we should be teaching our children? Why don’t those things ever seem to seep into your responses?

    If you’re wondering why it seems as though we’re picking you apart, it’s because, well, your statements are really very focused on blame. Does personal responsibility ever come into the equation for you?

    ~Monica  |  January 15th, 2009 at 12:56 pm

  • You know, I couldn’t read more than a few sentences of this post. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: There is something seriously wrong with Ms. Coulter. Look at the woman’s eyes. But not for too long. They may be the gateways to hell.

    Now, I have to ask, are there people out there who read or listen to this woman’s blathering and say, “Right on, Ann; you go girl.”

    sito  |  January 15th, 2009 at 1:31 pm

  • Well, Monica, I couldn’t agree with you more. Thank you. Finally someone said what I was saying. Thank you.

    Karen  |  January 15th, 2009 at 1:36 pm

  • You GO, Mom!! I am appalled at the way Coulter makes her living out of creating controversy and putting other people down. Remember Murphy Brown and Dan Quayle? (Oh, yeah,you’re too young) This is so, so much worse.

    Daisy  |  January 15th, 2009 at 2:19 pm

  • Wow-this thread has gotten out of hand! To Karen- to clarify I used the word “scary” to describe anyone who attacks an entire group, gender, class, or race. This kind of inflamatory rhetoric is “scary” when an entire group is blamed for the collapse of society. It is ignorant, hate-filled and meant to stimulate meaningless debates and sell books. Using the word “victim” for single mothers and their children is beyond offensive. I could write pages on what is wrong with that kind of thinking. It puts down an entire group, and their children. In addition, it takes fathers completely off the hook. For those that claim they could never go it alone…I hope you never have to. Just remember that life doesn’t always play fair and you may not like to be referred to as a “victim”, or your children as delinquents, in the event that life doesn’t work according to plan. Please stop using religion as a way to attack and entire group of people that deeply love their children.

    Leslie  |  January 15th, 2009 at 4:05 pm

  • Wow, I just had the most inspiring revelation today from all of this posting on this topic. I first want to thank each and every woman who posted here. You have helped me to realize exactly what I want for my children.

    In my second to the last comment, I stated that I am a feminist. You may consider me a different feminist than some of you, but nonetheless, I do want more for my children.

    I have currently been training to be a Girl Scout leader and have kind of seen it as something that was getting in the way of my every day activities and was starting to doubt my ambition to continue. Today, I know that this is going to not only be important to the empowerment of my daughters, but to my own development. I realized today that Girl Scouts empowers girls to participate in society in a positive, constructive way. Girl Scouts provides girls with choices that would never have been thought of a hundred years ago.

    I feel so blessed to have been able to converse with all of you. I have been able to strengthen my faith in my journey of female empowerment. Because I have thought deeply about my comments and all of yours, I have been able to establish a confidence in Girl Scouts that I didn’t have before. I had a meeting today with the other leader and for the first time since October, I was excited about all the activities we were going to do. I could SEE the empowerment my daughter would gain through them.

    Nope. Life is not about sex. That’s the point I was trying to drive home. I want my daughter to do more, absolutely. And I’m so glad that even though we disagree, we can all agree that we want what is best for our children by providing them with meaningful choices that will empower them.

    So thank you all so much! I truly believe that God sends others into our lives for a reason. Through disagreement and hearing the other side, we can bring about positive changes. Whether that be in our thoughts, actions, or attitudes, it happens.

    God Bless you all.

    Karen  |  January 15th, 2009 at 4:10 pm

  • Oh, I just saw Leslie’s response. Thank you for responding Leslie, and God Bless.

    Karen  |  January 15th, 2009 at 4:12 pm

  • Woohoo what a lovely lady to spend some quality time in a dark alleyway with. Everyone else has said everything and more than what I would have said, so I’d just like to add. Having been a solo mother since the moment my daughter was born I know deep in my heart that if she ever displayed any of those kinds of criminal tendencies then I would be the first to stomp them out. Having said that I raise my children to be respectful, honest, trustworthy, independent and loving. So as a solo parent if I have not managed to raise my kids I will take responsibility for the end result up to a point. Lets face it, once they become adults their choices are their own and we can only hope that we have taught them well enough in the childhood that our voices will ring loud in their heads everytime they consider something that is less than acceptable. Yup, I still feel sick about her stupidity, but que sera sera all we can do as solo parents is prove her very very very wrong.

    Kate  |  January 15th, 2009 at 4:40 pm

  • I almost blogged about this too but didn’t want to give her anymore attention. This isn’t even about liberal vs. conservative anymore. It’s about Ms. Coulter needing medication.

    Erica  |  January 15th, 2009 at 4:44 pm

  • Kristin - I applaud you for focusing your energy on the positive, productive things all parents should teach their children. I know nothing about Ann Coulter, but I can tell you she is a waste of our time and energy.

    As always your writing has moved me. You really should write a book!

    Lisa  |  January 15th, 2009 at 6:47 pm

  • Karen,
    I’m sorry if the way I worded my comment lead you to believe I was a) trying to compare you to Ann Coulter or b) trying to intentionally insult you. I merely wanted to point out that much of what you felt you were being attacked for wasn’t ever brought up by anyone but you. My reference to Ann Coulter engaging in similar ways was merely in the same proximity, it as not meant towards you. Rather, I hoped it would serve as an example of how we lose credibility when we enter into debate and then call foul just because people disagree with our position.

    Amy  |  January 15th, 2009 at 6:50 pm

  • Hi Amy, thank you for your apology, I appreciate it. And I understand what you’re saying about calling foul. I have examined myself and my comments quite a bit here because I really don’t want to offend single mothers. You guys have a tough job and I wouldn’t want it. I really don’t think that saying Monica was attacking me was unfounded. She was telling me I was “ludicrous” and then when she responded, she did not apologize for it. What’s funny though is in her response, she stated exactly what I have been trying to say to you guys. So see, we really don’t disagree here! That’s what I’ve been trying to get out. We may come from a different life, from different family structures (and by the way, my parents just divorced over the summer after 38 years- heartbreaking), but we are all trying to raise our children the best we know how.

    I focus on sexual freedom Monica because I believe that the idea that we can be sexually free as women is construed. I realize that you aren’t focusing on that in your argument, but I was and I felt like you were taking what I was saying and turning it into something it wasn’t. I was not focusing on single moms who got out of a bad marriage. My argument was purely based on young women who engage in sexual activity and use birth control methods that are not 100% effective. I think that our society is OK with this behavior, and they are, and that we created that with this new twist on the feminist movement.

    And I’m sorry if I offended you guys with the word “victim,” but I truly didn’t think it was a put-down because I feel like a victim myself. I feel like I was fooled into thinking that the birth control pill was awesome and that sex was OK. I actually went through the grieving process about this. The sadness and anger I felt took over for a few days. So Leslie, I do know what it feels like to feel like a victim. That’s why I said what I said. It wasn’t a put-down.

    I’m just trying to say that I feel like society is focused on sexual freedom. Look at the television shows: Sex and the City, Desperate Housewives, Two and a Half Men, and I’m sure there are more, but I don’t watch much anymore. I really don’t feel like we can deny that our society has changed into a sexualized society. And if you deny it, I think you’re fooling yourself.

    I actually looked up some statistics on single-parent homes and I was surprised that they are mostly comprised of divorced couples. It’s from about.com and here is the link if you guys want to see it: http://singleparents.about.com/od/legalissues/p/portrait.htm. People can makes assumptions and hypotheses about these statistics. But the statistics about those in jail can’t be disputed. I found this document about that: inkarcerated.intrasun.tcnj.edu/womeninprison/Prison%20Statistics.doc. It was the best I could find this early in the morning. So if anyone has anything better, please share!

    So Ann Coulter is speaking about statistics. She just makes blanket statements that hurt people. I know that and I don’t like that. I don’t think any of us here do.

    So like I said in my other post, I truly feel blessed to have come across this blog and to have conversed with each and every one of you. I feel like I really have gotten something out of it to improve my life and the life of my kids (with respect to Girl Scouts).

    So we move on from here and keep doing what we’re doing. Because none of us want to be, or want our children to be, statistics.

    Karen  |  January 16th, 2009 at 6:30 am

  • statistics schmatistics! I know many adults who are the product of a divorced or never married home who are successful and not in jail. People who are in jail are from homes with complex social problems which may include poverty stricken, incestuous, mentally ill, substance abusing, x several generations homes. To pick out single motherhood as the causal factor is ludicrous!It’s not being without a father it’s the kind of parenting you get, mother,father,grandparents etc. I think Barack Obama is a prime example. Who Ms A.C. calls B. Hussein Obama- such a jerk!

    Starrlife  |  January 16th, 2009 at 7:31 am

  • Look the statistics are what they are. There are always exceptions and other factors that play a part, that’s absolutely true. No one can say you are wrong. And yes, President-Elect Obama is a good example of that. I was just talking about that with a friend of mine today.

    Statistics are factual. Statistics tell us what’s going on so we can fix things. There are lots of things we have to fix about society Starrlife. Single motherhood is NOT the root of ALL problems and I don’t think anyone here would say that it is…. These are just statistics ABOUT single PARENT homes, that’s all.

    Karen  |  January 16th, 2009 at 8:43 am

  • And Starrlife, did you look at the stats link that I provided in about.com?? It’s actually GOOD news. They show that the majority of single mothers do not live in poverty, 79% have jobs, and 31% receive public assistance. I would be proud of those stats if I were you.

    Karen  |  January 16th, 2009 at 8:47 am

  • A simple fact is that Pres-Elect Obama’s full name is
    Barack Hussein Obama.

    He is also being sworn in using his full name, which he has a right to do, but please do not get mad by stating the truth and fact.

    Have a great day!

    wsmiles  |  January 16th, 2009 at 9:09 am

  • Karen, I did go read the statistics you listed. (For anyone who doesn’t want to download a Word doc, here’s the a link http://inkarcerated.intrasun.tcnj.edu/womeninprison/statistics.html)

    “78% of the nation’s jail and prison inmates grew up in a fatherless household, even though only 15% of today’s adult population grew up without a father.” That certainly is a sucky number, and assuming it’s accurate, it does show that there’s some kind of correlation there…but it doesn’t show that there’s a causal relationship. The page itself also shows many other things which are also correlated with being in prison.

    What drives me crazy about Coulter’s remarks is that she takes a statistic like the one above, draws unsubstantiated conclusions about what it means (it shows correlation, not causation!) and proceeds to lambast people and judge them based on her faulty logic. She then makes social recommendations also based on her invalid conclusions and personal bias, and violently attacks anyone who disagrees.

    The tricky thing about statistics is that they are simply descriptive, not prescriptive. And what they describe is fairly easy to skew.

    Gwen  |  January 16th, 2009 at 10:59 am

  • oh and @just me, use that phrase all you like. I try to keep it in mind but don’t always succeed! :-)

    Gwen  |  January 16th, 2009 at 11:01 am

  • Gwen, great way of putting that. I really liked what you had to say. Thanks!

    Karen  |  January 16th, 2009 at 11:36 am

  • Oh dear, Karen. I never called you ludicrous - but it seems as if you are hoping that I did. Here is my exact quote:

    “And to say that single moms are victims of the sexual freedom movement? That one is even more perplexing. I’m not even sure what to say about that, it is just sounds so broad and sweeping and ludicrous. ”

    I, in fact, said that what you had *said* was ludicrous. I still stand by that and would not apologize for it because it’s exactly what I meant.

    I am so sorry you feel personally attacked. You are not being personally attacked. It’s your statements that are receiving the responses.

    ~Monica  |  January 16th, 2009 at 12:36 pm

  • Monica, please don’t patronize me. I find it immature and disrespectful. I never once said anything to you personally that was disrespectful. I would appreciate the same courtesy in return. And I find it even more immature that you can’t apologize for offending someone else just because you think we have different opinions.

    I really hope that you can open your mind one day and stop being so close-minded toward other people who are not like you.

    Karen  |  January 16th, 2009 at 12:59 pm

  • Oh dear. Karen, I think you are reading something else into my reponses to you. I haven’t been patronizing you at all and I certainly am not being immature or disrespectful. I don’t understand why you feel that way.

    I just honestly truly feel like the statement “single moms are the victims of the sexual freedom movement” really *is* ludicrous. That is not disrespectful - it’s just how I feel about that statement. It has nothing to do with you at all as a person whatsoever. I just really do not believe that as a single mom I’m a victim and especially not to some sexual freedom movement. Ludicrous is a word that really fits for me there and has nothing to do with you - just the statement.

    If you want to think that I’m a mean-spirited person because I won’t apologize for making an honest statement (that has nothing to do with you as a person anyway), then there’s nothing I can do about that, it just is what it is. But really, I think you are reading into things that simply aren’t there. I respect you as a human being and as someone who has an opinion. I just found the statement itself to be ludicrous to me in my own life situation.

    Please, when you read my responses, change the ‘tone’ to be that of someone who is just being honest and non-dramatic. Because that is exactly where it’s coming from. That is the truth.

    ~Monica  |  January 16th, 2009 at 1:57 pm

  • So by your reasoning Monica, Ann Coulter should not have to apologize for the things she said about single motherhood because, by your own words, I’m sure that she felt that she made an “honest statement.”

    The only thing honest about your statement, and Ann’s, is that you BELIEVE it to be true. It doesn’t make it a fact, it just means that it’s your opinion. And just like it’s not right for Ann to say offensive things and not feel sorry for them, it’s not right for you to either.

    We are all entitled to our opinions, but when we throw out labels that offend people, it’s important that we still respect each other and apologize. I did it, so why is this so hard for you?

    Karen  |  January 16th, 2009 at 2:11 pm

  • Ann Coulter is a brilliant, media-savvy professional. She’s also an insane crackpot.

    The media loves her because she generates controversy and controversy attracts attention (read=ratings).

    If I hadn’t renounced violence, I’d nominate her for a Lousiville-Slugger-to-the-Head Award.

    Solo-Dad  |  January 16th, 2009 at 2:24 pm

  • Kristin, rather than continuing to put my time/energy into The Rant, I will simply say “thank you for the link love.”

    So honored to know an articulate, go-getting, on the ball, smart, hard-working mama like YOU!

    single mom seeking  |  January 16th, 2009 at 2:24 pm

  • Last night I purchased Ann Counters book “Guilty” and spent a fair amount of time reading. I agree that Ann has a rude and abrasive style during interviews, unfortunately her style of communication has turned people off to hearing a real issue rarely discussed. I am a case worker and deal with these very issues daily, along with most of the other case workers in my agency. In my 23 years of working in the system it has gotten worse. I hate to tell you, that much of Ann Coulters book does follow true with what I see. Many of my clients are uneducated and in a lower economic bracket. I have been working long enough to see repeated generations of single mothers in the same family…. Sadly, government assistance from food, housing, health care, head start and other assistance has little effect in changing single motherhood. In fact, the majority continue to produce children with little thought of their role as parent. The system has become a form of entitlement not temporary assistance, until you can get your self off your feet. The government and the perks received , has become their answer for spontaneous unprotected sex … why should they worry about being responsible, we have made it so they don’t have to. Even with all the services set before them. many are unmotivated to improve themselves or the life of their children……these lessons are then passed down their children……….. Now for the children. As a mother of two boys who values the school system and services offered in my community, I know that the values and character formation of my boys is learned at home. One area that some single mother refuse to accept, is that they are only able to give their children half of the picture. If my husband were to die, there is no way that I could give my sons their” maleness “.[ All the natural characteristics that make a male].The same is true in reverse for girls. There are male and female components to many things, it is part of the natural order in life. There is a completion when the two work together…..There will always be single mothers who have successful raised their children in a single parent home. I have the greatest admiration for their success. I can’t imagine the struggles and trials during life. The successful single parent is by far the minority in society…….. A change has to be made, we have has perpetuated the problem. I think back in the days of the early settlers in the west, If the settlers were lazy, depressed etc. in the summer, they were going to die in the winter. Summer was the time to prepare for the winter, canning, cutting wood etc., there were no hand out, and everyone was responsible for their lot in life. Where is self- motivation and self- sacrifice for your family? When did we loose personal responsibility as a valued virtue?

    Annie  |  January 18th, 2009 at 4:31 pm

  • Annie-the poverty and economic factors you mention have everything to do with the inability for poorer women to access good education for their children and expose them to things that will set them up for success later in life. You could extrapolate that single dads raising children in impoverished conditions may face the same challenges and perhaps their children would show similiar outcomes. The problem with that is that single moms statistically are more prevelant in our culture…which means they stick around when times are tough! I am offended by your reference to a lack of “motivation “on the part of single mothers in the system who are your clients. People who grow up marginalized and “in the system” do not believe that things will ever be better or that they can make real changes…they often feel powerless against society. I think it is very unfair to lump the failure of the system on single mothers or any single group in general. Wondering how you will put food on the table doesn’t sound like a great life to me, or a conscious choice one probably ever makes. Interestingly, of the comments of those who support the Ann Coulter book, there is the assumption that single motherhood is a choice. I’m wondering what the alternative would be in an Ann Coulter universe…we could put all the undersirable people on an island somewhere..including single mothers? Perhaps children should be removed from single parent homes and given to 2 parent households that are deemed deserving and worthy…? !!!!! Also, the studies that A.C. is referencing are largely prison samples. You will find links to all kinds of dysfuction in that sample including substance abuse, domestic violence and sexual trauma. If you look at any group of low-functioning individuals there are multiple factors, it is impossible to establish causal relationships. We are far more complex creatures. The statistics are ridiculous. Also, when you reference personal responsibility and accountability I would ask - does a book such as Ann Coulter’s add value to society? What does putting out such hate-filled, misinformed and incorrect information do to elevate women, childdren or society as a whole? I am very saddened by the comments on this blog. The judgmental tone of many of the messages is quite sobering. I have to wonder if at the root of the judgment of many is really fear.

    Leslie  |  January 18th, 2009 at 8:59 pm

  • Having followed this thread over the past several days, I have to say I am dismayed by the fact that I’ve been proven right. So many of the commenters don’t want to believe there is any causation. “You can’t prove it! I’m covering my ears!” What good does that do?

    Whether you call it correlation, association, causation, or whatever, let’s not live in denial, OK? As mentioned before, I am a single mom and I KNOW I have to meet some additional challenges as a result. For example, since my daughters don’t have a dad, I have to figure out a way to provide meaningful, safe experiences with one or more adult males throughout their lives. I would love to believe that I am the greatest mom in the world, but I can’t ignore the yin and yang. I didn’t need Ann Coulter to point this out to me, but just because she wrote about it doesn’t negate its veracity nor its importance.

    Annie spoke from her heart, only to be accused of having no understanding whatsoever of the people she has worked with for decades. No, according to our sociology teachers, every problem in our society is caused by rich white males, so how dare anyone say otherwise? Someday another sociologist will “discover” that that tired old mantra isn’t true and certainly isn’t helpful. Meanwhile, we are all intelligent women, so let’s try a little independent thinking.

    SKL  |  January 18th, 2009 at 10:01 pm

  • I should add that I’m a single mom by “choice” and I do not regret that I’m a single mom. No, because my daughters are better off with me than in the situation I brought them from. That said, I knew going in that I’d need to make up for gaps that exist in a single-parent home. The more information I have about the nature of those gaps, the better.

    SKL  |  January 18th, 2009 at 10:08 pm

  • Not one poster on this blog has negated the importance of having a father in the household. Many are simply unwilling to blame all of the ills of society on the absence of a father. Empowering women who are single mothers doesn’t negate fatherhood at all. Not one poster has said that there are no challenges facing single mothers, or that they shouldn’t seek male role models for their children. I have no idea how “rich white males” got into the dialogue?! I am a therapist and have worked with many populations who are being targeted in the book and in some of these comments. As someone in a helping profession, it would be unethical to disparage those who I am trying to help…and how unfair to them to expect so little. Is there really a good argument for making a statement such as “Single motherhood is like a farm team for future criminals and social outcasts?” …As a mother do you want your children viewed in this way? What impression does this make on young girls who hear this growing up with a single-parent?

    Leslie  |  January 18th, 2009 at 10:37 pm

  • Leslie, you said:

    “If you look at any group of low-functioning individuals there are multiple factors, it is impossible to establish causal relationships. We are far more complex creatures. The statistics are ridiculous.” Others here have stated in various ways: “we don’t believe there is a relevant link, so shut up.”

    It’s clear that you don’t appreciate the conservative view of what’s best for people from the “personal responsibility” pespective. We can agree to disagree about that. It would be nice, however, if you could show respect for opinions based on experience, even if you don’t agree with them. I’m not talking about A.C. because I haven’t read her book nor heard her interview. I’m talking about people who have dealt with these issues on the ground.

    SKL  |  January 18th, 2009 at 11:20 pm

  • By the way, Leslie, your quote here suggests that there is truth to the arguments you are otherwise dismissing:

    “People who grow up marginalized and “in the system” do not believe that things will ever be better or that they can make real changes…they often feel powerless against society.”

    I am pretty old, and I’ve been hearing this excuse since I learned how to read. (Which equates to about 3 generations of single moms in “the system.”) Maybe the answer is: get rid of “the system.” If all it does is foster womb-to-tomb depression and hopelessness, and bad choices that even you believe wouldn’t be made outside “the system,” why do we continue supporting this beast?

    SKL  |  January 18th, 2009 at 11:33 pm

  • Maybe I’m missing something and not quite following this right but why is it assumed that single mother means no father in the picture. And that single mother means struggling to put food on the table among other things. SKL are you saying that because I’m a single mom that I’m automatically faced with countless things against my child growing up to be well adjusted? And that I’m in denial if I think otherwise? I think I must be missing something here, yes?

    ~Monica  |  January 18th, 2009 at 11:51 pm

  • Yes, Monica, that’s what I’m saying.

    In my case, there’s no father in the picture, but even if there was a guy coming around for the child sometimes, I’d have to figure out a lot of things that most married parents can take for granted.

    I am not being judgmental, just factual.

    I don’t struggle to put food on the table, and I’m not sure that’s really the issue here. It’s been noted that even in poor families / poor neighborhoods, the presence of a father makes a significant positive difference on average.

    SKL  |  January 19th, 2009 at 1:02 am

  • Leslie, There are many things that I do not know about single parenting and as I stated earlier, there are good single parents raising good kids that will live out life more adjusted than some two parent families…. They are not of concern. …… When I spoke of a troubled “system”, it is not failing because it does not do enough, it is failing because it removes the sense of value to the things or situation received. The system has been scrutinized, reassessed and continues to add more services to the list every year. With 50% of the population receiving government assistance, I would say the system has not produced independent and self -reliant people as it was intended to. It appears that excessive handouts, without some sort of accountability to move froward, has created a comfortable environment called apathy. It’s human nature to take the path of least resistance….. I am happy to be of assistance to anyone who is struggling. I like the saying “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish, feed him for a life time.” Handouts without accountability benefits no one. Isn’t this the goal we set for our own children? To be productive in society…….. You saw the poor as feeling the lack of power to change their situation.This is a subjective internal feeling the we have the power to alter. The underprivileged have many services to change their current living situation. Services that others must pay for if they wish to participate.
    They must desire to change. Many are content live under government assistance in relative comfort. …. Sitting on the other side of the desk gives me a different view of the situation. It is not as it appears on the outside. You seem to be angry because the issue of single motherhood has been brought to light. I do not separate single mothers from other people who receive assistance, the struggles to become self- sufficient are the same. I am not ashamed of wanting for others, a life that they control and for them to have the feeling of worth and accomplishment, because of their hard work. True freedom does not consist of handouts….Ann C does write with venom when making a point. However this subject is real, does exist and because Ann C has managed to offend all mothers across the board, it is still relevant. You question my judgmental tone and see it as fear. Yes, there is much to fear. A society that lacks a sense of value of what they have been given,mothers who sadly push the blame on society or other for the poor choices they freely made, children who are products of these parents who will pass the value system to their children and create the next generation of poorly developed characters, a system that is pressured to provide services to the excess, that negates personal responsibility…………… There seems to be this idea that if everyone is doing it , it’s not wrong, and there is no problem. For those people who see a problem and think that an open dialog is the start of a change for the better, they are called judgmental. AnnC in an odd way has brought an important issue to the fore front .I know that you don’t like her, but If this dialog changes just one child’s life for the better, Is it not worth it?

    Annie  |  January 19th, 2009 at 1:50 am

  • link: http://singleparents.about.com/od/legalissues/p/portrait.htm
    US Census reports that, as of 2005, between 40-50% of marriages end up in divorce. Do the majority of those kids go to jail? NO. 84% of households are single mothers, 79% are employed full time, 44 % are the result of divorce or separation, only 33% have never been married and only 29% are on public benefits. Now I see this as a class issue NOT a single motherhood issue. I too am in ‘the people business” and I have to work to view life outside of the box I work in since, if I saw the world thru that lens the majority of the world would be sexually abused and psychotic! The fact is- this is NOT about single motherhood, nor are the prison stats. Those stats are a factor, a single factor of very many. This is not a moral or values issue- it is class and economics. It is the state of our world, the one we all struggle to live in comfortably, struggle being the operative word- together being the word left out of this discussion.

    Starrlife  |  January 19th, 2009 at 7:28 am

  • Thanks Starrlife! I think that is the point exactly. I am not going to comment further and add to the “evil” dialogue about A.C. She doesn’t deserve all the attention she is getting (agree with Singlemom Seeking). I think equating single-motherhood with “handouts” and “prison” is some of the worst stuff I’ve heard in awhile. Kristin-you’ve really touched a nerve with this one.

    Leslie  |  January 19th, 2009 at 7:51 am

  • But this all goes back to sexual freedom ladies. If we didn’t have the movement for sexual freedom, I don’t think we would have as much poverty. That’s the connection that you’re not getting, or choosing not to, one or the other. One does lead to the other. Because we have told girls, and boys, to go have sex, just make sure you’re “safe,” we create situations where people cannot afford to live. And that creates a reliance on government and keeps suppressing that group of people.

    There IS a correlation. And until you are able to come to terms with it, you will not be able to help anyone.

    Karen  |  January 19th, 2009 at 8:23 am

  • Okay, I am sorry but I still don’t believe by any means that single motherhood directly correlates to the sexual freedom movement. I would like you, Karen, to produce statistics showing us that an overwhelming number of single mothers were and always have been single women. Maybe its me but the VAST majority of single mothers that I know are single because of a divorce, which has nothing to do with sexual freedom. In fact, for many of those women, the divorce was not even their idea or wish! I would like to see the statistic that says that most children born to single mothers are the result of sleeping around, otherwise, we can put the “sexual freedom” blame to rest.

    Oceans Mom  |  January 19th, 2009 at 9:37 am

  • Karen,
    I am very interested in seeing some kind of statistical evidence (it doesn’t even have to close to causal) that supports the notion that “sexual freedom”–or promiscuity or premarital sex– contributes to our economic poverty. Thanks.

    Amy  |  January 19th, 2009 at 10:12 am

  • I was discussing Ann C book with a friend this AM, and he suggested I check two articles on the Web site American Heritage the first is by Robert Rector.Dated 1/13/09. Starts off with a quote from Barack Obamas book, Audacity of Hope. [Sounds like he was none to happy with the effects of the single mother role in his life. [read the book]Then lists data and ideas for correction to the problem. The 2nd article is Government for the Good of the People. Freedom, Virtue and the Role of Government. by Ryan Messmoer. 9/17/07. Some issues discussed in these two articles are; issues on Gov. role and responsibility to citizens and our responsibility for the actions we created.. Freedom relies on virtue for survival and virtue is necessary for freedom,few out of wedlock births are accidental, lack of birth control was not a significant factor to unwanted pregnancy. Good reading .Annie

    Annie  |  January 19th, 2009 at 10:58 am

  • Boy for a group of women who like to ignore statistics, you sure would like to see some now! And so would I actually. It’s a theory that I have that makes sense to me. If it doesn’t make sense to you and you don’t agree, fine. But here is my reasoning if you’re interested. And then I will go read those articles from Annie. They sound interesting, particularly the one about Obama.

    So, back to my reasoning here. I was actually just talking about this with a friend of mine this morning. I feel that with the attention we have given sex and the freedom we have given it, it causes relationships to focus on that. I know it did for me (and don’t go and put words in my mouth that I think this is true for EVERYONE). As I stated before, my lifestyle was not one that I want for my kids. I had a very narrow and obscure view of what sex was meant to be. When I met my husband, something told me I was going to marry him. And the sex was something I had not experienced before. I felt something. But we did not communicate very well. We had a rocky relationship with fighting and arguing, but married anyway. And as our marriage progressed and we had children, different issues came to be. When that happened, we argued a lot. Because before we got married, we didn’t establish any common ground on these issues. We were compatible sexually and it seems like that’s what we focused on.

    During the course of our marriage, we have faced divorce quite a few times because we couldn’t agree on the important issues in our marriage. (Marriage going very well now though three kids later….)

    I think that may be the way for a lot of us but we don’t realize it. I really didn’t realize it until a couple of days ago when I was thinking about this blog. We don’t find compatibility with our partner on the issues that matter in a marriage. Once again, not true for ALL of us, but I would bet it would be true for most of us.

    If we can take away the pressure of our young people to have sex, it would take away the “necessity” we feel to keep abortion alive, and it may help the lower-socioeconomic group. Here is what I mean by that.

    If parents aren’t involved in their children’s lives, or they are and don’t care that their children are having sex, they can get pregnant, because that’s a risk we take when we have sex. What happens then? Well, they can have an abortion. I don’t agree with that personally, but that is an option that women have right now. Or they can decide to keep the baby. And what if mom and dad are unsupportive? And maybe dad is unsupportive too. So the woman is left alone, to support this baby. And is she going to have enough money to take care of this baby? No. Who is she to turn to? The government! So she gets enrolled in all of these programs to help her raise this baby. I’m not saying she shouldn’t, I’m saying that’s what happens.

    So what got this woman in this place in the first place? Her decision to have sex. And his decision too of course. Because she chose to have sex with another man, she chose to take the chance of getting pregnant, and now she is trying to raise a baby without enough money, on her own.

    This can happen to you no matter what your status in society. I realize that. But what I’m trying to point out here is that I *think.* My theory is that we have to get rid of promoting sex. We can say that we promote safe sex, but we don’t. The only safe sex is no sex. You can’t get pregnant if you don’t have sex. Now THAT’S a FACT!! :)

    Karen  |  January 19th, 2009 at 12:48 pm

  • Annie, how do you find those articles??

    Karen  |  January 19th, 2009 at 12:53 pm

  • Okay, I am not certain if we are trying to revert back to teaching abstinence only but I can assure you that this doesn’t work. I grew up in a suburb of a very large city and only one female in school who got pregnant. We learned about STD’s, we learned about birth control, we learned about abstinence, we basically learned all of our options and had close to zero teen pregnancies. My husband grew up in the bible belt. Both the schools and his parents preached abstinence only. (In fact, there are billboards around town preaching abstinence) The place where he grew up has the 2nd highest teen pregnancy rate in the country - this included his older brother and now wife. His parents took them to church, preached and prayed and taught abstinence only and it does not work!!! When his parents pleaded with his brother to teach this to his child he said “Are you nuts? Does it look like that worked for me?” We can also clearly see this in Sarah Palin’s teachings to her daughter. Abstinence as an only option does not work. And no, his brother is not in poverty, he got his masters and makes a very good living and is still with his teenage wife - 18 years later.

    Oceans Mom  |  January 19th, 2009 at 12:58 pm

  • Some of you want this to be about poverty / class and not about single motherhood. This is a tough one because there is such a high correlation between the two, but as I mentioned before, studies show that even in deep poverty, kids with two parents present grow up with a lot fewer social problems, on average, than kids with one parent.

    The idea that money is going to solve these kinds of problems is another scary argument that has been made for decades. If you hear it often enough, you start believing it. But it isn’t true. Just the ability to buy stuff doesn’t really change anything except maybe hunger pangs and frostbite. Motivation to make good life choices for oneself and one’s kids requires “something to strive for.” If you never have to strive, you will lose the instinct and ability to try. Yet the popular liberal attitude is that “striving” is a terrible thing that nobody should have to go through. Nonsense! If it weren’t for striving, there would be a lot fewer taxpayers to pay for all the public services we “think” large segments of our society “need.”

    I’ve walked in many kinds of shoes throughout my life - including lots that were purchased from the Salvation Army - and I’ve done a fair amount of travel in developing countries - and I’ve been around for enough decades to know that the stuff you learn in a “liberal education” is not only largely nonsense but also detrimental to our society. Unfortunately, it is very hard to explain this to people. It seems they have to figure it out for themselves through life experiences over years - assuming they are willing to learn in the first place.

    SKL  |  January 19th, 2009 at 1:24 pm

  • Oh my gosh SKL. I’m just going to stop and let you do the typing from now on. You seem to put it so well. I couldn’t agree with you more on this.

    Karen  |  January 19th, 2009 at 1:33 pm

  • Karen, The web site was given to me by a friend. Heritage Foundation appears to have some great reading and I looking forward to spending time reading…….I am in agreement that our society has created a sexually charge environment that pushes the limit just enough to pass by as acceptable. I agree that something needs to change,where to start probably at home. If I look at a few of my piers, they refuse to tighten the reign on their own kids. One friend has a drawer of condoms for his two sons and continues to fill it when needed. The youngest was an 8th grader. I am sure that neighborhood boys take from the drawer when needed, and my friend was happy to help discourage pregnancy no matter who it was. So life is tough even when respected people in the community encourage promiscuity. I doubt that Hollywood will any time soon decide to make movies with a good moral theme………..When I discuss limiting the benefits to people ,who expect others to pay for the poor life decisions made by them alone, taking away the financial reward for screwing up, may help them to become more responsible faster. My thought is maybe they will prepare better or rethink what they are doing, when they own it and they take care of it. Government subsidies not only take away from my families savings for school etc., but included are the hours that we work for free.{money being filtered to those who think government $ grows on a tree. One client, after being asked to pay a small, token fee to the agency, informed me that is was her American right not to work. She would never think of inconveniencing herself by cutting down the number of cigarettes smoked for a month to pay a $13.00 bill. It is a complex problem and sadly our children will carry the burden if changes are not made. Annie

    Annie  |  January 19th, 2009 at 3:18 pm

  • Annie, thank you for sharing. The site does look quite good. A friend of mine found it during the election. I don’t work with people, just kids. :) I’m a stay-at-home mom, so I can only learn about these things through people like you and women like you who share your experiences.

    The story of your friend and the condoms is crazy. It’s funny how we have been trained to think that handing out condoms like it’s candy says we are “discouraging pregnancy.” I think it’s really quite backwards, but not a lot of people are willing to really talk to their kids about sex and what the consequences of it are. Moms and dad are afraid to tell them not to have sex. It’s like drugs, same thing. We have this mentality like, oh, well, they’re going to do it with or without me. And our ability to influence our children gets overridden by society and it’s demands on our young people.

    I know that Hollywood will never go back to the good ol’ days. They are making too much money. But it sure would be nice if they provided MORE of it. And it would really be nice if celebrities spoke up more about abstinence and how it helps us to be responsible and have control over our futures.

    I have a blog if you want to visit some time (and anyone for that matter). I noticed that quite a few came to visit me during this discussion. My stats went from like 12 visitors to 81!!

    Anyway, this discussion has been great. It really gets one to think about the other side of things.

    Karen  |  January 19th, 2009 at 6:10 pm

  • Karen, You are Catholic! Just checked out your site and loved it. You seem to gravitate to the more traditional Catholic. I am a cradle Catholic, after I got married I joined a non Catholic Bible Study, only to find that I could not defend my faith. Not being able to defend my faith and others knowing theirs well, led me to believe the Catholic Church was a lie. After many Bible Studies in various denominations, trashing the Catholic Church verbally and blaspheming our Mother Mary, I returned home.[long story] Went back to confession and have spent my days learning about our beautiful Catholic Church, catching up on our rich faith. My mother never stopped praying for my return and I was more that happy to tell her she was right all along. I love many of the old church traditions ;novenas, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, I try to fast on Wed. and Fri. ,offering it to some cause and much more. Your site is beautiful and I will pray that you are able to inspire those who cross your path. Grace and Peace to you and your family. Annie

    Annie  |  January 19th, 2009 at 7:45 pm

  • I can’t believe we met here Annie! Isn’t God wonderful??! I too fell away from the Catholic faith, for a very, very long time. And this recent election brought me back. Who says good doesn’t come from bad?? :)

    I’m so grateful for finding my way back. I LOVE being Catholic! The more I learn, the more I love it. There’s just so much truth in it. I have never been faced with the criticisms that you speak of, but a friend of mine spoke of them before. I know there are stereotypes out there about Catholicism, but I also know they are untrue… now. Some people base their judgments on beliefs about others instead of finding out the truth. It’s unfortunate, but that’s the way it is.

    Your mother sounds like a wonderful person. I’m very new to the Catholic faith, and am still learning. So please come and visit my site often. I would love to hear your feedback. If you want, shoot me an email and I can add you to my email list. It’s up to you.

    It was wonderful meeting you!! Isn’t the Internet FABULOUS?!

    Sorry ladies, back to the discussion!

    Karen  |  January 19th, 2009 at 8:22 pm

  • I don’t have to tell you that 70%+ of all Black babies are born to single moms. That being the case, maybe we should be focusing on black culture. As for my other comments, they are based on two things: my position as a teacher who works with your bi-products daily and my status as a single man in his thirties. Single moms are so prevalent in our society today, it’s nearly impossible to date without crossing paths. I’m sorry, but from everything I’ve seen, heard, and experienced, Ann is dead on. And again, poor choices in breeding partners and lack of commitment to being wives, instead devoting yourselves to motherhood and child glorification, are your vices.

    Evan  |  January 20th, 2009 at 12:24 pm

  • “Motivation to make good life choices for oneself and one’s kids requires ’something to strive for.’ ”

    I agree. But I think that the problem may be for some people that there is NOTHING to strive FOR, not the lack of striving. In my training as an educator, I’ve read the research of Ruby Payne. She extensively details the “culture of poverty.” This culture has various problem ideas embedded in it, such as, there is no future, just get through today, and get pleasure any way you can because you may never have another chance. From my professional/middle class view, I really cannot contemplate such values being an integral part of someone’s psyche.

    Anecdotally, I have noticed in my work teaching high school students, that when kids have a dream, can see the possibility of a positive future for themselves, they are highly motivated to achieve it (including girls’ determination NOT to get pregnant!). Usually, such a vision comes from an adult in the student’s life who is NOT a parent, such as a teacher or counselor. Perhaps THAT (providing a positive vision for the futures and the means of achieving it in the form of scholarships and childcare rather than cash aid) would be a more productive focus.

    Robyn  |  January 20th, 2009 at 2:27 pm

  • I know this is getting off the topic, but I would like to respond to Robyn’s last post.

    I have done some travel in the rural and poor urban areas of developing countries. Areas where there is less wealth owned by 100 people than is owned by one person on public assistance in the US. If this “culture of poverty” idea is valid, one would assume that nobody living in these areas has any hope, nobody has any drive. The reality is quite different. Most can’t realistically pursue the types of goals “we” consider worthy - such as attaining more than a 3rd grade education; but they set their sights on goals they can attain, such as putting on a respectable wedding for their daughters and setting their sons up with some kind of paying job. These are no less long-term goals than our typical goals of a higher education for our kids, or a paid-off house in the suburbs. These folks, in general, strive because they have goals that are very meaningful to them. And of the two sexes, my observation is that the women, the mothers, are the ones who strive the hardest.

    Really, there are very few people in the US/Canada who have first-hand knowledge of what poverty is. What we think of as poverty is actually a mental state - a more accurate term might be dissatisfaction. Aside from being materially equal to the upper middle class of many countries, nearly everyone in this condition in the US/Canada has access to bountiful information about things they could hope for, via TV/radio, free public education, libraries with free internet access, and just looking around. So I don’t buy the idea that there’s something in the structure of our society that prevents these people from having something to hope and strive for.

    No, I really think that the problem is liberal do-gooders who come and tell these people that they are entitled to provided for since they are obviously not competent to meet their basic needs or provide for their children.

    There are many people who are not on public assistance who enjoy a lower standard of living than those who are. Yet they are more likely to succeed in life - because they are EXPECTED to.

    When I was a kid, I was what most people would call “poor” but my family wasn’t on assistance. We frequently saw overweight, well-dressed single mothers on TV complaining about the rate at which their food stamps ran out, etc. (About a decade earlier, they would have been given “commodities” rather than food stamps, but that was changed as it did not allow enough “dignity” to those receiving food stamps.) Their children had so many things I couldn’t hope to have. Yet I and my siblings grew up to finish college / grad school and become significant contributors to the Treasury rather than takers. (Though you wouldn’t know it based on some of the rhetoric against taxpayers.) While a high percentage of them grew up to become single parents themselves. It’s a mess. And it will remain a mess until our government has the guts to do the right thing.

    SKL  |  January 20th, 2009 at 7:29 pm

  • SkL, How right you are concerning American poverty, poor is a relative state. We have traveled with to various countries and the average Europe has a home equivalent to our poor. Check out the web site Heritage Foundation; read How Poor Are Americas Poor Examining the Plague of Poverty; by Robert Rector Aug.27,2007. It will pretty much support what you have just written….. The worst poverty I have ever seen was in Indonesia, never want to visit , but happy to have that image in my mind to remind me of our many blessings. My oldest son was an 8th grader and told me there is no real poverty in America. Our poor need to spend a week in an Indonesian and they will never complain again. Also, the work there is hard for male, female, old and even children just to get by daily. They were also humble and thankful for what they received. We packed clothes, pencils, crayons and paper. Ended up giving some of our own clothes since so many people were in need….. Our current system is screwed up and I am afraid our next president will make the income levels more even with wealth redistribution. Welfare of an off shoot of Socialist/Marxist ideology, and we are slowly moving in that direction with half of America blindly following. Obamas change we can believe in, is going to create an America that will be unrecognizable and democracy no longer. When 50% of the population is receiving some form of government assistance, the democratic values will be hard to maintain. Annie

    Annie  |  January 20th, 2009 at 9:26 pm

  • OK, now I truly need to apologize because this is completely off topic, but Annie has inspired me to add one more thing about my travels.

    My friends and I founded a charity to help destitute women and children in developing areas. We went to India and visited a slum school that we support. We watched the kids display their knowledge and looked over their schoolwork. They were learning in 3 languages, and their third-grade spelling lists in English (third language for them) were comparable to the US spelling lists for the third grade. These kids are NOT “selected” or privileged, other than the fact that unlike some of their neighbors, their parents can afford to give up the daytime child wages and free them for school. But here’s my real point. These kids have clear heads for learning. I hope you can understand what I mean. They aren’t bogged down with thoughts of hopelessness, irrelevance, unfairness, discrimination, or other brands of negativity. They come in with hungry minds and gobble up knowledge. In the competitive state-wide exams, they consistently perform at really impressive levels.

    The suggestion that “poor” people in our country simply have nothing to hope for haunted me all day yesterday. It really concerns me that we support an attitude that parents aren’t responsible to strive for a good life for their children. The idea that I, who have never seen even a glimpse of most of these children, am supposed to contribute more to (i.e., care more about) their well-being than their own parents do. This strikes me as so dangerous. I feel it would be better to make parents fight for their kids even if that might mean the kids have some material “wants.”

    SKL  |  January 21st, 2009 at 9:38 am

  • I wasn’t going to comment on this thread because it seems to have have been taken over by just a few people who can’t seem to stop. However, I can’t leave this page without saying a few things myself.

    The very idea that any one person on this earth believes that my sweet, loving, gentle son will grow up to be a rapist and a murderder, simply by virtue of being raised by *me*, is the reason single mother’s feel they need to defend themselves against the “Ann Coulters” of the world. My son doesn’t need your unwanted judgements, and neither I.

    And the idea that, somehow, *divorced* single mother’s are excluded from the judgement, as in, “it’s not their fault they’re single mothers”, is really starting to bug me. My child is just as likely to succeed in this world as anyone else’s child, whether he was born to married parents or otherwise.

    Anna  |  January 21st, 2009 at 9:56 pm

  • Most of these people should actually try reading Ann Coulture’s book and not just view it by this silly , bias, and uninformed article. Ann Coulture is talking mainly about women who can’t take care of their children, but selfishly decide to keep them anyway or purposely go out and get pregnant because they can’t wait for a man. I worked for years doing DNA tests for DFS and let me tell you everything Ann Coulture says is true. Not all single mothers are bad. But, not all Nazis’ were bad either. Some were just misguided and scared. And she does blame the fathers as well.
    The whole point of this chapter is PUT YOUR CHILDREN FIRST!
    Single, Married, Widowed, Divorced, Mother, Father
    DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOUR KIDS AND TRY THINKING ABOUT THEM FOR ONCE.
    Some fact that Ann leaves out of her book. Children of single mothers do poorer in school, have more trouble with math, talk and walk at younger ages, and have higher risks for Learning Disabilities and Emotional Disorders.

    Dana  |  January 29th, 2009 at 10:38 pm

  • Dear Dana:

    “Not all single mothers are bad. But, not all Nazis’ were bad either.”

    Am I reading this right? Did you just COMPARE me to the Nazis? It would be lovely if could clarify yourself, because I am blown away by that statement.

    I don’t care where you work, or how many children you’ve paternity tested…you’ve just crossed the line.

    Sincerely,
    Anna (Single mother raising wonderful, intelligent, non-Nazi-like son.)

    Anna  |  January 31st, 2009 at 1:46 pm

  • I’m a high school history teacher, so I know a bit about Nazis and the byproducts of single moms. Do a little research on the Nazi party and you will see that the comment is not as bad as you seem to think. In fact, some would take it as a compliment. Few political parties have turned around the economy of a country so quickly and provided for a vast majority of their citizens better than the Nazis. Yeah, you’ve got the holocaust, etc, but if that is what you want to focus on and take offense to, that is your problem, not the person who posted the Nazi comment. I think the comment was provoking you to think outside the box, nothing more. As for Ann, she is absolutely right. Our schools become more dysfunctional year after year as people continue to have children just for the sake of having them. Consider being more selective in your breeding partners, and try to be wives first, and then the single mom part will become less of the equation in our society.

    Evan  |  January 31st, 2009 at 4:37 pm

  • You are absolutely right, Evan. From this day forward I vow to make sure that I never have sex again, lest I am a wife first. Also, thank you for clarifying the Nazi comment for me. It makes me feel ever so glass half full about being compared to the Nazis. I’m sure she meant it in the best possible way, as you pointed out.

    I do wonder, though, if your teaching opportunity would have even been available to you, without all of us hardworking single mamas filling up the classrooms with our byproducts.

    Anna  |  January 31st, 2009 at 5:17 pm

  • Per your response, thanks for your contribution. Keep up the good work!

    Evan  |  January 31st, 2009 at 11:43 pm

  • I have a newsflash for those who are constantly throwing around the term “liberal media” while defending Coulter’s indefensible nonsense…

    Conservative Rupert Murdoch owns Fox Television which includes the FX channel. If you’ve ever watched any of the programming on any of the Fox cable channels besides Fox news, you know they are not known for their clean, family-friendly programming—quite the opposite actually (The Shield, Nip/Tuck and Rescue Me are just a few examples).

    And who is ultimately responsible for this content? A liberal? The liberal media? The liberal agenda? Nope. Conservative Rupert Murdoch. Incidentally, he also owns MySpace, which is pretty sleazy in it’s own right.

    The next time you want to blame the “liberal media” along with single moms for all of societies ills remember this comment.

    Janet Dean  |  February 1st, 2009 at 12:13 am

  • Thanks Evan, you speak for many of us. Single moms may be raising good kids, they refuse to consider the benefits their child receives when both parent share in the parenting process…….. Sorry, but that is how it is met to be. It would be nice if single women thought about their sexual responsibility before carelessly procreating, as Anna has promised to do. Perhaps the atmosphere in schools will improve when the byproduct from single mothers, is replaced with children from a two parent functioning home. It is sad single mothers refuse to admit the great potential and benefit offered to their children when the father is involved equally in their child life. Maybe “good ” kids would be replaced with “great” kids. This idea appears to be conveniently rejected to justify poor judgment .

    Annie  |  February 1st, 2009 at 1:17 pm

  • Murdoch is in business to make a profit, no other reason. You talk about his business ventures like he has an identity crisis. Fox news is right leaning because there is a market for it, no other reason. And Murdoch owns the other “sleazy” medians you mentioned because they are profitable. You are looking in to it way too much as are the folks who think FNC are the voice of God.

    Evan  |  February 2nd, 2009 at 8:20 am

  • @ Evan

    The fact that Murdoch is in it to make a profit is stating the obvious. Of course he’s in it for the money. I don’t think that is in dispute. The point is that all these nutjob neocons that agree with Coulter and throw around their favorite buzzword, “the liberal media” as the reason for all societies ills (have you read some of the comments here?) should look in their own proverbial backyards at their patron saint, the man behind Fox News—über-conservative Murdoch—before they go pointing fingers at “the liberal media” and single mothers for the downfall of society. He is PART of that so-called “liberal media” whether they want to acknowledge it or not. The hypocrisy is stunningly ignorant, as are the people who go around parroting media-whore idiots like Coulter.

    Janet Dean  |  February 2nd, 2009 at 8:33 am

  • You may want to read the comments I’ve posted. By your reasoning I’m not a “neo-con”, I’m a fascist. And if you think being in business to make a profit is obvious, you are sorely mistaken. If it were obvious, half the so called political debates taking place in this country wouldn’t be taking place.

    Evan  |  February 2nd, 2009 at 8:42 am

  • I realize this debate is over - but I just wanted to say that I too saw ‘the view’ with Anne Coulter and I took it a different way. I hate her tactless and inflammatory way of delivering messages. But I heard something in the midst of it that made sense to me. Just FYI, some of my BEST friends and my sister are single mothers. My sister raised amazing kids!

    Back to what I felt was Anne’s point. She seemed to be saying, that deadbeat dads, and men that ditch their children are already appropriately villified! Everyone agrees that they are bastards to be shunned and hated.

    In stark contrast, single mothers - whether good, bad, or indifferent - have been put in a category above all reproach. Single mother = Selfless martyr fighting to give the best life possible to her children. Even when the intent is there, the reality can be far different. Single parents have to work to support the family and spend time away from them. Single parents often expose their children to different ‘partners’ that can cinfusing, difficult ,and even risky. In low socioecomic homes (the majority for single mothers) the kids are left to fend for themselves while mother has to work to pay the rent. It’s HARD to be a single mother. It’s also hard on children to rely on one parent. That’s reality. But when you have hollywood and powerful single women choosing it outright in this “I don’t need a man” world, it sends a wrong message to average people.

    None of this means that single mothers are BAD…it only means that it is not an ideal situation that should be glorified. Most mothers aren’t rich superstars. Most of the single mothers I know would have preferred to NOT be single mothers. Everyone agrees that dissappearing and deadbeat dads, hurt the children. Nobody would say otherwise. I think Anne (very poorly) was arguing that it is wrong not mention the dark side of single motherhood, and to promote it simply a liberated woman’s choice. The children of low income ‘average’ single mothers will have it tougher in life. Many single mothers are probably as good (if not better) than many 2 parent households. But it would be naive to deny that single-motherhood is tough. That is why it should not be tauted as a desirable situation.

    LorB  |  February 8th, 2009 at 4:48 pm

  • I am fourty two and raised four children alone for fourteen years
    I wanted to have a woman and wife and friend and lover
    but no one wants a real man that stands up for himself anymore

    the world thinks that paris hilton is free?
    she was a slave to a idiot who used her for money

    what about the virgin thats selling her virginity?

    will someone pay my twenty two year old daughter
    ten million to keep her virginity?????????

    she said that is someone will pay her
    she will never ever marry
    that would be great wouldnt it???

    I am fourty two now and old tired
    and according to any good looking woman that I have tried to flirt with
    obviously I am ugly cause attractive woman turn their noses up at me
    but if you look up alex jones gerald celete peter shiff

    jim rogers the world is in alot of trouble
    and i have a ten thousand square foot garden
    and some chickens and beef and pork
    and enough wood for the next ten years
    so I guess i am doing ok then

    well ?
    just wanted to say that single moms work hard
    I am a man and worked harder as a man that stayed home
    than i ever did at a stupid job
    I am a loser
    and I know it
    but I loved my children

    Robert
    Integrity@cyg.net

    Robert Hillman  |  February 16th, 2009 at 1:56 pm

  • Ocean Mom - re: “Why doesn’t she focus on the rat bastard men who left their children and have no contact with them?? ”

    They are Coulter’s primary audience.

    Lisse  |  December 11th, 2009 at 10:32 am

Work Life Balance Stories

Check out our best tips for balancing work and home life.

Quick & Easy recipes

Browse our favorite quick and easy recipes, perfect for busy moms.

Ask & Answer Questions

What working moms are talking about on our question board!