White Working-Class Women Should Not Raise Kids Alone
Recently, I stumbled across an article published in Slate with the shocking and horrific (to the men’s rights believers) title, “White Working-Class Women Should Raise Kids Alone.” Written by two scholars, this essay is an excerpt from their book “Marriage Markets: How Inequality is Remaking the American Family.”
The excerpt published in Slate argues, using the example of “Lily,” that sometimes it’s better for a working-class woman who finds herself pregnant to forego including the father in the picture. Here’s a paragraph that appeared in the beginning of the article:
A generation ago her decision would have seemed narrow, misguided, and difficult to understand. But now we have to conclude that it makes a lot of sense. Although it defies logic, socioeconomic, cultural, and economic changes have brought white working-class women like Lily to the point where going it alone can be the wiser choice. And the final irony: The same changes that have made marriages more equitable and successful among elite couples have made it less likely that marriage will look attractive to Lily.
That women should forbid fathers to be involved in their child’s life is an atrocious idea. That it’s better for the woman to go at it alone defies the incontestable fact that children are much more likely to succeed in life with an involved father.
From a men’s right perspective, this article undermines everything this movement fights for and encompasses. As presented through the Men’s Rights website, men deserve equal standing in the divorce courts as well as an equal presence in the lives of their children.
However, Cahn and Carbone (the authors of the article) argue that oftentimes women should abandon their partner when facing a pregnancy.
The article is clearly written from the perspective of a woman (interestingly, the authors are both females). It talks about the disadvantages for women when they commit to the father of their child. Instead of this article empowering women, it really just amplifies their selfish desires.
Children need fathers. This fact has been reaffirmed in study after study. Here’s some facts regarding this:
– Children in father-absent homes are almost four times more likely to be poor. In 2011, 12 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 44 percent of children in mother-only families. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Children’s Living Arrangements and Characteristics: March 2011, Table C8. Washington D.C.: 2011.
– A 2002 Department of Justice survey of 7,000 inmates revealed that 39% of jail inmates lived in mother-only households. Approximately forty-six percent of jail inmates in 2002 had a previously incarcerated family member. One-fifth experienced a father in prison or jail. Source: James, Doris J. Profile of Jail Inmates, 2002. (NCJ 201932). Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, July 2004.
– Even after controlling for community context, there is significantly more drug use among children who do not live with their mother and father. Source: Hoffmann, John P. “The Community Context of Family Structure and Adolescent Drug Use.” Journal of Marriage and Family 64 (May 2002): 314-330.
Why does this article ignore these important facts? Because they are only focusing on the mother. For the mother, there are sometimes risks in assuring that the father stays involved.
Maybe he won’t always have a steady job, or maybe he will actually want to request custody and see his child sometimes. Those are “risks” the mother assumes, but for the child, it is clearly better to have an involved father.
Stop looking at what is best for the mother, and look at what is best for the child. Then, you will clearly see that white working-class women should not raise kids alone.