Kathy Petersen’s Blog

Sometimes it’s kinder to be cruel

Posted in politics by Kathy on January 13, 2009

I watched a bit of Ann Coulter’s appearance on The View, and noticed that they were harrassing her about her comments in her latest book on single motherhood. Of course, they scarcely let her finish her statements, which undoubtedly would have been interesting and made her points. They denigrated the studies she cited, dismissing them out of hand as having been poorly done or whatever. Ok, fine, so they don’t believe them. Since I don’t know which studies, I can’t comment on the validity of them. They didn’t seem to disagree with her (although maybe it was done in the blanket dismissal of all her studies) when she said that 80% of prison inmates were the children of single mothers. Hmm. She also said that blacks and whites have the prison population rate when single motherhood is factored out. Interesting. Of course, Barbara Walters, Joy Behar, Whoopie Goldberg and the other liberal woman (not Starr Jones, right? they’ve replaced her, right?; and not the white chick whatever her name is, because isn’t she conservative? — you can tell I don’t watch The View!) took offense at these thoughts. But what if her statistics are right?

What if choosing to be a single mom has disastrous effects on the lives of the children born to them? Of course, there are extenuating circumstances — men who shouldn’t be fathers, are abusive, cheat on their wives, divorce their wives for no reason, die, etc. — but we have a culture in which single mothers are not merely lauded for doing the difficult task that fell on them through no fault of their own, but are applauded for choosing to raise their children alone when they don’t have to. I have two friends who each had a child many years after a divorce, with the children’s fathers being the boyfriend of the time who they’re no longer with. They both have a child from a previous marriage. Their becoming single mothers may have been an unwelcome occurrence the first time (assuming the divorces were not something they sought after, or were necessitated by the husbands’ bad behavior); but the second time it was freely chosen, though accidental. Another friend of mine became a single mom after her husband of many years left her and their four sons for another woman. It wasn’t her fault. But she recognizes the important role of a father, especially in the lives of boys and young men, and has made sure that she has good male role models for her children to look up to and try to emulate. They have some “adopted fathers” at their church — men with sons the ages of the boys who help them out and do “guy stuff” with them.

But some women while they are single choose to adopt a child, or get artificially inseminated, to purposefully become single mothers. There are numerous examples among the Hollywood elite that could be cited. Then there are still others — the vast majority of average women who become pregnant while unmarried for whom motherhood was accidental, or they purposefully created a child without being married to the child’s father. From what Ann Coulter was saying, I gathered that her thesis on this subject was, “This has gotta stop! We can’t go on praising women for becoming intentional single mothers, and acting as if it is just as good as a two-parent home.”

Oh, but the rest of the panel (except the one conservative) pitched a hissy-fit about it. As if Coulter’s saying that children should have two parents was akin to saying that single moms should be burned at the stake for adultery. Then they pulled out the “big guns” — asking her, “Are you married? do you have children? Well, then, you don’t really know what you’re talking about!” As if one has to be killed to say that murder is wrong. Or that one has to die of lung cancer to be able to spread the word that smoking causes cancer. Or that one has to be a single mother in order to say that children need two parents.

If what Ann Coulter said in her book is accurate (which I rather suspect that it is), and if children raised by single mothers have a statistical disadvantage when growing up, being more likely to become juvenile delinquents and prison inmates, among other things, then it does not matter that it hurts the feelings of single moms to say that. Which is more cruel: to let women ignorantly assume that “I don’t need a man, and my child doesn’t either,” so they have one-night stands, get knocked up, don’t know who the daddy is, and the daddy don’t care who his children are; or to let girls know before they get pregnant that if they were to have a baby, and the father doesn’t stick around to help raise the baby, that the baby will suffer. Yeah, it will be “cruel” to the women for whom “the shoe fits”; but it will be kindness to the millions of children who will be born into stable homes with both parents, rather than the unstable lifestyle of far too many unwed mothers — especially those whose children all have different fathers.

We as a society used to frown on unwed motherhood. It was a horrible stigma to be pregnant out of wedlock. Now, it’s almost promoted — with the innocent babies being the victims of such activity. (Also, babies born to unwed mothers are far more likely to be born premature, and to die in the first year of life than babies born to married women.) So, yeah, it’s gonna hurt some people’s feelings, but may save some babies’ lives!


2 Responses

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  1. Josie said, on January 13, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Very interesting….

    I used to consider myself non partisan but more inclined to be liberal. I picked up Ann Coulters book to merely laugh at her thoughts, becuase well that’s what we have been told to do, that she is merely a crazy woman with crazy toughts.

    Three chapters later, it dawned on me. I had yet to disagree with anything she had said. So maybe I wasn’t a liberal, maybe i really was more conservative but have been conditioned to say I was a liberal because it was the popular and “cool” thing to be.

    I do think that Anne can come off harsh sometimes, but i wonder how much of it is her personality and how much of it is just her being tired of having to scream the loudest to even be heard never mind agreed with.

    • Kathy said, on January 14, 2009 at 1:09 am

      Sometimes I wonder if she’s doing Republicans/conservatives more harm or more good by how she says what she says. I’ve seen her many times on various Fox programs, and while I agree with a lot of what she says, her manner (abrasiveness, harshness, almost anger) doesn’t sit well with me. Recently on Bill O’Reilly’s radio show he or someone talking to him said that she says she’s a “satirist” — she doesn’t intend that the mean things she says be taken literally, but as satire or sarcasm. And also that she means to “give as good as she got” — that is, that when she sees liberals being mean and hateful and getting away with it, that she responds in kind… to give them a taste of their own medicine perhaps, or to show how one-sided it is — that liberals can say something and not be called on it by the mainstream media, but when she does the same, she gets the wrath of the left for her manner of speaking.

      In some ways, I think she would be heard better if she were kinder and spoke more softly; but I’m glad you’ve taken the step so many people don’t, in actually reading for yourself, instead of just being told about the book. (Btw, I do this myself far too often — just get somebody else’s take on a book instead of reading it for myself, so I’m not being judgmental.) 🙂

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