too tired to fight?

Was in the middle of a long post about the latest Pew Research study, which evaluates 7 recent trends: more unmarried couples raising children, more gay and lesbian couples raising children, more single women having children without a male partner to “help”* them (never mind that this question was not also worded in reverse, nor that the reasons for these absent males were not questioned), more people living together without being married, more mothers of young children working outside the home, more people of different races marrying each other, and more women (again, not men?) not ever having children; and whether people think these trends are good for society.

Have lost interest.

Big surprise: Women are blamed (even, inherently, in the wording of the questions), the question of single fathers or men choosing not to have children is completely ignored, as are the prejudices of society and judges in the juvenile system, imbalances of economic reality for working women, and policies which regiment inadequate child-support; the real questions, reasons, etc., seem to be avoided.

Besides, isn’t it possible that the question itself is self-referential, and therefore moot? If our definition of society includes an expectation of families made up of one man and one woman, married to each other, and 2.3 children, then, by definition, a family made up differently would be “bad,” and a single-parent family is the most different.

Anyway, I had a rant going when I heard this on the radio yesterday, but it seems to have fizzled out. Wonder why. . .maybe I’m just tired of women taking all the blame and beginning to feel that there’s nothing that can be done to change it.


*I hate the word “help” when it comes to men’s contributions to the work of the home — as if the work of childrearing, cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc., is the work of women, and men “help.” Who do I help?

6 Responses to “too tired to fight?”

  1. February 25, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Never give up! Sometimes we all need someone to point out what should be the obvious and this post is just one good way to do that…great job to, at least, keep us thinking!

  2. 2 charmstep
    February 25, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Take a rest, but don’t give up.

  3. 3 jill
    February 26, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Have always been infuriated when men are described as ‘babysitting’ their own children!

  4. February 26, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Do you think there is a connection?: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/26/opinion/26sat1.html?src=ISMR_HP_LO_MST_FB Here is the first paragraph of that article:

    “Republicans in the House of Representatives are mounting an assault on women’s health and freedom that would deny millions of women access to affordable contraception and life-saving cancer screenings and cut nutritional support for millions of newborn babies in struggling families.”

    If the trend is towards more single woman having children and caring for them alone, why in the world are these services being cut? It would seem to buck the trend, wouldn’t it?

    I personally think it’s the type of person choosing to have babies on their own — if they were mostly well off, white Republicans, I truly believe that Republicans would be making sure all those services were in place for “their” kind. But it’s not “them”, it’s “others” who are having these babies in a non-prescribed setting (not the 2.3 person household with mom, dad, kid, same race, same religion, etc.) so the Republicans would prefer to undercut any funding for these radicals who make their choices and to hell with the establishment.

    At least that’s my feeling.

    I think we’re tired because we thought these battles had been fought and won. I am shocked that the rights that women fought so hard for in the 60’s and 70’s are under fire again. It seems like open season on women no matter how or when the rights were won. And Republicans, as we have seen, never stop, never give up. It might go away for a little while and we can relax, but give it 5 or 10 years and they are back on it, chipping away at the rights we thought were won and done with. We can of course never fight for new rights as long as we have to re-battle for the old ones.

    I find it disheartening. How many times in my lifetime must I fight for women’s rights — the same rights we fought for 30 years ago? It’s outrageous and aggressive and if we kept doing this to men, they would scream and shout and say, “Enough!” When is it going to be enough for women, too? I believe this is all of a piece, and they are related issues.

  5. February 27, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    It seems as if nothing ever really changes. Or that it’s three steps ahead and one backward all the time.

  6. March 2, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    I agree with what you’ve said in this post, and I’m tired of women taking the blame and fighting for change that doesn’t seem to be comming, too. I wonder if the deaf ears have to do with the theory that posits that men have to fight a natural fear of women (because we give birth and are able to nurture life with our bodies.) If they don’t fight to overcome this fear, they find ways to assert the superiority they wish they had, by controlling us to keep us from recognizing and believing in our strengths.

    When you mentioned, “policies which regiment inadequate child-support,” — that really hit home for me. The lowest point in my life, was when I was trying to raise my daughter and climb out of poverty, and a judge told me in court, as I sat across from her father, that he couldn’t force him to go to work and pay his child support. I could be forced to get a job that wouldn’t leave much money after paying for decent child care. (Why do we still treat childcare workers as if they should do their jobs out of the goodness of their hearts, and not to support themselves and their families? — a little side rant.) But let’s not force able bodied fathers to go to work. Her father actually looked me in the eye once and said, as if this was the deepest, most profound compliment, “I’m so glad that you’re her mother, because I know I never have to worry about her.” From their point of view, we are helping them immeasurably. They just hope we never find out.

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