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hush
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since 05-27-2001
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0 posted 03-27-2004 10:31 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Denise said in Stephen's thread:

"I think one of the biggest problems in our society since the sexual revolution has been the fostering of the idea of sex and children outside of marriage, with families headed by single women who have no male support, and with children who have no male role model to bond with, which deprives them of an important ingredient to their sense of 'self', and many of those households are mired in poverty because of it."

I take great offense to this line of argument for a few reasons.

1.) As stated before, I grew up in a house headed by my mother, and only my mother. She was a nurse, and made plenty of money to support both of us. She was a good, strong role model and I honestly believe that while she made mistakes with her own life that affected me (and by mistakes, I don't mean not getting married), which is no different than any other parent because nobody is perfect, she did a pretty good job and I turned out alright.

2.)The idea that because there is no husband in the house that there will be no male role models strikes me as silly too. In some cases, that's true, but what about fathers that visit their children. (Mine visited me, and quite honestly? The greatest moral lessons I learned from my father were about how to bat my eyes and score a twenty spot, why not to drive your kids around when you're drunk -since I was the scared kid, and how not to be caught by the police when you do illegal stuff.)

Also what about grandfathers (I loved mine dearly and misss him to this day), uncles, possible brothers if there is more than one kid in the house, mom's friend's, neighbor's, ministers, counseolors at school, etc.? Dad is not the only man in the world.

3.) Why just accept that households run by women are going to be mired in poverty. Is our society still so patriarchal that that myth still runs rampant and dictates women's lives??

If you care about the poverty of single women households, let's get some programs in action to combat it. How about free childcare and financial assistance to single mothers going to college? I know a lot of women who've skipped class because their babysitter ditched out on them. Similarly, how about price breaks or government subsidized childcare centers for working mothers so they can spend that money on their mortgage or decent clothes for their kids instead? How about making sure that women are getting equal pay for equal work, and that they ahve equal opportunities for promotions?

I'm not a raving, man-hating 3rd-wave feminist, but can any woman in these forums honestly tell me thay haven't felt the brunt of sexism at least once in their lives? I have... when I went to file a police report about having a knife pulled on a friend and I. The (male) cop's response and subsequent attitude towards us could be summarized as: "What were two girls doing in that nieghborhood at that time of night anyway?"

Just a few things I thought I'd bring up.
hush
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1 posted 03-27-2004 10:35 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

BTW- just an added note (my edit page wasn't loading)...

For all those pro-lifer's out there (I know, I know Ron... doublespeak... BTW, excellently said) you can kill two birds with one stone when you make sure that women are well paid and single mothers have access to affordable childcare... you might prevent a few abortions in the process, too.
Denise
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2 posted 03-27-2004 12:04 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Hush, I have to run to tend to some things, but I'll be back. And please don't take offense at what I have said. I am speaking in general terms not in specifics. I'm sure just like your Mom, many Mom's overcome the disadvantages of single parenthood and produce well adjusted children, just as some single Fathers do. I'm talking about the overall effect on society when increasing numbers of parents find themselves in situations where they are the only caretakers and therefore the costs to society keep increasing because they can't do it alone, financially.

As for more social programs, that's my point. Society is already paying for way too much, in my opinion. The parents should be carrying the burden of the expenses that are incurred with having children, not society, deliberately or by default.
Brad
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3 posted 03-27-2004 04:00 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
The idea that because there is no husband in the house that there will be no male role models strikes me as silly too. In some cases, that's true, but what about fathers that visit their children. (Mine visited me, and quite honestly? The greatest moral lessons I learned from my father were about how to bat my eyes and score a twenty spot, why not to drive your kids around when you're drunk -since I was the scared kid, and how not to be caught by the police when you do illegal stuff.)


This is a good point. Perhaps it's the loss of the extended family (the real traditional model?) as opposed to the nuclear family (a failed experiment?) that is the problem.


serenity blaze
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4 posted 03-27-2004 05:46 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

That quote of Denise's statement is pretty inflammatory, I must admit. (*wince* Sorry, Denise, I honestly don't mean to keep "knocking heads" with ya.)

While I'm glad that Denise clarified that it was indeed a generality, I'd like to point out that generalities such as these create stereotypes--and those stereotypes are insulting to people who find themselves in need of aid to feed their children. And even worse than just being insulting to these single parents--it hurts the innocent children by stigmatizing them.

My earlier point was that both of my sisters were married to the fathers of their children. When my older sister first applied for financial aid, she was denied.

"The government believes that the parents should support their children, and if we could locate the father of your children, we would be happy to take up your case of child support for you."

My sister replied: "Would you like his Cellblock number? You have been feeding him for about a year now in Parish Prison."

oh.

She was granted temporary assistance.

But at that particular time, there were no childcare programs or educational assistance for homemakers who found themselves in such situations. My sister was once a secretary, but when she quit work to have her children, there was a bit of technological revolution by way of computers. She needed to update her skills.

So...that extended family bit? You got it. Three sisters, four kids, and no men? We all moved in together. My "other" sister worked for the state and she paid our rent. My sister in need of schooling returned to school. I stayed home with the kids, cooking and cleaning and supervising homework. (There was a part-time job at night too, for a local market research company.)

We fed each other and four kids on $232 a month. I learned how to calculate grocery bills to get change so we could buy non-food necessities such as detergent, toilet paper, etc.

More social programs? I'm not sure I know enough about the existing ones as they are now to voice an informed opinion on that. I do know that then? They were sadly in need of reform.

It wasn't too long before I found myself in need of assistance as well. (Funny, I had worked for the state too--you'd be amazed how quicky circumstances can change and you can find yourself on the wrong side of that desk.) No, I wasn't married, but the father of my kids WAS around--but he became a "displaced" worker when the oil field fell out. Extended family once again came to the rescue--my uncle graciously rented us an apartment for the paltry nod of $175 a month. My boyfriend (now husband) returned to school as well. He's now an operating Engineer at LSU Medical Center. The assistance I received was mostly medical--pre-natal care and hospitalization for the birth. I remembered the stigma of food stamps and refused financial aid and food stamps. I planted a garden, and only on occasion did I take assistance from a church food bank. A government commodities program assisted us with formula, juice, & cereal for my babies.

My point is that sometimes the system works.

The kids were all raised with relatively few problems and are now grown, maintaining jobs and yes, paying taxes to support the programs that helped support them.

I cringe when I hear people talk about doing away with such programs all together.

I'd like to know what the alternative would be. Shanty-towns filled with sick, hungry children who were deprived of basic nutrition and medical attention?

Yes, there are some people who abuse the system.

But a statement of generalities that promotes that pre-conceived notion does tend to chafe those who have lived it and done better.

Peace.
Brad
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5 posted 03-27-2004 06:00 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
So...that extended family bit? You got it. Three sisters, four kids, and no men? We all moved in together. My "other" sister worked for the state and she paid our rent. My sister in need of schooling returned to school. I stayed home with the kids, cooking and cleaning and supervising homework. (There was a part-time job at night too, for a local market research company.)

We fed each other and four kids on $232 a month. I learned how to calculate grocery bills to get change so we could buy non-food necessities such as detergent, toilet paper, etc.

More social programs? I'm not sure I know enough about the existing ones as they are now to voice an informed opinion on that. I do know that then? They were sadly in need of reform.

It wasn't too long before I found myself in need of assistance as well. (Funny, I had worked for the state too--you'd be amazed how quicky circumstances can change and you can find yourself on the wrong side of that desk.) No, I wasn't married, but the father of my kids WAS around--but he became a "displaced" worker when the oil field fell out. Extended family once again came to the rescue--my uncle graciously rented us an apartment for the paltry nod of $175 a month. My boyfriend (now husband) returned to school as well. He's now an operating Engineer at LSU Medical Center. The assistance I received was mostly medical--pre-natal care and hospitalization for the birth. I remembered the stigma of food stamps and refused financial aid and food stamps. I planted a garden, and only on occasion did I take assistance from a church food bank. A government commodities program assisted us with formula, juice, & cereal for my babies.


Exactly, just wish the men had still been around. More later.

Denise
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6 posted 03-27-2004 06:29 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Quit it Karen, my head hurts!!!!  

I've been there too, Karen, and no, it's not a pleasant place to be, and sometimes the only way we ate or had a place to live was through the help of extended family. Extended family can be a lifesaver. And as Brad said, I think the decrease in folks who have that safety net is a problem, and I think that also is a contributor to the burden placed on society.

I'm not advocating doing away with the safety nets of society, not at all. And even if more absentee fathers did contribute to the needs of the children that they have fathered, there would still be a great need. My only point was that because of the increase in single parent households the financial burden on society has increased.
hush
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7 posted 03-29-2004 10:33 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

'And please don't take offense at what I have said. I am speaking in general terms not in specifics.'

Denise, it's pretty hard to tell a single person that the way their family was structured is detrimental to society. But it's apparently easier to make that generalization? I don't take offense in that you pointed at me and said, "You know, Amy, your family life was just really screwed up and I'm sick of having to foot the bill!" I take offense in the way that someone who has stereotypes made against them takes offense.

As a woman, when I hear generalizations made about women, I get angry. If I were of a racial minority, generalizations about my color would make me angry. And generalizations about my past or present lifestyle make me angry, too.

Like I said... you don't want to have to foot the bill for other women's babies? Make sure the woman can support herself by getting them educated, and getting them jobs other than working the checkout counter at JC Penny's or flipping burgers at McD's. If you invest a little more- initially- to get people out of the poorhouse (and reform medicaid so people don't HAVE to be in the poorhouse to get medical care) society and every taxpayer is better off in the long run.

Brad- not just extended family, but society as a whole. Male friends, techers, role models are everywhere.

Brad
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8 posted 03-30-2004 07:24 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
Like I said... you don't want to have to foot the bill for other women's babies? Make sure the woman can support herself by getting them educated, and getting them jobs other than working the checkout counter at JC Penny's or flipping burgers at McD's. If you invest a little more- initially- to get people out of the poorhouse (and reform medicaid so people don't HAVE to be in the poorhouse to get medical care) society and every taxpayer is better off in the long run.


I don't disagree with this.

quote:
not just extended family, but society as a whole. Male friends, techers, role models are everywhere.


Yes, they are. But society seems to need rationalization for it to do the things necessary. People tend to need reasons for things out of sight, "Why should I help you?"

Families tend to rely, well, on "family".

[This message has been edited by Brad (03-30-2004 08:02 PM).]

hush
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9 posted 03-31-2004 02:25 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Brad-

Is it really a matter of actively helping someone? I was basically just referring to interactions with male adults in general, but especially teachers and counselors have an obligation to help children by nature of their jobs.

I grew up in a pretty loosely knit family... everyone went their seperate ways when the grandkids- all except for me, the baby- grew up. So I guess it's kind of dependent on your social background. I'm not particularly close with any male members of my family, even my dad... I talk to him frequently, and we have a pretty decent relationship and we say I Love You's with our Goodbyes... but that doesn't mean I'm that close to him.

And I think the fallacy of the family unit is that kids are naturally close to their father, or to both of the parents. Even in the picture-perfect married family, that doesn't always happen... and sometimes it does happen with less 'traditional' family units... I think this is all a more individual situation than it is a matter of who gets married, etc.
Denise
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10 posted 03-31-2004 07:50 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Hush, my point was that the increase of single parent families is detrimental to society financially because of the cost of the programs that society has to fund. Now, people can take offense at that if they want to, but I'm not maligning the people of single parent families. I'm contending that the single parent family requires more financially from society than does a family consisting of both mother and father, that's all. I was a single parent for a couple of years and I can admit that my situation and the aid that I had to seek did put an added burden on society. So what? It's just a fact. Should I be offended when reading the financial statistics of the increased costs in light of the increase in single parent families in society? No, I simply see it as cause and effect. Throwing more money into social programs does not decrease society's financial burden caused by the explosion of single parent families over the past thirty years. Funding more programs increases the burden, and increases everyone's taxes to pay for them. Will increasing the funding now pay dividends in the future? It may, but there are no guarantees that it will, or to what extent if it does. It's all conjecture. Only one thing is certain, our tax burden will increase in proportion to the programs that need funding.

Also, you've mentioned a few times the term "patriarchal" when referring to the mother/father concept of family, as if that were somehow archaic or undesireable. I don't think we've really been strictly "patriarchal" since the early 70's when the economy took a nose dive and required both parents to work to contribute to make ends meet in the majority of households, but tell me, do you think it is more or less desireable for a woman with children to receive support from a man/husband, or to receive that support from the state/society?  Because if she has children she will need help from somebody, unless she is financially independent, and I don't think that applies to very many of us.

serenity blaze
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11 posted 03-31-2004 08:29 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I am not understanding where the options are, though.

"It's all conjecture."

So is social security. I still pay, though. With fingers crossed.

I'm still at a loss when considering the alternatives.

How many single-parent households are the result of divorce--and does that matter? (I think considering the initial point, that it does.) I harp on that, because I have to. I've lived both sides of the coin, and find myself perilously rolling on the edge--STILL.

Hush is right--there is disparity--STILL--in income, potential earning power, and obviously, women are still obviously stereo-typed for reproductive ability and conscientiousness. Even by women. (WHY?)

(And? Knowing that you are vehement against abortion also strikes me discordantly, considering this stance. Where is the option? But that's another topic--STILL.)

But it's just as I said before--general statements promote stereotyping, and the true sin of that is that it hurts the innocent.

I suspect that unsuspectingly you questioned the very existance of "hush", as you questioned how many pennies of your tax monies contributed to her (indirectly) subsistance.

Of course she's upset.

I'd pay twice as much to insure that others like her would grow to contribute to our society.

There's dollars and cents--and then there's dollar and sense.

And ouch, I got a bit impassioned, didn't I?

Must be hormones.  

(and I do

Denise
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12 posted 03-31-2004 08:53 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Karen, come on, I'm not questioning anybody's existence. And tax dollars went to support me and my kids too. I'm not saying divorces are always avoidable or that it is always desirable (or even moral) to remain in a bad marriage, or that the children of single parent families shouldn't have been allowed to have been born. I'm merely saying that the increased trend toward single parent families has placed an increased financial burden on society. The alternatives? All any of us can do now is to live with our circumstances the best way that we can and shoulder whatever consequences they may have, personally or societally. And for the future? I think it would be in society's best interest to again foster as an ideal the concept of mother and father sharing in the rearing and costs of rearing their children.
Brad
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13 posted 03-31-2004 11:01 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
Is it really a matter of actively helping someone? I was basically just referring to interactions with male adults in general, but especially teachers and counselors have an obligation to help children by nature of their jobs.


Why not? What's wrong with actively helping someone? The difference I see is between people and jobs. Teachers, counselors, day care providers, or whatever go home. Family is home.

quote:
And I think the fallacy of the family unit is that kids are naturally close to their father, or to both of the parents. Even in the picture-perfect married family, that doesn't always happen... and sometimes it does happen with less 'traditional' family units... I think this is all a more individual situation than it is a matter of who gets married, etc.


Individuals don't live in a vacuum. A few years ago, I was reading a conservative magazine (Yeah, I know!), but once in a while they are able to say something so utterly politically incorrect that there must be something to it. The 'traditional' family unit (extended, not nuclear) isn't designed to keep the woman in chains, it's designed so that the man doesn't walk away.

As we've loosened those 'traditional' ways, isn't this exactly what we see?    
Brad
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14 posted 03-31-2004 11:14 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
But it's just as I said before--general statements promote stereotyping, and the true sin of that is that it hurts the innocent.


You may have said it before but it doesn't make any more true. Generalization are useful tools to deal with big issues. Stereotyping is the result of a logical fallacy.

1.Koreans like kimchi.

2.James is a Korean.

3.Therefore, James likes kimchi.

The first two statements are, at least in everyday speech, true.  The third, however doesn't follow. Why not simply ask if he does or doesn't?

That Denise offended you or Hush is precisely the same logical error, an error she wasn't making.



Ron
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15 posted 04-01-2004 03:44 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
That Denise offended you or Hush is precisely the same logical error, an error she wasn't making.

You're assuming Denise's generality is true, Brad.

Maybe Koreans really do like kimchi, but I question whether children in single-parent household are either 'deprived of self' or "mired in poverty." But if either or both of those points proved to be true, I would even more strongly question the suggested cause and effect relationship.
Brad
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16 posted 04-01-2004 06:27 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Am I?  I don't think the truth or falsity of Denise's original statement matters in terms of the mistake I was trying to point out. The distinction between what Danto calls methodological socialism and methodological individualism is a gap that can't be bridged. We, all of us, are statistical fodder and idiosyncratic at the same time. I think it's wrong to confuse the two (and why is it always confused and used when someone is offended?)

Denise uses the word 'ideal'. I think that's the wrong word, what she means is normative standard. When we use the word 'family' what do you think of? I think Denise is correct to point out that we think of a mother and a father and at least one child. If you don't think of anything then you don't have an understanding of the word.

Isn't there a difference between 'a family' and 'my family'?

Ron
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17 posted 04-01-2004 06:53 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
When we use the word 'family' what do you think of? I think Denise is correct to point out that we think of a mother and a father and at least one child.

That seems like an unrealistically narrow definition to me. As has been discussed, a hundred years ago that would have had to include at least one set of live-in grandparents. What happens when the child becomes an adult? Does the family cease to exist because there is no child? When the child-adult gets married, is their spouse not part of the family? What if any key member of the family dies?

How the family unit is defined, however, isn't really the point. The question is whether ANY particular structure necessarily CAUSES children to be deprived of self or mired in poverty. Even more importantly, I suspect, is why anyone would think it would.

How many single-parent households are simply living up to our expectations?
Brad
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18 posted 04-01-2004 08:27 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
That seems like an unrealistically narrow definition to me.


Perhaps it is, but none of your subsequent questions can be asked without it.

quote:
How the family unit is defined, however, isn't really the point.


It is the point. But I'm not talking about an absolute definition, I'm talking about a rough 'feel' of things. I don't know, you may have a different picture than I do. What is your picture?  I see a huge difference between having a picture and telling people about it, and declaring that one shouldn't have a picture at all.  

quote:
The question is whether ANY particular structure necessarily CAUSES children to be deprived of self or mired in poverty.


I think you've emphasized the wrong word
here. Does it NECESSARILY cause children . . . . The answer is, of course, no. But that doesn't mean that some structures, all else being equal, aren't better than others.

quote:
Even more importantly, I suspect, is why anyone would think it would.


Uh, because having a standard gives you something to shoot for? Actively work toward? Sure, you can fail, things happen. But I see no shame in that. I think the more important thing is why so many think the solution to failure is no standard at all.  

quote:
How many single-parent households are simply living up to our expectations?


What are those expectations?  
Denise
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19 posted 04-01-2004 08:49 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Brad, I'm glad somebody understood what I was trying to say. I'm no more being offensive, or intending to offend, than any sociologist or statistician that compiles and analyzes data and offers a considered opinion.

quote:
We, all of us, are statistical fodder and idiosyncratic at the same time. I think it's wrong to confuse the two (and why is it always confused and used when someone is offended?)

Good question. I don't know.



Actually Ron, I didn't say they were deprived of their sense of self, I said they were deprived of an important ingredient to their sense of self when they have no male role model to bond with, and I said many of those households are mired in poverty, I didn't say that all of them were. Some families are fortunate enough to have the benefit of extended family as role models and to provide financial assistance in the absence of a live-in father, but that is increasingly lacking in our society as well.

I think it can be said, generally speaking, that it is much more difficult for a single parent to shoulder the enormous responsibilities that child rearing entails. It's difficult, but less so, when you have two parents shouldering the responsibilities together, and even less so again when you have the extended family support. And generally speaking the single parent family requires more financial assistance from society which places an increased burden on society when it has to take on the responsibilities of the missing father (or in some cases the missing mother.)

Ron
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20 posted 04-01-2004 11:52 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Uh, because having a standard gives you something to shoot for? Actively work toward? Sure, you can fail, things happen. But I see no shame in that. I think the more important thing is why so many think the solution to failure is no standard at all.

Oh, I fully agree we need a standard for which to aim, Brad. I just don't think it has a whole lot to do with things as easily quantified as the number of people available.

quote:
I think it can be said, generally speaking, that it is much more difficult for a single parent to shoulder the enormous responsibilities that child rearing entails.

Being a parent is more difficult than not being a parent. And that is probably the choice that isn't being very wisely made.

If we want to make gross generalities, let's dig a little deeper into cause and effect. I submit that single parents doing a bad job of raising their kids are "generally" the same kinds of people who would do a bad job regardless of how much help they had available. It's easy to point at single-parent households and call it a problem. Maybe what we need to do is recognize it as a symptom?
hush
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21 posted 04-02-2004 05:51 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Denise-

'Also, you've mentioned a few times the term "patriarchal" when referring to the mother/father concept of family, as if that were somehow archaic or undesireable. I don't think we've really been strictly "patriarchal" since the early 70's when the economy took a nose dive and required both parents to work to contribute to make ends meet in the majority of households, but tell me, do you think it is more or less desireable for a woman with children to receive support from a man/husband, or to receive that support from the state/society?  Because if she has children she will need help from somebody, unless she is financially independent, and I don't think that applies to very many of us.'

You're missing the point. Marriage isn't (or at least, doesn't have to be) patriarchal. The fact that single motherhood causes this financial burden on society, because if things like childcare and education were affordable, and if women were paid and promoted on an equal basis with men (which gets better all the time, I know that, but there is still room for improvement).

And I don't see why making an investment to make sure woman are able to support a kid (because I know plenty of fathers who are financially well-off enough to support the whole damn family) wouldn't be the logical next step for society.

If two options are: try to get people to marry and stay married OR try to make sure woman make enough to support the kid EITHER WAY- in my opinion it's obvious which one benefits everyone more.

And since it takes two to tango, how about better enforcement of child-support money for delinquent fathers (and mothers, for that matter)?

Brad-

'The 'traditional' family unit (extended, not nuclear) isn't designed to keep the woman in chains, it's designed so that the man doesn't walk away.'

See, I must have just not stated this clearly, because you and Denise seem to ahve the same impression of what I said. I'm not against marriage. But the fact that it is, to some, the only true ideal strieks me as patriarchal, as does the acceptance of this ideal and the rejection of all others.

It's an interesting point... but I'm not sure I see how it pertains here? My point wasn't that it sucks when men go away (it does) but rather- why should it have to be such a problem, and can't we fix that problem in a way besides marriage? Maybe it would be more appropriate in Stephen's thread. I could be wrong... could you explain the relevance to me?

Also- the logical error thing- I see where you're coming from, and I know she wasn't trying to offend me.... you're saying that the offense was due to my categorization of myself in line with what she's speaking out against... right? But it's true... that I am a product of a situation she finds undesirable... but a situation I found desirable in lieu of the alternatives... I'm not angry or offended with her, personally, but I am offended at her statement, because it basically maligns a lifestyle that I grew up loving... and for that matter admiring my mother for having the strength to do.

"Isn't there a difference between 'a family' and 'my family'

Good question. I think a lot of us tend to visualize 'my family' when we think of 'a family.' However, it also has to do with what you've been exposed to. I know people with two moms... with a mom who went boyfriend to boyfriend, with moms in a busive realtionships, with mom's in good relationships, with single moms, with traditional nuclear families. So when I think of family, I think of all those things.
Denise
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since 08-22-99
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22 posted 04-03-2004 08:03 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Ron, the point in question was not parents doing a bad job, and I would agree with you that those who would do a bad job would do so no matter the family structure. My only point was that the increase in single parent families has increased the burden on society. What are your thoughts on that point?

Hush, no, I don't think I'm missing the point. Either a woman with children, unless she is financially independent, will need support from somebody, either from the father of the children (and/or from extended family if they are available and able to help) or from the state.

As for programs to assist women without partners, they are already in place, such as free or reduced day care rates and free higher education programs that are available to those who qualify for aid to families with dependent children. I'm not maligning those programs, and programs that may potentially enable a woman to be financially independent in the future, such as the education and job training programs, are a wise investment. I'm only saying that it is a financial burden placed on society and when the amount of people who need such aid increases, the financial burden increases.

I think, by and large, enforcement of child support payments by the father is far better than in the past, in that there is actually enforcement going on now. But how much enforcing (confiscating of the father's wages) can be done when, as happened in my case, the father quits his job and gets one under the table to avoid those payments? Sure, if it can be proven that they are doing this they can be thrown in jail in some states but that doesn't help the financial situation of the family or lessen the burden on society.

So I see that the standard, the "patriarchal" concept of family, as you define it, where the father is in the picture and contributing, is less of a burden on society, and a standard that should be aimed for again.

And I'm glad you aren't personally offended by my views, Hush. I would never want to offend anyone, even though I know that's not always possible in highly controversial topics.

Ron
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Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


23 posted 04-03-2004 10:36 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
My only point was that the increase in single parent families has increased the burden on society. What are your thoughts on that point?

I think you're assigning the blame to the wrong problem, Denise.

Unless the single parent suffered the death of a spouse, getting married was a bad decision they made. Why should we pay for someone's bad decisions?

Unless the single parent unexpectedly had sextuplets, having more kids than they could adequately support was a bad decision they made. Why should we pay for someone's bad decisions.

What you call a burden on society, Denise, I call rampant Socialism. I am certainly not advocating that we let innocent children suffer the consequences of their parents' bad decisions -- because they truly are innocent -- but Socialism, by its very nature, is the antithesis of personal responsibility. If the burden is being increased, it's not simply because there's more single parents. That's just a symptom. The real problem is that we've spent the last seventy years teaching people to abrogate their responsibility to themselves.

Of course, I do NOT pretend to have any answers.

When a stranger falls in the lake and is going under for the third time, it's a bit late to try to teach them to swim. I'm not going to stand by and watch them drown. But it's important to realize, I think, that learning to swim is the only real answer to the problem. Because when a  hundred strangers fall in the lake, you won't be able to save them all.

We need to better teach people how to avoid making bad decisions.
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


24 posted 04-03-2004 08:55 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I think this might be part of it:

quote:
This Paradise Spell is at the root of our tendency to work so hard, consume so feverishly, to move so much. It inspires our illimitable faith in education, our frequent born-again experiences. It explains why, alone among developed nations, we have shaped our welfare system to encourage opportunity at the expense of support and security; and why, more than people in comparable nations, we wreck our families and move on. It is the call that makes us heedless of the past, disrespectful toward traditions, short on contemplation, wasteful in our use of the things around us, impious toward restraints, but consumed by hope, driven ineluctably to improve, fervently optimistic, relentlessly aspiring, spiritually alert and, in this period of human history, the irresistible and discombobulating locomotive of the world.


--David Brooks

It's much more complex than this of course, but I don't have time to pursue it now.
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/04/magazine/04EXURBAN.html?pagewanted=all&position=
 
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