Check out the contrast between these search results. Not a single “loser”, “easy”, “desperate”, “stupid”, “scum” or similar insult in the search results for fathers.
Why, society, are single fathers so often seen with sympathy and admiration, yet single mothers are painted as a washed-up, disgusting strain on the system?
This is fucked.
I know this is rhetorical, but we know the reason.
Motherhood is not valued in this country, it’s demanded. We have people fighting tooth and nail against abortion, birth control, and then any social program that helps poor mothers. If the world sees you as a woman, you are expected to desire, birth, and raise children, and if you don’t do that, or you do it while poor, or single, or not white, you’re not only failing as a woman but as a mother.
But men, they don’t get defined by their reproductive abilities! They get to be multi-dimensional! And if they spare an occasional thought for the children they brought into the world, it’s a cherry on top of their identity as a person.
Women don’t get the luxury of existing as people outside of parenting, even in 2013. And until we do, this is the shit we’ll be dealing with.
"Motherhood is not valued in this country, it’s demanded."
#Quality of parenting is independent of relaitionship status
And black and yellow and brown motherhood is even more spat on. Tiger mothers anyone?
There’s also the perception that a mother’s duties are just a part of her “function” but a dad doesn’t have to do anything to be a dad if a mom’s around— so when single dads do the work the men get kudos for doing “all that extra work” and actually being nice to the kids rather than just letting the mom raise the kids and only being around to provide “strong male role model” crap for any possible sons, or to gatekeep/ be a threat to other men in a daughter’s dating life.
Straight (white?) men in relationships have, at least in my culture, a comfort zone in being underfunctioning; they tend to (but not all the time, or in all cases) let their wives do their “feeling work” for them and won’t do as much important emotional or personal labor in parenting, as if their financial contribution is the most important element to raising the kid. This “absence” is what our culture likes to focus on as the crux of “daddy issues” or “no strong male role model” as a way to blame kids (esp. women) but not the men they’re implying didn’t invest enough parental labor in their kids. It’s also expected and normal; if dad leaves, he’s just being a shady man we shouldn’t blame him, but if mom leaves, she’s giving up her biological destiny and that’s unforgivable.
(and I shouldn’t have to explain why that’s gross)
And men of color, because their masculinity is deemed either lesser or threatening, may not enjoy this “underfunctioning is normal and okay” privilege. And women of color, who are further not seen as people by society, are made into the stereotypes as edensmachine mentions (tiger mother, welfare queen, etc.)
Basically if you’re white and male and you’re a parent you get all of these praises and medals for doing shit you should be doing anyway, and in a single parent situation one has no choice but to do those things. But if you’re not white you don’t get these medals because you don’t enjoy the default expectations that not doing anything for your kids is okay or normal. And if you’re not male, literally everything about your life is construed in some way to relate to straight and monogamous motherhood and kids so not having a husband makes those kids “wrong” or “a drain on society” without a man to validate you with his financial contribution— even if your own is sufficient. And if you’re neither white nor male you’re the “wrong” person to raise kids at all.