New York Times contributor Kate Roiphe slams conservative social critics for suggesting “single mothers are bad.” Actually, it’s single motherhood as an institution – not the mothers themselves – that deserves criticism.
Roiphe claims the nuclear family is “narrow, constricting, airless” while her own situation – with two children from two different fathers, neither of whom live with her – is “messy, bohemian, warm.” She insists “suffering is everywhere” in traditional marriages, based on novels, plays and conversation with friends, without acknowledging that dysfunctional relationships always make a more compelling focus for entertainment or talk.
Finally, she identifies the “real menace to America’s children” as “an unconscionable divide between the rich and the not rich,” but never notes that single motherhood, with its terrible stress on both mothers and kids, contributes profoundly to poverty that’s often passed from generation to generation.
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