Monday, July 13, 2009
Society Does Not Actively Support Single Motherhood (But The Black "Community" Does)
This is being cross-posted at What About Our Daughters and is a companion to Gina's post about Raising Him Alone being a Trojan Horse for black women.
Before we continue this conversation can we get a social scientist to name a society that has promoted the widespread acceptance and normalcy of single/never-married women raising children alone?
A few people didn't agree with my last post where I was critical of the Raising Him Alone organization. This is no dig at single mothers. I am all for providing training classes, parenting classes, financial classes, job skills, whatever the mother needs. Again just as with my posts about DBR (damaged beyond repair)-ism last week I got a lot of heat from people who felt uncomfortable with the subject matter. I pose my blog posts as conversations. These are conversations we NEED to be having but so many would prefer to avoid them. If we NEVER discuss the challenging and yes, painful aspects of pathologies we are doomed to repeat them.
The OOW (out of wedlock) birth rate has increased by 300% across the board since the 1970's but is highest for black women at around 80%. Other groups of women are struggling with this as well but as we all know there's that added heaping of difficulty with blacks. Whatever people are doing it is NOT working and behavior MUST be modified. No one wants to admit the Anything Goes philosophy is literally killing black women (highest HIV rates) and lowering their quality of life across the board. Instead obfuscation tactics have been deployed. Trust me I understand. I used to get upset watching Suze Orman talk about being prepared financially for the pending economic downturn. She mentioned it 3.5 years ago. What she said made perfect sense but I didn't want to believe what she was saying because it would mean that I'd have to make changes.
I am not a single mother. I am not a mother at all. That was a conscious choice on my part and I have guarded my reproductive choices fiercely. That does not in any way invalidate my observations. I could've easily gotten pregnant any number of times. Trust me the women in my family are typically very fertile. I'm the eldest of six! I decided I would not have any children unless and until I was happily married to a man who provided for and protected me. I didn't always use that language specifically but that's what I've always intended.
Being married alone is not enough though. Lots of women are married to men who cheat on them or are perpetually unemployed. So it is all about CALIBER. We have to be very discerning in how we evaluate a potential mate. We may have to use judgment other than our own as well. That single decision of who we chose to mate with will alter the course of our entire life. It can be the difference between life and death. Do you want you and your children living with more hardships than necessary?
Some women don't want children at all. Some want children under very specific situations. Sometimes life happens and we have to live with the choices we've already made. We can still move forward but ONLY if we are willing to do a stone-cold accurate assessment of where we stand. The truth must be spoken. For example I know I could be married right now but if I want to attract the highest caliber mate I have to make some adjustments in my life. So until and unless I do that work single is what I shall remain, but I don't have a lot of time to be playing around. If you are already a single or never-married woman with child(ren) you have some work to do. Unless you want to remain single or never-married, Raising Him Alone.
Well that's not my wish for you and I'd hope you'd want more for yourself. My only wish is that all the young girls out there are able to make informed decisions fully invested in what they're doing before their lives are altered forever. Nobody is warning them, helping them or giving them adequate facts before hand and they end up suffering unnecessarily. Keeping up appearances is more important than giving life-saving information! Does this mean I have to share personal information? Not happening!!!
Actually I will share this. Both my maternal grandmother and mother had their first children at the age of 18. I had decided at the age of eight that I was moving to NYC to attend college and proudly told my family so. My having a child as a teenager was not part of my life's plan so I'd already decided I would not be engaging in any sexual activity before graduating high school. I was going to move away and live my own life. Oh I was curious as any normally developed female would be but I drew a line in the sand and stated it publicly. I had no idea how radical that is for the average black girl whose life has increasingly become dodging mortar shells and white phosphorus assaults. Of course for many families this is the norm and expected, but for others girls the cycle of abandonment, financial struggle and exploitation is the norm.
I'll use an example.
I know a single mother who's now in her 30's. She got pregnant at 14. She was being raised by a recently widowed mother. They had been financially unprepared for the death. The woman's mother had to take a job where she worked 12 hour shifts, some of them overnight. The woman was left alone as a young girl with even younger siblings. That young girl was allowed to have a boyfriend who was 17. The young girl's mother did not say one word to her about evaluating the quality of this boy, about making a decision about exercising her budding sexuality and definitely received no advice about using birth control. When the young girl found out she was pregnant, the boy promptly abandoned her and their child for the next five years.
By the time I'd heard she'd been allowed to have a boyfriend and my immediate thought was, get this girl to Planned Parenthood no questions asked, it was already too late. I discussed all of the options available to her and she chose to bring the pregnancy to term and raise her child. The more I thought about it the more I grew to see how the mother's neglect was contemptible and deliberate. Who lets their 14 y.o date and be left alone unsupervised with a boy who was almost 18? The idea that a mother would allow her own child to suffer is a harsh one isn't it?
She has friends who have been through similar situations who have gone on to have more children with different men and remain unmarried as well. There's this resigned acceptance that marriage is for other women. That's a lie. Black women are being told their identity is all about how many people they sacrifice for, how many children they have and to wait for the black man to "come home". LIES. LIES. LIES.
I know other women who've had four or more children with different men hoping that, This time this one will be it. They're usually involved with a black male. Who has other children. Who has not committed to them. Who is an inadequate father. Oh he may try and may be sincere in his efforts, but is still not able to be fully functioning. Or he's the guy got that one woman pregnant, moved on and married someone else. Lots of conflicts ensue from some unresolved anger aboutthat. As long as that woman that was left behind is still holding on she cannot move forward.
Black women have been self-sacrificing for far too long. Many have come to expect their life of struggle is also normal because it's been reinforced and accepted by other people in their "community". If you tell them the majority of other women of other groups, even other black women of different ethnicities do NOT live their lives like that, no one wants to believe this. It is ABNORMAL for 80% of black women to have out of wedlock births.
Black women are still being indoctrinated by and accepting the lie of the mythical "black community". We are being set up to perpetuate a cycle where we will never be free to live their own lives on our own terms. Everything is couched in this "community" talk. There IS no community. There are exceptions. There are individuals who will succeed but not the collective. Just like the Moynihan Report stated. A community is a place of safety and refuge. You are respected. Your community member looks out for you and yours. You don't get gunned down in a community. You don't go hungry in a community. You don't allow for 50% of your females to be raped or molested in a community. You certainly don't pretend none of this isn't happening!
Organizations like Raising Him Alone say they're giving help to single black female mothers and even if they do offer something, ultimately they are like a cancer. They are STILL perpetuating the lie. If they are not actively promoting a strong, intact, healthy family structure they are just using these mothers to create some ad hoc snake oil salesman pipe dream organization. Where are they getting their funding?
It's not okay for women to raise children ALONE. Even when you dear reader are the mother! Even when you are the most fabulous creature that ever walked the earth. Children want parents. They notice when something's missing even if they never say anything. Other people think throwing mass amounts of capital will solve this. If people had housing, jobs and discretionary income everything would be solved. Tried and failed I'm afraid.
This isn't about demonizing the mother who's been left with the responsibility if she decides to keep the child after birth. What about (y)our daughters? I don't see RHA offering a seminar on how to avoid a male predator as we know most young black girls are being impregnated by GROWN MEN who are usually at LEAST 10 years older. Are the going to send a group of the "good black men" to police these war zones where the women live while Raising Him Alone? Are they going to set up a pilot program for adoption and mental health services for these abandoned children?
I have not yet discussed the foster care system. The article I've linked to has a list of rather disheartening stats and questions of their own. They don't understand the high percentage of abuse, the disproportionality of black children and other things they don't consider to be the NORM. The majority of children are the products of black fathers who've also abandoned their children. I say fathers because the mothers are not all black. So this RHA group has an audience to address of black women only because many black women decided to stick it out - alone. Of course the abortion rate is 30% for black women but these are often women who already have at least one child.
I can't imagine how many more fatherless children would be around. I'm not condoning or vilifying, but when things are this out of control I do NOT understand why only CERTAIN aspects of this MAJOR PROBLEM is being addressed and all the others are being ignored? How is reinforcing the dysfunction with group-think going to CHANGE anything? Do people prefer to feel justified in their decisions or do they want to adapt the correct thinking necessary to not only survive but thrive?
I have also not talked about child development and many other areas I am not equipped to discuss but if you look at the STATS it's bad news for children in this scenario. That doesn't mean it's hopeless, but people have got to assess these situations with their eyes wide open! Those who are their primary care givers are going to have their hands full to say the least. We've discussed many of these situations here at WAOD. One of my readers reminded me of this case that resulted in the premature death of Dr. Betty Shabazz.
Now I am sorry if this pains some of you reading all of this but you cannot afford to invest in rainbows and unicorns. You will need to double, no quadruple your efforts. You will need all the extra hands you can get to give that child that you love a fighting chance at a healthy life. That child that will grow to adulthood is not shown statistically speaking to have a good chance at a quality life. No it is not fair, but life isn't fair. So do what you've gotta go but don't stick your head in the sand or claim you're choices are being attacked because you don't want to face reality. That Moynihan Report was very clear in assessing the weakened family structure as the cause for all of the dysfunction and chaos. There is your answer.
Rebuild the family structure and most of these problems are solved.
This is why Marriage Equality is being fought for so hard by the LGBT leadership. Most of us already have the right to marry and we throw it away like it's nothing. Don't justify women in raising their children alone when they can be supported in creating intact families. That doesn't necessarily mean it has to be with the man who left or presents no value. You can teach sex education but you cannot teach someone to feel loved when they know they've been rejected by the one that helped create them or the ones that look like them.
Certainly there is something very deviant in these black males that have this mass dysfunction on such a grand scale. Why are black females not connecting the dots? The "black community" is a lie. You know that phrase. "He's just not that into you." The majority of black men are NOT into black women. Otherwise they wouldn't be gone. They wouldn't be ridiculing the darker-skinned women. They wouldn't be flaunting their plantation fantasies in your face. They wouldn't be telling you that what you want is asking for too much. They wouldn't make fun of your African features. They wouldn't be leeching you for every resources you have. Oh sure they want to keep a few of us set aside to use but they're not honoring or cherishing black women the way we saw with our parents or grandparents. Even then it was sometimes questionable.
So the continued answer to that question is to tell as many black girls as possible to expand their options. The RHA organization is not seeking to empower young girls when by definition they are focused on mothers and sons. Yet, it's the girls who will get pregnant. Makes you wonder if they really have progress in mind. These girls need to be taught to seek out a wide variety of friends and experiences. To know that they are going to be rejected by some of these DBRs and be grateful. To not let themselves be used by men who despise them. To take the red pill and leave the Matrix. Date differently, mate differently and GET OUT. Rebuild the family structure with MEN (others as applicable) who are ABLE & EAGER to do so.
These DBR black men despise themselves and their blackness. They carry the psychic shame of being the descendants of slaves and don't want anything to do with black women. They are not hiding the contempt any more. You see it by their actions. Remove the lie and it becomes obvious. There is no community, only a means of trying to tie black women together on a sinking boat.
I'm certain many wish to dispute this but when your life isn't so bad and you are the exception you don't see the other side. There are far too many black girls who are in much worse scenarios and nobody is warning them others are keeping that "black community" lie going at their expense. To accept we've been lied to means we'd have to take action. Maintaining the illusion becomes more important than accepting reality or finding a better way. I cannot and will not abide with perpetuating this lie. It is a matter of life and death for far too many of us. We have no LIFE until we are actually LIVING not simply SURVIVING. That "black community" lie is a noose around the neck of every black woman who stays behind. It's being tightened a little every day and slowly taking your last breath. LEAVE and DON'T LOOK BACK.
Black women are considered some of the most beautiful women in the world - by non black men. It is time to get out from under the "black community" lie, stop propping up other people and get yours. The numbers are such that this is about survival of the fittest, the willing, the able. Many will be left behind or choose to remain where they are. So be it. For those who want something else there is a better way and it WILL look completely different than what you imagined. That's okay. If you had already known this many of you would have sought it out already. That's what this post is for. To open a door. It's your choice to see what's on the other side. Your life and the life your (future) child(ren) depends on it.
I'm going to do a post where I touch on my dating experiences with white men when I lived in the UK. It's not their being white that was special it was the fact that they appreciated me just as I was. You don't realize how under siege black women are in this country until you leave. I think we are missing stories and alternate scenarios so many women don't think they have other options. That is also a lie that we need to discard.