Who pays the price for feminism?

The most obvious answer is probably “men”.
But I think the most significant costs are being borne by children.
Here are some examples of the negative consequences for children of feminism.

[Cf. Home-Alone America,
pb ed. by Mary Eberstadt]

Woman convicted of shaking infant
By Tom Jackman
Washington Post, 2010-01-22

Pentagon begins worldwide probe of day-care hiring after assault allegations
By Ernesto Londoño
Washington Post, 2012-12-19

In Arlington, new abuse incident reported at Army day-care facility
By Ernesto Londoño
Washington Post, 2013-01-10

Babysitter guilty in Virginia toddler’s death
By Jeremy Borden
Washington Post, 2013-10-21

State report finds abuse at Woodbridge day-care center — Minnieland Academy at the Glen
By Dana Hedgpeth
Washington Post, 2013-11-15

Two former Woodbridge day-care workers charged with child abuse
By Dana Hedgpeth
Washington Post, 2013-11-25


How Single Motherhood Hurts Kids
New York Times Opinionator Blog, 2014-02-08

The last few weeks have brought an unusual convergence of voices from both the center and the left about a topic that is typically part of conservative rhetorical territory: poverty and single-parent families. Just as some conservatives have started talking seriously about rising inequality and stagnant incomes, some liberals have finally begun to admit that our stubbornly high rates of poverty and social and economic immobility are closely entwined with the rise of single motherhood.

But that’s where agreement ends. Consistent with its belief in self-sufficiency, the right wants to see more married-couple families. For the left, widespread single motherhood is a fact of modern life that has to be met with vigorously expanded government support. Liberals point out, correctly, that poverty rates for single-parent households are lower in most other advanced economies, where the welfare state is more generous.

That argument ignores a troubling truth:
Single-parent families are not the same in the United States as elsewhere.
Simply put,
unmarried parents here are more likely to enter into parenthood
in ways guaranteed to create turmoil in their children’s lives.
[I think the bigger problem is not the creation of "turmoil",
but the inability of many of these mothers
to provide traditional nurturing and developmental services to their children,
leaving the burden on the larger society.
Sadly, such mothers either cannot or will not give the child what the child needs,
and paid help, whether paid by an employer or the government,
is of uncertain interest and also competence in giving the child what the child needs.]

The typical American single mother is younger than
her counterpart in other developed nations.
She is also more likely to live
in a community where single motherhood is the norm
rather than an alternative life choice.


[Continuing her focus on "turmoil":]

[D]omestic churn is really bad news for kids.
The more “transitions” experienced by a child —
the arrival of a stepparent, a parental boyfriend or girlfriend, or a step- or half sibling —
the more children are likely to have either emotional or academic problems, or both.
(My own research indicates that boys, especially, suffer from these transitions.)

Part of the problem is that a nonresident father tends to fade out of his children’s lives if there’s a new man in his ex’s house or if he has children with a new partner. For logistical, emotional and financial reasons, his loyalty to his previous children slackens once he has a child with a new girlfriend or wife. Nor is it likely, from the overlooked child’s point of view, that a mother’s new boyfriend or husband can fill the gap. There’s substantial research showing that stepfathers are sometimes worse than none at all.


[T]hose ... realities raise serious doubts about the accept-and-prop-up response to single-parent families.
Increasing government largess could actually incentivize, or at least enable,
parental choices that everyone admits are damaging to kids.

The United States aside,
scholars have found a connection between the size of a welfare state
and rates of both nonmarital births and divorce.

[Hardly surprising. Does one need "scholars" to establish that?]
Even if you believe that enlarging the infrastructure of support for single-parent families
shows compassion for today’s children,
it’s not at all obvious that it shows much concern for tomorrow’s.

Most surprising,
given the likely feminist sympathies of liberal advocates for single mothers,
is their fatalism toward men.
While it’s a safe bet that most in this camp
wouldn’t hesitate to scold married “bastards on the couch”
for not pulling their weight at home,
they seem more than willing to write off unmarried fathers.
Not only does this merely accept
the personal loss suffered by millions of children living without their fathers;
it also virtually guarantees a permanent gender gap —
single mothers are inevitably competing in the labor market
with one hand tied behind their backs —
and entrenched inequality.

So where does that leave us, policy-wise?
Liberal critics of marriage promotion are probably correct that
there are only limited steps government can take
to change the way low-income couples meet and mate.
But that doesn’t mean the status quo is the way things have to be.
Not so long ago, the rise of teenage motherhood seemed unstoppable.
Instead, over the past two decades adolescent births have declined to record lows.
Researchers believe the decline was caused by
a combination of better contraceptive use and delayed sexual activity.
Both were grounded in a growing consensus —
including by the policy makers, educators, the public and teenagers themselves —
that having a baby when you are 16 is just a really bad idea.

[For an area where teenage pregnancy has not decreased, but increased,
see “Teen pregnancies stay stubbornly high in poor D.C. wards”.]

It’s not impossible that Americans could reach a similarly robust consensus
about having children outside of a committed relationship,
which in the United States, at least, tends to mean marriage.
But despite the growing list of center-left writers
willing to admit that single motherhood
is complicit in our high levels of poverty and inequality,
[are there people who do not admit that?]
that consensus still seems a long way off.

[I find discussions like this utterly baffling.
I live in a community largely made up of politically correct upper middle class white people.
That is not just my opinion,
the voting records in elections and the various demographic statistics indicate that.
It is described by newspapers as one of the deepest blue white-majority regions in the country.
But how do the upper-middle class white women treat their own daughters?
I can practically guarantee that they would go ballistic
if their own daughter became pregnant in high school,
and their ire would only diminish somewhat as their daughter moved along into higher education.

But what about girls of color?
The local school system, I have been told,
bends over backward to support students who give birth,
providing day care services for the children of female students.
What seems to be happening is that
if you are a high school girl of color and become pregnant,
well, what can you expect?
But if that happens to one of the daughters of these white women,
the daughter is a “bad, bad girl,”
suffering whatever punishments women can inflict on their daughters.

Perhaps I should state my own attitude on this obviously sensitive subject.
Different families will have different attitudes towards tolerating sexual activity,
depending on their religious beliefs and their general outlook.
But I would hope that all families, of whatever religion, parenting philosophy, and color
can agree that
women should not have children unless
they can provide the child with the support the child needs from the mother.
Traditionally, this has meant being in a married relation
or, in some cases of wealthy women, buying child care
(although that may well be an inferior substitute for the loving care
a mother can provide her own offspring).

But according to the final paragraph of the article,
consensus on that view does not exist.
I remember the 1950s, when that consensus did exist.
What broke the consensus?
Perhaps women might want to address that question.
"Women" because women have been the motive force in driving feminism.]

In Virginia, thousands of day-care providers receive no oversight
by David Fallis and Amy Brittain
Washington Post, 2014-08-31

Labels: ,