Friday, May 30, 2008

On Whole Persons

Most people would agree that theres a problem with men today. I recently saw a statistic that said that more children are being born out of wedlock in the U.K. than are being born to married couples. I havent heard specific numbers for the U.S., but I wouldnt doubt that we are far behind.

I dont think that people ask unwed mothers for their opinions often enough, but if they did I think they would be nearly unanimous in saying that it is very hard to raise children alone. As much as it is possible for these mothers to give their children what is required, these children are certainly missing out in not having a happy, secure, and peaceful home. Not to mention the psychological damage to both boys and girls that comes from the feeling of abandonment by a male father figure.

So what is the solution to our man problem? How do we make men step up and take responsibility for families? Or, perhaps we should ask why dont men want to stay with one woman?

Is anyone really wondering?

The other day I saw a makeup advertisement that prominently featured a womans cleavage. It certainly provoked the reaction that was intended. But I wondered to myself, looking at this picture, if the woman to whom the cleavage belonged had one man that was completely her own. She probably had the partial attention of many thousands of men, but did she have one completely?

Our culture has taught a strange arithmetic to both men and women. It is the one that says a thousand partialities are better than one whole. This is often the case with dollars, or shares of stock, or cookies, but not with persons. Men prefer thousands of virtual women to a single real one. Women, who are harder to fool, are taught that it is safer to attract many men than to be reserved for just one. Women are captured by their pragmatism, men by their appetite.
Persons are of infinite value. You cant take a fraction of infinity. When you try to steal a little bit, you always end up losing. Just ask those single moms.


Anonymous said...

I know this is not really the point of your entry but... while I agree that it is hard raising children alone and there are definitely things that I, as a single mother, cannot give my son he is certainly NOT missing out in having a happy, secure, and peaceful home. I assure you that I have worked very hard to ensure that his home is all of those.

This Liberal said...

Dear Anonymous,

My hope is that I can support single moms, while at the same time insisting that it is good for children to be raised by a mom and a dad. I think it is possible to hold both sentiments.

There was a time when families abandoned by a father would be socially outcast. The rationale for this was that it discouraged both men and women from acting in ways that would create fractured families. It was a harsh, though effective, deterrent.

It presents a special challenge for us who live in these times to insist on the good (whole families) while acting in love for those who live in a special hardship. And certainly all of us, on the inside and the outside of the ideal, fall short.

I will support the single moms I know, and I will also continue to insist that being married and raising children is a battle that is easier fought with two swords than one.

Much love, Single Momma.

Anonymous said...

I read your response and I understand completely. As a single mother I also insist that it is best for children to be raised by a mom and a dad. Sometimes this isn't possible. Sometimes dads get cancer and leave their widows to raise 5 children on their own. What I was objecting to was your statement that children without fathers are missing out on happy, secure and peaceful homes.

Also, it takes a lot of extra work to ensure that children in homes without fathers get the male role models they need but it CAN be done. I'm not saying that even this situation is ideal, of course it is not, I'm just saying that children of single mothers can be raised to be fully functioning members of society.