Background: Newsweek magazine writer Lorraine Ali quoted from my co-authored column Rise in Out-of-Wedlock Births Is Bad News for America”s Kids (Washington Times, 12/4/06) in her recent piece Knocking Yourself Up–Some women laugh about turkey basters replacing Mr. Right. The ongoing debate over going it alone (Newsweek, 11/5/07). The piece centers around Louise Sloan, author of the new guidebook Knock Yourself Up: A Tell-All Guide to Becoming a Single Mom. Sloan now has a fatherless 16-month-old son. The piece favors women who decide to have fatherless children. To learn more, click here.
The liberal British UK Guardian, one of the world’s premier newspapers, has a new piece out extolling the virtues of single motherhood by choice–There’s no shame in going solo, says mum: Career women with eyes on their biological clocks now have a ‘how to’ guide to single parenting, but the topic is provoking a backlash in America (U.K. Guardian, Observer, 11/4/07). The article focuses on choice mom guru Louise Sloan. Needless to say, the article sympathizes with Sloan, and holds me up as an example of the “vehement” backlash against single mothers by choice.
The article says that Sloan is “shocked by the vehemence of the backlash” against her. She says:
“I think that if you have reservations or shame about having become a single mother and having chosen to be an alternative family in that way, that shame is going to be transmitted to the people you speak to about it. And it’s also going to come through to your child…I think that it’s really important to make sure that your child feels that the way he or she came into this world was a positive and happy thing. And so you need to have that attitude yourself. Also, in speaking about it to other people, if you present it as a weird, questionable thing, you’re more likely to get a negative response.”
The Guardian counterposes this with my comment:
“To openly advocate single motherhood as a lifestyle choice is to fail to understand how powerfully children hunger for their fathers and the immense benefits reaped by the children who do have fathers in their lives. This misunderstanding is very destructive. At the core of this work is a ‘you go, girl’ belief that mothers can do it alone and always know best. Unfortunately, many women are choosing this lifestyle and it’s our children who are suffering for it.”
The article also has a disturbing statistic near the bottom–one in seven birth certificates in England and Wales in 2006 had no father listed.
Sloan has now joined Rosanna Hertz, author of Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice, and Peggy Drexler, author of Raising Boys Without Men: How Maverick Moms Are Creating the Next Generation of Exceptional Men, to form a troika of feminist gurus advocating voluntary single motherhood. To read my previous critique of Hertz and her book, see my co-authored column Are Single Mothers the ‘New American Family?’ (World Net Daily, 9/28/06). To see my previous critique of Drexler and her book, see my columns Are Boys Really Better off Without Fathers? (San Francisco Chronicle, 8/31/05) and Raising Boys Without Men: Lesbian Parents Good, Dads Bad (World Net Daily, 9/10/05).