Imagining Daddy

Single Moms: Breeding Like Trailer-Park Amoebas

I'm trying to understand this Single Mom thing.

I don't guess I'm having much luck.

From time to time I watch the talk shows on the lobotomy box, mostly to depress myself and see how much strength of character I have. It takes strength, let me tell you. Not infrequently I find Oprah, looking like a beached whale balanced on her hind flippers, spouting about some sordid guest, whom she introduces as a Single Mom. Or it may be Jerry Springer, who is a sort of female Oprah, with his characteristic array of human mollusks. But they're all the same, celebrating reproductive incontinence among the lower orders.

"And here is LaSheryl, a Sin-gle Mo-o-mmmm! from Tuscaloosa who will share with us her struggle with the DeadBeat dad…."

Always there is a cheery sound to this Single-Mom business. The tone is one of chirpy commendation. We immediately realize that LaSheryl is not to be understood as a culpable and gelatinous loser from the bottom muck of society, but rather as a symbol of courage in adversity, a brave and noble woman Doing Her Best, though maybe she needs counseling, as almost everybody does, and Oprah just happens to have a psychologist handy….

Huh? I thought courage meant people like Helen Keller, Amelia Earhart, Joan of Arc, or Margaret Thatcher. Nope, guess not. Courage, it seems, is a gal who looks as if she had wandered off from the set for Biker Babes and has no virtues other than a functioning reproductive system and the frame of mind of a lending library. She is courageously going to let society give her money and look after her kids. Usually she has in her eyes the look of alert intelligence I associate with flat tires. She is combatively complacent about having brought forth a Dadless tyke. She invariably lives on welfare.

Which means on me and you.

And this puzzles me. I find myself wanting to say, "Woman, you don't pay to raise my kids. Why should I pay to raise yours? What are you, a brood mare?"

Am I missing something?

Of course, you can't say such things. Ain't politically correct. If you do suggest that maybe these women ought to get their tubes tied, then you get told that you are just no end uncompassionate and don't have any sensitivity.

Well, OK. I'm just a country boy, and don't understand advanced thinking. But I gotta wonder, when LaTanya and LaSheryl and LaRhombohedron are spitting babies out like M&Ms for the Halloween rush, three per Single Mom by twenty-seven fathers, one of whose names they remember--or anyway what he looked like--I have to wonder about their sensitivity too.

Fact is, when kids are born to adolescent mothers with no jobs, no husbands, no education, no idea what responsibility is or how to spell it, and no maturity, those kids are going to end up on the streets selling dope. That's a fact. They grow up miserable.

I've watched this mess with black Single Moms downtown, virtually the only kind they have downtown, and with shiny white mothers of sixteen in the shiny white suburbs of Washington. As a philosopher in West Virginia once said, "Hit don't work." They push their strollers along, like kids playing house but just too young, leaning hard on mom to baby-sit while they try to go to high school, not able to date, not ready to be mothers, trying a job that's too big for them with no help, not bad but just not ready.

Even when the mothers are older, and lots are, hit still don't work. Yes, a female executive from CBS with the default chip on her shoulder can hire enough day-care to pull it off, sort of, and that's a lot of why this atrocity continues: Chips under the feminist shoulder-pads. But it doesn't work at all for most.

The talk-show ladies say it's liberation. Where I come from, it's called child abuse. Sez me, the children ought to be given to decent parents, and the mothers ought to be put in jail.

Further, I think we all know that massive illegitimacy doesn't work. We just somehow don't have the moxie to say, "Stop."

I tell you, this country is nuttier than Aunt Sally's Christmas fruitcake, and you know how much rum she puts in that sucker. We go in for hysterias, obligatory moods, odd stampedes and lemming orthodoxies. Remember Prohibition? A pack of battleaxes with too much time on their hands decided that booze was a satanic plot, and the country went into contortions for more than a decade.

Then there was Joe McCarthy, and we went to bed for years looking underneath the bed for a Communist. Obviously if Communists were witless enough to sleep under beds, they couldn't have been much of a threat, but never mind. Then came the Sixties, the silliest damn thing ever to happen to an unsuspecting continent. I know. I helped it happen. None of these things made sense to Europeans who, though boring, aren't crazy. We are.

We're doing it again, only this time it's feminism. That's what's driving the Single Mom lobby-feminism, and the fear of saying anything blacks don't like, though sodden fatherlessness is spreading fast to whites. Once again we're racing en masse in directions that most of us know make no sense at all. Come on: How many of us really think that massive illegitimacy is a good idea?

Maybe someone needs to say it plainly: "Casual bastardy is immoral, contemptible, reprehensible, bad for children, bad for society, and ought to be stopped. Now." (Hmmm. I think I just did say it.) Sometimes there are reasons for conventional morality. The reason usually is that it works. Why is it that we permit a ratpack of congenitally dyspeptic diesel dikes to impose this on us?

I don't get it.