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Attention Single Moms: It's All Your Fault!

Posted by the prisoner's wife On 7:50 PM

Ann Coulter makes me itch. Which is exactly why I try to avoid her pasty, sardonic expressions and severely offensive tone whenever humanly possible. But lately, it’s been hard to ignore her media blitz to promote her new book, which attempts to demonize single motherhood and the children they raise.

Ann Coulter’s bombastic rants are nothing new. In her latest flurry of appearances, she seems to be taking her ire out on all of the single mothers. In her book, Guilty: Liberal 'Victims' and Their Assault on
, she argues that “[s]ingle motherhood is like a farm team for future criminals and social outcasts,” and claims that children of divorce are “future strippers.” She asserts the liberal media has championed single motherhood while actively working against the nuclear family.

Her assertion about single motherhood being the gateway to all social ills is extremely problematic. Although she sites some fuzzy statistics, she does not take into account the socio-economic conditions that ail a great deal of single parents. Raising a child is an expensive endeavor. And raising a child alone is
extremely arduous, requiring you to not only stand in the gaps, emotionally, for your child, but also provide financially. Becoming a single parent isn’t a
choice many take on purposefully, but according to Coulter’s logic, single mothers have become so by choice, aided by the “liberal media’s” attack on the nuclear family.

I’ve noticed something. Whenever white women begin to break away from social norms, somehow an assault on “the American family” has occurred. Black women have been raising children alone for years. Slavery (I know, we don’t like to talk about it) caused many of our foremothers to raise children in the absence of their father because he was sold away. The “nuclear” family was but a dream for enslaved African-Americans who struggled to piece together a family broken by systematic racism, and Black women were left to work and raise children solo, wishing it were possible to
have her partner’s assistance. But instead of dealing with the issue of single motherhood holistically, taking into account the historical plight of people of color, Coulter simplifies the issue to make her point.

In an attempt to further her thesis and to dig her right-wing heels into our President-Elect, Coulter argues that President Obama, as well as other prominent mixed-race African-Americans, have insulted their white single mothers by identifying with their African-American roots. She claims that by identifying with the ethnicity of their black fathers, they have “establish[ed] victimhood status in America,” which helped them become successful. Apparently Coulter needed to explain away the reasons that Obama, Halle Berry, and Alicia Keys, all raised by single mothers, did not fit into her assertion that children raised by single moms are ready for the state pen. She had to come up with something, seeing as the WASPy White House ceiling has been cracked and shattered for good. Once again Coulter doesn’t incorporate the historical significance of ethnic identity. She acts as if mixed raced African-Americans have never been identified as “black” (uh, one drop rule anyone?) and Obama et. al is doing so just to play up their disadvantaged plight.

It is easy to look at Ann Coulter and dismiss her as a self-obsessed, mad woman. I mean, that’s how I see her anyway. The problem with that, however, is that many
agree with her divisive views. Her books have climbed to the top of the New York Times Best Sellers list, and she has found a home on a myriad of conservative
media outlets. The trouble with Ann Coulter, as with any outlandish talking head, is their ability to get people to think like them. It is people like Coulter that carved American into parts, both “real” and “fake,” and attempted to pit the two against each other in a commercialized culture war.

Luckily for us, America has, in spite of itself, elected a man, the son of a single mother, who vows to unite us. I am hopeful that President Obama is the antidote to the divisive discourse that has been permeating our airwaves as of late.

9 Response to 'Attention Single Moms: It's All Your Fault!'

  1. http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2009/01/attention-single-moms-its-all-your.html?showComment=1232024700000#c3918517452359834064'> Thursday, January 15, 2009 5:05:00 AM

    So very well said! Last week when she was on the Today show, there were a few folks on Twitter talking about, "she does make good points about the nuclear family..." I scratched their dumb butts right off of my "follow" lists.

    And the next person who says something sideways like that is going to get redirected here...


  2. http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2009/01/attention-single-moms-its-all-your.html?showComment=1232049420000#c5051702135583298326'> Thursday, January 15, 2009 11:57:00 AM

    All I have to say is, my mother raised my brother and me by her self. My brother is a college graduate, and the first Black person to graduate with the highest honors from his college. He is now working on his masters, and is married with two children. Besides that, she put me through private high school and through Spelman...I'm now working on my masters in neuroscience.

    One of my aunts had five children...all of them are college educated and working (two of them are married and working on other degrees). She did it on her own.

    Two of my older cousins have college educated children, one of them is heading to medical school, full tuition paid for. They did it on their own.

    Not to mention the mothers of people like Dr. Ben Carson, Barack Obama...seriously, the list could go on longer, but I don't want to waste your time.

    ...so that single mother stuff goes in one ear and come out the other...


  3. wyliekat Said,
    http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2009/01/attention-single-moms-its-all-your.html?showComment=1232114520000#c3116444649890795773'> Friday, January 16, 2009 6:02:00 AM

    It will never cease to amaze me that the right wing nutjobs of America are given voice and lent credence by the media. Worse, this results in everything pandering to that right wing - because apparently they're powerful. Me, I think it's more like the internet bubble - they're only valuable as long as they're viewed as valuable. And until such time as the rest of the country can see them as valueless, baseless and NOT speaking for any kind of majority, you - my southern neighbours - are going to continue to have a massive fight on your hands.


  4. http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2009/01/attention-single-moms-its-all-your.html?showComment=1232136240000#c4588963668037181937'> Friday, January 16, 2009 12:04:00 PM

    I am a right wing nut job. I'm conservative and all that rot. I'm also a single mom and the daughter of a single mom, and think Ann Coulter gives us right wing nut jobs a bad name. My mom, after my dad left, went back to school to become an elementary Principal. I am a college graduate with a good job, supporting my two girls. AND I know PLENTY of people with TWO parents at home who are now being visited by mom & dad on visiting day at the pen, so... she's got nothing to stand on.


  5. Anonymous Said,
    http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2009/01/attention-single-moms-its-all-your.html?showComment=1232139660000#c7411756754937640686'> Friday, January 16, 2009 1:01:00 PM

    Yes, there are exceptions to the rule, but the statistics are what they are... The deliquents that are running amok in society are MOSTLY from broken homes. The majority of teens in jail are NOT from a nuclear home. How can you not see that? Yes, there are people who turn out FINE in spite of being raised in a single parent household, but that is not the statistic to which she was referring. Yes, there are children from nuclear homes that become serial killers, but the majority DO NOT!! Look at the numbers THEN make another post on your blog!


  6. wyliekat Said,
    http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2009/01/attention-single-moms-its-all-your.html?showComment=1232140320000#c2411011383746714700'> Friday, January 16, 2009 1:12:00 PM

    Well, anonymouse - if the statistics say it is so, then we must bow down to the reality that the fabric of society is tearing because of single moms. Not the men who leave. And certainly, we should NOT, under any circumstances, look for solutions, rather than spending all the time finger pointing. The solution is obvious - never divorce. And heavens, if your man leaves you, spend the rest of your life following him, so that you can convince him he really should've stayed in the first place.



  7. http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2009/01/attention-single-moms-its-all-your.html?showComment=1232147940000#c2385521257753992242'> Friday, January 16, 2009 3:19:00 PM

    Anonymous: it was not my intention to say that the breakdown of the traditional family isn't a problem. I feel there are far too many men who have abandoned the responsibility of parenting, but Coulter choose not to speak on that. My problem with Coulter is that she blames EVERY problem in our society on single mothers (not fathers), as if we operate in some sort of vacuum.

    Yes, a large portion of the inmate population comes from “broken” (whatever that REALLY means) homes, but an even larger part have never finished high school & can’t read on a 8th grade level. Is that ALSO the fault of the mother? That seems to be the fault of our public education system that is extremely inequitable and flawed. There are also inequalities in the way crimes are adjudicated, which can alter the prison population. For instance, why are some people from “good homes” offered probation for drug crimes, while others from “broken homes” are thrown into the system?

    My argument is this…There is not ONE single factor that we can point to and say, see here, THIS is the reason our country is effed up. It’s a collision of reasons (education, economics, access equal opportunities) that are creating the problems we see today. And if we are about truly finding SOLUTIONS and not just selling books, we would approach each of the factors contributing to the problem, not just one.

    Blaming mom can only get you so far.


  8. Christina Said,
    http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2009/01/attention-single-moms-its-all-your.html?showComment=1232231940000#c4835342656005783869'> Saturday, January 17, 2009 2:39:00 PM

    As soon as you began speaking of Ann Coulter, I just got tense. She has a way of ranting and making me left angry.

    Argh...I really don't even know where to go to gather my words. I will come back. ; )


  9. honeyindigo Said,
    http://theprisonerswife.blogspot.com/2009/01/attention-single-moms-its-all-your.html?showComment=1232687280000#c1179145550065088632'> Thursday, January 22, 2009 9:08:00 PM

    geesh...i am so out of the loop...who is ann coulter??!

    well...just thought i'd drop by to say great post and blog...

    ...and that i'd much rather not know who ann coulter is, but for my own protection and knowledge, i should be googling her.