The label is a matter of personal preference, but if you aren’t married to the father of your children and you aren’t a widow, you have no excuses.
For this you can blame feminism.
No, I don’t mean you can blame feminism for the fact that you have failed as a mother by severely disadvantaging your children. As I wrote above, you have no excuses for that. What you can blame on feminism is the fact that you have no credible excuse for the great harm you have caused your children. But I sense some skepticism on your part, so lets walk through the possible excuses. Unwed mothers are of course always chock full of excuses, so this is not a short list:
- I didn’t have any choice, I couldn’t [insert pathetic helpless woman excuse here]. Feminism is all about making sure women have choices. Women now graduate college at higher rates than men, and young women now out-earn young men. Women also have more choice than men regarding birth control and adoption. Women even have the hard fought choice to kill their own children solely at their own discretion, provided they do so before anyone sees the child’s face.
- I didn’t know I had choices. One of the excuses for unwed motherhood which holds a great deal of nostalgia is the idea that women become mothers without knowing they had a choice to. Tales of Happy Days past abound where women didn’t know that if they allowed a man to insert Tab A into Slot B, they could become pregnant. Frequent readers of this site already know I have a real weakness for the classics, but even I can’t say this one with a straight face. Feminists have been busily stamping out this particular patriarchal bogeyman with mass education programs for the last 50 years. If you didn’t hear the message, you simply weren’t listening.
- I was too young. Another classic, but this one went out of style with bell bottoms and tie-dye. Feminists have made sure that women feel free to delay pregnancy for decades after coming of age. They have been so successful, they are now focused on making women feel comfortable becoming mothers past menopause (H/T RL).
- I got bored and/or felt trapped! Don’t you want me to be haaaapy? I would love for you to be happy. Even more I would love for you not to send your kids through the meat grinder. You are the only one who could choose which man to marry. It was your responsibility to choose one who you could be happy with, and failing that, choose to be happy with the one you chose.
- The father wouldn’t marry me. Feminism removed much of the stigma for promiscuous women (spelled S-L-U-T), but it didn’t make you have sex with men you weren’t married to. Unless you were actually raped (no, not the new feminist definition of rape, but the real kind), you made the choice to have sex with a man you weren’t married to.
- The man I chose to father my child is an addict/abusive/irresponsible. See above. You are the one who chose him. As with the excuse that women didn’t know how babies are made, feminism has been very successful in removing all plausible deniability from this excuse as well. If you didn’t know that some men are like this, and that they posed a great risk to you and your children you simply weren’t listening. Feminism accidentally made this even worse. Pickup artists are a natural byproduct of the feminist war on the stigma against sluts (see pathetic excuse #5 above). Thanks to pickup artists, we now know that women are actually sexually attracted to men with these negative traits. Before you could blame a bad relationship with your father, or just men in general and no one would know your secret. Now everyone knows you were actually just thinking with your genitals. Ouch.
- My mother set a bad example by having me out of wedlock or divorcing my father. Yes, it is true that one of the many ways you have failed is by making your grandchildren and even great grandchildren less likely to have a father as well. But you still made your own choices (see above). However, feminism pushed for all of the above empowering choices to be available to you and your mother, so you can blame feminism for that.
- I can’t possibly be responsible, don’t you know that I’m a woman? While it is true that feminism has crafted a culture where women have choices and men have responsibilities, the reality is that choices always come with responsibility. But deep down you always knew that, didn’t you?
- I didn’t know choices come with responsibility. Yes, feminism has a huge amount of blame here, but deep down you really knew better. I’m trying to help women better understand this, and this post is a step in that direction. You now have the choice to either admit the painful truth and help other women, or choose your own feelings over the wellbeing of other women and innocent children. I can’t make this choice for you.