For those not already familiar with Glenn Stanton, he is the Director for Family Formation Studies at Focus on the Family. He writes with great pride about the 38% divorce rate amongst the most devout Christians. He also praises heroic unwed mothers, or as I like to call them, Stanton’s Heroes.
Slate has a new piece up by Jessica Olen on her desire to join the ranks of Stanton’s Heroes, titled Single motherhood by choice: I don’t want the complication of a partner (H/T Gucci Little Piggy). This had me baffled, because I know from Pastor Mark Driscoll that the reason 41% of births today are to unwed mothers is because men aren’t worthy. But this Stanton’s Hero is confused; she doesn’t know it is a man’s fault that she wants to be a baby mama.
I crave the closeness of single motherhood—without the complications a husband can bring.
I know what many of my readers are thinking:
What is wrong with this woman? Doesn’t she know there is a right way and a wrong way to do this kind of thing? The right way is to marry a man, have children, and then divorce him. This way we can pretend what she practiced was actually marriage, if only a slightly modified form, and we can all get on with the business of blaming the husband for failing to make her love him more than the man she left him for.
But Ms. Olen is putting the cart before the horse. She is saying “I’m not haaaaapy being trapped in marriage” before she gets married. This ruins the whole thing:
It isn’t conventional wisdom, but in many ways it seems easier to raise a kid alone. Being a single parent by choice would mean not having to deal with another person’s sets of demands or expectations of what child-rearing means. I wouldn’t burden a child with the emotional baggage of divorce or the highs and lows of an unhappy relationship. It would just be the two of us and a supporting cast of extended family.
Yes, yes, yes! Of course you are right Ms. Olen. Having to answer to a husband is an abomination, something no woman (let alone mother) should have to suffer, but this is what divorce is for. Those of us who are traditional stand on ceremony, and marrying first and then kicking the father out later with the full moral backing of the church and state is how this must be done. Don’t worry if this makes some people angry, we Traditional Christians will marginalize anyone who takes issue with this.
But please, since we are going to carry your water, throw us a bone! Please, please, pretend you aren’t actually doing exactly what you want to do when you become an unwed mother. Please pretend that as a woman you have no moral agency, and that someone else with a Y chromosome must be to blame. You don’t have to make it convincing, we’ll buy whatever you say and pass it on as if it was the truth.
We’ll even call you a hero.