JAMES N. writes:
There are many crimes which, although I would not actually do them, I can imagine how the perpetrator came to commit the crime. There are some crimes for which I can say, “there but for the grace of God go I.”
But I cannot fathom the common scenario where a woman takes on a boyfriend who then murders or abuses her child.
And yet, this is quite common. The most dangerous place in the world for a child is in a home where his mother is cohabiting with a boyfriend. On the other hand, violence against children by their father’s girlfriend is almost nonexistent.
Nevertheless, we (society) exercises a strong, strong preference for the extremely dangerous single mother/boyfriend household over the single father household. Here is a link to the latest one of these crimes.
This one has the added feature that, after mutilating the little boy and caving in his head, the happy couple ran off to Universal Studios in Florida.
In my mind, justice demands that the mother be punished with equal or greater severity than the boyfriend, since the crime would not have been possible without her actions and decisions. And yet, this is never the case.
To me, the psychology of these crimes is not hard to fathom.
A very young woman gets pregnant. Since there is no pressure for her to marry or for the father of her child to marry her, she soon loses anything but economic contact with the father. She gets welfare subsidies and possibly child support. She can handle the situation, at least financially.
Right about the time her child turns one or so, she realizes the immense drawbacks. Not only is the child much more time-consuming that she had expected, she comes to sense that because of her child, she is less attractive to men, who have no interest in the child of another man. She may never have a permanent relationship, let alone marriage. This realization makes her desperate and much less discriminating. She ends up with a man who is irresponsible, immature and mean. She is also irresponsible, immature and mean. (She may have grown up in a single-mother home herself, making her more prone to poor judgment.) She is so pleased to have him around that she is willing to overlook the fact that he finds her child extremely annoying. The demands of a child infuriate him. He thinks the child is whining and crying deliberately to annoy him. He has zero understanding of what is normal behavior for a child and he thinks this child, the child of another man, is especially bad. When he strikes out, he feels perfectly justified. And she may have come to dislike her own child too.
The outpouring of support for this child seems so humane but it is really very hypocritical. How many of the people who publicly feel for him have ever spoken out against welfare for single mothers or criticized relatives for their extramarital relationships? A culture of selfishness and hedonism seems to have bottomless reserves of maudlin compassion, of votive candles and stuffed animals, when disaster strikes.
If a woman is forced by social pressure to marry the man who is the father of her child, they may have a very rocky marriage, but the child is likely to be safe. But we’re a long way from reclaiming that social pressure and it won’t reappear in this country ever again. Single motherhood is a firmly established, child-hating industry and nothing will break it up short of complete economic collapse, which is likely to result in a splintering of this country.
—- Comments —–
James P. writes:
It is no real surprise that a woman who shows poor judgment in choosing the man who got her pregnant would also show poor judgment in the selection of her subsequent men.
“If a woman is forced by social pressure to marry the man who is the father of her child, they may have a very rocky marriage, but the child is likely to be safe.”
The Left considers that even one example of a man who abuses his wife and children discredits the institution of marriage, yet somehow the vast number of horror stories about single mothers and their children is never held to discredit the institution of state-subsidized single motherhood.
Jill Farris writes:
I have counseled and volunteered at pregnancy centers for many years (we used to call them crisis pregnancy centers but not anymore). At one such center, I was involved in developing a simple program for single mothers. I had envisioned a mentorship sort of thing in a home because I believe that the Christian home is a powerful place and that God intended for women to learn from each other by watching, listening in and being involved in normalcy.
Well, this particular endeavor attracted quite a number of women and it became more practical to host them in a church so the program became very much like other similar programs for moms.
The moms would meet for an hour or so and be taught practical and important lessons. One class was on budgeting, another on cooking beans from scratch (so many of these low income moms couldn’t cook basic foods from scratch) and so on.
The director of the center also bravely addressed the topic of abused children and non biological men. She gave the statistics. She gave the horror stories and she challenged the women to remain celibate and not seek a relationship until their children were grown. Ridiculous? Far fetched? No. These women listened gravely and (I think) appreciated the fact that the director of the center believed they had the self control to live singly and celibate for a long time.
If we can expect young people to remain virgins until marriage (no matter how long marriage may take), we can expect and challenge single women to remain celibate and strong in order to protect their children.
Of course, without the grace of Christ and His strength, the task seems impossible.