26 Jun 2015

When Do Feminists Hate Single Mothers? When They’re Bristol Palin

By So Bristol Palin is pregnant again. She’s doesn’t seem very happy about the situation, but is not willing to kill her child, so a two time single mother she will be. Here is her statement:
(I’m announcing this news a lot sooner than I ever expected due to the constant trolls who have nothing better to talk about!!!)
I wanted you guys to be the first to know that I am pregnant.
Honestly, I’ve been trying my hardest to keep my chin up on this one.
At the end of the day there’s nothing I can’t do with God by my side, and I know I am fully capable of handling anything that is put in front of me with dignity and grace.
Life moves on no matter what. So no matter how you feel, you get up, get dressed, show up, and never give up.
When life gets tough, there is no other option but to get tougher.
I know this has been, and will be, a huge disappointment to my family, to my close friends, and to many of you.
But please respect Tripp’s and my privacy during this time. I do not want any lectures and I do not want any sympathy.
My little family always has, and always will come first.
Tripp, this new baby, and I will all be fine, because God is merciful.
Jezebel refuses to even give her a name, and simply calls her ‘woman’:

Woman
Mary Elizabeth Williams, writing at Salon, is apparently in need of a dictionary, because she doesn’t seem to understand that ‘sympathy’ is not a synonym for ‘judgement’. Bristol doesn’t give a shit whether you judge her or not. She just doesn’t want anyone feeling sorry for her. It’s almost like she’s owning her mistakes and accepting responsibility for them. I suppose that explains why feminists hate her. She was supposed to don the victimhood mantle and line up for public assistance, like all the other strong single mothers, right?
Palin was paid a quarter of a million dollars to shill abstinence for The Candie’s Foundation in New York, an organization to prevent teen pregnancy. Yeah, it’s slightly amusing that a two time single mother, who is 24 years old and not a teenager, was chosen as a spokesperson but that says a lot more about the marketing acumen of Candie’s than it does about Bristol Palin.
I’m no fan of single mothers in general, but Bristol has two things going for her that most single mothers don’t: she’s rich and her ability to earn money doesn’t require her to sit in a cubicle for eight hours a day while someone else raises her children. One of my closest friends happens to be a single mother, too. Her child has never been inside a daycare center, because she has a sister who lives with her and a mother and two brothers and a large extended family all around her who all collectively help raise her daughter. She works nights as an ICU nurse and is there every morning to see her daughter off to school, and there every evening to help with homework, have a family dinner and kiss her goodnight. She sleeps while her daughter is at school.
That’s simply not the reality for most single mothers. They are living in poverty, with poor social supports (suggesting they are estranged from family) and doing a pretty shitty job, all things considered. Palin is not going to have any of those issues. Having children out of wedlock is never an ideal situation, but having money, time and a large, supportive family can do a lot to mitigate the harms of single motherhood.
I still wouldn’t recommend anyone date Bristol Palin. This is not a person making smart choices.
Feminists also hate Bristol for refusing to kill her child, even though it’s clear this will be a tough row to hoe for her. Bristol’s defiance of ‘abortion culture’ – it’s just some fetal cells – scrape ‘em out and chuck ‘em in the trash! – pisses them off. Allie Jones, writing at Gawker, is completely and utterly mystified that any woman would accept the consequences of her actions and take full responsibility for them. She literally can’t even….. peppering her posts with Eek! And Yikes!  Jones writes that Plain has “no choice in the matter” [of whether to give birth], failing to see that choosing life is a choice. It’s just not a choice feminists support. Make no mistake, I am not suggesting that Palin is making a smart choice, but she is making a choice and her willingness to accept consequences coupled with her ability to actually meet her obligations earns my respect. A woman who cannot possibly care for herself and a child is making an irresponsible choice to give birth, the consequences of which will be paid by the child, one way or the other. A lifetime of poverty and social problems if the child is born, or death by abortion. There’s a Hobson’s Choice for you.
In an era when preventing pregnancy is actually not that difficult, there is something deeper going on with single mothers and I believe it centers on the very concepts Palin embraces, and feminists reject: responsibility along with rights. I don’t know if Palin would like to curtail American women’s access to abortion, although I know plenty of people would, but the legal fact is that American women have the right to terminate their pregnancies. Palin chooses not to take advantage of that right, simultaneously understanding that such a right comes with responsibilities. She will be responsible for that child. I also don’t know if Palin will be holding the fathers of her children financially responsible, although I suspect that yes, she will take advantage of that right. Palin can choose parenthood, and the fathers cannot. It’s pointless to speculate on what Palin herself thinks about reproductive rights for men, since she’s never addressed the idea, to the best of my knowledge, but the feminist hatred of this women is born of the fact that Palin embodies responsibility with rights. Literally embodies. There is another person in her body. Feminists weeping over the fact Palin won’t abort her child to meet some litmus test is part of feminists refusing to accept that women have rights, but not responsibilities.
Solving this issue could be a very simple matter, and very close at hand.
Male birth control. It’s launching in 2018, and if we see a dramatic decline in single motherhood thereafter, the conclusion will be inescapable: give men responsibility for birth control and you will see more responsible reproduction, because men are taught that their rights come with responsibilities that cannot be evaded.
Are men more responsible than women? Do they care more about children and the future? Are they more likely to create a sustainable future? Is patriarchy actually a really smart idea?
Bring on the Vasagel, and let’s find out.
Lots of love,
JB

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