My just say no to dating single mothers post remains one of the most popular on this blog, with over 50K views and 3K+ Facebook shares. I probably trash about 75% of the comments that post generates, since they all tend to be along the lines of “oh my god you’re so judgy and such a bitch and even though other single mothers are total slags like you say, I’m not and you should just die already”. Yeah, yeah. Whatever. It always amuses me when commenters get outraged at what a judgy bitch I am. Uhm, you clicked on a website called JudgyBitch! What the fuck were you expecting?
Another frequent comment I get is “oh yeah, well what about all the single dads? What about them, huh?”, so let’s talk about them.
Single fathers have all the virtues single mothers do not, and they should definitely be on your radar screen if you are looking for some solid, husband material. Let’s talk about why.
First and foremost, every single mother chooses parenthood, as she is legally entitled to do. Facing a positive pregnancy test, she has the option of evicting Junior from her womb long before any need to buy itty bitty shoes arises. And even after Junior arrives, she still has at least two options in front of her: She can refuse to identify the father and place the child for adoption, or she can surrender the child under safe haven laws and walk away from all financial, social, legal and ethical responsibilities.
The argument that women should be able to choose parenthood because only women get pregnant is nullified by the fact that even after a baby is born, a woman still gets to decide if she will assume responsibility for that child. She does not need to have any reason whatsoever for refusing that responsibility. If she doesn’t want the baby, she doesn’t have to keep it.
Men have no such rights. Men cannot force women to have abortions, nor should they be able to. They cannot surrender their paternal rights. They cannot refuse to assume responsibility for the child. They will, in fact, be imprisoned, if they cannot pay the woman whatever sum the courts have determined is appropriate. and let’s not forget that for some women, tricking a man into a pregnancy is just “normal“.
Men are not allowed to choose parenthood.
It is therefore safe to assume that a single father had fatherhood thrust upon him. Single mothers make a conscious, deliberate choice to make the one decision most likely to guarantee their children live in poverty with little chance of escaping. Single fathers have not made that choice because they are not legally entitled to do so.
Single fathers are the exact opposite of single mothers: they are the embodiment of responsibility. A man raising his children alone has assumed full responsibility for someone else’s choice (the choice to have a baby), and even if the decision to have a child was nominally mutual, in actual fact, he had no say. Mutual agreement to have a child is merely pleasant conversation to disguise the fact that men have no reproductive choices, other than complete celibacy or permanent sterilization, choices we would never accept as the only birth control options for women. And rightly so.
Single fathers are also a good financial bet for potential relationships because even though they bear the brunt of the cost of raising their children, they are unlikely to be paying out alimony to the mother’s child, and obviously are not paying child support. They are unlikely to be receiving child support, either, and it behooves any women considering a single father to consider the fact that women are far more likely to be delinquent in paying child support than men are. Don’t count on the baby mama kicking in any cash. It’s highly improbable. And don’t count on the courts sending the woman to jail for failure to pay. Ha! Yeah, right. Even without support from the other parent, single fathers still tend not to be poor because they have made entirely different life choices than single mothers.
Dating a single father is also an excellent test of a woman’s own personality. Can you deal with the fact that a child will always supersede you in his father’s affections? I think women who don’t have children are taken by surprise when confronted with this reality, because they don’t understand that children almost always take priority over adults and adults are expected to be mature, self-assured and accommodating of the needs of others.
You can see why this is a problem for some women. Check out these letter to Dear Prudence, in which delightful Princesses of The Special Snowflake begrudge their partner’s love for their children. I’m so confused about that whole wicked stepmother trope! It’s just patriarchy, right?
Dear Prudie, I’ll be spending New Year with my boyfriend of two and a half years. While this would normally be lovely, I’m not looking forward to it. I feel bummed out by it. We’ll be at his parent’s, which is out in the sticks and he has visitation with his daughter for the holidays first time since she was a baby. I’m conflicted. On one hand this should be about the time he spends with his daughter and she with her grandparents. On the other hand I cannot stand the way he rewards/gives in to her tantrums and end up angry and isolating myself. I’m also 27 and feeling a little resentful that for the second year in a row my New Years, which should be fun and carefree, is dictated by his family plans. Even if I did ditch them, which is essentially what I’d be doing, that also feels terrible and it’s not like I have many other friends or options. I’m not sure what to do or how to manage conflicting feelings of guilt & resentment. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. -Conflicted.
I’ve been married for a little over a year. I met my husband several years ago when we were neighbors; he was married at the time and had a young son. He moved away, got divorced, and I didn’t see him for several years. Then we reconnected, dated, and got married very quickly. His son is now 10 and I’m having a really hard time getting to like the boy. This might sound mean, but I can’t stand him sometimes. I know he’s a child, and that he gets his bad manners from his psycho mother, but everything about him just grosses me out: the way he eats; the way his mother dresses him (like a little rapper); that he’s too lazy to even clean his room. I try so hard to hide my feelings, but my husband senses it sometimes. I take his son to buy school clothes or toys, but he can’t behave and it’s driving me insane. I really don’t know what to do, especially now that we have him every weekend. I asked my husband if he can give me “me” time at least once a month, but his excuse is that he hates leaving his son with his ex-wife. I really can’t take sharing my husband with his son. What should I do?
Ugh. Completely horrid women.
Single fathers are clearly capable of accepting responsibilities, even when they had no say in creating those responsibilities, and they will always have priorities over and above the women they partner with. I can imagine the snarls and contemptuous huffing coming from those women who cannot abide, for one second, that a mere child will take precedence over her, and those are just the women you want to avoid like the plague.
If you are one of those women, then steer clear of the single dads. They really don’t need another child. But if you are looking for a man willing to commit to something greater than the sum of individual parts, and that is what marriage is, then a single father might be just the man you’re looking for.
I’m reminded of a Rita Rudner joke that I always find quite amusing:
“I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They’ve experienced pain and bought jewelry.”
We can spin it a bit and say:
“I think men who are sole parents are better prepared for marriage. They’ve experienced powerlessness and accepted responsibility”.
Now the real question is why the hell would a single father ever want to complicate his life and open himself up to even more exploitation by taking on a wife? Or another wife?
What’s in it for him?
Until men have the legal right to choose parenthood, not much. Just more responsibility. How fascinating that it’s mostly feminists who demand the right to choose parenthood for themselves, but refuse that right to men.
Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.
Is that because responsibility is the natural consequence of freedom? As long as men are not free to do something as fundamental as choose parenthood, they can be forced into assuming responsibilities. And let’s be clear, the responsibility single fathers have assumed is not for the children.
It’s for a woman’s choice.
If feminists really wanted to tackle women’s oppression, they would insist that men and women are equally free to accept or reject responsibility for their life choices. But that’s not what they want at all. They want the right to shift the burden accountability of onto men (how oppressive!), many of whom accept that treatment willingly. Like single fathers.
Why do they accept the burden?
Because they have no choice. And because they put the needs of their children first.
Exactly what single mothers refuse to do.
Single mothers? Just say no. Single fathers? Hell, yeah!
Those are men worth working for.
Lots of love,