[Church Lady's critic writes:] Another example of false equvialency. Find me a recognizable group of liberal parents that opposes marriage or favor sexual activity for those not mature enough to engage in it. Obviously there is no need to demonize single parents, and I would guess that most people raising children on their own long for a stable married status.
[Church Lady responds:] But don’t you see that you have exposed your own ingrown bias and hostility right there? You interpret the cultural message “Everyone should be married before having kids” as demonizing single parents. That’s precisely the attitude you and other liberals are going to have to let go of, if this problem is really going to be dealt with.
Of course educated liberals agree that one should be married before having kids, and be mature enough to responsibly use contraception before having sex. But they keep these messages private to their own social enclaves. They don’t make it a widespread cultural message for everyone, for feat that it will somehow make single parent families feel bad or “demonized”. As if that’s more important than reducing the number of single-parent families.
The truth is, single parents really did screw up somewhere along the way. That can’t be hidden. One doesn’t have to shame them, and one has to accept their situation as it is and help them as much as one can, but you still have to put out the message that this is a screwup to be avoided, and not part of the “new normal”. Liberal elites do give their kids the message that unwed motherhood really is wrong, stupid, and a mistake. That’s why their kids don’t have these problems generally speaking. They feel the pressure. So what’s wrong with making everyone feel that pressure, and adopting that social message universally? Sure, don’t shame people in the process. Emphasize the positive. But make sure the message really is pervasive and clear, and educate them in how to take responsibility for their sexual life, without fear for how it makes some people feel. Anti-smoking campaigns didn’t much care if cigarette smokers were made to feel ashamed or bad for their habits. So the same approach needs to be taken here.
And let me remind you, I am precisely one of those educated liberal elite parents, and we gave our kids precisely those values, as did most of our cohort. I see nothing wrong with extending that message to the whole of our culture, in the effort to curb an out of control situation that harms kids substantially. Frankly, I don’t much care if some single parents feel shamed or bad in the process. I don’t want to target them that way, but it’s a small price to pay for giving kids a far better life than they would have otherwise.