Half of American babies are born to unmarried mothers. And those with two parents, Melissa Kearney argues, have an immense advantage.
Yes, parenthood and the families deserve their rightful place of honor back in society. Take care of the family and you will resolve a lot of society's problems. Motherhood and fatherhood have become almost derogatory terms these days. I left a career as a software engineer to raise my two kids, but people would say things like "Oh, so you don't work any more." Really?!! Really?!! I never worked so hard in my life, and was never so challenged and beautifully rewarded, as when I was raising my kids. And honestly, raising them was THE most meaningful work I have ever, ever done... Ever. When I say "work" I no longer mean "It's gotta be done so I'm going to do it", I mean "oh man, I love what I am doing".
Bari - Really great interview. I hope she returns. I have one comment and one request.
The comment - While we are saying the unsaid, it seems to me the only people who are lambasting the book are progressives as it calls into question much of their foundational views on modern society. I don't see centrist democrats or conservatives. I suspect there is a lot of overlap between the pro Hamas/anti Israel crowd and the people who want community parenthood.
The request - I have sent this request to your staff and I will mention it here for public consumption. I really think the Honestly audience would benefit from a long interview with Thomas Sowell. Like Ms. Kearney, he is an economist and for 50+ years he has been writing about the impact of the Great Society programs on black America. At 94 years of age, he wont be around much longer.
Thanks again for a great episode!
Future historians, if there are any, are going to look at how much we KNEW, but ignored.
At this point, telling the captain of the Titanic to avoid the icenerg would get you labelled ice-phobic.
The black American family provides a stark example. From 1890 to 1950, black women had a higher marriage rate than white women. And in 1950, just 9% of black children lived without their father. By 1960, the black marriage rate had declined but remained close to the white marriage rate. In other words, despite open racism and widespread poverty, strong black families used to be the norm.
But by the mid-1980s, black fatherlessness skyrocketed.
I'm an Indian lesbian. In India, many adult married as well as most unmarried children, both straight and gay, continue to live with their parents. This benefits both parents and children. And the ultimate privilege for a child is to have a functioning extended family with grandparents either living in the house or meeting frequently, at least once a week. Most Indians have that experience
This one was superb. You provided a comprehensive review of the topic with barely a mention of race or sexual orientation.
The fact that people on the Left are attacking this woman for daring to "call for a return to marriage" is another example of how the Left is becoming actively evil. I didn't used to use that word much, but in the last few months, the evidence is piling up that the Left is supporting positions that are *objectively* evil. Rejecting a social norm that prevents poverty for children is objectively evil, no matter how you slice it.
I disagree with the title of this article. Growing up in a two parent married household are not "privilege". Kids can't choose their birth parents. It is not the same as being born into a very wealthy household. Traditionally, the WASP value in America was if you were born into a very wealthy household (like the Kennedy's or Bush's) you had an unspoken responsibility to help people less well off than you.
The nuclear family unit for centuries has been the best way to raise children, and create great outcomes for next generations. Unfortunately, government policy and social morals do everything to undermine the nuclear family unit. The oft cited stat is that in the early 1960s, Blacks had a 25% rate of single parenthood (children out of wedlock). Today, it's almost 80%.
Encourage marriage. Get married. Stay married. Marriage isn't easy and oh by the way, 50% do not end in divorce. If two people graduate from college and get married, the divorce rate is down to 10%. Kids today want everything perfect and their ducks in a row before they take the marriage leap. My generation didn't do that.
Having a good marriage and raising children in a stable home requires self sacrifice. Our society is so engrossed in "I want it now." or being selfish and keeping score that they forget that to make things work they might have to sacrifice.
This is not hard. What's hard is changing the conversation. What's hard is telling people the way they are thinking, and doing, is wrong.
I see with this article, an example of Westerners reinventing the wheel. Or rather convincing themselves that the wheel is a good thing.
I'm starting to get what is wrong with Western culture. The most obvious things first become out of use, then controversial and then reinvented, maybe readapted to be in use again.
Maybe this shows great intellectual flexibility and is good in some ways. But it puzzles me.
This also shows up in the use of words. Like privilege. I have used it to mean "honor", something you aspire to as you say here. Now it is a dirty word.
What about this thing called obviousness?!
I was raised by a single mother. My father left my mother with two young boys. He has pretty much been a non entity in our lives ever since. It was very hard on all of us but especially my mother. She had to be a young single mother in the small town South in the 1980's. She was a young school teacher. We had no money and limited support. I would be lying to you if I told you that getting where I am was not a struggle and I know there are people who did with a lot less. I am now a successfull professional and so is my wife. We have been together 25 years. Marriages aren't easy but I have never ever thought about leaving or cheating. I hope my wife feels the same way. Our children have good grades, go to church and participate in school activities. I have taught them to be kind, respectful and grateful. Are they children of privilege? Yes, and I could give a s***t less.
Decades ago, people ridiculed Dan Quayle for criticizing the "Murphy Brown" TV show, because it suggested that single parenthood was a viable option that a woman could casually embark on because that's what works for her. How dare he suggest otherwise?
Who's going to apologize to Dan?
This reminds me of Kamala Harris’s claim that we don’t all start from the same place so we don’t really have equality yet. Obviously, the solution for this is a type of totalitarianism that is frankly kinda hilarious.
Excellent point. “Privilege” is the politically charged replacement for my preferred word, “blessed”.
I'm one of the critics, because the title gets it wrong, implying that a two-parent household is something that randomly happens--just falls from the sky on people.
The two-parent household is NOT a privilege. It is a choice.
At an individual level, it is a choice that people make out of love, commitment, and a willingness to sacrifice. At a societal level, it is also a choice: society needs to foster the sort of mores that discourage casually "hooking up" and impregnating women and then abandoning them. It also needs public policies that encourage couples to stay together, rather then to separate so they can collect more benefits.
Tax policy discourages marriage. A married couple making $100,000 a year each pay much more income tax than two single people making $100,000 each.
The most disturbing information in the article was not the state of marriage/family/child rearing. It's the difficulty she had in getting the book published and reviewed.