The battle against the so-called “Traditional Family Values” is increasing. When did it become politically incorrect to have a Mother, Father, and Child family unit? Please don’t get me wrong, I am in no way saying that one situation is any better than another. I know some single mothers who do a better job at raising a family than some of their dual parent counterparts. I also know some gay parents who provide a more loving, caring and supportive environment than some hetero couples. My issue stems from the “attacks,” if you will, on us “traditional” families.
Recently the media has been quick to applaud the efforts of different types of family models, while casting a disparaging light on Mother, Father, Child scenarios. And, that ugly concept of “marriage,” should only be used by women looking for a man to take care of them. I don’t know about you, but my wife did not marry me so I could “take care” of her. Far from it, she is more than capable of surviving and thriving with or without me. Women today certainly do not need male caretakers. But that doesn’t mean that marriage should be cast in a dirty light. People get married as a natural progression of their relationships. Not because they need to be recognized by some legal entity or validated by a religious faith. People get married to show a commitment to each other; some do it before God, and some before a judge. By doing it, they say, “I have chosen you. I love you. I am committed to us,” the union itself creates exclusivity.
A recent news piece on a national network highlighted single women deciding to have children without the presence of fathers. These are individual and very personal decisions. To have them presented on a national stage in opposition to Mother-Father scenarios, is just wrong.
Another piece touted the fact that a majority of women, 51%, are unmarried. This figure includes that fact that women tend to live longer then men, therefore widows are becoming a larger portion of the population. But, the focus of the piece was on women who are staying single by choice. Waiting longer to marry, and pursuing careers as an alternative. Most of the women interviewed did not rule out marriage, just that their priorities were different. I do applaud this, as it may reduce the divorce rate in this country, and may continue to reduce the wage disparity between men and women. As the father of a daughter, I wouldn't mind her waiting a while to "find the right man (or women)" while she pursues personal goals. Same holds true for my sons as well. But to create the sense that marriage is somehow not a worthwhile accomplishment is disheartening.
A person’s individual choice is just that, their choice. It’s not something that automatically puts them at odds with other’s choices. Through biased reporting tactics the “media” is creating a divisiveness that I believe is utterly irresponsible.
I live in a country where men and women are dying everyday to protect the freedoms that I enjoy. The freedom to make choices for one’s self. The freedom to decide what values work for me. And, yes, even the freedom of speech, the one I take full advantage of here. But, the memory of our fallen brothers and sisters should not be marred by a country pent on creating division among it citizenry, whatever the issue. I’m married, I’m a stay-at-home-parent, my children were not born out of wedlock, if that puts me at odds with the New World Order, so be it. It’s just my humble opinion.
Update: For some additional commentary and discussion on this topic please see Inside Fatherhood's follow-up to this piece.