Thursday, January 7, 2010

Apparently, I'm a national disaster!

I've dealt with this before, I'll deal with it again. In one of my email groups, one person decided to go against the grain of the group and talk about how marriage needs our support. (Oh, did I mention this was on the Alternatives to Marriage Project email list?)

As I think you all know, I'm not against marriage. I belong to that group and footloose femails not to BASH marriage, but to find like-minded people who have decided that we prefer remaining single. It's pretty hard, actually, to find groups for singles that aren't all about dating.

Now I'm not real sure why someone would be so concerned that marriage is dying. I know many happily married couples, saw a bunch of people getting engaged on Rockin' New Year's Eve, and have protested for people to have the right to get married! There seem to be plenty of people who want in on the action.

The reason they joined, it seems, is because they're trying to get federal funding to promote marriage. Because otherwise, you know, no one would do it. And AtMP is in the forefront of opposing that legislation.

So one of the people fighting for the legislation joins this list and says, "single parents and their children are a national disaster."

Um...excuse me?!? Hurricane Katrina was a national disaster. The jobless rate is a national disaster. The homeless rate is a national disaster. I am not.

At first, I was so mad that my hands were shaking so bad that I couldn't type. (And, at the time, I didn't know his agenda.) Still, I feel better now as one by one, we have proven all of his arguments false.

Of course, his biggest one is that children do better in 2-parent homes. Bella DePaulo has written extensively about the studies on this, and what she found is that children in 2-parent homes with a grandparent do even better. So what this really proves is that the more adults that love and care for a child, the better the child's chances are for success.

My daughters have two grandparents involved in their lives on a regular basis, aunts and uncles that love and care for them, the adults at their after-school program, Sylvia's former principal, friends of mine from work, their therapist and many, many more. I think they're okay.

The pro-marriage guerrilla states that juvenile crime is more likely to be committed by children in single parent homes. Juvenile crime takes place mostly between 3-6 pm, after kids get out of school and before parents come home from work. Provide more after-school programs (or keep them in school longer), and juvenile crime will go down - and not just for those children in single parent homes, but all "latch-key" children.

Interestingly, this came the day after I told a friend that my one and only regret was actually marrying X. Not being with him, mind you, but legally wedding him. It proved to be a very costly mistake.

This man claims that he wants to educate couples on marriage. As I told him, I hope that education is that of a legal one: one that lets the individuals know that what they are about to do is agree to financial responsibility to one another. That your spouse's driving record will be taken into account for your auto insurance, even if he/she won't be listed as an insured on that vehicle. That any bill your spouse will incur while you're married, whether or not you know about it, you will held liable. That should you decide to separate, you will still hold all of the financial and legal obligations of marriage. If that's what the funds were paying for, I'd be all for it.

But it's not. It's paying for billboards to promote marriage (because, sure, once I see a billboard, then I'll be dying to wed!), it's promoting marriage education in high school (oh, please don't talk to my daughter about marriage in high school! But you're welcome to talk to her about credit card debt!), it's to pay for even more studies to say that two parents are better than one. Because Ann C (or, as I normally call her, stupid f**ing c**t b***h whore) needs another book to release next year.

Again, I'm not against marriage. Well, that's not entirely true. I'm against it for me. But I'm not against it for everyone.

Still, I think this legislation is worth opposing for the simple reason that I can think of about 100 other things where that funding could go that would better support all children. Here's a partial list:
  • Public schools, of course. You all know how I feel about the state of education these days. We're about to start another budget fight. Putting more federal money in public schools certainly couldn't hurt.
  • After-school programs. You want to cut down on juvenile crime? Give these kids some place to go and something to do.
  • Child support services. Help the single parents get the money their children need.
  • Exempting single parents from being held financially responsible for their ex's debt. If you know Kori, you'll know that she's paying off her deadbeat's bills right now because they were incurred while they were legally wed. Given that he's not paying child support, and she's supporting her children on her own, I think the least the government could do is get these creditors off her back.
  • Give us our money back! Why in the world are you paying for billboards when you could be going after the banks that are now solvent!!
If you're happily married (or just contentedly married), if you're single (by choice or not), if for any reason, you're not cool with the government spending money promoting marriage, then please sign AtMP's petition.

This national disaster will thank you!

*edited to correct petition link

14 comments:

Natalie said...

What a load of crap. Utter CRAP. People who place the blame for their problems on everybody but themselves are the national disaster, not hard working single-mothers who do everything in their power to parent their kids right.

And are you sure it wasn't stupid f**ing c**t b***h whore who wrote that comment?

Ugh.

MindyMom said...

I love you April. SO well said. You rock for all sorts of reasons but especially when you get your panties in a bunch about this kinda stuff. Cuz you know...I'm right there with ya. ;)

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Signed, sealed and delivered.

Brilliant post.

You're having a frustrating week, aren't you?

vinomom said...

Very interesting. Considering marriage is the oldest institution I can't imagine why we need to advertise it. Talking to high school kids about marriage?! WTF ? Why don't we just tell them to quit school and have babies. Jesus.

BigLittleWolf said...

Wow. I feel even "bigger" for a big little wolf. I've never been part of a national disaster before. Impressive.

This is crucial, and what none of us realize (who wed, and then live in the legal aftermath for years):

This man claims that he wants to educate couples on marriage. As I told him, I hope that education is that of a legal one: one that lets the individuals know that what they are about to do is agree to financial responsibility to one another. That your spouse's driving record will be taken into account for your auto insurance, even if he/she won't be listed as an insured on that vehicle. That any bill your spouse will incur while you're married, whether or not you know about it, you will held liable. That should you decide to separate, you will still hold all of the financial and legal obligations of marriage. If that's what the funds were paying for, I'd be all for it.

That aside, having done it once, I have no need to do it again. Love? Yes. Commitment? Sure. Legal complexity? Mmmm... debatable.

And I have much respect for the institution of marriage. But don't think it's workable for many.

Great post.

(Guessing this group doesn't believe in condoms either. Or do I widen my national disastrousness too far in making that remark?)

Cat said...

I need to join that group.

I love your arguments. Everything I've seen indicates much more that the success of a child is linked to love and stability (and socioeconomic status, but I think that that's mainly because a higher socioeconomic status imparts more stability in living situation, etc). I read a good article on the stability factor recently (it was actually on how children of homeowners and children of renters come out the same when you factor in stability- like renting in the same place for years).

The only situation in which I would marry again would be once my son is out of the nest. Because honestly, life has taught me that people change suddenly and horribly, and if you're married the process of getting extracted from their life can be excruciating. (see: my marriage, my parents marriage, most other marriages I've seen dissolve)

Tara R. said...

Some people really need to think before they say anything. From this guy's viewpoint I've been a disaster most of my life, having been a part of a single-parent home growing up. The disaster is making blanket statements about situations without knowing anything about the people they label.

won said...

That guy joining the group?

It would be as if Michael Vick joined PETA.

Shaking head....

Kori said...

You already know how I feel, so I am just telling you that you know I love you.

Adoption Of Jane Ug-LBC said...

National Disaster... thats almost laughable. What a dimwit! I agree with you I'd love for my kids to learn Credit Card Debt in High School!

S.G. said...

I can't think of anything you said that I don't agree with. I feel that SAVING marriages already existing should be the focus of any marriage-pushing guru right now. Not pushing more ill-prepared youngsters into it as a promise of eternal sex. I mean, lets face it, for most teenagers that is the only appeal. Or maybe for some girls like me, it's the promise of kids. Either way, not something to build your life around at 15.

Jessica Gottlieb said...

I signed, we could use more disasters like you.

Stryker said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Danielle said...

You have such a great voice! I am signing right now.