This is a letter to my very pregnant friend! She is a feminist and we are quite close.
Because of all my arguing about feminism you may think that I have a problem with you being a single mother or that I look down on you for being a single mother and I just want to say that that is not true. I do not have a problem with you or anyone else being a single mother and in fact there are many benefits that I imagine will come with single motherhood. Being a mother without being attached to a male is the most natural thing in the world for women. We have been doing it for hundreds of thousands of years and it will give you the chance to truly follow your instincts, to sleep near your baby without opposition and to parent freely.
What I have a problem with is feminism’s refusal to acknowledge that it is a bad idea to advise women in a society like we have today to do whatever they feel, to live independently from men and all of that. Single motherhood is fine in isolation but society as it is structured today is not even the easiest thing for families with two parents far less for families with one. Children and women could both benefit from working with men instead of against them. Feminism says so much in their slut walk campaign that victim blaming is wrong and that society should tell men not to rape rather than tell women how to dress, why then do they tell women to be independent because they fear male violence or domestic abuse? Why don’t they tell them not to beat rather than tell us to be independent?
Being a single mother in this society has consequences. When we had an open community that was not really the case but we no longer have open communities and children just are not used to being grown with one adult as their only/primary caregiver. Feminism is an idea or a theory that may or may not come into being. Society’s structure as it is today is real though and I do not think that it is purely chance either. Just as our physical traits are a result of an evolutionary history involving chance and survival of the fittest I think our social structure is like that. The social structure we have today is the result of hundreds of thousands of years of war and luck and conquest. It is not simply by chance and it does have a lot to say about what it takes to survive through some of life’s most harsh conditions we as humans can face.
That being said complete dependence is not really ideal for any adult and I think the healthiest approach is for women and men to be equally dependent on each other. Also if you personally can provide a better more healthy and joyful environment for you and your son by being a single mother then rock single motherhood. Enjoy it to the fullest and know that in the grand scheme of things life is not about singleness or coupleness but rather about joy and that there are billions of paths to joy and many include being a single motherhood.