Monday, August 30, 2010

Haven't We Done This Before?

Jennifer Aniston, 41, with no serious partner in sight, said that “Women are realizing more and more that you don't have to settle, they don't have to fiddle with a man to have that child. They are realizing if it's that time in their life and they want this part they can do it with or without that [a male partner]."

Bill O’Reilly, Fox News favorite rabble-rouser, of course, scenting big ratings by taking on a popular actress, worked himself into a lather and boldly declared, "She's throwing a message out to 12-year-olds and 13-year-olds that, 'Hey you don't need a guy. You don't need a dad.' That is destructive to our society."

We’ve got the worst economy in decades, we’re in two wars, and global warming may melt the ice cap and flood downtown Cincinnati – but the glib comment of an actress hawking her newest film, a romantic comedy where she ends up with the father of her baby – yeah, that’s what is destroying our society.

Of course, we’ve been to this rodeo before. Back in 1992, Vice President Dan Quayle picked a fight with fictional news reporter Murphy Brown, who was pregnant and unmarried. "[I]t doesn't help matters when primetime TV has Murphy Brown — a character who supposedly epitomizes today's intelligent, highly paid, professional woman — mocking the importance of fathers, by bearing a child alone, and calling it just another 'lifestyle choice.'”

I thankfully am married to the best father on earth. We take our parenting seriously, and have never been worried about gender roles in how we parent. Similarly, I was blessed to have been raised by the best father on earth who thought I was the bees knees (his words, not mine), and from whom I learned what was important in picking a mate. So I’m not minimizing for a millisecond that Dads play a vital role in raising healthy, strong, independent children.

But when I think of all those children languishing in foster care, in limbo in orphanages around the world, and I think of all those adults who long to be parents – then no, Mr. Reilly, I’m not worried if a single adult male or female, or a gay couple, choose to open their hearts and homes to children who need at the minimum one caring parent, if not two. And I'm not even going to insist that those outside of traditional marriages must adopt rather than birth their family. That's not my concern and it's not their sole responsibility to offer homes to children in need.

Let’s not be trapped in a time warp created by 1950s television. Perhaps the Anderson family from “Father Knows Best,” was composed of working Dad, stay-at-home Mom, and three adorable children….but that was a fantasy even then. Heck, I knew from the get-go that my family was different from what I saw on the small screen – my mother worked full-time; my dad never wore cardigans; and my sister’s father was not mine. My parents argued, loudly at times, unlike the fictional Andersons – and yet, I know now that I couldn’t have had a better set of parents.

What children need are caring parents who are committed to loving and raising strong, healthy kids. How that family is created is less my concern than that the adults are fully engaged in the hardest job on earth – parenting.

What none of us need are actors and pundits using false arguments about real issues to drive up ratings.

What say you Stilletto Faithful?

Marian aka the Northern Half of Evelyn David

Murder Off the Books by Evelyn David
Murder Takes the Cake by Evelyn David
Murder Drops the Ball by Evelyn David, coming Spring 2011


  1. You know, I feel like for the Bill O'Reilly's the problem really isn't that a woman is advocating a single-parent life-style - it's that a woman is behaving outside of a male sanctioned role. The wars, the economy, well at least they're all man-controlled like God intended. But uppity women will bring the whole system down!! Quick stone them! Yes, of course, it would be optimal to have a two parent home, but that's not always possible. You know what's also not possible? Pretending like I need a man to approve my every decision.

  2. Bravo Bethany. I think you hit the nail on the head. And I LOVE your last comment, "Pretending like I need a man to approve my every decision."


  3. During a conversation with my son over the weekend, I said, your dad missed so much, he never came to your concerts or plays, or school programs. I always felt so bad for you because he wasn't there. He said, "I never even missed him. It didn't bother me at all."
    Hmm, all that wasted angst. All that down I forced on myself because we were divorced and the kids didn't have both of us sitting there applauding and smiling and taking them out for ice cream after. And my son didn't even care. I can't take away all that sadness I wore like a coat back then, but I can feel good now knowing I raised happy, healthy productive young men, and I can be proud that I did it all by myself...well along with my mom and dad, and aunts and uncles.