pub and going to nursing school, all the while being romanced by her sexy neighbor with an amazing accent. While Jessie's life might not be the typical life of a single mom she is a sign that times are changing (that is to say Dick Channey has not publicly attacked her lifestyle yet). Single life for these mothers may not be accepted by everyone, however, single mothers have redefined the Joan Cleaver of the new millennium.
Although for many this lifestyle is still a struggle, life for single mothers is generally easier now then ever before. Women can find aid through government funded programs such as WIC, which supplies needy women with staple food items such as peanut butter, processed cheese and bread. TANF (temporary assistance for needy families), former President Clinton's new version of welfare, also provides women with daycare and other programs that help women get back on their feet. Additionally, society in general has become more accepting of single moms. In 1999 one of the highest rated television shows on NBC was "Jessie," a sitcom about a young single mom struggling to make it on her own while raising a young boy, waitressing at a local Nike Windrunner Red And Grey
While there are fewer stereotypical struggling teenaged mothers than in previous decades, the United States continually has the highest teen pregnancy rate among industrialized nations. This rate soars higher than even many developing countries including Cuba (Source 4). These statistics are up from the 5.3% from 1960 (Source 1). and Canada are headed by a single mother (Source 2) . Of all single parent households, 45% are below the poverty line. A 1993 study showed a median of $9,272 for those women who have never been married and a median of $17,014 for divorced single mothers (both figures fall below the poverty line) (Source 4).
The only option that politicians and the conventional society has is to embrace single motherhood as a legitimate part of society. Single mother headed families are now a permanent form of what needs to be recognized as a family. In a recent commencement address , President George W. Bush, addressed the need to strengthen families. These "families" cannot be limited to the two parent ideal family.(1)Drummond, Tammerlin. (2000). Mom On Her Own: Deciding to have a child is one thing. Raising one is another. Time, Inc. August 28, 2000 v156 i9 p54+.(3)Newsweek. (2001). Unmarried, With Children. Newsweek. May 28, 2001 Nike Jackets Sports
DAN QUAYLE ATTACKS MURPHY BROWN! 50 CENTS
Women are more educated and making more money than ever before. This relatively new freedom leaves women with choices that they have never had before. These choices include going to college, going to graduate school, starting a career, putting money in the bank for her future and starting a family later in life than society in the 1950's would have agreed with. Nike Pullover Jacket Men's The average age for a woman to get married these days is 25 (27 for men), which during the 1960's was at a low 20 (and 23 for men) (Source 3). With the choice of starting Nike Jackets Blue And White
Vice President Dan Quayle addressing the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco and criticizing Murphy Brown's decision to not have an abortion and to be a single (highly successful) mother, 5/19/92. When told about Quayle's comments, a senior Bush campaign official replied only Oh, dear.'' Bush's top aide said, The world is a lot more complex than Dan would like to believe''. (Source)
a family at a later point in life comes a choice in what type of family she chooses to start. Now women are faced with the option to get a husband, get an adoption agency or get a sperm donor. The stigmas of being a single mother are gone and with the absence of these stigmas come options.
"And for those concerned about children growing up in poverty, we should know this: marriage is probably the best anti poverty program of all."
In 1992 single mothers across the country were outraged when the former Vice President Dan Quayle made shocking remarks about the then hit show Murphy Brown and its controversial topic, single motherhood. Throughout history single mothers have faced various hardships that married women did not have to endure. Conventionalists, such as Quayle, view single mothers' children as "doomed" to have an increased risk of behavioral, emotional and educational problems. They often contribute this to the daily hardship of financial problems, the stress of having to have one or more full time jobs to support her family and the lack of the irreplaceable male role model that many of these children are missing. The bottom line, however, that the Quayles of this country must face is: the Murphy Browns are taking over the role as the All American mother.
(4) Valdivia, Angharad N. (1998). Clueless in Hollywood :single moms in contemporary family movies. Journal of Communication Inquiry. July 1998 v22 n3 p272(21).
What many politicians, including Quayle, have attacked is the relatively new rise in college educated women choosing to become single mothers. Looking at the above statistics, however, it must be deduced that 55% of single parent households, with 93% being female headed households, are above the poverty line (Source 1). Admittedly, some of these women are barely hovering above the line and living with insufficient funds and benefits, however, not all single mothers can be labeled as the victims of failed marriages and runaway partners. the middle and upper classes) must follow. These women, including movie star Jodie Foster and comedian Rosie O'Donnell, do not view their lack, if you will, of a husband as a reason to not fulfill their dreams of having children.
"It doesn't help matters when prime time 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 know it is not fashionable to talk about moral values, but we need to do it. Even though our cultural leaders in Hollywood, network TV, the national newspapers routinely jeer at them, I think that most of us in this room know that some things are good, and other things are wrong. Now it's time to make the discussion public."
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