Sunday, February 03, 2008

What a jerk

There is an editorial in the October 15th issue of US News and World Report (yeah, I'm a bit behind, it was the one in the bathroom) entitled "Family-Unfriendly Policies." It's actually an interesting editorial, but MAN does the author get off on the wrong foot. The first paragraph:
You will hear a lot about the American family in the election campaign. For most of us, that calls up an image of a man and wife and two or three children. Forget it. Predominant as the social pattern for several hundred years, that American family has lost its place. Households of unmarried couples and households without children outnumber "American family" households. And only about 20 percent of families fit into the traditional structure with father as the only breadwinner.
You cannot BELIEVE how insulted I have been recently at the insinuation that a family is only a real family if you have children...otherwise it's a "household" or some other crap term that fails to recognize that family is what you make of it. I'm sure that, not only people such as myself, but also grandparents or aunts/uncles/etc raising children, single mothers or fathers, and other various "households" are livid at the suggestion that we are not families. What about people that choose not to (or can't) have children? What about people who are empty nesters? Do the first group NEVER become families, and the second cease to be families once their children have moved away? Does anyone else think this is completely ridiculous?

Oh, and is anyone surprised that the author of the editorial is a white middle-aged guy? I'm not.

5 comments:

Edge said...

Can you believe how offended I am that they insinuate the
American family is not a man and a women?

~Jef

Courtney said...

Well, that doesn't really offend me, because like I said, single parents with children or grandmothers raising their grandchildren are just as much a family to me as the "nuclear" family. But I know what you're getting at, and that's not what the editorial was about. It was more about how welfare and other social programs favor the non-traditional family (i.e. single mothers get more welfare than if they get married, etc). And like I said, it wasn't a bad article, just poorly worded I think.

It's just something I've noticed more and more recently. I think whenever people ask me when we're going to "start a family" I'm going to tell them that we already started one in 2003.

Courtney said...

BTW the entire editorial is on the USNWR website.

Robyn said...

Before we got married (in a non-catholic church), Derrick & I had to meet a couple times with a Catholic priest, so he could "verify" our marriage with the church. The first thing he asked was if we plan on having children, because if not, we wouldn't have a "true marriage." In fact, it wouldn't actually be valid until we *have* kids. People who are unable to conceive will never be truly married. Maybe that has something to do with the family mentality...I blame the church!

Courtney said...

That's horrid.