Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Conservative Bootstrap Single Mom Dreamboat

Once upon a time, Ouyang Dan and I decided to watch an episode of Gilmore Girls together via the magic of the interwebs (what with her in Korea and me in Seattle, watching in the same room would be difficult). This is where the name Conservative Bootsrap Single Mom Dreamboat comes from.

Here's the thing about Lorelei Gilmore, a character created by Amy Sherman Palladino who was a co-producer on Rosanne, she's a Republican's wet dream of a single teenage mom. She "chose life" instead of an abortion. She works as a hotel maid instead of collecting either Welfare or child support. She has one kid and then seemingly doesn't have sex again until Rory is a sophmore in high school, with a man she eventually gets engaged to (and dumps at the alter). And this is all from a progressive tv show.

So when polls come out that say more people approve of gay marriage than of single mothers, I'm not shocked. Judging by pop culture alone, single moms are either of the conservative dream boat model or a hideous creature on display in Law and Order type shows who are abusive and mentally unstable (in the tv version of mentally unstable, which is a whole nother ball of oppression right there). There is a very tiny box that single mothers have to fit themselves into in order to be approved. That box includes:

1) Never ever have sex or a romantic relationship unless you're sure it will lead to marriage. (True fact, I've had progressive friends apologize for having been douchebags because I have a sex life. I'm lucky to have gotten the apology, most don't). But you better choose wisely, if you have sex and marriage and babies with more than one person, you're a whore and a bad mom.
2) Only bitches and gold digging whores go after child support. If you can't live without child support (and 70% of us do) then you shouldn't have spread your legs.
3) Every child you have increases the amount of disdain society has for you. Every child you have with different fathers increases societies' disdain for you exponentially. This doesn't work in reverse though. See Donald Trump or various NBA stars.
4) You should be ready, willing and able to apologize for your unwed status when children ask questions. Not to do so is like child abuse. You should probably also apologize to adults as well, just in case. I had a boss who was a conservative Catholic with a son in Catholic school. The son once asked me where my husband was (I don't have one)then how do you have a baby (you don't actually have to be married to have a child) at which point I realized that I should probably make nice or lose my job (but it's better to be married if you have kids) so I had to spout lines I don't actually believe and know for a fact to be false.
5) Your children can never ever make a mistake, or it will show just how much of a loser you are. Children are not actual people, but an extension of their parent(s) and the children of a single mom will obviously be liars, thieves and strippers (per Ann Coulter).
6) You must always be submissive to the dominant theme of marriage and then babies, and grateful that society lets you dirty up the place with your whorish ways and bastard children. To be angry about shit like being paid less than a woman without children (which is still less than a man) is not ok. To lobby for a better social safety net makes you a Welfare Queen. To point out the failures of both Welfare Reform and child support collection makes you a lazy bitch.
7)You will be subject to more interference from "official" types, like school counselors etc. Because obviously single parenthood alone is enough of a marker for abuse & neglect type situations. I don't know anyone who was abused in a two parent home (cough*bullshit*cough).

These are just the top of my head, back of the envelope examples.

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