Monday, March 14, 2005

Blaming mother

As a single mom, not by choice, it has long irked me the way the media constantly blather about the problems suffered by children of single mothers, as though it is the mothers who are lacking, and not the fathers who abandoned their responsibilities in the first place.

For example, I recently attempted to read The Wonder of Boys by Michael Gurian, a book about parenting boys which apparently is intended for families in some parallel universe, where the chief problem experienced by boys is that they expected to act like (stereotypical) girls. (The solution is to accept their stereotypical boy qualities. Of course this doesn't seem to have much application for the universe I live in, where stereotypical boy qualities are not just accepted, they are often forced onto boys, and woe betide the boy who is sensitive, or likes ballet, or otherwise transgresses against the "boy code", as Elaine Aron put it.)

Gurian tries to be nice to us poor single moms, but his attitude is, sorry ladies, you haven't got what it takes. No where (as far as I can tell; I didn't finish the book) does he take the absent fathers to task for their actions (or inaction) which affect their children.

Of course, Gurian's approach is pretty standard these days. But CTV reached a new nadir today in mother blaming.

On March 6, Alnoor Amarsi threw his daugher Inara off a bridge before jumping after her to his death. Incredibly, Inara survived, though she is still in critical condition. In his suicide notes, he said he was going to kill Inara because he hated his estranged wife, Shamsha Amarsi.

To me, it's pretty obvious which is the problem parent here (duh). But evidently not to someone on the news staff, who wrote:

Earlier this month, CTV News Toronto reported that the incident started when the 48-year-old man asked his estranged wife for more time with their daughter.
She said no. That appeared to trigger the tragic chain of events—one which he had apparently threatened before.

Ah. So despite appearances, it was mom's fault that Inara was dropped off a bridge. I guess she shouldn't have selfishly refused to let dad spend more time with the kid. So what if he had already threatened to kill Inara before? Fathers have rights, you know.

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