I heard a story the other day on NPR about the rise of single men becoming single dads by choice. Some of the men interviewed are single by choice and don’t seem to have many prospects for parenting partnerships with the mothers (or surrogates), with women in general, or with other men.
I have mixed feelings about this. I learned recently that in a patriarchal society, women (and girls) outside of childbearing age are irrelevant because our sole purpose is breeding. On the one hand, I’m thrilled to hear that 1 million dads are doing it alone and that some of them do it by choice and not because of challenges with or absence of the other parent, because that opens minds to women having value outside of motherhood.
On the other hand, while every woman is worth more than her reproductive body parts and systems, I think a child needs that “more.” I’m somewhat conservative about parenting, wanting to rear a child, should I ever have one, in a two-parent home with an outstanding support system similar to the one my parents, who have never been married, had for me. Â While I object to the way a father’s importance has been reduced in our culture and I love its resurgence, I don’t like any parent’s role being diminished.
And as a woman, I’m also thinking, “Geez, now motherhood?! What else can we be left out of?”