Archive for ‘family’

January 24, 2009

Obama, patron saint?

Of fatherless boys:

Barack Obama is many things to many people. Among the groups claiming a special resonance with him are mothers like me. . . . Obama says that his mother “was the single constant in my life” and that “what is best in me I owe to her.” She brought him up largely on her own.
This is significant for me as an unmarried mother of a preteen son, and it surely resonates for other mothers raising their children without dads. Growing up without a father, my son has at times struggled to feel “normal.” . . .
For my son, the issue is fatherlessness. Not having a father has been an impediment to “fitting in.” . . . [I]n some intangible way he carries an invisible burden on his little shoulders. . . .
For these young people, the election to the presidency of a man who grew up without a dad signifies a seismic shift. . . . For my son, Obama’s inauguration this week felt like a personal embrace.

Excuse me, how did Washington lawyer Susan Benda become a mother? Have police apprehended and prosecuted the rapist? Or did Benda’s husband die tragically? Because she writes as if the “invisible burden” of fatherlessness on her son’s “little shoulders” was the result of her being victimized in some way. Benda (a former ACLU lawyer) omits from her narrative any reference to the circumstances that resulted in her son’s fatherless, but if we may assume that she is neither a rape victim nor a widow — surely she would have mentioned that — then she was in some way responsible for her son’s plight.

Benda avoids any discussion of why her son is fatherless, because once you raise that question, it destroys the image she wants to create of herself as the heroic single mother. This is the very point that Ann Coulter makes in the second chapter of her new book, Guilty: Liberal “Victims” and Their Assault on America. Even if Benda consciously chose fatherlessness for her son (by artificial insemination), she would still insist on being seen as heroic. “Single mother” is a category that automatically confers heroic victimhood, as Coulter shows. Look at this bizarre passage in Benda’s column:

For example, my son’s tae kwon do teacher had the habit of talking to the students about their “moms and dads.” I took him aside one day and suggested that the term “parents” might do the trick, with no child left behind. But there is a limit to how much a mother can protect her son from the word “dad.” A mother can repeat to her child that there is no model “normal” family, but the world reflected and projected by television tells another story.

The very word “dad” is a menace from which Benda feels obligated to “protect” the boy? And note the hostility to tradition evidenced by her scare-quotes around “normal.” Contrary to Benda’s assertion, there very much is a “model ‘normal’ family,” a father, mother and their children having been recognized as such throughout human history, no matter how much modern revisionists try to tell us otherwise.

Regardless of exactly how Benda acquired her son (adoption? artificial insemination?) she cannot avoid the reality that fatherlessness is a bad thing. And so she seizes on the Obama presidency as validation, with Obama as the national father who can fill the role-model void in her son’s life. And if you see it otherwise, you’re just a hater!

UPDATE: Coulter’s point about liberal “victims” could have been extended to include a couple of other “mascot” groups: The homeless and gays. But I’m guessing her publisher figured that one category of saints was enough for her to attack.

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November 29, 2008

Holiday Books: Family values

Only 27 shopping days until Christmas!

The 2008 Holiday Book Sale continues with three great books addressing the “culture war” issues of marriage, family and sexuality:

  • Barbara Dafoe Whitehead’s The Divorce Culture: Rethinking Our Commitments to Marriage and Family is a mind-opening examination of the historical development of our society’s attitudes toward marriage and divorce. This is a book I enthusiastically recommend to anyone who wants to understand the crisis that currently afflicts the American family.
  • Carolyn Graglia’s Domestic Tranquility: A Brief Against Feminism is the best defense of traditional womanhood you’ll ever read. Keep in mind that Graglia graduated law school back in the pre-feminist era, so she offers a powerful first-person debunking of the feminist myth that the “women’s movement” was necessary to women’s “empowerment.”
  • Ten years after it was first published, Wendy Shalit’s A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue remains a powerful rebuttal to the barbaric culture of promiscuity. Shalit takes on our society’s popular mythology of the evils of sexual “repression” in a way that is elegant, intelligent and persuasive.

Don’t risk getting trampled at Wal-Mart. Books make great Christmas gifts and Amazon.com will ship your purchases nationwide. Why wait? ORDER NOW!

PREVIOUSLY:

  • 11/28:

Black Friday Special

  • 11/27: Civil War
  • 11/26: Immigration
  • 11/25: Thomas Sowell
  • 11/24: The Great Depression
  • 11/23: Blacklisted by History
  • 11/22: Mises & Hayek
  • 11/21: White Guilt by Shelby Steele