The Corner

‘Independent Mothers’

I heard a chilling new phrase on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal Saturday morning: “independent mothers,” from a caller who clearly was one herself. If this euphemism catches on, we might as well turn out the lights on civilized society.

Was “single mother” really so stigmatizing? Of course not. It was scrupulously nonjudgmental, having been purged of the unpleasant echo of “marriage” that still hovers around the now-archaic term “unwed mother.” And while the phrase “single mother” may have been value-neutral, the culture around it operated overtime to celebrate the “strong women” who were raising their children solo and to obliterate from public consciousness the males who regrettably still played a role in reproduction. The iron-clad rule in the MSM has been: When writing about single mothers, one must never, ever ask: Where are the fathers of their children? Male parents of poor children have simply been disappeared from mainstream discourse, too irrelevant to even think about.

And yet, apparently, there was still too much suggestion of deficit in the phrase “single mother.” Someone, somewhere, has decided that another rebranding was in order. If single mothers are “independent,” then married mothers are “dependent.” Marriage is thus a detraction from the ideal feminist state and signifies participation in a compromising, patriarchal institution.

Of course, so-called “independent mothers” are far more likely to be dependent on welfare and other forms of public assistance than married “dependent” mothers, but substituting a government check for a father has never troubled feminists and their supporters in the Democratic party. Biological fathers are of slight importance to the raising of children, after all, and the larger the welfare state, the more employment for crucial members of the Democratic base.

I give this new phrase a good chance of spreading, since it embodies seemingly unstoppable — and profoundly worrisome — currents in our culture. 

Most Popular

Science & Tech

About That Scary Hydroxychloroquine Study

Remember that scary hydroxychloroquine study in The Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine that everyone in the media was writing about a few weeks ago? It turns out that the underlying data were likely fake: A Guardian investigation can reveal the US-based company Surgisphere, whose handful of employees ... Read More
Science & Tech

About That Scary Hydroxychloroquine Study

Remember that scary hydroxychloroquine study in The Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine that everyone in the media was writing about a few weeks ago? It turns out that the underlying data were likely fake: A Guardian investigation can reveal the US-based company Surgisphere, whose handful of employees ... Read More

Biden as Paradox

It is now conventional punditry that should Joe Biden win in November, his vice president, in 1944-style, will sooner rather than later become president. Biden, to reboot and secure the identity-politics base, thought he had to discriminate by sex and race in advance by selecting his vice president. But given ... Read More

Biden as Paradox

It is now conventional punditry that should Joe Biden win in November, his vice president, in 1944-style, will sooner rather than later become president. Biden, to reboot and secure the identity-politics base, thought he had to discriminate by sex and race in advance by selecting his vice president. But given ... Read More
U.S.

The Lockdowns Are Now a Scandal

A boy in my neighborhood committed suicide a few weeks ago. It’s possible that the teen’s preexisting problems were exacerbated by the seclusion, tediousness, and helplessness of a national lockdown. Maybe not. I didn’t really know him. I do know that locals were forced to pay respects by sitting parked ... Read More
U.S.

The Lockdowns Are Now a Scandal

A boy in my neighborhood committed suicide a few weeks ago. It’s possible that the teen’s preexisting problems were exacerbated by the seclusion, tediousness, and helplessness of a national lockdown. Maybe not. I didn’t really know him. I do know that locals were forced to pay respects by sitting parked ... Read More
U.S.

What Happened to Social Distancing?

Cardenas Ortiz-Sandoval’s mother, Guadalupe, died last month. Cardenas, 22, helped to plan her funeral. She was told by mortuary officials that the state of California would not allow more than ten people to attend her mother’s graveside service. Some family members were forced to stay home. Lifelong friends ... Read More
U.S.

What Happened to Social Distancing?

Cardenas Ortiz-Sandoval’s mother, Guadalupe, died last month. Cardenas, 22, helped to plan her funeral. She was told by mortuary officials that the state of California would not allow more than ten people to attend her mother’s graveside service. Some family members were forced to stay home. Lifelong friends ... Read More