Cahn’s Just Say No article in Slate is flawed

Slate published an article written by attorney Naomi Cahn Just Say No: For white working-class women, it makes sense to stay single mothers. The article’s premise hinges on that working class single moms are better off staying single since their potential husbands (also presumably working class) cannot provide for the family. That premise discriminates against stay at home dads, and flies in the face of economic theory. [Wow this guy has a beef with Cahn].

In her reasoning, Cahn relies on a certain current socio-economic trend that influences marital decisions. That trend upon which Cahn relies is: working class (read lower class) women can no longer marry up. Because upper class men are almost exclusively marrying upper class women. Gold digging is much harder now days. [Many people filter for college degrees on Match.com]. However, 88% of Americans cited love as a “very important” reason to get married, ahead of making a lifelong commitment (81%) and companionship (76%). [It looks like money is not the main reason single moms get married].

But Cahn has it wrong when she concludes that if lower class women cannot marry up, they shouldn’t marry at all, because lower class men parents make bad dads parents. Surely you jest. According to Cahn, lower class women have “written off the men at the bottom because of chronic unemployment, incarceration, and substance abuse; and left a larger group of women with a smaller group of comparable men in the middle” so states Cahn’s new book Marriage Markets. Cahn’s suggestion that low class single moms are better off financially if they stay single is factually false and Cahn knows it. [I wonder if Cahn is simply promoting her book].

First: there is no evidence in any country in anytime in the history of the world that supports Cahn’s position that poor single mothers are better off financially than poor married mothers. It’s not different this time Ms. Cahn. Even today in America, lower class women are better off financially if they are married to lower class men. I have written numerous articles about that. [I think most Americans believe kids benefit from marriage].

The guaranteed solution to Cahn’s “problem” is simple: the unemployed husband is now the stay at home Dad and Mom works outside the home. Mystery solved. [Funny].

Are stay at home unemployed Dad’s less worthy than stay at home unemployed moms? Cahn believes so. She is living in the 1950’s. She believes that a man’s worth equates to his income. That stay at home parents are somehow “less” than those that work outside the home. [I guess if its ok for mom to stay home dad has a right also].

Finally, Cahn mischaracterizes family law. She believes that by not getting married a single mom somehow avoids contact with dad. That is not true. Whether single, married or never married, both mom and dad are entitled to parenting time and both are obligated to support their children. Regular and frequent contact with both parents is in the best interest of the children…even if one or both parents are poor. (Remember Ms. Cahn, when that was your mantra in family court?)

So Cahn’s advice to mom’s to get knocked up outside of a relationship is lousy advice since it’s simply going to create more of the same- garden variety single parents who spend every day dealing with their Ex for custody and chasing down child support. Cahn’s article sucks and she deserves to be punished. [Holy smoke].

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