All Articles Tagged "serious question"
When we first toured my daughter’s private school, I saw a little African-American girl toddling around, grinning happily and looking adorable in her matching jumper and sandals. I looked around for the girl’s mother, happy to know that there were at least a few black parents there.
But then the girl’s mother, a slim white woman with short blonde hair, came and swooped her up, nuzzling against her smooth skin. Oh, I thought to myself. Why did I just assume that a black child would have to have a black parent?
I probably made that assumption because, despite what you may see coming out of Hollywood, black children tend to get adopted at lower rates than do white or Asian children. Here’s a number that may surprise you: More than 30 percent of the American population has, at one point or another, considered adopting a child. But how many have actually taken steps to do so? Only two percent.
That type of numbers game may be one explanation for why so many black children are waiting to be adopted. As of 2010, more than 115,000 children were in the foster care system on adoption lists; these children are disproportionately older children of color. However, most adoptive parents request the children be younger than two years old, have no disabilities or significant trauma and, oh yes, be white. While the number of transracial adoption has grown over the years (some estimate the number to be 40% of all U.S. adoptions), white parents adopting black children is still rare.
Rachel Garlinghouse, a white woman and author of Come Rain or Come Shine: A White Parent’s Guide To Adopting and Raising Black Children, has adopted two black children and shares her story at WhiteSugarBrownSugar.com.
“Transracial adoptive parents have a unique responsibility to foster racial pride and identity within their children,” she writes on her blog. “I do not believe in entering into transracial adoption lightly. However, I’m heartbroken at the lack of families willing to parent children of color.”
Read more on MommyNoire.com.
Like many others, we watched Amanda Bynes appear in court this morning, tugging on her Halloweenish wig before she was whisked off to a psych ward. Immediately, the office, my co workers and I, started playing psychologist, talking about what could be going on with her, the child star we’d grown up watching on television. A couple of us were certain that what Amanda is going through right now is probably something mental. After all, Amanda Bynes had a very successful career back in the ‘90’s and was able to keep her composure for over a decade afterward. Something had to have happened. My coworker and I speculated that Amanda was suffering from some type of mental illness.
But one of my coworkers couldn’t be certain. She questioned us, how do we know it’s mental illness? Aside from her family saying that she was bipolar and had stopped taking her medication, what evidence was there that she had suffered from some type of mental dysfunction.
I argued that the type of behavior she’s been exhibiting is consistent with someone whose thinking is off.
Then my co worker brought up a good point asking, if behavior like Amanda’s is due to a mental illness, how are we supposed to hold people accountable for their actions?
I argued that just because someone has a mental illness, doesn’t necessarily mean that’s carte blanche to behave any type of way. Somehow Chris Brown’s name came up in the situation and I said that based on the evidence in the way he attacked her, biting, punching, all while maintaining control of the car, blacked out in a rage, shows that he was out of his mind. Another co worker argued that because Chris had grown up seeing his mother being abused, his conditioning led him to believe that type of behavior was acceptable. I still say believing that behavior is appropriate is a form of mental illness. Not being able to control your anger is a mild form of mental illness.
And I don’t mean that because his mental state was altered, that he deserved to get off scott free.
Essentially, I was trying to argue that mental illness is not as uncommon or “other” like the media would make it seem. Any one of us could snap at any moment. Our brains our constantly receiving signals, reacting to hormones and processing information that will ultimately affect our behavior. An altered mental state doesn’t mean that we’re going to live in that state permanently. There are varying degrees of mental instability. And while someone who is depressed or schizophrenic or suffering from some form of dementia shouldn’t necessarily be held accountable for their actions, there are altered states of mind that we can control and should subsequently be willing to suffer the consequences.
But that’s just my opinion. The truth is the mind is still such a mystery that it’s all just theory at this point.
What does mental illness mean to you? When is it appropriate to hold someone responsible for their actions despite mental instability?
Last night my friend called me with a “hypothetical question.”
Would you still be friends with someone who had an incurable STD if they were knowingly having raw sex with others? Or would you consider that not your business?
Initially, I didn’t read the text properly. So, I missed the whole part about the person knowingly spreading their disease. I thought she was just asking if I could be friends with someone who had an STD. In which case, I so wouldn’t care. Truth is we meet people with STDs, curable and incurable, everyday. But that’s not what she was asking. She was asking if I found it morally repugnant to have a friend who was intentionally spreading an incurable disease. Well, yeah it was definitely a helluva problem. Not only was it ethically wrong it’s also illegal.
She said that this hypothetical person didn’t want to tell her partners that she had it because she didn’t want to feel rejected and didn’t want to use protection because intercourse feels “more intimate” without it.
Well yeah that’s truly representative of a psychological issue. Maybe something like a sociopath, no regard for the pain and suffering you may be causing others in the long run. And as a friend I would definitely say something. Though, I don’t know if this person, “my friend,” would receive it when she’s using bogus excuses like “it just feels better” for having diseased, unprotected sex. It’s a sad case.
I would remind my friend that this type of behavior is not only dangerous to the people she’s knowingly infecting. It’s dangerous to her as well. I’d remind her of the man who killed a woman with HIV shortly after they’d slept together and she revealed her status. Though he never should have killed her, I, and several of MadameNoire’s readers, understood why he would be motivated to commit such a heinous crime. She was literally playing with his life.
As a friend it would be your duty to at least attempt to save her from a similiar fate. And if she refused to listen this, she wouldn’t be a friend I could associate with anymore. I couldn’t rationalize being friends with someone with such disregard for human life. Especially the lives of men she cares enough about to sleep with. If she would do that to someone she was willing to sleep with, God only knows what type of deplorable treatment she would show me as just a friend. It really isn’t that much of a stretch. People rarely reserve mistreatment for certain people in their circle. It’s more of an ubiquitous type of behavior.
And if my friend decided not to listen to me and continued sleeping with others, raw and diseased, legally I could go to the authorities and tell them what she is and isn’t saying before she beds these men. But maybe that would be taking it a bit too far.
What do you think about this situation? Could you remain friends with someone who was living so foul, endangering others? How would address the situation with your friend and what would you do if he or she decided not to change their ways?
My aunt, who is 45 years old, has never been married, never had children and is still out there on the dating scene. Recently, she and one of her friends from college, went out for a night on the town. My aunt, who’s always been a bit on the wild side ended up getting quite drunk. As she was ordering another round, she noticed that the bartender was fione. So, being the outgoing woman she is, she told him. “You are sooo cute!” And after she told him, she handed him her card. Never expecting him to call.
But he did.
He asked her out. They had a wonderful time. But during the course of the date,she realized that her bartender boo was 30 years old, 15 years younger than her.
When my aunt learned this little piece of information, she also noticed that he didn’t ask her her age. So she didn’t volunteer it. She’s definitely lying by omission for right now; but should the time come where he asks how old she is, she’ll gladly tell him that she’s fifteen years older than him. In the meantime, she’s considering whether or not she should even continue seeing this man. We all kind of like the idea of being a cougar; but when you’re out here on the prowl, what is the cut off age for dating someone younger. 10 years? 15 years? 20years?
Have you ever dated someone younger than you? What was your experience? How young is too young?
On Feb. 6, Bob Marley would have turned 68. Although he passed away at just 36 in 1981, the music legend is rumored to have fathered 11 children, many out of wedlock. According to his website, three women carried Bob’s children in 1972: His wife Rita Marley, who gave birth to their son Stephen in April, Pat Williams who gave birth less than one month later, and Janet Hunt, who also delivered a son just three days after Pat.
Read more on Bob’s approach to relationships on YourTango
From affairs to a rape accusation, go behind Bob Marley’s scandalous and overly-sexual life.
Yes, I know not everyone wants to get married, and theoretically, the qualities that make one a good parent are different from those of a good spouse – although I think the same underlying principles characterize both identities – but I can’t for the life of me understand how couples can be ready for a baby together, yet in the same breath claim they don’t want to be tied to each other in holy matrimony.
Take for instance, my good guy friend’s girlfriend who recently told him she’s ready to have a baby and that she’d actually prefer a child before a ring. Surprised by her bizarre – and out of order, in my opinion, request – I asked him how he felt about that prospectus. In terms of becoming a father he said, “if it happens, it happens,” and “he wouldn’t mind,” meanwhile on the husband front, he’s making no definitive moves toward marriage. Not exactly what I expect to hear when I’m thinking about expecting.
I am by no means an advocate for rushing down the aisle hastily, and I hate the idea of marrying someone you knocked up accidentally being “doing the right thing.” The way I see it, you’re doing the wrong thing and actually making a complicated situation even worse by trying to bandage children out of wedlock with a marriage. But for those who shy away from the commitment of marrying their current partner in favor of first comes baby then comes marriage, how is it that they don’t recognize parenthood as a union by a different name?
If two people decide to become parents and raise a child together, is that not a commitment? Are you not setting yourself up to have to deal with this other person you’re not sure you can commit to as a husband or wife for the rest of your life as a co-parent anyway? If you believe in marriage and want to be married one day, how can you not see having a child with someone as, arguably, an even riskier prospect than marriage – except for men whose only worry is losing half of their wealth in a divorce. They should know they could lose just as much in child support, though.
Even a single guy friend of mine the other night told me he’s ready to become a father but hasn’t once said anything to me about being with whoever the mother of that child may be. He seems to have an “if it happens, it happens” attitude toward marriage but fatherhood is something he’s trying to make happen like yesterday. And while we’re not all cut out to be husbands or wives – or even parents for that matter – I couldn’t stop myself from trying to explain to him that he’d still find himself in some sort of committed relationship with the mother of his child – even if they were both only simply committed to the wellbeing of their offspring. What he didn’t seem to get was my insistence that that commitment would be a heck of a lot easier with someone who was also committed to his wellbeing, whether in marriage or a monogamous/polyamorous/open relationship of some sort.
He wasn’t hearing it, and the more I listened to him talk the more I got the inkling that the real thing stopping him, and possibly some other people, from taking the marriage step and skipping ahead to the baby is a fear of not being able to be faithful. And while I applaud the ability to recognize that about oneself, it should be known that cheating isn’t any less messy when a ring isn’t involved and a baby is. Matter of fact, I’d argue that you up your chances of getting left with nothing but monthly visitations and child support payments when you cheat on someone you procreated with that way than when you cheat on someone who actually loves you and vowed for better or worse and may actually stay through the indiscretion and let you be a hands-on dad. There’s not much of a safety net for fathers in a world of independent women who already walk around with an “If I could get pregnant by myself I wouldn’t need a man for anything” type of attitude. Why set oneself up for a custody battle by spending less time choosing the mother of your child than you do your baby names? And for women, sure child support may always be an option, that is if you can track down the non-committal sp*rm donor you already knew you didn’t want in your life forever.
The role of parent and spouse are obviously quite different, but neither can be done well without a little teamwork and a whole lot of compromise. Often people shy away from marriage because they don’t want to be completely accountable to another person, but having a child with someone in lieu of a wedding is no buffer against accountability. If you think that mother is not going to make you pay for that child in some kind of way or expect you to pick your child up and drop him off at the time you say you’re going to pick him up and drop him off and not give you a headache when you don’t pick him off and drop him off at that time, you are sadly mistaken.
Maybe I take parenthood too seriously – that should look like an oxymoron to you by the way – but I think people underestimate the parental value of two individuals who are not just committed to the birth of another human being but also to each other’s betterment. When you’re not, kids get lost in the shuffle and often become pawns that can be pitted against the other, because at the end of the day, all one parent cares about is them and there’s, not the other parent and there’s. If you don’t want to marry, fine. But skipping marriage or a committed relationship and going straight to the baby is no escape from responsibility or even commitment, honestly. Going about parenthood the single, uncommitted way may sound like a good idea in theory, and for some it may work, but if I had to bet on whether that was the easier route, I’m putting my eggs in a different basket – literally.