I don’t know how familiar you all were with the TVOne show “Black Men Revealed,” but I loved it! It only ran for two seasons, and the first season was hosted by David A. Arnold, while the second season was hosted by the Stewart Brothers. The show featured a myriad of men, usually three sitting back, drinking, (playing dominoes, first season) and being very candid about their views on life, society, women, and relationships. Well, during one episode the men began to address single mothers and whether or not they’d date one. The comments varied but one of the participants addressed how some men (and society) will tend to look down on a single woman who has kids, even if she’s being responsible and taking care of them, but don’t address the women who’ve had abortions.
That comment came back to my mind when Clarke Gail Baines wrote an article at the beginning of this year addressing how some women would rather use abortions as a form birth control and bragging about it.
Now, before you get mad and sound off in the comment section before you’re finished reading this, this article is not about downing women who have chosen the very difficult decision to have an abortion. I understand that sometimes people are just not ready for the change that your life will face the moment you have a child, and for those single mothers (like myself) having a child means having to completely reshape your life while attempting to reach your goals. Things are still do-able, but like Solange Knowles addressed, it’s a lot of “saying no,” strict scheduling and having support and help.
When you’re in a certain situation, you do find yourself more sensitive to things. Comments that you might not have noticed people saying, you’re now very in tune to them. So when I finally decided to watch “Love and Hip Hop” New York, (I don’t think I’m ready to handle all of that ATL-drama past a few episodes), I caught the episode where Raqi and Rashidah get into an argument at a charity event. While the two threw verbal jabs at each other, Rashidah said: “…with no kids, living in a high rise above the water…” Now granted, when people argue and fight, you expect it to get ugly, and people are going to hit below the belt to make sure that you hurt so you know your place. I understand that. I also understand the comments that you make to a particular person doesn’t represent how you feel about a full representation of a certain population. Rashidah’s comments could just be geared toward the ever so messy Raqi, and not how she feels about single mothers, however, there did seem to be a connotation of ‘I have no kids, I’m fabulous, what about you?’
When a woman is a celebrity and she’s a single mother, there’s seems to be more sympathy allowed to her. First, you’re allowed more of her story. You know if she’s been married and as much of the circumstances that she and her PR team will allow to be known. She’s seen as a super woman who can be incredibly successful and do things on her own. She’s seen as someone who inspires. But sometimes I feel like with the average single mother, we’re seen as lazy, promiscuous, and deserving to be in the situation that we’re in. I hear people brag to their friends about how they feel as though they’re better than another woman because, “I don’t got no kids!” I know that people should be proud about the fact they don’t have as much “baggage” as the woman they are beefing with, but using a person’s child as a means to hit below the belt is a little petty. Especially if the woman is trying to raise a child on her own. No one realizes how hard it is, but to feel as though you’re better than someone else due to that woman choosing to have that child is mean spirited. The same way how it would be mean spirited for me to look down on those who have dealt with that difficult decision of terminating a pregnancy.
But for those single mothers, you too can be fabulous in life, succeed, and get your own high-rise. It’ll take some work, saying a few nos to things, and engaging in being strict with your time, but don’t let anyone ever make you feel like your child is a hindrance to your success, or the success that you’re trying to obtain.