{In Response To: All the Single Ladies [1/13/2011]}

Thank you for your concerned and informative article on single mothers at UCSC. Students with children work hard to provide for their families while attending school, and I am happy to see that we are getting some recognition from our peers.

I would like to raise two points that were not addressed in your article, however. The first is that not all single parents are single mothers. For example, I was a single dad at UCSC for two years. (I remarried last summer, to a single mom.) During that time, I dealt with many of the same issues Ms. Perez and the other moms are dealing with now. In addition, however, I had to face the problem that it is very difficult for a single father to remain in the lives of his children, because society views single dads as deadbeats who abuse and abandon the mothers of their children and then refuse to pay child support. Of course most single dads aren’t like that, but the stereotype remains, and unfortunately your article seemed to reinforce this myth. How about interviewing some single dads?

My second point is that you failed to mention the most important fact of all about being a parent, namely that it is the most wonderful thing in the world. However many struggles we go through to provide for our children while finishing school, we do these things with joy because the wonder we see in our the eyes of our children reminds us that we are ourselves wonderful people in a wonderful world. You make it sound as if it’s all horrible bus rides down to the welfare office. But you forgot to mention that a bus ride with a toddler, while certainly not easy, is also a chance to see a beautiful new human being who loves you with all his heart watch and learn and babble and smile about birds and puddles and rainbows. Surely Ms. Perez, after “exhaling deeply” in her “dimly lit apartment,” told you that, eh?

Orville Canter
Ph.D student in philosophy


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