Is Marriage Only for the Rich?
Do the stories in the Times truly illustrate that marriage is a luxury, or are we talking about a more age-old problem of how income and education disparity impact choices?
Over the weekend The New York Times gave us two very different pieces demonstrating the different sides of the evolving marriage coin. On one side, you have the town of Lorain, Ohio, notable for its population of single mothers, ostensibly going it alone by choice. On the other, there's Kyle Spencer's piece about how New York City dads -- a few of them, at least -- have begun to embrace what was traditionally considered a "women's realm," by running their local Parent Teacher Associations.
While a growing acceptance of single momhood and PTA dads might seem to be signs of social progress, the stories are more complicated. The story of the single moms of Ohio doesn't read as a tale of empowerment, exactly. True, these women don't "need men" to support them (a good thing), but the unfortunate cost associated with raising their kids alone is that they work long hours, are often unable to spend much time with their children, and those children are more likely, statistically, to have behavioral or emotional problems and even fall into poverty. Further, the women interviewed for the Times story don't actually say they don't want to marry. They say things like, "I'd like to do it, but I just don't see it happening right now. Most of my friends say it's just a piece of paper, and it doesn't work out anyway."
Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.