1.17.2007

Jenny Responds to Heather Mac Donald's Screech Against Latinas

It's my pleasure to post Jenny's response to Heather Mac Donald's screech against Latinas in Hispanic Family Values?.

By way of introduction, Jenny is American Taína with a dose of Irish--a wonderful combination: sensitive, smart and fiery when pushed too far. Unlike Ms Heather, Jenny actually knows a thing or two about what's going on with young women in America today. While Ms. Heather looks down at her subjects through the distortions of ideology, Jenny speaks honestly and with a good heart.

OK, I can be accused of bias since I'm Jenny's uncle. But I challenge readers to prove me wrong.

Jenny is now an official contributor to American Taíno, so look for more of what Jenny has to say in future posts.

Response to Heather Mac Donald

This was an interesting article about Latinos not having family values because Latino fertility rates are higher and Latinos are more likely to live without spouses. As far as the statistics go, I guess you can find statistics to support most arguments.

Many people, for example, would say that conservative and Evangelical Christians have strong "family values." According to the below article and statistics, however, born again Christians are more likely even than Atheists to get a divorce:
http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm

I don't know too many right wingers who would say that Christians have lower family values than Atheists, but I suppose Atheists could use the above figures to support that argument.

High fertility rates are actually a good thing - at least for those of us concerned about ever receiving social security retirement benefits. See link below:
http://www.ssa.gov/qa.htm

Birth rates dropped signicantly after the baby boom, and our elderly population is living longer. Our country actually needs more procreating parents, to eventually create more workers, to support our growing elderly population.

Being a single parent is not always easy. I know that - I am one.

However, many, many of the working women I know are also single mothers, and most of them are non-Latino. It would not be healthy for our country, or even accurate to say that this is "just a non-white problem" and ignore it.

To say that Latinos tend to live without spouses, and are therefore lacking family values is a sweeping generalization, so my answer to why there are so many single parents will also be a generalization. I will blame it on "changing gender roles." Sure - there are probably many reasons, but I'll choose this one. So many single moms I know, of various ethnic backgrounds, feel that they are doing better economically than their children's fathers. Many women today tend to have higher education level than the men in their lives.

With today's job market that often values consensus building and customer service over the traditional male roles of "hunting and gathering", we are many times more successful in the business world than our men. Yet many of us still want a man to provide for us. Maybe we get slightly resentful when the men in our lives do not seem to be able to do so. Maybe the men in our lives sense our resentment, and use that to fuel their already low self esteems from knowing they are not providing, and use it to fuel the bad decisions they choose to make.

Maybe our significant others would like it if we folded and ironed their laundry, and stood at the door with a gin and tonic when they came home, wearing a smile and nothing else - but who has the energy to do that when you've worked 40+ hours, helped your kid with homework, and everything else.

I do not advocate single parenthood as the best choice, however I do have a lot of hope as a single parent. Sometimes when we do not have a spouse or significant other to serve, it actually frees us to more fully serve the communities we live in.

Haven't some of the most prominent female leaders in this country been single?

by Jenny