The new inequality: childrens’ needs vs. adults’ desires
I was talking to Dr. Morse yesterday, and asked her to think back to when she was a young girl in school. “How many kids were from divorced families?” I asked her. She said she could think of one. The rest lived with their married biological parents. Before the Sexual Revolution, there used to be an important and unrecognized equality among children: nearly every child lived with his/her married parents.
Let’s think for a moment about what the Sexual Revolution has done to equality from the child’s point of view. In the name of adult sexual liberation, we now have a tremendous amount of family/structural inequality among children. Some kids live with their married parents, and many do not:
- Nearly 40% of births are out of wedlock
- A majority of teens don’t live in intact families
- One in three children live in single parent homes
Categories: "Marriage Equality", Children, Children's equality, Children's Rights, Divorce, ethics, family, genderless marriage, Marriage, Marriage Equality, Marriage Redefinition Children
Around March of 2013 I came across the words of a prominent LGBT activist named Masha Gessen:
I have three kids who have five parents, more or less, and I don’t see why they shouldn’t have five parents legally… I would like to live in a legal system that is capable of reflecting that reality, and I don’t think that’s compatible with the institution of marriage.
Imagine having five parents! Here’s what it means: it means going back and forth between all those households on a regular basis, never having a single place to call home during your most tender and vulnerable years. It means having divided Christmases, other holidays, and birthdays–you spend one with one parent, and another with the other parent, never spending a single holiday or birthday with both parents. Imagine having each of your parents completely ignore the other half of you, the other half of your family, as if it did not even exist. Meanwhile, imagine each parent pouring their energy into their new families and creating a unified home for their new children. These experiences give you the definite impression of being something leftover, something not quite part of them. You live like that on a daily basis for 18+ years.
As a child, would you choose a family structure advocated by Masha Gessen? Does this look fun?
I don’t have to imagine, because I had five parents. I had five parents because my mom and dad divorced when I was about three; my mom remarried once and my dad remarried twice. So I had a mom and two step-moms, and a dad and one step-dad. In this day and age children can already have five parents. That’s how badly marriage has deteriorated already. The main difference between what Gessen advocates and my experience is that my step parents were not legal parents; she advocates for all of the adults in her situation to be legal parents.
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