Think Progress' Incredibly Sexist Solution to Prevent Poverty

Refuting Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s argument that marriage is the, “greatest tool to lift people, to lift children and families from poverty,” Think Progress writer Bryce Covert claimed that widening access to early sex education, contraception, and family planning methods are all tools that can help, “women achieve a higher economic status.” 

And for those women who do get pregnant Covert says, siting associate professor of sociology at Ohio State University, Kristi Williams, “better policies” like “universal preschool, raising the minimum wage, welfare, and guaranteed paid sick days,” would go a long way to “help single mothers survive financially.” 

If you’re keeping score, Bryce Covert thinks that women can use abortions and cheap birth control as rocket fuel to catapult them into economic dynamism. And the women for whom these remedies don’t reach, they’re economic security can still be achieved as long as they sign up for the various welfare programs available to them.

In short, Bryce Covert believes that single mothers shouldn’t really concern themselves with marrying the father of their children and should instead either practice safe sex, have an abortion if an unwanted pregnancy occurs, or simply lean on the government if they chose to have the child. 

But how is women having abortions and being dependent on welfare programs a win for feminism? 

Whether out of ignorance or indifference, Bryce Covert ignores the profound impoverishment in so many of America’s inner cities. These are neighborhoods where shattered families and unwed (regularly teenage) mothers produce cohorts of unruly youngsters, who are often housed by HUD, taught by Head Start and fed by food stamps. Covert doesn’t talk about the countless times when family planning doesn’t go as planned. What she ignores is an existing culture that perpetuates the same self-defeating behavior: lawlessness, dropping out and drug abuse. And in many cases, these behaviors are fueled by the absence of a father in the home.

Writing in the Washington Post, Kathleen Parker posits that, “In the absence of marriage, single parents (usually mothers) are left holding the baby and all the commensurate challenges and financial burdens.” There are certainly scores of data that suggest that single mothers are far more likely to fall into poverty.

Marriage is not for everybody. And for those who are married, that union is often times not a cure all. But promoting marriage doesn’t make me a misogynist pig. And promoting marriage is certainly a better option than telling women that having abortions, staying single and raising children while hooked on government assistance is a way out of poverty.

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