Because What Single Mothers Need is Shame

What a shock this bill was authored by two rich white men: 

“Provides that if the unmarried mother cannot or refuses to name the child’s father, either a father must be conclusively established by DNA evidence or, within 30 days after birth, another family member who will financially provide for the child must be named, in court, on the birth certificate. Provides that absent DNA evidence or a family member’s name, a birth certificate will not be issued and the mother will be ineligible for financial aid from the State for support of the child. Provides an exception for artificially inseminated mothers. Amends the Illinois Public Aid Code. Provides that a family that does not comply with the Vital Records Act provision concerning birth certificates of unmarried mothers shall be ineligible for aid for support of the child. Effective immediately.”

I was single-momming it this week while Mr. A was on a work trip. I’ve got a bad back right now, joint inflammation in both hips, sciatic nerve fuckery, the lack of appetite that comes from having a cold and/or the flu for the past 3 months, and two very stressful jobs. Mama and Kick Week was a somewhat precarious thing. If my back went out again, if I got sicker, if Kick stopped sleeping, if one of the people who looked after her got sick, if one of my bosses decided to really put his or her shoulder into being an asshole … I mean, there’s not a lot of wiggle room in my days.

And I was born white in America. I really have no problems anyone should care about. I was born white in America and I have spent years building a vast network of people who owe me favors ranging from childcare to food plus we can afford childcare plus my parents live within driving distance. I was still nervy about handing everything myself. So now imagine that’s all the time, and I’m broke, and my kid’s dad is a fuckstick or rapey relative or in jail or married and threatening to kill me or something.

My point is that’s not a life anybody should need to make harder.

The reaction to this odious bullshit was so heinous sensible that its revolting  authors had it yanked: 

The intention of HB 6064 was to provide for the long-term support of hardworking single mothers by strengthening the legal responsibilities of fathers, while also improving the rights of fathers as well as grandparents who provide care for a child in place of a parent. However, the bill as introduced has flaws that would produce unintended consequences. I have therefore chosen to withdraw my support of the bill and thank all my constituents and others who offered feedback on both sides of this issue.

Too bad, so sad, asshole. Yeah, your intent here was to strengthen fathers’ rights. Sure. And you heard from constituents on “both sides” of the issue of whether single mothers should be punished for “refusing” to name their child’s father.  You thought nobody would notice you trying to make it harder to get financial assistance for the poor, or that if they noticed, they’d applaud. So when the Internet collectively asked WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU YOU DICKHEAD, you skedaddled.

Now you not only hate poor women, you’re a COWARD who hates poor women.

I was fond of this solution one of the commenters at Mommyish devised:

Well, it does say that this law is in effect only if the mother “refuses” to name the father…which suggests that an unmarried woman could potentially name ANYONE as the father.

I motion that if this passes, all mothers affected by this law simply list [bill sponsors] John Cavaletto or Keith R. Wheeler as the father.


3 thoughts on “Because What Single Mothers Need is Shame

  1. The real jerkishness of the law is that it will not even do what it is intended to do. In countries where this is the law, women who do not wish to name the father in fact simply name a relative or elderly friend of the family. Everyone understands that this happens, that the law is nonsense, and all it does is generate needless paperwork.

    1. Yeah, I’m not sure this has any effect whatsoever. My mom put her husband’s name on my birth certificate, but he still up and left her with five kids to raise with no alimony or child support. When I grew up and tried to have it corrected, I was told that the father listed on birth certificates didn’t need to be the biological father so there was no need.

Comments are closed.