Wednesday, May 3, 2006

My Salute to Single Family Households

It never surprises me when people use odd-ball stories to support their arguments and then make it sound like this is something "completely new" all because of gays and lesbians marrying. Such an example is what they call a rise of single parent households, supposedly because of gay people and the moral fiber of America going down the drain.

Being a TV kid it got me thinking about all the TV shows which featured single parent households. While many of these shows had one "spouse" die and the other spouse left to raise their kids, quite of few of them were silent on where the other parent disappeared to because it wasn't proper to talk about divorce or other reasons for the one parent households. So in no particular order are some of my favorites (there are quite a few more):
  • The Rifleman
  • The Lucy Show
  • Bonanza
  • My Three Sons
  • The Andy Griffith Show
  • Julia
  • Kate and Allie
  • The Beverly Hillbillies
  • Flipper
  • Jonny Quest
  • What's Happening
  • Gidget
  • Batman
  • Murphy Brown
  • Family Affair
  • The Courtship of Eddie's Father
  • The Partridge Family
  • Nanny & The Professor
  • Sanford & Son
  • Good Times
  • Love Boat
  • The Hardy Boys Mysteries
  • Diff'rent Strokes
  • Desperate Housewives
  • Land of the Lost
  • Archie Bunker's Place
  • Benson
  • Silver Spoons
  • St. Elsewhere
  • Who's the Boss?
  • My Two Dads
  • Full House
  • Punky Brewster
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation

Since many of these shows featured single fathers do you think they asked in 1950 "Is this the wave of the future: no mothers to raise children?" Did people say it was a direct attack on the family then? I don't think so. It's always so sad when people attack other families because they don't look like they do, be it two mothers, 1 father or 8 children.

Like marriage people forget that love is the most important quality to have in a family not a 50's ideal.


Flying Toaster said...

More contemporary (and currently airing on Oxygen) is Grace under Fire, which did talk about divorce all the time.

The belief that some "sin" (and I use that term with mental scare quotes too) is what's causing the "breakdown of American families" is part and parcel of the current trend in magical thinking. What causes families to break tends to be either economic or social: economic strains can break any relationship; social strains (especially incompatible friend sets or incompatible expectations about how and with whom to socialize) are equally problematic, often stemming from people marrying who have nearly nothing but an address in common. Note, there are other causes too, but in my experience, the majority of divorces fall into these two categories.

However, knowing history and logic doesn't work with magical thinking. You have to use "their" weird ideas to impeach them. And some training in bloviating rhetoric (veteran of Usenet flame wars, here) certainly helps.

Punky said...

Wow --- that's an amazing list. Thank goodness that children of single parent homes could see themselves reflected on television. I wonder though? Do you think any of these children grew up and chose to live the single parent lifestyle themselves?

Anonymous said...

I don't think there's a "single parent lifestyle" any more than there's a "gay lifestyle."

I wonder how many fans of the "Flying Nun" grew up to chose the "flying lifestyle."

Rieux said...

Mass Marrier has a post up pointing to the in Thursday's Lexington Minuteman pointing out how bigoted the Parkers, the Wirthlins and their lawsuit are.

In light of MassResistance Watch's horrendous (horrendous! outrageous! doubleplus ungood!) "
Heterosexuals Gone Bad" series, I think it bears noting that fully THREE of the ten pro-gay pieces in Thursday's Minuteman explicitly mention that they are written by out-of-the-closet heterosexuals. And while a fourth letter is by a "lesbian mother of four," I'd bet that most of the remaining six are from (apparently closeted) straights.

So Bud, I know you recognize (and regularly call to our attention) how awful most heterosexuals are, but you have to admit that a few of us are okay people... sometimes. For example, Lexington letter writers Hoffman, Swanson and Cochin don't seem to be so bad.

End the MRW heterophobia!

- Rieux, Implacable Defender of the Heterosexual Lifestyle

(P.S.: Joke!)

Anonymous said...


Ryan Charisma said...

That's Mr. Pervert to you.