Want it: Knock Yourself Up

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I’m dying to get my hands on this book. Knock Yourself Up: A Tell-All Guide to Becoming a Single Mom, is a single-mom by choice guide that I keep hearing great things about it.
Author Louise Sloan tells her own story of getting pregnant via artificial insemination when she was 41 years old, as well as the stories of other single gals. As someone who was never really sure about getting married, but absolutely sure about having kids, this book definitely appeals to me. (Though I figure I have another few years before I start worrying about it, despite all the Sylvia Ann Hewlett-style scare tactics.)
Salon has an interesting interview with Sloan, but even more intriguing is the vitriol she’s getting in the letters section.

the boy will be screwed up or resent women, not having had a father around. he will have a higher chance of being a criminal. he will likely understand that all the feminist piffle shoved in his head is the opposite of what men need to know to be EFFECTIVE and happy free agents in the bigger world.
Your child will grow up fatherless and disadvantaged. But you got what you want, and that is what is most important. How sad.

And those are just from the first page; there’s a ton of letters calling Sloan selfish and saying that her son will grow up to be dysfunctional. There’s just something about a single mom by choice that really pisses people off. So…predictable.
Read more about the book and Louise’s story here.

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109 Comments

  1. SarahMC
    Posted October 25, 2007 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    My head hurts.
    How the hell does not being a CEO = being supported by men? I have no interest in being a CEO and CEO is not the first career I’d choose for a hypothetical child. That’s not the epitome of “success” in my eyes. And yet I support myself and strive for a *different* version of success in my career.
    And the author of this book doesn’t think of her child’s father as a paycheck. She’s not involved with the father at all; she supports the kid herself. If anything, she thinks of the father as a sperm donor, which is what he was. Feminist women WANT men to be more than paychecks. It’s patriarchy that expects men to be paychecks and women to be caregivers.

  2. DrkEyedCajn
    Posted October 25, 2007 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    “Some of us think fatherhood is more than a sperm donation.”
    Oenophile, when on earth did I ever say that I think all fathers are evil? Didn’t I even mention in my post that I have a fantastic relationship with my dad? I think the phrase was “I adore my dad.” I think it’s fantastic that your dad raised you on his own and that you owe much of your success to his great parenting. I would never suggest otherwise. What I said was, “Do I think a child will be irrevocably screwed up if raised by a single parent? Absolutely not.” There’s not even a mention of gender in that statement.
    Please don’t put words in my mouth. Or attribute ideas to me that I never expressed.

  3. dhsredhead
    Posted October 25, 2007 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad she wrote this book. I have so many women (of various ages) that ask me about being a mom. I came from maybe the opposite end of the spectrum, having a kid in a relationship at a young age, but I always feel like if a woman (or man) really wants to have a child, they should just do it. I don’t see any reason why someone should wait for a person to show up to have a child with. Let’s face it, most romantic relationships in our culture are about sex, not about creating a family. This for one thing doesn’t always create alot of stability when a couple does have a child and also means that may not be part of the conversation when the couple starts dating or even gets married. Not to say the old way of getting married to anyone to have a child was a better way or more stable at all, just that this is the modern reality. It’s actually kind of disappointing that in our society raising a child without a father is still looked down upon.

  4. oenophile
    Posted October 26, 2007 at 3:34 am | Permalink

    If anything, she thinks of the father as a sperm donor, which is what he was. Feminist women WANT men to be more than paychecks.
    Internal contradiction, much?
    Please don’t put words in my mouth. Or attribute ideas to me that I never expressed.
    Welcome to my world. That happens to me every single day here.
    I stick by what I said. You seem to assume that conservatives only want daughters to have fathers so they can be indoctrinated into the patriarchy. I responded that, no, we actually think of them as more than sperm donors – as a positive influence in their daughter’s lives.

    EG,
    Chill. Seriously.
    Remove “hate” and add in “such strong disapproval that your relationship with your child would be damaged.” Yeah, I think it’s complete crap that you would hate your daughter for being a CEO or otherwise successful in the corporate world. Babe, you own it – you were the one who threw a hissy fit at the idea of raising a daughter who succeeds in a man’s world.
    So I logically extended yoru distrust of the male-dominated corporate culture and took that to mean what you said – pretty much anything that makes money.
    It blows my mind that you equate financial success with being an anti-abortion activist.
    I used the CEO stat as a stand-in for financial success and one of the better outcomes associated with strong father-daughter relationships.
    Frankly, I’m thrilled that a leftist acknowledges that her opinions are values and morals. I just wish she (you, here) would understand the logical conclusion thereof and examine your biases.
    So let me get this straight: if your daughter were to found her own pro-choice, pro-environmentalism company and lead it, you would be ashamed of her?
    If she were to become extraordinarily successful at, say, running an airline, and used her position to ensure that flight attendants are not treated like crap, that women are not shamed for their attire on their flights, and proved that ideals of equality, environmentalism, and non-discrimination are not incompatible with meeting third-quarter earnings – you would be sad.
    So if your daughter were to start one of those all-women law firms, all-women medical practices, all-women web design teams, or all-women engineering firms – and be CEO thereof – you would feel as if she were abandoning your values.
    That’s just fucked up.

  5. EG
    Posted October 26, 2007 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Remove “hate” and add in “such strong disapproval that your relationship with your child would be damaged.”…Babe, you own it – you were the one who threw a hissy fit at the idea of raising a daughter who succeeds in a man’s world.
    “That my relationship with my child would be damaged” is all you, babe. I said nothing of the kind–you really need to examine your own biases. And, babe, if you think saying “ugh, I hope not” is a hissy fit, you really need to get out more often.
    It blows my mind that you equate financial success with being an anti-abortion activist.
    Did I? I did not. I said that being a CEO had in common with being an anti-abortion activist the fact that I would not be happy about either activity. There are plenty of ways to be financially successful that do not involve being a CEO.
    So let me get this straight: if your daughter were to found her own pro-choice, pro-environmentalism company and lead it, you would be ashamed of her?
    First off, you’re being disingenous, aren’t you? Saying “being a CEO” without any kind of qualifier does not, in general parlance, equate to that kind of thing and you know it. Second of all, you really need to learn to read properly. I choose words with care because they express best what I mean. So why you would read “disapprove of that choice but wish her well anyway” as being the same thing as “be ashamed of my daughter” is really beyond me. You might want to brush up on reading comprehension. Words matter, you know.
    If she were to become extraordinarily successful at, say, running an airline, and used her position to ensure that flight attendants are not treated like crap, that women are not shamed for their attire on their flights, and proved that ideals of equality, environmentalism, and non-discrimination are not incompatible with meeting third-quarter earnings – you would be sad.
    I would be amazed–in much the same way I’d be amazed if she brought me out to the ranch where she bred dragons and employed cunning little elves. That’s just not how things work. You’re indulging in the fantasy of The Good Guy–that if we just got a nice person into a top position, they’d be able to fix things. That doesn’t happen. The very structure of, say, the airplane industry requires most of the depredations you list, including “treating employees like crap” and “fucking up the environment.” It’s not that current airline CEOs just all happen to be evil people. It’s that the position requires that certain elements be top priority, and that is exactly why I would be happy about a child of mine taking it. How you get from that to “you’d be ashamed of/hate/damage your relationship with your child!!!!!!” is a mystery to me.
    Frankly, I’m thrilled that a leftist acknowledges that her opinions are values and morals.
    Again, you need to get out more often. Leftists have been doing so for generations. I see no reason to cede the language of morality to the right.
    It’s interesting to me that you have both me and Cajun calling you out on putting words in our mouths, and yet not only do you refuse to acknowledge that you’ve done it, your entire response is along the lines of “people do it to me!” Poor little oenophile. Always the victim.

  6. EG
    Posted October 26, 2007 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    and that is exactly why I wouldn’t be happy about a child of mine taking it.
    Heh. I choose my words with care, but I don’t always type with care.

  7. DrkEyedCajn
    Posted October 26, 2007 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry, I’m not savvy enough to do italics and bold print. A brief recap:
    “Please don’t put words in my mouth. Or attribute ideas to me that I never expressed.”
    “Welcome to my world. That happens to me every single day here.
    I stick by what I said. You seem to assume that conservatives only want daughters to have fathers so they can be indoctrinated into the patriarchy.”
    Oenophile: One, I have never attacked you. Never. I have never responded to a single comment you’ve ever made. You are definitely the one starting some shit here. All my point ever was is that I don’t think a girl will be irrevocably screwed up if raised by a single mother. I think that of all single parents’ children. I think that how a child turns out hinges much more on how good the parent(s) is/are, not the number of parents the child has.
    Two, you are making some really gross assumptions by attributing so much man-hating and conservative-hating to me. For the love of God, I live in Texas. If I hated all conservatives (and all men to boot), I’d practically be a one-woman island. (And I’m not, I suppose I should add, since you clearly know nothing about me.)

  8. DrkEyedCajn
    Posted October 26, 2007 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Did I really have to explain to someone, that just because I’m a feminist, I’m not a man-hater? On a feminist blog?
    *shakes head* Wow. I need a drink.

  9. Susan
    Posted October 27, 2007 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    There’s just something about a single mom by choice that really pisses people off.
    Because there’s not a fucking thing they can do about it. Women making their own decisions and acting on them? Women controlling their own bodies? Can’t have it. Nothing pisses off those who want a say about your uterus more, than for you to ignore their opinion on the matter!

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