Quick Hit: African-American women “rut like rabbits”

Right winger Bryan Fischer argues that a social safety net encourages black women to “rut like rabbits.” Yep, seriously. Here’s a bit more of his unusual logic:

Welfare has destroyed the African-American family by telling young black women that husbands and fathers are unnecessary and obsolete. Welfare has subsidized illegitimacy by offering financial rewards to women who have more children out of wedlock. We have incentivized fornication rather than marriage, and it’s no wonder we are now awash in the disastrous social consequences of people who rut like rabbits.

It’s consistently dumbfounding to me that conservative thinkers can come up with all sorts of wild and conniving ways in which women–particularly poor and black–are supposedly doing something as profound and life-changing as creating human life just to make a few extra bucks off the ol’ system. Last time I checked, reproducing was not a great financial investment for mothers. It sort of makes me wonder about these guys’ own motivations for becoming fathers.

Seems that paychecks from the American Family Association encourage old white dudes to spew like racist, sexist snakes. If you’d like to let Fischer know how you feel, why not drop him a tweet (@BryanJFischer)? He follows exactly 0 people, by the way, so he’s sure not to miss your message.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/sof1a/ sofia

    bryan fischer isn’t proposing that women are directly reproducing to reap welfare benefits, but that they aren’t discouraged from reproducing either. if there were more structural benefits for marriage and having less children, i’m pretty sure the rates of single motherhood would plummet.

    • http://feministing.com/members/napoleoninrags/ Napoleoninrags

      I would just like to suggest that feeding the trolls is a bad idea. Bryan Fischer lives for this stuff: he has recently also posted at AFA claiming that Native Americans were wiped out by colonization as a punishment for idolatry and to establish Christianity in the Americas. Don’t give him (or the AFA) any more hits. They have no power over anybody and the more they post this Fischer’s blog, the more they do our work for us.

      Also, I’m kind of appalled that sofia’s comment made it through moderation here.

      • http://feministing.com/members/sof1a/ sofia

        i wasn’t attempting to be provocative, i just had a different interpretation of the comment. also, i had/have no idea who bryan fischer IS and that he’s a christian fundamentalist who has a history of making irrational statements.

        i don’t understand what was so egregiously trollish or wrong about what i said.

    • http://feministing.com/members/radicaldreamer/ Lauren

      Yeah, but is that even a problem? I mean, you don’t have to be married to take care of your child. I think that if so many of us would stop being immature and disrespecting our baby daddies by constantly reminding him how much “We don’t need him” he would stick around and we can raise our children together instead of relying on the government. fact of the matter is, we *do* need him. both, us and especially our children. I don’t have any children yet, but I don’t want my kids growing up in poverty because of some misguided idea that there is something noble about being a “single mom”

      • http://feministing.com/members/sof1a/ sofia

        i pretty much agree with you.

      • http://feministing.com/members/angelh/ Angel H.

        There is so much classism and heteronormativity in this comment, I’m not sure where to start.

        • http://feministing.com/members/sof1a/ sofia

          you can deconstruct it all you like, but it’s her personal truth, and the personal truths for a lot of other women out there. some women do aspire to and enjoy engaging in the heteronormative ideal. calling it “heteronormative” doesn’t intrinsically make it a bad thing. it condescends to the millions of people who choose to live that way of life and discriminating against it on principle is just as bad as decrying the way homosexual couples choose to live their lives.

          • http://feministing.com/members/angelh/ Angel H.

            I never said that being heterosexual was a bad thing, but if someone’s personal truth is to marginalize people who are don’t fit in with the middle-class, heterosexual “default” then they are reeking of privilege and I’m going to call them on it.

    • http://feministing.com/members/angelh/ Angel H.

      No, he’s proposing that **Black women** are directly reproducing to reap welfare benefits, so it adds a whole new layer of assholery to his commentary.

      And why is being a single mother looked upon as being a bad thing? Single motherhood and marriage are not necessarily related. A person doesn’t get married just so they can have children and a person with children doesn’t have to be married. One has nothing to do with the other.

      • http://feministing.com/members/toongrrl/ Jessica “Jess” Victoria Carillo

        I suppose he always pictures that a woman should spend her time in the kitchen cooking for a man she’s bound to for life

        • http://feministing.com/members/sof1a/ sofia

          marriage does not necessitate female servitude.

      • http://feministing.com/members/sof1a/ sofia

        well, considering that the statistic is 28% of ALL women have two or more children with different fathers, it’s definitely a societal phenomenon, and i was responding to that fact. i neglected to take note that he was isolating the black community.

        re: motherhood and marriage are exclusive occurrences, but there are significant benefits to children growing up in two-parent homes, because it entails a certain socioeconomic stability and advantage. the fact that single mothers are disproportionately and overwhelmingly receiving social assistance compounds that fact. as for the reasons why, well they are numbered and varied.

        • http://feministing.com/members/angelh/ Angel H.

          Even if a child does grow up in a two-parent home, it isn’t necessary for those parents to be married.

          And, let’s not forget, not everyone *can* be married…

  • http://feministing.com/members/billweikart/ bill weikart

    First of all, he is just using the same dehumanizing speech that white supremacists have been using for years against people who are not white, comparing them and/or their behavior to animals. He is also using the long trend of the concept that somehow getting government assistance is desirable, a scam, or causing these united states to go broke. None of these are realities of gov’t assistance. Secondly, I have major objections that to have children in country requires one to be married. Marriage is not, nor has it ever been, a single, defined, or stationary concept. Meaning of the term is constantly changing and varies depending on what state you live in, not to mention what country. Right now, it generally means in the US that two partners (actually man and woman, hopefully not for long) are licensed by the state to enter into a contract that deals with finance and basically means to me, if you decide to break up, you have to pay money for it. Don’t take my interpretation as an attack on those who choose to marry, I can definitely see the strategy and respect others convictions to enter in that legal contract. I grew up wanting to get married, but I believe that was due to social norms and the idea that a life long coupling equated marriage. I believe the fact that LGBTQ couples have been shown, that even without marriage, that they commit lower rates of child abuse, especially among lesbian couples), that marriage does little to benefit children.

  • http://feministing.com/members/aeonflux/ Erin

    I have a couple of problems with that, sofia. One, he’s specifically targeting black women–a quick Google search revealed that the most recent statistics on welfare indicate that 38% of recipients are white and 37.2% are black. Furthermore, 43% of recipients have only one child, and 30% have two. So less than 30% of all welfare recipients have more than two children. This type of argument demonizes black women’s fertility. If Fischer was really concerned about the welfare of underprivileged folks, maybe he would focus on doing things to ensure them better access to healthcare, education, and economic opportunities. It’s not as easy to obtain welfare benefits as conservatives make it sound, and the people who do are subjected to a lot of suspicion and mistreatment for the crime of being needy.

    A second problem I have is the tacit assumption that marriage is the norm and should be desired by everyone who wants to have children. There are many different familial configurations available and the mother-father-triad isn’t necessarily the best for everyone. Single motherhood isn’t A Fate Worse Than Death. If there were more structural benefits for parents, or for forming extended support networks, people wouldn’t be stretched so thin financially and time-wise and children would benefit.

    Marriage is a solution that works for many, but doesn’t for many more. And discouraging poor/black/lower class women from reproducing is a slippery slope that could slide all the way into colonialist ideas of breeding “them” out.

    • http://feministing.com/members/sof1a/ sofia

      i stupidly neglected to take note that he was isolating the black community because i had the statistics of the “multiple fathers” study mentally linked in my head. regarding those statistics however, considering that 13-14% of americans are black americans, it does show a significant disproportion of black recipients on welfare. obviously, there are a host of reasons as to why that is the case, which i’m not qualified to speak on. (and are the remaining 13% childless or do they have over two children, out of curiosity?)

      i understand that marriage isn’t necessary to raise children successfully, but at the same time two-parents homes tend to be more socioeconomically advantaged, and the offspring raised in those environments tend to have an easier time succeeding. having two parent involvement helps, and it’s undeniable, just because it means that the child receives more time and the parent’s resources.

  • http://feministing.com/members/athenia/ athenia

    Yes, because it’s totally the woman’s responsibility to convince the guy to marry her. Pfft.

    It totally floors me how people are convinced that having kids is all about making money—those kids are gonna turn 18 (or whatever the age is) and bye, bye money.

  • http://feministing.com/members/melissalynnette/ Melissa Lynnette

    While I personally am not interested in having children outside of marriage, the idea that doing so would reduce me to a rutting rabbit (as cute as bunnies are) is, well, beyond offensive. I think that goes without saying.
    Then, the idea that doing so is somehow financial beneficial is ludicrous. My sister is currently a single mother and her daughter’s father started out being supportive and then later on decided that he didn’t want anything to do with her or his child, so now, even with social and familial support, she is struggling. I don’t see any lap of luxury, sir. Perhaps you could point out the incentive. Maybe she should rut some more for it to appear.
    I guess she should have had a failed relationship with a rapper or something instead of a regular guy she went to college with, since black women are also gold diggers. Isn’t that another one of those cute stereotypes we’ve got pinned to us these days? We’re not only oversexed, we’re also only getting knocked up for money and bling.
    Le sigh.

  • http://feministing.com/members/markkernes/ Mark Kernes

    Apparently, Fischer reads either Feministing or Right Wing Watch, because the most offensive sentence has now been changed in the original article to read, “We have incentivized fornication rather than marriage, and it’s no wonder we are now awash in the disastrous social consequences of those who engage in random and reckless promiscuity, whether they are Caucasian, Hispanic, or African-American.”

    And of course, there’s no indication that the article has been revised from its original form. After all, why would they admit to their followers that they’re racists if the followers don’t already know?

    • http://feministing.com/members/angelh/ Angel H.

      That’s hilarious! He changed that one sentence, but not the other racist garbage.

  • http://feministing.com/members/sof1a/ sofia

    Angel H.,

    It’s not about marginalizing those that aren’t middle class and that don’t aspire to heteronormative ideals. In fact, my point was that there were more structural benefits for single mothers than those married and with children. And also, that a father’s role also needs to be equally recognized in the context of the specific comment I’m agreeing to. And that, engaging and aspiring to a heteronormative ideal isn’t intrinsically bad if that’s what someone wants.

    In regards to two-parent homes, we are in agreeance that it doesn’t dictate marriage. But often saying the word “marriage”, whilst semantically being a misnomer for what I’m trying to express, is easier than saying two-parent homes.

    • http://feministing.com/members/billweikart/ bill weikart

      I refuse to essentialize the “role of the father”. Social norms vary so much, even within a 30 mile radius of an urban area of what could be the “traditional” role of the father. There is much dispute on what environment best serves the child and I honestly can’t proclaim what would best serve children, because each case is different. For example, I’ve seen loving homes in step families, whereas, chaos in biological traditional homes. I don’t believe a woman should have to remain in any relationship she doesn’t want to, child or no child. And what may best for the child often depends on how much wealth both the mother and father have to invest in the child (not to say money provides a good home by itself, but the lack of it often leaves children in areas of “street crime” and worse schools). Don’t forget that children grow up to make their own decisions and mistakes with or without learning the lessons. I need to do some statistical research, I know, but I suspect it is difficult to quantify what advantages the “two parent” home delivers in any definite way, but I have a feeling that poverty, racism, violence, education, and incarceration are more influential than marriage, or even two parents. btw I need more than two role models in order to keep my life straight. I need the whole f-ing village.

      • http://feministing.com/members/billweikart/ bill weikart

        I apologize, I am sleepy…. I said both mother and father. my mistake. I of course meant partners.

        • http://feministing.com/members/sof1a/ sofia


          What fosters a child with high IQ and a relatively stable and successful life is the parents socioeconomic status and that the child has highly educated parents. A two parent home, regardless of the structure, is going to – as a general principle – have higher socioeconomic standing. Adversely, single parent homes are overwhelmingly homes with low socioeconomic status and are plagued more with parents that aren’t as highly educated.

          There is not much dispute on what creates a good environment for a child when it comes to the basics and also not much deviance in regards to social norms, hence “social norms”. There is going to be a degree of anomalous data, but exceptions don’t make the rule.

          • http://feministing.com/members/angelh/ Angel H.

            But whose social norms are you referring to? The ones popularized by the white, heteronormative, cisgendered, middle-class? By whose standards should we forced to live and who are “they” to tell me how I should live? Saying that living one way is what’s best for everyone is privileging one way of life over another and marginalizing those who can’t or don’t want to live that lifestyle.