June 10, 2015
Remember The Scarlet Letter book we all read in high school? Well apparently Jeb Bush thinks it’s a great idea and that we should all be publicly shaming single mothers to set an example for others.
This is an excerpt from his book, as reported by Huffington Post:
One of the reasons more young women are giving birth out of wedlock and more young men are walking away from their paternal obligations is that there is no longer a stigma attached to this behavior, no reason to feel shame. Many of these young women and young men look around and see their friends engaged in the same irresponsible conduct. Their parents and neighbors have become ineffective at attaching some sense of ridicule to this behavior. There was a time when neighbors and communities would frown on out of wedlock births and when public condemnation was enough of a stimulus for one to be careful.
This isn’t about politics, it’s about basic human behavior. According to this quote, he is basically saying that we should shame people that make him feel uncomfortable. As if being a single mother wasn’t hard enough. Let’s be honest though, it’s not as if women having babies out of wedlock are a walking advertisement to go out and have your own baby with a runaway dad. This is a classic example of slut-shaming just because the idea of women having sex makes certain men uncomfortable.
It’s not that there’s no stigma attached to “this behavior”, it’s just that people have learned that public shaming is an outdated, inhumane, and generally ineffective practice.
According to this article, Bush signed a law in 2001 that forced women giving up their babies for adoption to publish their sexual histories in the newspaper. Um, a little bit dramatic, don’t you think? If we’ve learned anything from our relationships, it’s that some things are better left unsaid. Literally nothing good has ever come out of asking someone to tell you everyone they’ve slept with. I mean, we could maybe understand if the adoptive parents want to make sure the father isn’t like prone to some genetic disease… but just privately ask for that information maybe? That’s like asking your girlfriend to marry you, and then you make her tag all her exes in the Facebook announcement. Extra. Definitely unnecessary.
The law was repealed, thank god. But if anyone should be shamed here, it should be Jeb Bush for this ridiculous statement. We’re going to be the bigger betches and like, just hope this all goes away.