The Double Standard of Men and Women Part III

Reflections on Baby Mama Drama and Dead Beat Dads

Have no fear; Sowhatiff is here. I present to you the third part of this thought provoking series. As indicated by the previous entries, and many of your comments, there is no disputing the existence of double standards between men and women. However, one that sort of flies under the radar centers around little snotty nosed cute children.

Baby mama drama. More than one baby’s daddy. Dead beat dads. Single parent homes. Single women raising children. Single men with children, but not raising any. Boyfriend and girlfriend with a kid, but no ring. Married with children. Once you reach a certain age, these types of scenarios become more and more likely to come up in conversations with friends, or potential boos. But fellas, what happens when you meet a woman with a kid? Ladies, what happens when you meet a man with a baby? While both people may share 50% of the genetic material of that baby, who is likely to carry the burden of responsibility?

Single Dad?

Its not too often you run into a man raising his son or daughter. Let’s be honest. And when you do, he gets all kind of cool points…from women. “Aww, he is so sweet.” “What a good man, raising his baby all alone.” “What’s wrong with his baby’s mama. Shame on her.” Some women may even be turned on by this man, and may be encouraged by his potential.

Now flip the script.

Brenda had a baby. And no, Brenda isn’t a 16 year old girl barely out of the 11th grade. Brenda is a grown woman in her mid twenties with a job, at least 1 degree and a large sense of responsibility. And how is she perceived? “Poor her. Who’s going to date her now?” “Damn yo, I don’t want a ready made family.” Women may shake their head and say, “Damn, glad that’s not me.” Some men are willing to take the “challenge” and most others run in the other direction.

Baby Daddy Drama?

When you read that, you were probably like “What’s that?” That’s right folks, that term doesn’t come up often for a few reasons. It doesn’t surface in conversations because…here comes the kicker…he’s probably not around enough to create any. Now, this can be due to factors such as issues in the dynamic between him and the mother of his child. Or maybe because the term “baby mama drama” rhymes and such, it has snuggled its way into our lives.

Either way, the conversations about men with child(ren) versus women with child(ren) do not sound the same. Women tend to be pitied or judged for having a child out of wedlock, while men are dismissed and almost forgiven. Unfortunately, nature plays a major role in this. When a women gets preggers, she can’t just walk it out and leave that fetus to develop into a baby on its own. That little bun bakes for 9 months, and with few exceptions, sticks around for years to come. The child becomes a major part of that woman’s daily life, while Baby Daddy does what he wants for the most part. His anatomy and societal permissions allow him to get in and out…pause…and not look back.

Dead Beat…Mother?

::Gasp!:: Heaven forbid a women decides to relinquish the responsibility of raising her child to his or her father. She gets called all kinds of names and is labeled as irresponsible, and less of a woman in that she severely lacks “maternal instinct”. I can only imagine the raised eyebrows she gets upon sharing that she has a child that doesn’t live with her. If this were a man though, the conversation would carry on with no hitches. Smh.

In the spirit of intellectual discussion, I pose a few questions for you to mull over. If a man is not raising a child, is his dating life likely to suffer? If so, how? What about women? Why are there differences? What creates the varied expectations placed on men and women as it relates to having and raising children? Are these differences endemic of larger issues in society, and the black community? Or is this just how it is and how it’s going to be?



5 responses to “The Double Standard of Men and Women Part III

  1. A man’s dating life will not suffer if he’s not raising his child. He has no ties so he has the freedom to do as he pleases. Women’s dating life does suffer because she has to find someone to watch the kids. She hopes her kids don’t act up when the guy comes by to pick her up and what if her baby’s daddy really does trip when a new guy comes in the picture.

  2. Vanessa aka Miss V

    honestly, i don’t think the man’s dating life suffers as much as a woman’s does simply because most times the child ends up living with the mother. the dude can easily run around and pick up chicks without them knowing that he has a child. hypothetically, a woman can do the same, but when she’s ready to bring him home, BAM! “So and so, meet my baby…” and then, it’s a wrap.

    On another note, as someone who dated a guy with a child, I’d say it’s a lose-lose situation whether or not he’s taking care of it or not. First, a man who chooses not to take care of his off-spring is automatically a ______ [insert derogatory name here], and no woman with a head on her shoulders (figuratively of course) should even think this guy is a good catch. Secondly, the guy that does take care of his child will most likely have baby-mama drama because: a. she’s mad that he’s not with her, b. she wants him to suffer since she can’t get a date/boyfriend. Yes, he is seen as more responsible, compassionate, yada yada yada, but those qualities are easily diminished when you have a crazy baby mama blowing up his phone, and/or threatening to kick your ass.

    hope is not lost though for single parents, though. sometimes they do get lucky, and fall in love without the baby-_______ drama.

  3. Vanessa aka Miss V

    and yes Tiff, there is a such thing as Baby Daddy drama aka the problems he causes when he’s NOT around (you know, blowing up his phone for child support, diapers, etc., dealing with the fact that he gets to have fun while she has to take care of a baby). That’s drama in itself…

  4. Tiff, you hit this right in the nose…. Miss V you certainly have a point there, with girls that try to hide their kids. BIG NO NO…. specially that mostly every girl is looking for a something serious unless there just trying to have “fun” or as my boy label them as “scally wags”…. lol…..

    Being a guy, if put in a hypothetical scenario of having a baby out of wedlock, first I would try everything in my power to take care of my child, I really am dumbfounded by guys that don’ t take care (or for that matter act like they don’t even exist) of their kids. I would so rather take custody of my kid(s), I know that nothing would bother me more then to have my own flesh and blood being raised by some woman that would start her little propaganda campaign against me, about how bad i am and so fourth. I made this little one so I would like to see him grow as I see fit. Then the issue of having some other dude taking “care” of him. Then of course I’m not about to “child support” and seeing her with new clothing and shoes and stuff seeing my kid in the same out grown pj’s….

    SH*T!!! I’m not giving anybody no free meal ticket when I could adequately take care of him. I know aint no one gonna treat him/her better then me.

  5. My response is to the issue with guys running from dating a single mother…

    I reference Lyfe Jenning’s “She Got Kids”…She got kids
    And I don’t know if I’m ready to give
    Them the things that they need to live
    ‘Cause if we become more than just friends what I do for her I gotta do for them kids

    Its a real issue, not many dudes want that in their lifes. I know for me I wonder what the kids will think of me and, if I stay with this woman and we have a kid of our own, how will they treat the new child? Most men would consider a child-less woman before choosing to jump feet first into all that

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