What Men Really Think of Single Moms?
I rarely read Russian media sites, but this article written by a man giving advise to other men not to get involved with the single moms, really upset me. And it’s not only because I am a single mom myself and I was raised by a single mom, but because it was absolutely horrifying to see how easily this guy de-valued and written-off a huge segment of Russian women (about 10 million of them!) – sweet, caring moms that lost their husbands to alcoholism, domestic violence or infidelity, who often work 2-3 jobs just to make ends meet and to provide for their kids.
“In Russia, divorce rates have long been high. Even so, nonmarital births have climbed steadily since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and today account for nearly one in three births.”
– Jennifer Utrata, “Women Without Men: Single Mothers and Family Change in the New Russia”
Women in general have hard time finding romantic partners as they age. Apparently, we are not as attractive to men pass our “expiration date” (after age 23) or if our BMI is not like Angelina Jolie’s (ideal BMI is between 17 and 20).
In Russia, women also have to deal with cultural stereotypes and unfavorable demographics.
- Women in Russia get a lot of social pressure to marry young (18 -20).
- Single 30-year old ladies have really hard time finding men to date and have to face a grim reality that they might never marry or have kids.
(I read a story of a young Russian lady who was going to dance clubs every week in hopes to meet a guy… but no guys would ever show up! There was a picture of about 30 girls, all looking like models, lined up against a wall and an empty dance floor.)
- There literally aren’t enough men in Russia, especially in areas with strong textile industries, where majority of workers are women.
- “Russia has been predominantly female since at least World War II, when many Soviet men died in battle or left the country to fight. In 1950, there were just 76.6 men per 100 women in the territory that is now Russia… The gender ratio in Russia is currently 86.8 men per 100 women”. Compare this to “Worldwide statistics are 101.8 men to 100 women”. (Pew research)
- There are about 9.2 million more women than men in Russia (R. Wilford, “Women, Ethnicity and Nationalism”).
- The last statistic is strange considering that males outnumber females at birth. 106 males born for 100 females in both Russia and Ukraine (Wikipedia).
- “Younger men in the former Soviet Union also have an unusually high mortality rate”, attributed mostly to alcohol abuse and risky behavior. (Pew research)
- Divorce rates are high too – 45 – 65% (The Economist)
- Single moms in Russia get hit by the divorce the hardest – one income is not enough to raise a family, often there is no support from ex-husbands to raise kids, not much leisure time and no prospects to start a new family (in Russia we even have a special term for this group “Razvedenka”).
“Single-mother households are among Russia’s poorest. With education and medical costs growing, their kids are off to a bad start. The absent fathers seldom pay a rouble, and only 5% or so take any real part in their children’s upbringing. If indeed they did when present: too many men aren’t able, or simply don’t choose, to provide for the family; alcoholism or apathy is an easier choice.
– The Economist, “So where are all the men?”
The real deal breaker to men of all ages, according to the author of the article that blue my mond, is if a woman has kids.
The article is in Russian, so I am going to list the 6 reasons that the author provided there. (shorter version)
Someone else’s kids are a huge baggage that nobody wants. Normal men only worry about raising their OWN kids.
Those “other” kids would just remind them that their woman was with some other guy before.
In nature, lions kill cubs that are not their own. So it’s unnatural for men to care for kids that are not their own.
Since the guy is entering an existing (non-traditional, and possibly, dysfunctional) family, where he will end up playing a secondary role (kid comes first!) this will cause a dis-balance in a relationship right from the stat. How can you build a building with a faulty foundation?
Single moms are often focused on finding a provider for their family, who could support them and their kids. The question is what is the guy getting in return in this situation? Why would he want this burden?
The fact that a woman is divorced is against her. Even if it wasn’t her fault that the marriage fell apart (very common reason you hear from divorced women), they are, at a minimum, are at fault for picking the wrong guy to marry and have kids with. Divorced women are basically terrible wives. This is not just a saying. It’s a reality.
Single moms are not as naive and pure as other women. Experience is good only when people learn right lessons from them. Single moms have too much negative experience in their life that makes them suspicious, too practical, manipulative and generally unfit for a marriage. They are not a “blank page” anymore – hard to work with.
There are too many unknowns and unpredictable. You don’t know if the guy will get along with her child, if her ex (biological father) will cause any issues etc.
The worse thing than the article itself was the comments from men, and even some women, who were actually agreeing with the author. There were hundreds of them! (1633 to be exact)
One guy said that getting into a relationship with a single mom was similar to stepping into a pile of crap.
The collective opinion was that single moms are basically someone’s trash. They don’t deserve a second chance. And if a guy dated a single mom, he had to be a loser himself.
I can only imagine the level of abuse this kind of thinking leads to.
The whole thing was pretty disturbing. It felt like a complete degradation of a whole generation of people. I wanted to leave a comment, but then I thought – you can’t fix these people with a single comment!
I left that site thinking how lucky I am that I don’t live in Russia anymore and don’t have to deal with this kind of backwards mentality. That was until I got a message online the other day from a guy who said that he is not interested in me because I am “a woman 20 years past her prime time, with kids no less”.