Archive | October, 2013

Briefing Paper: Unmarried Couples with Children

25 Oct

This week I chose to read about couples that are unmarried, but have children together. According to this article, about 1/3 of babies born in the US today are born to unmarried parents. What I found interesting was that most births that occur outside of marriage are common among low-income women. Although about 80 percent of these couples are romantically involved at the time of their child’s birth, most of them never marry. This article states that only about 7 percent of the couples were married to each other five years later. That is a pretty small number. But just because these couples are not married, does not mean that they don’t want to be married. Sometimes there are other factors that come in to play that affect them being able to marry.  Economic status is of course one of the more important factors that comes into play when marrying. Unmarried couples with children have said that they wish to marry once they reach more stable financial state. These couples don’t expect too much, simply to have a decent job and the ability to pay their own bills without depending on family, friends, or the government.  Image 

1. http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/free-books/living-together-book/chapter10-9.html

This article was about how an unmarried mom and dad should go about things after they separate. It talks about visitation rights, custody, and child support. Things that, regardless of being married or not, are something that need to be dealt with. One of the problems with this is that because the couple is not legally married, there sometimes isn’t a whole lot a judge can do about child-raising issues. It is kind of up to the parents to decide on the three issues I previously mentioned. Although, is the well being of the child/children is at risk physically or financially, the courts may order certain obligations be carried out.

2. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/children-born-unwed-couples-rise/story?id=16125007

This article talked about people, having been previously married, who get together and just decide that marriage isn’t something they want to rush into. Because this couple was slightly older (mid-30s), the idea of planning a marriage just didn’t seem like the appropriate thing to do, since the woman’s biological clock was ticking. So they decided to try to have a child together, and if they could not, they would get married and adopt. After being with her boyfriend for eight months, they became pregnant. This article stated that more people are cohabiting, and many of those cohabiting couples are having children.

3. http://www.contemporaryfamilies.org/children-parenting/unmarried.html

This was a really interesting article. It was about Ted and Joanne, an unmarried couple, living together, and agreeing to support the stay-at-home-partner. Ted has children from a previous marriage, and Joanne has a child as well. What they have decided to do, is Ted is to continue to work as a physician, and he is going to pay Joanne for raising the children and keeping things around the house in order. They are in a committed long-term relationship, and are going to be loving and nurturing to each other and their children. They agree on a set of conditions that are suitable for each other. I don’t think this was a real scenario, but it was interesting to read about, as I’m sure there are families out there that are in similar situations. 

4. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/04/04/cohabitation-families-pregnancy/2050073/

Now more than ever, unmarried couples with children are staying together longer than before. According to a study, half of women ages 15-44 (such a young age group to begin with I think), say that their first union was cohabitation not marriage. Cohabitation is more of a step towards marriage, more than it is an alternative to marriage. It is becoming more common, and very normal for people in today’s society. What I found interesting was that this article too stated that unmarried couples don’t feel completely ready to meet the high standards they have for marriage, but do feel ready to have children. 

Interracial Families in Post-Civil Rights America

18 Oct

This week I chose to read about how we are still living in a society that is not “color-blind”, and how interracial couples are still facing many issues. In 1967, the US Supreme Court invalidated the laws that prohibited interracial marriage. That was less than fifty years ago; that wasn’t very long ago! Today, over 92% of marriages are between people of the same race. This article focused mainly on marriage between blacks and whites, which I found very interesting. The reason this is though, is because marriages between blacks and whites are the least likely combination of interracial marriage. What I also found interesting was that blacks often times disapprove of interracial marriage, but are willing to make exceptions for family and friends. Whites are accepting of interracial marriages, but they tend to disapprove if their family or friends are the ones who are marrying interracially. A huge concern for interracial couples is children. The good thing is, children of interracial marriages are figuring things out for themselves, and creating their own identities, much like normal adolescents and young-adults. 

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1. http://wearethe15percent.com

This is a really cool website. People from all around send in their own personal photos of their families that just happen to be interracial. There are all kinds of combinations of races that are married with other races, and that is totally normal for them. I think it’s great that there is a website devoted to showing just how real interracial marriage is, and how those families are no different than a same-race marriage. This website was actually inspired to by my next link.

2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYofm5d5Xdw

This is Cheerios commercial that was quite controversial when it first aired. It is of a little girl, who appears to be black/biracial, and she is asking her white mother if Cheerios are healthy. At the end of the commercial, we see her dad, who is black, laying on the couch covered in Cheerios. There were loads and loads of people who hated this commercial. They were very disapproving of it, and I was really shocked to hear about that. Cheerios said that they were just trying to depict families are they really are in our current society, which they are correct about. I just wonder why a commercial with a biracial family was so shocking to so many people, especially in today’s society.

3. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/21/virginia-parents-walmart-biracial-daughters_n_3313143.html

Perhaps I am just naive, but I was SO shocked reading and watching this story. I didn’t think that things like this still happened! Back in May a white man took his three daughters, who are black, to Walmart. When he arrived home, there was a police officer at his door, telling him that someone from Walmart thought that he had kidnapped the three little girls. His wife is black, and obviously they were both shocked. My dad is white, and my mom is Hispanic. My youngest brother is very white, and my mom is very dark. When he was a baby, she would always get stares everywhere she went. I’m sure people wondered if she was the nanny, or perhaps even kidnapped my brother. I am unaware of these physical differences, until they get pointed out by others. It’s just so crazy to think that it is still so much of an issue that police are even getting involved in certain situations.

4. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/08/08/nyc-mayoral-candidate-features-interracial-family/

This was a commercial released back in August of mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio. There is a young, black boy narrating the commercial, who we come to find is Bill’s son. He is married to a black woman, and has two children. When the Cheerios commercial came out, and there was so much controversy around it, Bill’s wife said she and her family were happy that there was finally a family on television that looked like hers. It’s so great that there are people who are trying to push past the barriers that those in interracial marriages are facing, but it is still unfortunate that they have to deal with those things today. 

Men’s Changing Contribution to Family Work

4 Oct

This week I chose to read about how men are beginning to become more involved in the happenings in the home. There was a time when there was an increase in women joining the workforce, but men were still not contributing more to family work. Essentially, women were woking more hours on the job, and less at home, while men were working long hours on the job, and not making up for the lost hours. The media also plays a huge role in defining masculinity, and “the new father”. The article goes on to say that fortunately, at the turn of the twenty-first century, men have become either more involved fathers, or equal caretakers. One of the reasons this is, is because the parent-child dynamic is changing. The bond between a parent and child is enduring, even through a dissolving marriage. Men nowadays are more likely to CHOOSE fatherhood, rather than follow the traditional norms. 

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1. <script height=”330px” width=”588px” src=”http://player.ooyala.com/iframe.js#ec=pqbm51ZDo9H4Y5oG2arnV6fEgs9smi-s&pbid=54ea1c2f14ee44369ddf31ac887ffe7e”></script&gt;

This video talks about how if men are working jobs that are “traditionally female”, they are more likely to do housework. In the same sense, if women work in a field that is traditionally for men, they are more likely to do less housework. Working in a field that is more female dominated, men are forced to deal with stigmas. What I found extremely interesting, is that the video talked about men face an “emasculating effect” from working in a highly-female occupation. How interesting that men working with women is made to sound like a bad thing. 

2. http://www.sheknows.com/home-and-gardening/articles/6382/how-to-get-a-man-to-do-housework

This article I really liked reading. I found it really funny how they kind of excused men from not doing housework. Men like coming home to a clean house, but don’t put the effort in to make it clean, it is just expected. What I found really amusing was how this article said that men are not raised “fully responsible” for housework, and thus need to be almost tricked into helping out. This article was written by a man, so he is telling women to not belittle their husbands to get them to do housework, but simply do it in a way that makes them feel important and wanted. 

3. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-206381/Working-women-housework.html

According to this article, even working women still do a lot of housework. I definitely agree with this article, when it says that women will never truly be equal in the workforce, until there is equality in the home. The only real work most men do is fix things around the house when they need to be fixed, women do everything and anything else. Eventually, with the division of labor, will cause disharmony in the home, and could possibly lead to divorce. Men and women should make the effort to do work and housework equally, and to see both jobs as equally important.

4. http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/08/opinion/york-equal-housework/index.html

This article talked about how women get paid three-quarters of what men are paid. So because women are busy with household work, they are not able to spend as much time in the work field. Because of this, they face discrimination, and lower paying jobs. In order to be the most productive in life, men need to do more housework. There needs to be equality in household work. By doing that, women will not face discrimination in their careers, and thus we will reach gender equality some day.