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Deadbeat Moms
May 5, 2004
by K. C. Wilson

For fourteen years, judge Steven Wakefield has paid such high child support for a son who spends half his time with him that the mother has never been on welfare. Nor worked. She spends much of her time high on pot while Steven and his current wife and two children live in near poverty.

He's lucky. Many who do the same are also not allowed to see their children by the very woman they support. Nobody stops her from this, but make sure he pays.

John Hushion's ex-wife jiggled her breasts at him outside the court. "How do you like what your child support bought?" She now has breast implants.

Richard Green's wife left him and their two pre-school sons to marry a richer man. The arrangement is legally "joint custody" although she rarely sees the kids while he pays her child support. When his business started doing well five years later, she sued for more.

We all know there are deadbeat dads: men who do not contribute what they could of their share of the costs of their children. How many is subject to debate. Studies by the Urban Institute of Washington D.C. suggests that, if a third of all single mothers live in poverty, the fathers are not much better off, with far less public assistance available to them. How many non-paying fathers are actually capable of paying is left to speculation, and social myth.

Still, there are deadbeat dads.

How many deadbeat moms are there?

By deadbeat moms I don't mean non-custodial mothers, who default on child support at twice the rate of fathers though asked to pay half as much.

I don't even mean the whatever number of welfare moms that are generated by that system itself, since, to some extent or other, it does encourage less capable young ladies to get pregnant, not simply to prove their adulthood or escape their family but to assure themselves a basic existence instead of having to earn one. (An option not open to men.)

No. When I say deadbeat moms, I mean women who use children for personal profit. I mean women who collect faithfully paid child support, to make no contribution to the cost of their children themselves when they could; who even make little contribution to the cost of themselves when they could. I mean women who keep all the care-giving to themselves to get more money than that care- giving takes.

I mean women who collect child support for themselves.

After all, if a deadbeat dad is a man who does not contribute what he can of his share of the cost of his children, what would you call a women who does the same?

How many are there? Maybe more than deadbeat dads. We know as much about one as the other.

You would think there would be a great may women anxious to root such women out. You'd think we'd see a fervent social campaign, led by women, to find and eliminate this practice. Women who cheat are a threat to all women, giving all women a bad name by violating the sacred trust that has always balanced the sexes. Who could trust any woman if that sort of thing got around? So you'd think women would engage in a furious campaign against it.

You'd especially expect this of feminists. How could they allow women to exploit their gender-position and the other gender? Before they could cry against it in men, they'd want it eliminated from themselves.

Considering the number of deadbeat moms, it's surprising how little effort, money, and attention is spent on their prevention and cure. It could make you think this society is sexist.

Copyright © 2004 K.C.Wilson. K.C. Wilson is the author of Co-parenting for Everyone, Male Nurturing, Delusions of Violence, and The Multiple Scandals of Child Support, all available as e-books at http://harbpress.com.

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