Term Paper: American Mother's Living in Poverty

Pages: 7 (2216 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Family and Marriage  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] This archaic and completely unfair viewpoint, shared by many politicians goes to prove that there are many in those high and mighty seats of power, who have never known what it is like to be female, or poor in today's socio-economic climate.

The one aspect not recorded in these and other resources found when studying this dilemma was the concept of how the fathers of these children, the partners of these women, and the jointly responsible parents in this, namely the men, felt about seeing their women in poverty. Is it possible that they just did not care, or had they already moved on to newer families that they would also eventually leave? It is reprehensible to me to see that while women bear the brunt of social disapproval, particularly if they are raising children in poverty, there is no mention of the men that logic tells us had to have been involved in the conception of the child, if nothing else. While I appreciate that there are a small but growing number of men who are now raising children alone, the majority of solo parents are women. They are responsible for seeing that their children are kept clothed, fed and housed. They are responsible for trying to get their children a good education, because all mothers want their children to do better than they did themselves with their lives, and they are the women who bear the brunt of the social sneers and miss-guided commentary that reduce women to the same form of servitude they experienced a hundred years ago. Katz was right in thinking this is a powerlessness issue. Most of these women were powerless when they got pregnant, are powerless when their husbands decide to trade them in for a younger model, and are powerless to make the government understand that what these women want is not a hand-out, it is a hand-up; a hand-up to a better life for themselves and their children.

I'd like to finish this paper with a quote that was part of the Introduction to the book "for Crying Out Loud" mentioned earlier in this paper. This comment made me realize that maybe despite the governmental reforms and so called successes that are portrayed in the media about the drop in welfare numbers; welfare reform always was and always will be about women and poverty. Even if the government can't help these women, because of what it means to be women, there is a very good chance they are well on the way to helping themselves.

In spite of public censure, welfare mothers graduate from school, get decent jobs, watch their children achieve, make good lives for themselves, and marry men they love. I feel that I am now in a position to make that process a little bit less of an uphill struggle. But what I now give is small compared to what I receive in return. Welfare mothers continue to be my inspiration, not because they survive, but because they dare to dream. Because when you are a welfare recipient, laughter is an act of rebellion..." (Janet Diamond, former welfare recipient and now welfare policy analyst)

For women on welfare and thereby women who live in poverty, their day-to-day struggle to do better for themselves and their families helps us realize that it is a good thing that the old cliche "Dreams are free" is a true fact. While these women can dream, there is hope, and it is clear from the research conducted in this paper that the measure of success used by government to determine the positive attributes of welfare reform, is in no way reflected in the lives of the people it affects so adversely.


For Crying Out Loud: Women's Poverty in the United States. Eds. Diane Dujon and Ann Withorn. Boston: South End Press, 1996.

Hays, Sharon. Flat Broke with Children: Women in the Age of Welfare Reform. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Katz, Michael. The Undeserving Poor: From the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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