On Single Mom Society, the secret Facebook group that is nearing 1,000 members in it’s brief and fabulous existence, I recently announced a new rule:
No male-bashing allowed.
When you get together a bunch of mostly divorced women — as I do here on this blog, and its many social media outlets — it’s only natural that they’re going to complain about their ex-husbands. Also: ex-boyfriends, current boyfriends, men they’re dating or want to date or who they can’t find to date. That is normal. It can be very frustrating — enraging, even — and women have been having these very same spirited conversations since the dawn of time — way, way before family court or Tinder were invented, or the term “conscious uncoupling” departed a certain under-nourished celebrity’s thin, sanctimonious lips.
Often, without thinking it through, such conversations can include missives like, “Men suck.” Or: “Men just don’t get it,” or “Men … etc.” Even a simple “Men!” in a certain tone says so, so much.
On that forum, I announced, that is not allowed. I also highly suggest you disallow it from your own home, mouth and mind. “You” being the universal you, with a special emphasis on single moms.
That’s right: Single moms must be extra super-duper careful to not to make negative blanket statements about men.
Any thinking person knows it’s not acceptable to make nasty, blanket statements about women. Or gay or transgendered people. Or any race, nationality or religion. Duh.
Men are no exception.
Now, if you are an unmarried mother, there is a more-than-50-percent chance that you are parenting a male child. A male child who, statistically, is not likely to have his dad in his life in a meaningful way. Telling boys — explicitly or implicitly — that men are bad dumps into an existing hole in a kid’s self esteem a giant glob of toxic tar that is very hard to undo.
This rule applies to mothers of both girls and boys — humans who will interact with people of both genders for the rest of their lives. If they are taught that half the population is bad, that sets precedence for how they feel about themselves. It has an impact on the success of their future relationships in romance, friendship and business.
And saying “Men…” anything holds you way back, too. Even if you don’t say it aloud, but text it to your friend, or mumble it under your breath when your boss is being a jerk, or right as you slam the mouse on the “Disable account” button on OKCupid, you are sending unconscious nasty energy out to 50 percent of the world’s population. Whether all the men in the universe actually hear you mutter those hateful words, or are within a reasonable dating radius of your condo, you are throwing off hateful vibes to the world.
Including to men you potentially want to love you.
Because somewhere there are guys hanging out, nursing their own broken hearts and contending with ex frustrations, and looming over the universe is an utterance of “dumb bitches.” And you and I know how so very wrong that is.
Emma Johnson is a veteran money writer, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, REAL SIMPLE, Parenting, USA Today and others.
The Kickass Single Mom: Be Financially Independent, Discover Your Sexiest Self, and Raise Fabulous, Happy Children (Penguin, 2017), was a #1 bestseller and was featured in hundreds of media, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, Oprah.com and the New York Post, which named it to its ‘Must Read” list.
Her popular blog Wealthysinglemommy.com, and podcast Like a Mother, explore issues facing professional single moms: business and career, money, sex, relationships and parenting. Emma regularly comments on these topics for outlets such as CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine, Woman’s Day, The Doctors, and many more. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” one of “20 Personal Finance Influencers to Follow on Twitter” by AOL DailyFinance, “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and “Most Eligible New Yorkers” by New York Observer.
A popular speaker on gender equality, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality.
Emma grew up in Sycamore, Ill., and lives in New York City with her children.