What's The Matter With Wanting To Be A Single Mom?

Louise Sloan, a 41-year-old lesbian with a desire to be a mom, had semen FedExed to her Republican mother's summer house in Kennebunkport, Maine she says in an interview with Salon. The piece focuses on Sloan's book, Knock Yourself Up: A Tell-All Guide to Becoming a Single Mom, which details her journey, as well as the experiences of other mothers (straight and gay) who made the same choice she did. From the sperm delivery ("It comes in a liquid nitrogen tank that kind of looks like a bomb," says Sloan) to the adoption issue ("I really wanted the experience of being pregnant, of having a biological link to my child. It's just the way that I always dreamed of doing it, so that was my choice."), Ms. Sloan is very frank, honest and open about her adventures in insemination. But one of the most interesting issues she talks is the complicated way single mothers are perceived:

I just went and filled in for someone teaching a workshop on choosing single motherhood. Even though the women I know who have done it are attractive, successful, great women, even though I hope that I fit into that description as well, and I don't feel like there is anything wrong with me, I went into that workshop expecting to see a bunch of losers. And I was surprised to see a bunch of really attractive, articulate, educated, successful women. And when I realized I was surprised, I thought: "What is the matter with you?"
Why is it so easy to visualize a single mother as a tragic figure, even for another single mom? On the one hand it's been years since Dan Quayle vs. Murphy Brown, but on the other hand, the social stigma — that something must have "gone wrong" for a woman to be parenting alone — still exists. "We're living in a different world, where women are pursuing careers and not getting married in their 20s as they used to," Ms. Sloan notes. "Also, women are not accepting and staying in bad relationships just to have kids." And yet, knowing that even single moms sometimes have negative attitudes toward other single moms, doesn't it seem like, more than sperm, what it takes to get knocked up on purpose is bravery?

And Baby Makes Two [Salon]