THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
BETWEEN HAVES AND HAVE-NOTS, CHOICES AND COMPLICATIONS

Troubled by absence of male support in single mother’s story

August 28, 2011

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IT IS difficult to read the Globe’s story about Mindy Shoestock without compassion for her family’s plight (“Between haves, have-nots, an ever greater gulf,’’ Page A1, Aug. 21). But one question, not answered by the reporter, crossed my mind - the whereabouts of the father or fathers of Shoestock’s children, and why they are not providing support for their offspring?

Greg Futoma
Wallingford, Conn.

THE ARTICLE “Between haves, have-nots, an ever greater gulf’’ could have used a more descriptive headline, such as “Irresponsible lifestyles create ever greater gulfs.’’ However, this headline would have been an inconvenient political truth.

The subject of the article is a single mother, pregnant at 16, who now has two sons and, at age 29, is pregnant with a third child. No mention is made of any father. While male financial support may be elusive, isn’t the apparent absence of a father relevant in a story devoted to examining the gulf between economically sustainable families and those that are not?

To state that there is a gulf between the “haves’’ and “have-nots’’ without acknowledging the role of personal responsibility in producing one or the other outcome is to miss the point - a point that appears to be lost on Shoestock. Her plaintive query “Will I ever be financially stable?’’ overlooks the fact that financial stability begins with taking responsibility for one’s life.

John Hansen
Sharon