单身母亲大变身

纽约——1992年总统选举中,乔治·H·W·布什在竞选活动中对电视剧墨菲·布朗的批判引发了一场政治轰动,这种借助虚拟人物在美国攫取政治积分的做法算得上是史无前例,但却绝对不是后无来者。该剧以同情的笔触描绘了一位单身母亲墨菲·布朗(由女演员坎迪丝·伯根扮演),诸如此类的角色算得上当时电视中的异类。布什也因此指责这部电视剧将单身母亲表现得司空见惯,而没有对这种现象加以指责。

在一阵手足无措后,单身母亲被当作美国核心价值观的末日先兆扔进了垃圾桶(当时的单身父亲却没有经历同样的厄运)。其中暗藏的潜台词是惟我独尊的自私的女权主义者(如果她们是富裕的白人女性)或无能的社会寄生虫(如果她们是低收入的有色族裔妇女)将自己的利益凌驾于孩子的利益之上。丹尼尔·帕特里克·莫尼汉的论文黑人家庭:国家行动案例被媒体疯狂转载,他在这篇文章中把单身母亲描绘成导致中心城区、特别是非洲裔美国人犯罪、目不识丁和吸毒的主要因素。

时代发生了多么大的变化。正如单身母亲当时被无理申斥一样,今天她们又受到同样无理的追捧。(欧洲单身母亲的数量超过美国,但却不需要以这样或那样的方式在单身母亲的问题上进行说教。)而在美国的流行文化中,单身母亲已经从自私的雅皮士或沉迷于毒品的贱人逐渐演变为更加有趣、更富英雄色彩、而且肯定不像已婚女性那样不修边幅的女性形象。

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