From the Atlantic,
In Iceland, some 67 percent of babies are born to parents who are not married. A combination of generous social programs and a secular society have all but made nuptials obsolete—while giving rise to a unique culture of independent motherhood. Annie Lingspent two months photographing these mothers in the Nordic country, documenting their daily lives and struggles. “A lack of social stigma and a relaxed attitude towards marriage and sexual morality makes raising a family as a single parent in Iceland more feasible,” Ling said. Living in a small community means relatives are often close by and can pitch in on childcare. That doesn’t mean, of course, that independent motherhood is easy. “Despite being recognized as an egalitarian society and the most feminist country in the world, there are still challenges,” Ling said.
So we have a celebration of women having babies on their own; over two-thirds of babies born this way. This is all very much on-purpose. Let us consider situation more closely.
A combination of generous social programs and a secular society have all but made nuptials obsolete
There is an admission that social programs are key. Free money is definitely an incentive. The obvious question that is left unanswered is : who pays for all of this (the next post will address this)? Furthermore, is marriage necessarily a religious institution? Perhaps secular people might want to commit to each other and the children that they bring into the world, to together raise them as best they can. But apparently not.
while giving rise to a unique culture of independent motherhood
How independent is it? Not particularly? They are dependent on men’s money either directly or indirectly. They are somewhat independent in decision making. This is probably what is meant here. There would seem to be intentional ambiguity.
documenting their daily lives and struggles
One might ask the question: if independence is so good, why all of the struggles? Or is just that modern empowered independent government-dependent women are rarely satisfied?
Living in a small community means relatives are often close by and can pitch in on childcare.
This used to be the way in cities, small towns and the countryside. The idea is nothing new. It builds community and family ties, which is all well and good, but it not exactly independent. Perhaps if the parents were married, then there would be less dependency on this; they would be more independent as a married unit.
That doesn’t mean, of course, that independent motherhood is easy
They make it sound so unappealing. Is it appealing or is it not? Perhaps having a fella around might be beneficial.
“Despite being recognized as an egalitarian society and the most feminist country in the world, there are still challenges,”
I wonder what happened on the way to utopia…