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The SM Struggle is Real!

TwoOfUs's picture

A fellow Stalker asked me to cut and paste this response as its own blog as a reminder of what we're dealing with here.

The general consensus or societal view of stepmoms is that "it's really not that bad" and we should all just "suck it up" if we're pushed aside, marginalized, or sacrificed on the altar of the first family. What's the big deal if our husbands go off to family functions or birthday dinners with their ex every once in a while? Surely we are "secure" enough in our own selves to not let a couple hours away from our DH bother us so much, right? Or are we really that "insecure" and "needy" that we have to "control" everything our husband does? 

Those of us who have the unmitigated gall to want to be treated like every other married couple can safely assume they will be treated...well, we clearly have problems with self-esteem.

Anyway. Response posted below. Poster I'm responding to is in bold. 

 

***

 

I find your marginalization of the civil rights struggle offensive. Denying a race of people their constitutionally guaranteed and protected civil rights, is hardly the same as some perceived  societal impression of step mothers . There has yet to be a step mother who was lynched or battered for being uppity or wanting a seat in the front of the church.

 

Huh? I mean...what? 

Idvilen isn't 'marginalizing' any civil rights struggles. What on earth are you talking about? She's simply referring to the very real phenomenon of stepmoms being made to sit in the back of the church for weddings, being pushed to the side for family portraits, left out of gatherings altogether...etc. 

Also. There has yet to be a step mother who was lynched or battered for being uppity or wanting a seat in the front of the church.

Totally not true. 

This stepmom was shot in the back of the head by her 11-year-old stepson for daring to get pregnant: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/no-new-trial-for-jordan-brown-pennsylvania-...

This stepmom was murdered and robbed by her 19-year-old stepson in a rage: https://www.9news.com/article/news/crime/stepson-arrested-in-burlington-...

Lizze Borden killed her stepmom with an axe...most likely. And got away with it: https://www.biography.com/crime-figure/lizzie-borden#video-gallery

This stepdaughter blamed her stepmatricide on a fictional clown: https://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/indiana-girl-12-killed-stepmom-la...

Stepmoms are at far greater risk of being killed by their stepchildren than biological moms...they are also at greater risk of mental, emotional, verbal, and physical abuse at the hands of the children. Meanwhile, despite decades touting a flawed study showing that the "Cinderalla Effect" makes stepkids more likely than biokids to be killed by a stepparent...more recent research shows this is not even remotely true.

In fact, analyzing the last three decades of reported filicides shows that stepparents killing stepkids accounts for 11% of all filicides...but stepchildren living with stepparents are 10-20 percent of the population. So the risk is actually the same or lower than would be predicted based on population percentage and no greater than the risk with bio-parents.

https://news.brown.edu/articles/2014/02/filicide

Children are at the least risk of all from stepmoms. From the study: 

The rarest instances were stepmothers killing either a stepson (0.5 percent) or a stepdaughter (0.3 percent).

That's right. Stepmoms are responsible for 0.8% of all filicides between 1976-2007. 

(Sidenote: I am irked that 99% of filicides by stepparents are actually committed by stepdads...yet we call it the "Cinderella Effect" in reference to a story about an evil stepmother. Go figure.) 

So...yeah. Stepmoms have been "lynched and battered" actually. They are, according to all statistics, the most vulnerable member of a blended family unit. And no one seems to care. 

Comments

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

There was an article of a SM in Utah who was shot IN FRONT OF THE KIDS by the BM.

I just posted a blog about how SMs are honestly demonized this morning. LOL

I hate the "suck it up." Or "you made a choice." comments. yes I made a choice to marry DH. But I did not sign away my right to respect and happiness in doing so. I did not sign some contract to be the permenant martyr and sacrificer for the whole family, or sign anything that said "BM can walk all over me as she sees fit and I won't say s***."

People make all this even more exhausting that it has to be by believing that a SM apparently has no rights.

TwoOfUs's picture

Yes...no right to be treated as a spouse, certainly. Sit together at a wedding??? Be invited to the wedding in the first place???!!! Be included in a picture with your husband??!!!!

What kind of entitled monster are you??!!

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

Oh the worst kind! I expect to be treated as the WIFE. When obviously I have no right! Eghad!

TwoOfUs's picture

lol. 

Whhhyyyyyyy can't you just "suck it up" for this one (hundredth) time??!! 

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

“Go shove it up your fat ass! I’m the wife! I come FIRST. My marriage comes first. Don’t like it? GTFO my life, Bitch!”

shamds's picture

just because you married someone with kids does not give the 1st family power and control over you. It doesnmt give skids the right to abuse and disrespect you... it doesn’t make you any less important.

MommyT's picture

I totally feel this way but I have a hard time explaining it to my DH. Everything we do in our family centers around his schedule with ss and BM. If it doesn’t work for me, it doesn’t matter because BM will pitch a fit and we don’t want to fight with her so just do what she wants. Ugh! Basically, he is saying that he would rather fight with me and hurt my feelings in order to keep BM and ss happy. What about me and the other four kids that we have? I think our happiness should mean something too. Oh wait! We are just the second family.

still learning's picture

That was a terrible story and hit close to home since I have ties in the area that it happened.  A little backstory, the dad and stepgirlfriend had worked at a bank together. From the timeline of events it appears that gf and dad had a workplace romance. There were several other incidents that occured before the shooting. Mother was extremely jealous and didn't want gf to have anything to do with her twin girls.  Gf had jumped right in and was doing daycare drop offs and was very hands on with the kids. Kids were at dad and gf's place making Christmas ornaments and biomom came over and shot gf in front of everyone.  

Not pointing out the alleged affair part to blame or demonize, only to warn women that it may be a bad idea to get involved with a man who has a jealous upset vindictive BM.  

tog redux's picture

How can you possibly know what the “general consensus” is of all people regarding stepparents? 

I honestly don’t get this feeling of victimization that keeps coming up. I’ve never experienced this so- called phenomenon. And your last statistic seems to show that stepparents are more likely to kill stepkids. 

ETA: May have read that wrong.  But still don’t get it. 

Monkeysee's picture

I don’t see it often, but it does happen. I’ve had people say things like ‘well if something breaks at BM’s place of course your husband would fix it for her. She has his kids’.

Ummmm, no? A) DH can’t stand BM & doesn’t step foot in her house. B ) she has a dad, brother, boyfriend available for things like that, or she could hire someone. Or she could do it herself. Her house her responsibility 

My in-laws have made all kind of comments of the things I *should* be doing, or accepting of, all ‘for the kids’, and none in my or my marriages best interest. The attitude of shut up & put up is definitely out there. I just happen to be a strong enough woman to simply say no, and from the sounds of it you are, too.

Jcksjj's picture

It does seem to be the inlaws alot of the time. For me MIL 100% acts like a lunatic about SD. FIL doesnt really say much either way but he has mentioned to DH that he never disciplined DHs half sister because she already had a dad. I actually got it alot from my own family at first also because none of them have any experience at all with stepkids being around in any capacity and they all bought into the "love them like your own" bs. Luckily my moms BF had a nightmare skid when he was previously married and so she gets it more now. 

Monkeysee's picture

I’ve gotten it from my family as well. Anytime I’ve told them about BM’s antics I’ve gotten ‘well she must bedoing something right with how well behaved the boys are’. 

Well, sure they can be well behaved, but they also have TWO parents, not just BM, and DH puts up with far less crap than she does. He expects discipline & respect, where she’s a permissive parent who believes ‘kids should just be kids’, never has consequences for bad behaviour, and as a result deals with far more tantrums & meltdowns than DH ever does. But yes, isn’t BM just the best mommee ever.

Gag.

Jcksjj's picture

Some kids are just good natured even with 2 crap parents anyway. My SD isnt that well behaved so I dont get that (although occasionally people will think shes just the sweetest thing in the world because of her extreme sucking up at first; most people are kind of wtf about her though), but occasionally theres comments assuming BM has her best interest at heart just because shes a mom even though her past actions clearly show differently. 

Ispofacto's picture

"Or she could do it herself."

This.

One side of the misogyny coin is overt: women are vapid, stupid, irrational, whores, etc.

The other side of the misogyny coin is the Infantilization of Women, by Paternal Men, i.e. The Patriarchy.  The myth that women are helpless and need men to do things for them, nurture them, build them up, take care of them.

Both are destructive.

 

thinkthrice's picture

which should be abandoned in this day of women now starting to out earn men.  The wage gap is only because many women (myself NOT included) elect to take extensive time off from work caring for their children while the man earns the bacon; this doesn't do wonders for a woman's resume, but I think it is a great idea;  just don't complain when you go back into the workforce that you're earning less than someone else who had stayed in the workforce.

Also because men work extermely dangerous jobs that most women would not even consider doing.

Jcksjj's picture

Oh yes. BM tried to play that hard. The poor helpless woman that needed DH to fix her car still and was helpless because she was a stay at home mom for a couple years even though he made sure she was able to get on her feet before moving out and she had zero debt and GBM paying half her bills anyway. Luckily he was smart enough to tell her to call a mechanic and ignore that crap even before I came into the picture. 

beebeel's picture

You perhaps don't feel marginalized because you were mostly disengaged from the very beginning. Many of us have sacrificed for our skids, thinking that would be best for the family unit. Unfortunately, I didn't realize all those sacrifices would mean jack shit in the eyes of my skids and so many others until years later.

tog redux's picture

I suppose that's true, I never took on any parenting role. And DH would never go to dinner with BM or fix anything at her house. But neither my family nor his family seemed to think I was somehow mean because I didn't parent my SS or swoon over him, or whatever.  If anything, I got a lot of credit for hanging in there.

I think it's disingenuous to say that stepmothers are "the most vulnerable family members".  Children are and will always be the most vulnerable family members. They lack the power adults have. So a few have killed their stepparents.  Many more kids have been hurt in families than stepmothers. 

I  do understand being frustrated for many of you, but I do not believe stepmothers are "victims", and it is absurd to apply civil rights analogies to them.  Let me know when stepmothers have to ride in the back of the bus and maybe I will agree.

Also - many of you have issues with this because of the men you married and what they expected of you, and how they failed to protect your from their own families.  

I'm struggling a lot with all the victim language in this blog. All of us have made choices and if we choose to stay when we feel "lynched" and "battered", then that's on US, period, alone. 

Monkeysee's picture

I don’t feel like a victim, and I’m not seeing the victimized language that you’re seeing either. I’m seeing a group of women sharing their experiences with the absurd expectations placed on them because they’re SM’s, sometimes by their own families. 

I’m here because my DH has my back, and he’s a good father who prioritizes our marriage. I’m no ones victim, certainly not BM’s or skids, and I don’t allow my husbands past to dictate my present or future. 

Unless im interpreting TwoOfUs’s research incorrectly though (which could be the case, I’m definitely not scholarly), SM’s have a higher chance of being attacked by a skid than a skid does of being attacked by their SM. Which would make the SM the most vulnerable position in a blended family.

TwoOfUs's picture

Yes...you are interpreting it correctly. 

And, again, the person bringing in the victim idea and the "Civil Rights" comparison was NOT any of the stepmoms discussing what it feels like to be left out of weddings or made to sit at the back while their husband sits up front with the first family. It was a commenter basically telling them that none of them have anything legitimate to complain about because it's not like "they're being lynched or battered." 

I was just saying...sometimes they are. And, also, who cares if they aren't? You should still be able to expect spousal treatment from the world at large...but that's not the case for many, many stepmoms. 

Also, stepmoms are the most vulnerable because they have the most to lose in terms of their resources and time...not the kids. They spend money on the kids...never the other way around. They deal with harshness and unrealistic expectations from multiple sides...never the kids. Etc. They are the most at risk for depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues...not the kids. Yet we only ever see society focusing its empathy and concern on the kids...never on the stepmom. 

beebeel's picture

I certainly don't feel like a "victim" and the only one using that terminology is you. 

I agree, it's not on the same level of civil rights. But let's not pretend like there isn't a pervasive marginalization of SMs in our society, that we aren't misunderstood by those close to us, and often misrepresented in the media. Let's not pretend that an individual's bias against SMs doesn't personally affect many of us.

tog redux's picture

"So...yeah. Stepmoms have been "lynched and battered" actually. They are, according to all statistics, the most vulnerable member of a blended family unit. And no one seems to care."

Really? Waaaaah, no one cares about us, doesn't seem victim-y to you?

I'm not buying this whole "everyone is against stepmothers" thing.  Some of you have it tough, for a variety of reasons. But there is no conspiracy against stepmothers in society, that's absurd. 

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I don't know that EVERYONE is against SMs. But I do think there's a very real bias against them in the world as well.

I've met plenty of people on the flip side who understand as well.

But as many as I've met that are understanding and nice, there are those that are the opposite as well and truly believe SM should lay down and roll over as told. Or if there's an issue that SM is the only one to blame.

bananaseedo's picture

YOU are absurd to think that there isn't a huge bias against stepmoms in society.  You are blind, naive, arrogant OR ignorant.  I can't determine which.  That is crazy!  Starting by name changes requirements, move on to wage gap, moving on to states restriction abortion...most people in this country hate women period...you think it's a stretch that stepwomen especially don't get the short end of the stick with in-laws, their own families, husbands, the kid, society in generall.  It is the most absurd comment of the decade on steptalk to pretend we aren't and there is no conspiracy.  They most certainly are so many times victimized by society at large (damn take a look at almost every Disney movie-we shape our children to abhor stepmoms).  I really try to figure out what world you live in most of the time.  

Crap in fact I see you advocating for divorce of stepmoms/stepfamilies all the time....tell me who doesn't hate stepmoms/stepfamilies......you have this trait and don't even realize it most of the time in how you comment.  

TwoOfUs's picture

lol. 

TwoOfUs: 
Reply to a comment by someone who literally tells SMs to "quit being so needy" and to just go along with it for the (adult) kids' sake. This poster makes fun of SMs by saying it's not like it's a Civil Rights issues or like any stepmoms are being harmed. 

Reply to this comment by saying...yes, there are ways in which they are being harmed but no one wants to talk about these ways. Instead all of the societal focus is on how stepkids may be harmed by living with stepparents. We even have a name for it. 

 

Tog:

"What bias?? Where? I don't see it..."
 

Jcksjj's picture

I dont feel like a victim either. I feel pissed off when people who have no clue what they are talking about insert their opinions that are way off base into my life. 

Jcksjj's picture

It's not all of society no - and it's not like were a persecuted group, but I definitely think there is a cultural stereotype/bias that majorly plays into where these stupid comments and expectations come from.

SecondNoMore's picture

To even bring up civil rights is crazy. Civil rights are for groups being discriminated against because of characteristics they can’t typically change, such as skin color, age, national origin, gender. You can choose to leave. No one forced you to be a SM and you can walk out the door. I’m tired of ‘I didn’t know what I was getting into.’ If your eyes are open during the dating phase, you’ll see it. And if you didn’t know it before and you know it now, then speak up, tell him changes need to happen or you’re gone and follow through on it. 

TwoOfUs's picture

Please reread the blog. The bold/italics parts are not my writing. 

The "Civil Rights" analogy was brought in by another commenter who I was responding to...not by the SMs explaining how they feel. She essentially told them to "pipe down" about it all because it's not like any stepmom has ever "been lynched or battered." 

I was simply pointing out that...yes...some stepmoms have been lynched and battered for being stepmoms. In fact, they are at greater risk for harm than stepkids on multiple fronts. 

But also...the idea that you shouldn't be allowed to have a concern about something (like being disinvited from a family wedding that your husband is expected to attend without you) because other groups have had it worse...is just absurd to begin with. 

tog redux's picture

But you aren't invited to the wedding because of your particular family dynamics. Not because of a bias against stepmothers.

Jcksjj's picture

Yes, but it's more the issue that people find it more acceptable to exclude a stepmom than they would in other situations. Theres definitely an attitude towards stepmoms and I think second wives also (which I dont have to deal with since I'm not luckily but it still looks that way to me) have less valid feelings are expected to put up with more crap. Alot of people seem to think "well it's what the kids want" and dont even see the rudeness to the stepparent because its ingrained that "the kids come first" and that's all the further thought anyone on the outside puts into it.

TwoOfUs's picture

Of course it's because of a bias against stepmothers. 

Can you think of any other married couple who wouldn't be invited to participate as a couple? Where one spouse would be invited and the other spouse specifically uninvited to an event that couples are going to

Because I can't. But it's seen as normal and acceptable when it's a SM who is involved. That is societal bias. 

TwoOfUs's picture

I  do understand being frustrated for many of you, but I do not believe stepmothers are "victims", and it is absurd to apply civil rights analogies to them.  Let me know when stepmothers have to ride in the back of the bus and maybe I will agree.

Um...the only one who tried to make any kind of "Civil Rights" analogy was the commenter who I was originally responding to...no one else. She made that strange connection, not the person she was replying to. No one made any claim to victimhood, either. This commenter essentially told SMs that it's ridiculous and "needy" to complain about being disinvited from a wedding or separated from her husband at a wedding...and that it's not like they're "Civil Rights" victims. 

Which is kind of like saying...none of your concerns matter at all because "it's not like you're being lynched or anything." Yeah...OK. 

Again. No one claimed victimhood. One poster went above and beyond with a ridiculous comparison to explain why we're not victims...as a way to attempt to discredit legitimate concerns. 

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I've gotten it from my own family. I look at career options and get it all the time. I was looking at one that would possibly be more money and I could potentially work fewer hours during the week. I was excitedly telling my mom about it. To which her response was "oh perfect! Then you can spend more time at home bieng a mom!" Ummmm no... I love the skids... But maybe I want some more time for myself??? Same with any other career choices it's been: "well you can't because DH works 24 hour shifts, so you need to work around the kids since he can't." Also no...

I've also gotten the popular "well she was here first." When refering to the ex overstepping boundaries. Like I'm just supposed to roll over and let her do as she pleases because she was "here first."

Oh also Psycho managed to convince most of the moms of SD's softball team a few years ago that I was a "home wrecking mistress." Didn't come around until she was already living with druggie, divorce papers done and signed, just needed to be filed, AND they had been seperated for quite a while. Also at that point DH and I were MARRIED. But sure...

I get it all the time.

beebeel's picture

When we were struggling to conceive and I had just endured a miscarriage, my mom said, "Well, you will always have the skids." As if two shitty teenagers who aren't mine could ever make up for my loss. People suck.

Jcksjj's picture

Omg. No. I had a miscarriage before YDS was born and having the skid around made me feel worse, not better. And I had 1 bio child already too. What a dumb thing to say. 

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I'm sorry beebeel. It's true though. People really just don't understand and say the stupidest things. Especially when you're feeling vulnerable like that.

Lots of hugs!

Monkeysee's picture

Omg.. I’d lose it if my mum ever said that to me. The last thing I wanted was to think of or be around the skids when I had my mc. I’m so sorry she wasn’t more supportive. What an awful thing to say.

TwoOfUs's picture

Parricide = the killing of a parent. 

21% of parents killed by children are stepparents, even though between 10-20% of kids live with a stepparent. 

Filicide = the killing of a child. 

11% of children killed by parents are killed by a stepparent...on the low end of what would be expected based on the population of kids living with a stepparent. Of this 11%, .08% is attributable to stepmoms. 

Yet, for years, it's been argued that stepparents are far more likely to kill stepchildren than bioparents. That simply is incorrect. And this fake phenomenon/danger has a name: "The Cinderella Effect" which refers to an evil stepmom...even though 99% of all incidents of stepparents killing stepkids are stepdads.

If you don't think that calling a nonexistant phenomenon "The Cinderella Effect" when stepmoms are by far the least likely of all types of parents to kill a child in their care is indicitive of a deep-rooted societal bias against stepmoms...then I don't know what to tell you.

tog redux's picture

Just because a stepmother doesn't KILL her stepkid doesn't mean she's not horrible and mean to them.  We hear those stories ALL THE TIME. From people on here who were stepkids, or whose bio kids have a horrible stepmother.

Yes, men are more likely to murder than women. But the idea that just because stepmothers don't murder their stepkids means that they are all lovely women being falsely accused, is a ridiculous logical fallacy. 

 

TwoOfUs's picture

But the idea that just because stepmothers don't murder their stepkids means that they are all lovely women being falsely accused, is a ridiculous logical fallacy. 

And one entirely of your own making as I never once said that. I have no idea where you're even getting that from. 

The idea that there is no societal bias against stepmoms is absurd and willfully ignorant in the face of overwhelming evidence, including first-hand reports.

And if you want to talk about "logical fallacies" arguing that stepmoms shouldn't air their concerns on a forum meant to give stepparents a place to vent...because "it's not like they're being lynched, battered" or "forced to sit in the back of the bus" might top the list of the weakest analogies I've ever heard. 

tog redux's picture

Your whole premise is that since stepmothers are only responsible for a tiny bit of child murders, they are therefore being unfairly vilified for nothing. That actual mothers are more of a danger to their kids (duh, there are more actual mothers parenting kid than stepmothers) or that stepfathers are more dangerous (yeah, men kill more, yep). 

You are free to promote your "all of society is against me, waaaaaaah" ideas all you want. But don't expect everyone to agree with you just because you have a Ph.D and quote some sources. Go ahead and air your concerns, I never told you to stop. 

All I see is people who want to blame their husband's failures on all of society rather than hold them accountable, or you know, LEAVE.

TwoOfUs's picture

All I see is people who want to blame their husband's failures on all of society rather than hold them accountable, or you know, LEAVE.

Husbands have never once come into this discussion, so I'm not sure why people keep bringing them up. This blog is only about the societal view of stepmoms and statistics as they relate to stepmom vs stepchild welfare. 

That actual mothers are more of a danger to their kids (duh, there are more actual mothers parenting kid than stepmothers)

It doesn't seem like you understand how statistics and probability work...the fact that there are more biomoms parenting than stepmoms is accounted for in the probability equation. 10-20% of stepkids live with a stepparent full-time. Therefore, by the laws of probability, we should see 10-20% of murders involving a parent figure murdering a child to be committed by stepparents. The actual figure in the US is 11%...which is on the low end of what would be expected. 

Meanwhile, 21% of kids under the age of 19 killing a parent figure involve killing a stepparent...which is on the high end of what would be expected based on the percentage of kids who live with stepparents. 

Your whole premise is that since stepmothers are only responsible for a tiny bit of child murders, they are therefore being unfairly vilified for nothing. 

No...that is not my whole premise. My whole premise is that SMs do get hurt and battered in the stepfamily and that we shouldn't be expected to shut up about it because it's not as bad as what people involved in the Civil Rights movement endured. 

I then went on to prove that SMs get hurt and battered and to question why we have created an entire phenomenon around the idea that Stepparents are more likely to kill their stepkids...even though that's not true...but have no language to describe what stepmoms go through...even though they are more likely to be killed and abused by stepkids than biomoms are. That fact doesn't make any sense...and frankly the only explanation is an unfair prejudice against stepmoms. The facts are contrary to what people believe to be true. 

For decades, people have said that stepparents are "dangerous" to stepkids because they are "more likely" to kill their stepkids than bioparents are to kill their biokids. In fact, it was stated that stepparents are 100 times more likely to kill their stepkids than bioparents are to kill their child. This false probability statistic was from a flawed study that has since been disproven. 

However, the idea that stepparents are "more dangerous" and "more likely to kill" than bioparents has been so pervasive that we have a phrase for it...a phrase that references an evil stepmother. The Cinderella Effect. 

This is incontrovertible evidence of an implicit bias against stepmoms...people seeing and believing what they want to see and believe rather than looking at the evidence in an unbiased way. I don't know how else to say it or how much clearer it could be. 

You are free to promote your "all of society is against me, waaaaaaah" ideas all you want. But don't expect everyone to agree with you just because you have a Ph.D and quote some sources. Go ahead and air your concerns, I never told you to stop. 

There is no "Waaaaahhhh" idea anywhere, and I never portray myself as a victim. This specific comment was in response to someone who literally did tell SMs to shut up and suck it up because it's not like any stepmom has ever been "lynched or battered" for her identity as a stepmom.

I was merely pointing out that, not only is this statement untrue...there is actually an entire narrative that's been built around the idea that stepmoms are "dangerous" to their stepkids...as evidenced by a flawed study that's been cited thousands of times to support this narrative...and very little examination of how the blended family affects stepmoms or what their risks are. 

When I say "no one cares" I mean that quite literally...not as an "Oh poor me I'm such a sad, sad victim" but as a "No one has bothered to study this in detail but they sure have studied the heck out of all kinds of other family dynmaics." 

TwoOfUs's picture

This study and the landmark 1994 study that first introduced the concept of "The Cinderella Effect" have both been proved incorrect. That's my point above. 

This study you've shared is from 2006 and analyzed only 378 cases. The newer study I reference above looked at over 16K cases over the course of 32 years. 

Yes...these parent/child murders are incredibly rare. About 500 per year in the U.S. And, again, only 11% of those are by stepparents...so about 50 per year attributed to stepparents and less than 5 of those 50 attributed to stepmoms... 

Doesn't that make it even more interesting that they bothered to create an entire name for the "phenomenon" of stepparents killing stepkids...and that they decided to name that supposed "phenomenon" after an evil stepmom? Literally the category of parental figure who is by far the least likely out of all 4 categories to kill a child in her care. 

If that doesn't represent bias, I don't know what does. 

 

advice.only2's picture

I think they should do a study on stepmother's to see the level of abuse they are actually subjected to at the hands of their spouses, BM's, stepkids, In-Laws, society, etc.

I and my Aunt are the only SM's in my family. So when I would talk about the struggles of being a SM nobody could understand or relate to what I was going through. Instead I was always told "Spawn is just a child, you need to step up and treat her like your own." "Meth Mouth isn't that bad you need to try and work with her because she is Spawn's BM, and will be in your life forever!"

Jcksjj's picture

The thing is...people say this crap all the time and its not even necessarily what the kids want. Why does everyone assume the kids even want stepmom to act like mom? Pretty sure my moms boyfriend trying to act like my dad would just make me uncomfortable or feel weird. I definitely did not want my dads gf to act like my mom when I was younger. That relationship doesnt just magically happen. Everyone is just parroting what they've heard is the right thing because they have to have an opinion when they should just be quiet because they have no idea what they're talking about.

And then of course if you do love them like your own its inappropriate because "you're not their mom." Its lose lose.

advice.only2's picture

Exactly and when I would lay down rules I would get the whole "well she's not your kid, so if DH and BM don't agree then you need to back off!"

thinkthrice's picture

a study of HEALTH of stepmoms and how stepmotherhood is HAZARDOUS to SM's HEALTH!!   I myself have the beginnings of osteoporosis brought on by stress induced poor digestion/GERD.    Most notably the PTSD from having lived with guilty daaaddeeeesss and the shenanigans of the GUBM and skids.

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

Sad I can relate. StepHell is extremely deleterious to my psychological health, digestion et al.

TwoOfUs's picture

I would, too. 

There are studies that show stepmoms are at greater risk for depression and other mental health concerns. I'd like to know about overall health. I wonder how the reduced household finances affect the stepmom's ability to seek preventive care, for instance. 

Would be interesting to know. We get a lot of studies about college spending and health spending on stepkids...all implying stepmoms aren't doing enough, somehow. But I don't recall seeing any breathless, accusatory studies about the effect of blended family life on stepmoms.

TwoOfUs's picture

I would pay good money to see a study like that. 

Stepmonster does go into some studies about SMs that overwhelmingly show them to be the most vulnerable member of the blended family...but a long-term, comprehensive study would not go amiss, in my opinion. 

For example, I'd like to see a study on how much marital income SMs give up over the course of their marriage to a man with kids. That would be eye-opening, I am sure. I know in my case it has been significant...my DH's income and my own. 

 

STaround's picture

Is a book written by a woman who identifies herself as DR, when her Ph.D is in comparitive lit.  I do not regard as scholarly. 

Some SMs do suffer financially.  Some do not. 

TwoOfUs's picture

lol. 

OK. Well...my PhD. is in Medieval English Literature, and we are supposed to identify ourselves as DRs in professional contexts. What would you have her identify herself as may I ask? 

Comparative Lit is one of the best trainings in research and cross-referencing that you can possibly obtain...but you don't "regard as scholarly" a deeply cross-referenced book that was written by a literary scholar? Peculiar stance you've taken. 

What about the scientific, psychiatric, and sociological studies that she draws from and cites in her book. In your professional opinion...are those "scholarly" enough? 

I guess the stuff I write isn't "scholarly" either...but my research training makes it easier for me to realize that a 2012 study that analyzes 16K+ cases over the course of 32 years is likely more accurate than a 1994 study or a 2006 study that looks at only 378 cases. 

Do with that what you will. 

beebeel's picture

Right...there You are, ya old rascal! Only one poster in 10 years has had a tissue with this particular P.h.D. calling herself a doctor. Yawn.

Jcksjj's picture

She did her undergraduate work at the University of Michiganwhere she studied anthropology[7][9] and received a doctorate in comparative literature and cultural studies from Yale University. Her doctoral work examined early psychoanalysis and anthropology.

Do you know what cultural studies and anthropology are? Furthermore, do you have a doctorate in ANYTHING, let alone from Yale? Kruger - dunning effect strikes again.

And she "identifies herself as a doctor" because she has a doctorate... so yes by definition she is a doctor. 

"I dont regard it as scholarly = I'm picking and choosing what information fits my agenda and leaving the rest out."

Jcksjj's picture

I'm curious now lol...

ETA...ohhh I was thinking she was someone well known from the responses 

advice.only2's picture

Right just the money aspect alone would show that without the help of a SM most father's can't afford the amount of spousal and child support they are supposed to pay.

Courts can't legally make a SM pay for their skids or the BM, but I can bet that when they request to see a SM's earnings they do factor that in to what a DH can then pay out of pocket and still be able to live.

STaround's picture

Don't know where you get the data that "most" fathers cannot afford to pay support (and I don't think most people pay more than temporary spousal support these days).  There have been SMs on this board who do not work outside the house.  They are not helping pay CS.  

beebeel's picture

You sparked my curiosity, so I searched for studies on how fathers fare financially after divorce. I couldn't find a single one. Seems no one gives a shit.

Jcksjj's picture

Well I saw something the other day about how I think around half of Americans (not sure on the percentage but it was a lot) spend at least half their income on housing. So if we consider that and that CS is usually like a third of your income, that doesnt leave much left to live on. Also I'm one of "those stepmoms on the board who don't work outside the home." (The horror, I know). We do 50/50 so there is no child support order. If there was there is no way I would be able to be a SAHM. My income would not be counted for CS though, so no I wouldn't technically be paying it. 

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

I’m middle aged and angry.

My response to “you need to work with Biowhore..” will be:

”NO THANKS! I didn’t marry, f*ck or procreate with that piece of shit hah! Not my ex, not my responsibility and if you ever say this stupid Shit to me ever again I’m done with you!”

 

 

Siemprematahari's picture

Thank you TwoOfUs! This information and the time you took to research and post this is very much appreciated. You are making people aware of the facts and regardless of what others may think of step-parents we are just trying our best to navigate this dynamic as best we can with the best of intentions.

~Siempre

Bonz281's picture

Thanks Two of Us for a well researched, great blog. I'm very careful around my stepchildren due to behaviours toward me that seem hostile and disturbing. I've had confirmation from family and individual therapists that have agreed that my observations are not dramatic or over the top. I have shared this blog with my DH who I know minimizes my concern thinking I'm "dramatic" or as SD has told him- I "overreact"...  In the past, I did do my own research and presented it to DH. Having information from other Stepmothers helps him to realize I'm not a neurotic nut... 

TwoOfUs's picture

I like to inflict all kinds of things on people. 

My Presence. Presents. My Thoughts & Ideas. My Food. My Advice. My Money. 

You name it...I may start inflicting it on you. 'Cause I'm an evil, evil stepmom. 

Disneyfan's picture

Sorry, but I think it is horrible to equate being a SM to race, the fight for civil rights or lynchings.    Being a SM is a CHOICE.  Yes, many SMs are marginalized and treated like crap, but many MAKE THE CHOICE to stay and put up with it.

Black folks couldn't set boundaries and walk away.  They had zero control over the situations that they were in.

We don't get to decide our skin color.  But we sure as hell get to decide how long we will ride the STEP TRAIN.

 

STaround's picture

You don't like how the kids or dad treat you, you can leave. 

Jcksjj's picture

I saw this as being more about the cultural bias than the dad or kids necessarily...I wouldn't be willing to leave my husband just because of that. Although I dont agree that it's the same as racial issues, your comment is very similar to telling adults who dont like dealing with racial culture bias that "they can leave the country then." They shouldn't have to, people should just mind their own business on things that don't affect them. Regardless of the issue - race, sexual orientation, family structure etc. If it doesnt affect you just MYOB.

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

Then you end up financially destroyed and slandered to ex in laws, on social media et al!

STaround's picture

If you are supporting your DH and his kids, how will moving out put you in a worse position?  You won't owe Child support, and minimal alimony if short term marriage.   Who cares about ex in laws, and stay off of social media. 

tog redux's picture

Seriously.  This is killing me.  We are equating stepmothers being supposedly vilified to people being murdered or treated as second class citizens for what they were born as and can't control. 

WTF. Get out, people, if you are feeling so mistreated. 

TwoOfUs's picture

It's killing you because you're misreading the blog. 

The person who made the comparison to the Civil Rights movement was someone telling SMs they don't have any right to complain about mistreatement because it's not like they're getting "lynched and battered" like people in the Civil Rights movement. 

Or, to quote more directly...it's no stepmom has ever been lynched or battered for being a stepmom. 

I was simply pointing out that assertion isn't true. There are, in fact, stepmoms who have been killed and abused because they are stepmoms.  

Also, I think if we apply the "you can't express this concern because it doesn't rise to the level of the Civil Rights movement" standard to all people...very few people would have any right to express concerns about anything...so it's just a ridiculous line of argument and factually incorrect any way you look at it. 

bananaseedo's picture

Yeah, I mean those that experienced marital, statutory or date rape should shut up -after all it wasn't a violent rape, pedophilia and sh wasn't killed....wtf get out w/the stupid analogies tog...seriously. 

Jcksjj's picture

I agree that it's not the same as race and that's taking it too far. But I agree with the rest of the comments that stepparents have a bias against them and I dont think most of us had any clue what we were getting into. Yes, we could leave but that's not without any damage being done. Divorce sucks, can ruin you financially and if you have kids its splitting up a family again. Plus losing your life partner. Being pissed off about being misunderstood and cultural bias doesnt really equate to needing to get divorced for me.

tog redux's picture

I just don’t buy the cultural bias. This blog does not convince me. There are logical fallacies all over it.  

Monkeysee's picture

So when SM’s are told ‘well you knew he had kids’, ‘you knew what you were getting into’, ‘the kids come first, always’ etc etc etc, you don’t see that as a socially programmed mindset? Interesting.

Do I believe that being a SM is even remotely the same as being marginalized as a race or civil rights issues? Absolutely not. There is no comparison there.

But to say there isn’t a total lack of understanding of what SM’s in general should tolerate from their partners, skids or BM’s is really odd. This site wouldn’t exist if society had higher standards of what is acceptable & tolerable behaviour when in a relationship with a person who’s got kids. It wouldn’t be ‘poor COD for having divorced parents’, skids would be expected to be respectful & not get a free pass for crap behaviour. Parents would be expected to have their kids treat the new partner with respect. But that’s far more often not the case.

beebeel's picture

It's really not that hard to understand, and my education is a mere bachelor's degree in research studies. 

Two-of-us is not saying that because so few SMs murder their stepkids that all SMs are awesome. That would be a fallacy. 

She is pointing out the fact that our society has coined a term to describe SM-SK murders when in fact they are the rarest form of child murder. Why don't we have terms for the other, more common situations? Well, because we have this pervasive notion that having a stepmother is the worst. I can't think of anything worse than murder, so this strange phrase is likely a result of an inaccurate bias against SMs. 

thinkthrice's picture

Its like minority on minority crime is at the highest level (per capita) followed by minority on non-minority crime (per capita) then followed by non-minority on non-minority crime (per capita) and last but not least non-minority on minority crime (per capita).    But it all depends on the media and what they hype day after day--turn on the TV or look at the news on the internet and what makes the headlines?

TwoOfUs's picture

Thank you Beebeel. That's it exactly. 

It really isn't that hard. 

There are no logical fallacies (I think she may mean logical inconsistencies since logical fallacies only exist in formal argument...?) in the blog. But there certainly are poor reading comprehension skills on full display throughout the comments. 

The fact that there's a societal term for killing by a stepparent but not by a parent is evidence of the societal bias. The fact that "Evil Stepmother" is literally an archetype throughout literature is evidence. The fact that stepmoms are more prone to depression and less likely to get the help they need than biomoms is evidence. The fact that stepkids are more likely to contest their father's will if they have a stepmom than if they have a biomom is evidence. 

It's all around us. All you have to do is look. 

I also do think these perceptions and expectations are changing...but that is happening slowly. And it's only happening because stepmoms are expressing themselves more often now. Imagine if we all took the advice to just "sit down" and "suck it up" because it's not like we're the next "Civil Rights" movement or anything and it's not like any stepmom has ever been "lynched or battered" for being a stepmom. 

Jcksjj's picture

The will thing gets brought up here a lot and it makes absolutely zero sense to me why any kids think they are ever entitled to a will. You are not your parents partner. You are not a financial team with them. If you get an inheritance good for you, but you did not earn that money and therefore are not entitled to it. And even on here theres a ton of people that defended the kids getting it before stepmom. 

TwoOfUs's picture

Yep. 

That's why stepmoms need to be smart and protect their financial interests. Because you could be a stepmom for 30+ years and as soon as their dad is dead and in the ground they'll come after you crying: "She stole OUR inheritance!!!!" 

Entitled snots. 

tog redux's picture

Oh please. Your belief that "I feel a bias" means there must be a bias is a fallacy.  I know you think you are more learned than all of us, but just  - please. 

TwoOfUs's picture

I never said "I feel bias" means there is bias. 

Quite the opposite. I've fully demonstrated one very clear example of bias. You don't seem to like what the facts show, but that's not really my problem. 

Also, I have experienced bias...which is totally different from "feeling" like it exists. I have also read the first hand accounts of other stepmoms who have experienced bias. Read the common phrases and tactics that are used to keep stepmoms in their place...noticed the similarities. These experiences are also a valid form of evidence, particularly when patterns emerge. This is how social science is done. 

Have looked at studies and stats that demonstrate clear societal bias.

Your belief that "I feel there is no bias" means there must not be any bias is what's actually logically unsound.

I've done far more to objectively prove bias than you've done to disprove it...all you've said is that you disagree and don't think it's a real thing. Oh yeah...and that a whole book full of studies and statistics that show societal bias isn't scholarly enough for your tastes.

OK. You're welcome to your opinion. But that's all that it is. 

You really like to throw around the word "fallacy" but I'm not entirely certain you know what it means. 

tog redux's picture

What "book" are you referring to? In your blog, I see three links to articles about kids killing stepmothers and a bunch of statistics that you might have made up for all I know.

 

 

 

Jcksjj's picture

The blog is not why I think there is. It's because I've felt it and in all honesty also had the same POV when I was younger because of the cultural stereotypes. If you haven't felt it yourself congrats, but that doesnt mean it doesnt exist. 

tog redux's picture

But just because you HAVE felt it doesn't mean it's the "general consensus" of society. 

Disneyfan's picture

Sorry Jksjj, but I will take financial ruin any day over a the ridiculous living conditions many here endure.  No true life partner will treat you (general you) the way many SMs are treated.  

Some of these duds are doing nothing but preventing these ladies from finding a man that will truly love, honor and respect them.  

Jcksjj's picture

Again, this is about cultural views of stepmoms. Not necessarily the husband. If you're husband is awful, of course the marriage isnt worth it. Hence why I am not with ODS dad despite having a child together and the strain of being a single parent. My POV is about wanting to keep your relationship but dealing with crap from extended family or other people in your life. And sometimes complete strangers that feel the need to comment. 

TwoOfUs's picture

Oh good grief. 

For the UMPTEENTH TIME. 

I NEVER equated the two. Nor did anyone else. The only person who brought in "Civil Rights" was the person who used it as an analogy for why SMs shouldn't feel slighted when they aren't treated as their husband's spouse at family events. 

This commenter essentially said: "Well, it's not like any stepmom has been beaten or killed for being a stepmom, so I don't know what you have to complain about." 

I agree. It's a ridiculous analogy and one that I DID NOT make. I was merely responding to it and saying...yes. Stepmoms have been abused and killed for being stepmoms, in fact. 

tog redux's picture

You said at the end that they were lynched and battered. You don't think that's a civil rights narrative? You said it several times.

TwoOfUs's picture

Do you not understand what quotation marks mean? 

That phrase is being quoted directly from the person I was responding to. As I've said multiple times, she's the one who inexplicably brought in the Civil Rights movement...not me. 

tog redux's picture

I do understand quotation remarks!  Wow, other people have been educated too!  So you feel they have been symbolically "lynched" and "battered". 

That's BS.

 

TwoOfUs's picture

No...I pointed out that SMs have literally been lynched and are actually at greater risk than other members of a blended family. 

The quotation marks aren't there to show that these ideas are symbolic...they're there because I am literally quoting what someone else said. 

The fact that you keep attempting to attribute the "lynched and battered" phrase to me makes me think you don't recognize quotation marks. It's not that I don't think you've been educated. I actually think you are letting your personal vendetta blind you to basic reading comprehension skills.  

I am quoting someone else when I say this phrase. I am responding to this person's assertion in her own language...this is the person who brought in the Civil Rights narrative. Not me. 

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

Remember when that step girlfriend was murdered in the front yard by ex Biowhore??? I f*cking remember!

Great! I’m even more paranoid, now!

Disneyfan's picture

You know what Think, sick demented people are on both sides of the step family coin. 

Kids are being killed at the hands of sick individuals.  Does it really matter if the killer was a step or bio parent?  Is the child any less dead when the "right" person is the killer?

This little one up, pissing contest trivializes the deaths.

TwoOfUs's picture

It only matters because we've developed a whole sensationalist language for how to talk about stepparents killing stepkids...complete with a name "The Cinderella Effect" for the nonexistant phenomenon/incorrect belief that stepparents are "more likely" to kill their stepkids than bioparents are to kill their biokids. 

So...yes. I do think that correcting that false narrative matters quite a bit, in fact. 

beebeel's picture

Sorry to make another comparison, but I guess if Ben Carson can think Trump isn't a racist, some SMs can think there isn't a cultural/societal bias against SMs. *biggrin*

tog redux's picture

Or maybe we haven't experienced it because we made better choices in partners, or didn't take on a parenting role, or stood up to family.

You can blame society or you can look at your own choices. Nothing in the OP's blog has convinced me there is a "bias" against stepmothers, just a bunch of stepmothers who want to believe that. 

Monkeysee's picture

I made a good choice in partner, haven’t taken on a parenting role, and have stood up to friends, family, colleagues, and in laws repeatedly. And yet I’ve experienced the bias. 

You are ignoring statistical facts, which is genuinely shocking. I don’t believe SM’s ‘want to believe that’ bias, I think far more women get into this role thinking it’s going to be different for them, and they aren’t going to be stereotyped because of how hard they’re going to work at their relationships with skids & BM, only to find out the stereotype will be thrust on them regardless. 

We have even warned people looking into therapy to seek out therapists who specialize in step dynamics because even trained professionals give quack information to SM’s about what a healthy step dynamic should actually look like. 

There are SM’s from all over the world on this site, all different ages, marital status, bio kids & no bio kids, first, second, eighth marriages, length of marriages, and look at the trends on this site alone. Look at the patterns. Look at the similarities of the stories we see here, and yet that means nothing??

I am genuinely aghast at how all of this is meaningless to you. Having a choice to leave does not mean the bias doesn’t exist in the first place.

I, myself, was under the impression that I had to suck it up & cater to BM until I found this site, and I had just started the SM journey at that point. I am not & have not ever been a victim, but I myself was biased against my own situation!! I had the very same thoughts that I now realize are total bull because that’s what I’d been taught to think, and yet this cultural bias doesn’t exist? 

I don’t get your line of thought here at all. 

TwoOfUs's picture

So well said. 

I also chose well and have had support from my family and my husband’s family and don’t consider myself a  victim...

But I’ve also had a young woman literally refuse to keep talking to me after more than an hour of us hitting it off at a party because I mentioned that I was a stepmom. Like she actually froze and told me SMs are horrible and avoided me the rest of the night.

I’ve also been alive in the world for almost 4 decades now...reading books, watching tv and movies...reading Internet comments Lord help me...and I’ve observed it over and over again.

shellpell's picture

I also made a good choice and I wish everyday that I had met DH before BM. He is an incredible, passionate person and partner who prioritizes our marriage first, then our family unit. I also did not take on a parenting role. Standing up to family? Yep, did that, too. What did it get me? In-laws who believed the same old tired tropes about stepmoms. They thought I needed to be accommodating and “understanding “ when BM crossed boundaries (including inviting DH to stay at hers for a week a month when visiting SS). So I only deserve a 75% marriage, not a 100% one? That I should stand back when BM wants to play happy family with MY HUSBAND, you know, under the guise of coparenting. That I’m the second wife, so I get second best when it comes to marriage and family. Sorry, not going to do it. So because of this cultural bias which my in-laws participate in, I have been cheated out of “normal” in-law relationships. But if I would have sucked it up, they would have been pleased with me and maintained a relationship. 

beebeel's picture

So because I've stood up to those trying to invalidate my experiences, that means I haven't experienced SM prejudice? I thought you were a fan of logical reasoning? 

I "chose" to have my mother make stupid and insensitive comments regarding me being a SM? Should I have chosen a better mother, too? 

And look what happens when dozens of women stand up to you when you invalidate their experiences: big fat nothing. You will continue believing and saying whatever the hell you want because you're right and we're wrong. You don't think that is a common response when a SM asserts her feelings as valid all the freaking time? You are proving the entire point of the blog by insisting your view is correct and all these SMs are wrong and you will beat your drum until we agree, damn it!!! 

Our experiences aren't invalidated because a few SMs on this board don't personally experience prejudice. Your experiences aren't universal. 

ETA: to continue my analogy: Just because Ben Carson hasn't personally experienced Donald Trump's racism, doesn't mean Trump isn't a Yuge effing racist.

theoldredhen's picture

Beautifully said, beebeel!

All of the smug commentators, whose lives are perfect, cannot change the simple and undeniable fact of bias against SMs in our culture. 

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

My mother has dealt with a demon stepdaughter so you’d think she’d “get it” but NOPE! 

Jcksjj's picture

It's different if you dont have to deal with them on a regular basis, right? My mom took SD overnight once with ODS and after she brought her back said she has no clue how i deal with her and that she needs therapy because theres obviously something very off. And that she drove her absolutely nuts. This is coming from someone who ran a daycare and loves kids in general. But since she hasn't taken her again for a long time she seems to have forgotten that.

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

My mother banned her stepdemon from her home after the stepdemon was appallingly horrid. *shok*

lieutenant_dad's picture

I'm not trying to be obtuse when I say this, but how is this any different than anyone else dealing with a bad relationship for another reason?

Society doesn't understand abusive/toxic/unhealthy behaviors (and typically dismisses them) unless they are physical. If a partner hits you or cheats on you, that's tangible and people can say a hard "no, that's not okay!" But when it's financial? Emotional? Psychological? People in general just can't comprehend it.

I feel like step issues aren't any different than other bad relationship issues. The more issues you have, the more likely you'll end up with toxic, abusive, or deadly situations. Marrying someone with kids isn't much different than marrying someone with a lot of debt, mental or physical ailment, crazy family, etc. Step issues are stressors, as are the others, and it's up to the person bringing the issue into the relationship (the parent) to mitigate the problems it brings.

I also think, once you're married, people *really* don't like recommending that you get divorce and *really* push for you to stay together unless there is some physical, tangible reason to end it. Half the time, those same people add to the abuse/toxic behavior with their "help".

"Well, you have gained some weight, so I can't blame him for telling you that he's less attracted because you've gained weight."

"I think you misunderstood what she meant. She has done SO MUCH for you, and being your sister, I remember how much you push people's buttons."

"It's only money. It's not like you don't have a savings account and can't pay your bills. So what if they bought a motorcycle?"

Same sentiment, different issues. We suck at teaching people how to be good partners, and we suck at teaching people to identify bad relationships, and we suck at being okay with people leaving a relationship if things are bad.

If your spouse treats you poorly, or allows others to treat you poorly, or aids in abusive/toxic behaviors, then your two options are work with your partner to make changes or leave. Continuing to stay out when it's safe to leave doesn't make you a martyr or a victim. You can love someone deeply and be heartbroken that the relationship doesn't work, but that doesn't mean one should stay.

Staying when it's safe to leave is silent approval not only of the behavior, but of people's opions about the behavior. If we want to see social change, then we have to call out the awful behaviors and take action against it. If we don't do that, then we are being complicit in it continuing to happen. We need to practice what we preach.

Siemprematahari's picture

AMEN!!!

beebeel's picture

Yes, people are ignorant about domestic violence. They are ignorant about stepfamily dynamics. They are ignorant of the "other" and that creates stigmas, inaccurate stereotypes and prejudices. 

 

lieutenant_dad's picture

Also, I have a question. Aside from the fairly-rare occurence of SPs being murdered, what are the real and tangible consequences of societal bias against SPs?

Real question, not trying to be obtuse. Are SPs not being hired because of it like women of childbearing age? Or are they more likely to faced stiffer penalities in prison like persons of color? Or more likely to be dropped from routine medical care because they are trans or have HIV?

I'm not discounting that SPs deal with abuse and toxic behaviors in their own relationships that they wouldn't deal with if they left. But socially speaking, what are SPs experiencing that are impacting their quality of life that is outside their control to change?

That is likely my root issue with this. I won't argue that societal bias exists, but it's impact on a SP seems pretty mild and almost entirely in the control of the SP. It hurts, sure, and in extreme cases can lead to physical harm. But overall, the effects of societal bias against SPs is seemingly pretty minute.

tog redux's picture

Yeah, I don't get it either. So people supposedly think (unproven) that all stepmothers are wicked.  How does that affect them other than hurting their feelings and making them upset?  The examples I hear on here are just dysfunctional family dynamics, not evidence of harm due to so-called societal bias against stepmothers.