January Jones Says Her Son Is Better Off Without a 'Male Person' in His Life

January Jones
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Being a single mom can be a tough gig, but countless women find a way to make it work -- and some even seem to prefer the solo parenting route. Case in point: actress January Jones, who recently opened up about raising her 5-year-old son, Xander, on her own, and why she's glad he doesn't have a "male person" in his life to do "all those s---ty things dads accidentally do." Wait, what?


Thirty-eight-year-old Jones, who has never publicly revealed the identity of Xander's father, told Red magazine she doesn't feel like she needs a partner in her life and that she prefers hanging out with her kid or watching TV to going on dates -- and that's awesome.

"I just don't feel I need a partner. Do I want one? Maybe. But I don't feel unhappy or lonely," she says.

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It's of course great that Jones feels complete and fulfilled and loves being independent. Those are all good things. The only slight catch is that she seems to think the alternative -- raising her son with a dad -- wouldn't be a good thing:

"It's good to have strong women around a [young] man," she said. "To teach him to respect women. He doesn't have a male person in his life saying 'don't cry' or 'you throw like a girl.' All those s---ty things dads accidentally do."

Well, not all dads, January! Sure, she might have been sort of kidding, but to suggest that most "male persons" would (accidentally) berate her child for not being masculine enough is a pretty wildly unfair generalization to make. (Unless Jones is assuming that all guys are like characters in Mad Men, in which case, I don't blame her for not wanting a partner!)

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Look, as someone who was a single mother for years (and who was also raised by a single mother), I totally get where she's coming from. The only silver lining to being forced to act as both mother and father to your kid is that you have more control over the way you're raising him. (This is less true, of course, in cases where divorced dads are actually part of their children's lives, but it seems like Xander's dad is truly out of the picture.) Even the most in-sync couples generally disagree on at least some aspects of child-rearing, so compromise is pretty much an inevitable part of the traditional two-parent scenario.

But ideally, that compromise is a healthy thing -- which hopefully does not involve a mother trying to undo the harm her misogynist, macho husband did to her child during a particularly fraught game of catch. That's for sure not how it's supposed to work -- and acting as if that's the norm completely discounts the incredible benefits of having a positive father figure.

Jones is right: It is good for boys to be surrounded by strong women. But it's also good for boys to be surrounded by men who respect strong women, and can model that respect to their sons.

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I'm sure Jones has some pretty great guys in her life who are helping to teach her son how to be a great guy, too. And I have no doubt that she's a wonderful mom. But just as we all need to acknowledge that single motherhood is a valid parenting path, Jones also needs to acknowledge that there are some amazing dads out there who don't go around doing "sh--ty" things all the time ... by "accident" or not.

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