First, for the record, no one would want to trade places with Matt Logelin.
If you don’t know his story yet—which was profiled in a recent People magazine spread and featured at AOL.com—please read about Matt, Liz, and Madeleine here.
We applaud Matt for using his tragic experience to launch a non-profit in his wife’s name for widows, Liz Logelin Foundation. We also want you to know that we gave Matt the heads-up that we were writing this post.
As the spotlight shines brighter and brighter on Matt, however, we can’t help but wonder:
- Why is the media giving so much attention to one single dad?
- What makes him the media darling?
- Why don’t we see the faces of single mom widows out there, and hear their stories?
- Don’t these women matter, too?
He told us on the phone that he’s “mystified” by the fact that AOL’s ParentDish contacted him for an exclusive interview—and then blamed him for getting all of the attention: “Why does this one widower get all this attention while single mothers all over the country confront what he does every day?” AOL asked.
“It’s a valid argument,” Matt says. “Why am I getting all of the attention?”
He points out, for instance, one of the single moms to whom the Liz Logelin Foundation recently gave $2,000, Jackie of Mothering Nature. Her husband died of a pulmonary embolism last year and she’s raising two kids alone. We’d love the media to answer: Why aren’t you interested in telling HER story? Or, how about Abigail Carter, who lost her husband on 9/11 and is raising her two kids solo?
Go ahead and call us jealous. It’s not that. No one would envy or choose Matt’s situation.
Frankly, we’re simply amazed.
It’s the fact that the media gives Matt the spotlight—big time—when there are hundreds of thousands of widows raising their babies solo because dads were killed in the line of duty, mowed down by drunk drivers, murdered on 9/11, or simply unlucky enough to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. We’ve all known women who’ve lost their husbands or partners to a sudden heart attack or other catastrophic illness. It’s always been our experience that single dads are “heroes.” And single moms? Well, we should just try harder.
Even Matt points out in his most recent post:
“I’m not doing this shit to be famous, because I don’t give a shit about that, and none of this means anything to me without Liz, but we want to harness this attention in the best way possible. Again, not for me. Not for Madeline. For others like us, who lost a spouse, a partner and a parent ...”
Hello, media, where are you?
Obviously, a great deal of Matt’s media darling status is because he is so willing to go public with his story.
Many single parents in similar circumstances value privacy—they are not interested in offering details about their private lives to a voyeuristic public.
There’s a real life soap opera quality to Matt’s story that readers frankly find compelling. And then there’s something a bit more subtle: sex sells.
Look in any college girl’s room and there’s the hunky guy-holding-a-newborn poster. Women find that guy-with-a tiny-baby-all-alone image very appealing. And, without ever posting a single word about sex, Matt’s story has that appeal.
Even Matt pointed this out last summer on his blog:
“I realize that I’m in a privileged position as a single father, especially one made single by chance rather than choice ...”
Still why doesn’t the media let Matt share the spotlight with single mom widows? And tell their stories, too?