David Carr on Getting Back His Girls

By Christine Cupaiuolo — July 22, 2008

In the Sunday New York Times Magazine, media columnist David Carr bares all about his drug addiction 20 years ago. He lost just about everything, including, temporarily, custody of his two young daughters.

The article was an excerpt from Carr’s book, “The Night of the Gun,” which will be published in August.

What I was most drawn to was the confusion over memory — who did what, and what were the consequences — and Carr’s attempt to go back and reconcile the truth about his past, during which he was also abusive toward his then-girlfriend.

But in one place Carr is very clear. Toward the end, he acknowledges how attitudes toward his attempts at recovery and raising his daughters cast him in a very different light than women in the same situation:

When a woman, any woman, has issues with substances, has kids out of wedlock and ends up struggling as a single parent, she is identified by many names: slut, loser, welfare mom, burden on society. Take those same circumstances and array them over a man, and he becomes a crown prince. See him doing that dad thing and, with a flick of the wrist, the mom thing too! Why is it that the same series of overt acts committed by a male becomes somehow ennobled?

I’m not saying that raising children, especially by yourself, is a trip to Turks and Caicos, but single parenting is as old as reproduction. Families declare themselves in all sorts of versions, and ours happened to be two adorable toddlers stapled to 250 pounds of large, white male. Still, people who knew our circumstance marveled at its idiosyncrasy. And people who knew me before the twins wondered all the more.

Read the whole story here.

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