Monique - posted on 10/11/2009 ( 330 moms have responded )
How many of you have noticed the venom aimed at single mothers and welfare mothers? How many of you have heard others talk about how these women should get back to work and stop, excuse the pun, 'milking' the system? How many of us women are guilty of these attitudes? -This is an indication of how patriarchal and ignorant our society is and how easily we all fail to question opinions. Firstly, aren't single mothers and welfare mothers already working? Is it not work to look after one or more children? If looking after children was purely a leisure activity, why are strangers paid to look after our children? Why can't we hold our heads up in pride and admit we are doing this work ourselves? There is still a wage discrepancy between what men and women get paid, and if a woman is faced with the prospect of poorly paid work and looking after her own child(ren) at home, what is she to do? With the stigma attached to stay-at-home mothers, these women are forced into the marketplace at the expense of supervising their own children and having the pleasure of watching them grow and develop. This precious bond is forfeited for the sake of society's prejudice towards mothers and women in general. In many cases, it would be cheaper for the government, I'm talking here specifically of the United Kingdom government, to allow these women to do their childcaring in peace as it would in many cases end up being cheaper to pay them this welfare allowance, instead of subsidising their rent and expensive childcare bills because their wages are too low to be able to afford their living expenses. While I'm not saying all women should stay at home, women should have a choice on where they want to be and critics should back off because the work of a mother is precious work and not valued enough. How many of you are aware of the praise and admiration shown to single fathers, as if they've just split the atom? Clearly a case of double standards if ever there was one. With domestic violence being so prevalent across all race, religious, national and economic lines etc. there is probably a very good explanation of why there are so many single mothes around. And by the way, it's time the church leaders and social commentators stop blaming single mothers for the downfall of society! They are not he cause of society's downfall, but are the innocent victims of the violence within society. Those precious family values that they speak of, what does it mean? I know of countless women who were denied help by their own families when they needed help to leave abusive relationships. How many forced marriages are there because of family pressure? How many women stayed in the family situation because they had nowhere else to go and felt afraid or guilty? The family can also be a powerful source of oppression for a woman when people try to keep up appearances in order to avoid condemnation by those self-righteous others. If we bothered to scratch below the surface of our prejudice and dig a little deeper into the experiences of many women, we will be faced with the honesty of what it means to be a women- we are often misunderstood, blamed, belittled, taken advantage of. It has to stop.