Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Single Moms

From Melanie Philliips

It's not just absent fathers, Mr Cameron. Family breakdown is driven by single mothers on benefits

Now, excoriating ‘runaway’ or ‘deadbeat’ dads is a familiar refrain. We all know the scenario: feckless youths getting one girl pregnant after another and abandoning each one in turn, playing next to no part in the upbringing of the children they have serially fathered.

This is, indeed, reckless and reprehensible behaviour. But it is only part of a much more complex and deeply rooted problem.

Most pertinently, it totally ignores the fact that there is another feckless actor in this dysfunctional family drama — the mother, who may be having children by a series of different men.

... With the combination of the sexual revolution, the Pill and the welfare state, however, women’s interests changed. Suddenly they were being told sex outside marriage was fine, unmarried motherhood was fine — and crucially, that the welfare state would provide them with the means to live without male support.

That means the welfare state has to stop playing the role of surrogate husband through the benefits it gives single mothers.

... Fatherless families cause pain and misery to everyone. They damage children. They hurt men. And they also harm women.

Far from being ‘liberated’ from men, lone mothers struggle to cope with life. Those in the media and intelligentsia who turn up their noses at marriage may be well-heeled enough to cushion themselves from the worst of the problems.

But, at the bottom of the social scale, lone mothers are often trapped in loneliness, depression and poverty, and — along with their children — far more likely to suffer physical or sexual abuse.

And the more the state is involved in the upbringing of children, the more control it will exert, as we see in the education system. Big government is deciding what children should be taught, even if that disagrees with parents' ideas of what their kids should know.

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