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IDS latest women-bashing plans

(59 Posts)
Bumpstart Fri 26-Oct-12 10:20:09


I have been thinking about this benefit cap of 2 kids.

I have a conspiracy theory I'd like you to talk me out of.

I think IDS have a team of civil servant who research how they can get votes. I suspect them of coming on mumsnet and noticing the amount of threads on here about 'should I have another baby?'. The responses to these threads are largely NO, not if you are dependent on tax credit.

There are whole discussions to be had about tax credit propping up the unsustainably low minimum wage, but what I'm trying to get at is that there are a significant number of posters who wanted a larger family, but denied themselves because they felt they couldn't afford it, and now cheer that IDS is validating their choice, and planning to penalise larger families.

I find this deeply depressing, that low waged families are having their family choices curtailed, and there is so little solidarity amongst us, that this new proposal is being seen as justice.

larrygrylls Fri 26-Oct-12 10:30:31

Why is this woman bashing?

I think MN reflects the mood of the nation rather than vice versa. It is the end of the culture of something for nothing and a resentment from those who do or have worked hard against those who have never worked and feel the state (I.E other people's hard work) is responsible for their wellbeing.

Money has always been a factor in family planning. We are/were considering a third and although objectively well off, the financial cost is always a factor in the conversation. Why should some people not feel the same pressure if their lifestyle is entirely (or partially) supported by the state?

I understand the argument that it is unfair to penalise an innocent child for being born but the alternative is infinite support for whatever size family someone chooses or giving very specific support for the child which takes the support away from general family expenditure (coupons for essentials, for instance). I would support that but believe many would find it controlling.

Is it really a "right" to have as many children as someone wants regardless of being able to support them? I know we need young people but not regardless of the demographic.

scarevola Fri 26-Oct-12 10:32:14

When Labour first introduced the Family Allowance, back in the 1940s, it was not for every child.

Are the very founding fathers of the welfare state also "women bashers"?

summerflower Fri 26-Oct-12 10:51:25

When Labour introduced Family Allowances, it was for every child, except the eldest. This basically meant that the state was willing to support every subsequent child, no matter how many you had.

Why is this woman-bashing? Because it is women who get pregnant, planned or unplanned, it is women who bear the costs of having children, usually in terms of unpaid domestic work and the gender pay gap, it is women who are overwhelmingly single parents. Plus, if you remove state support, you make it harder for women to leave abusive partners, you make it harder for them to have a genuine choice about what to do if they find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy and so on.

But more than that, it is child-bashing. More children will grow up in poverty, or their mothers will be forced into abortion because of the fear of poverty. And so on.

namechangeguy Fri 26-Oct-12 11:02:59

It is nobody else's responsibility to pay for my children's upbringing than mine. If I want more, I pay for them. Contraception is free (I think), and so the majority of unplanned pregnancies are avoidable. For those that occur through other circumstances, women quite rightly have the option of abortion. The overwhelming opinion on here is that every woman has the right to abortion and the right to autonomy over her own body. Therefore, how many women actually have to follow a pregnancy through to full term?

I am pretty left-wing. I have never voted anything other than labour in my life, but I am not so ideologically blind that I cannot see that merit in this proposal.

PrincessSymbian Fri 26-Oct-12 11:15:50

Is IDS Ian Duncan-Smith, my ma says that political parties are not allowed to use civil servants in regards to vote garnering, so I think you mean political aides as opposed to civil servants, she has worked in the civil service for the past twenty nine years.
And yes I don't think it is in any way a conspiracy theory to be able to see that this policy will have a far greater impact on women and children, than it will do on men.

scarevola Fri 26-Oct-12 11:16:06

I think removing it from the first child from every family might be a better option.

And if women are indeed more welfare-dependent, then that is something that needs to be tackled by means other than continuing at any cost any particular payment.

usualsuspect3 Fri 26-Oct-12 11:19:02

I don't think MN reflects RL at all.

LadyWidmerpool Fri 26-Oct-12 11:21:58

It's not the child's fault if her or his parents are feckless. How is punishing a child fair?

Bumpstart Fri 26-Oct-12 11:28:23

Back in the 1940's it was realistic to have one wage earner supporting a family, child benefit is more significant a boost to family income now than it was then, and has been raised because child poverty is a problem that needs tackling.

This proposal is woman bashing, more specifically low-wage earning women- bashing because it curtails the choices for women who are often stuck in low paid jobs, not because of any empowering decision that they took for themselves, but because the system we live in depends on there being People stuck in low paid jobs.

Some of the threads on here that I have read show that decisions regarding having a third child are very often as follows. The mum would love to have another child, because they feel they have more love to give, but the dad says no, we can't afford it.

Family planning decisions are tough on women in general, perhaps because our biology makes us desire to procreate, whereas men's biology is, perhaps, a little more focussed on Simply having sex.
IDS want to make it harder for families to make these decisions, so yes, I believe this is women bashing.

Do you really think mn reflects the mood of the nation? I reckon it reflects the mood of a particular section of the nation.

Bumpstart Fri 26-Oct-12 11:31:35

Princess Symbian, the bit that I was thinking was the conspiracy was the civil servants political aides getting their info about vote winners off mumsnet. What do you think?

PrincessSymbian Fri 26-Oct-12 11:36:09

I think possibly they look at mumsnet for a representation of the views that are seen on here but I doubt they would base policy purely on what they read on here.
possibly they do use it as a gauge for how much shit they can get away with dealing out before people revolt

Bumpstart Fri 26-Oct-12 11:36:56

Name change guy. If you want an abortion, 2 doctors need to be convinced that you need one because your health will suffer otherwise.

I'm not sure that all gps would agree that you should have an abortion because you think you can't afford it.

I think the health of a woman who is pressurised into an abortion because her partner says they can't afford another child even though she wants one may be just as badly affected.

Bumpstart Fri 26-Oct-12 11:38:36

Princess Symbian. I don't know what to do: get off mn altogether, or shout louder on here. grin

usualsuspect3 Fri 26-Oct-12 11:39:23

<sticks 2 fingers up to Tories>

Just in case they are reading this thread grin

Bumpstart Fri 26-Oct-12 11:41:29

I want dc3, dh doesn't thread

For example.

Bumpstart Fri 26-Oct-12 11:41:54

Usual suspect ha ha ha grin

summerflower Fri 26-Oct-12 11:43:23

>>For those that occur through other circumstances, women quite rightly have the option of abortion. The overwhelming opinion on here is that every woman has the right to abortion and the right to autonomy over her own body. Therefore, how many women actually have to follow a pregnancy through to full term? <<

So, if a woman has an accidental pregnancy, say the condom splits, and she has no idea how she will afford to pay for the child, she should have an abortion? What if she doesn't want to? What if the autonomy she seeks over her body is to not have an invasive procedure which results in foetal death, but to find some way of having and bringing up the child? Unplanned does not equal unwanted.

You could argue that if you can't pay for a child, don't have PIV sex, but then both men and women need to agree to that. It's the woman who carries the risks. Over half of men don't pay maintenance. Not everyone who finds themselves accidentally pregnant wants to have an abortion and why the frigging heck should they? For as long as society promotes and encourages PIV sex as the norm, society has an obligation to protect women who become pregnant, and that means providing for those who choose to keep their babies (and those babies) as much as the right to abortion. Otherwise it is barbaric.

namechangeguy Fri 26-Oct-12 11:56:57

SF, I am not advocating abortion as a simple, no-consequences procedure. But then neither is giving birth, is it? Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

If the condom splits, is the morning after pill an option?

If she wants to keep the baby, there is the rather wonderful NHS to look after them both all the way through to birth and beyond. I see that as protection of mother and baby.

Nobody is arguing about abortion as being anything other than a right and an option. If you want to keep the baby, go ahead, good luck to you.

Our solution as a couple was for me to get the snip. It's a good, free option for those in a stable relationship.

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 26-Oct-12 12:10:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

larrygrylls Fri 26-Oct-12 14:46:17

I think that this idea that anyone has a "right" for other people's taxes to subsidise their wants (and large families are generally wanted rather than conceived entirely accidentally) is completely wrong and part of the reason the 2008 crash and current long recession/zero growth period occurred (of course the other side was reckless lending and crooked securitisation, but two wrongs do not make a right).

Children are part of a lifestyle choice and, since contraception came into being, people have considered the trade off of more children vs being better off. I don't get why that trade off should be completely removed from those who are most subsidised already.

Naturally, there are unfortunate cases. But it is a crazy argument to say that, because there are some unlucky people, government policy has to be so lenient that it actually makes sense for people to deliberately have 3,4,5 or 6 children with no means to support them other than other people's taxes.

It is totally unfair to penalise children for being born. I get this, I really do. However, there are ways around this which are used in various countries. Yes they do involve women giving up some bodily autonomy in return for money (such as long term contraception in order to get child support for the third child) but the idea that money should be a free commodity for certain people is never going to win long term; those who pay the money just won't agree to continue doing so.

WearingGreen Fri 26-Oct-12 14:58:08

I think its anti women from the POV that in reality it will end up being 2 children per woman rather than 2 per couple or 2 per person. Men will be free to father children up and down the country just so long as they are the eldest 2 children of the woman.

I don't think its a conspiracy though

scottishmummy Fri 26-Oct-12 15:04:35

i dont see this as woman bashing at all.youre being too conspiratorial.isnt a sista thing at all
most parents do the sums before thinking about,house size etc
working parents do consider money and family size factor in nursery fees,afterschool etc

larrygrylls Fri 26-Oct-12 15:04:50


Hmmm, I guess you could consider it to be anti resident parent and I accept that the majority are women. However, some women could have many children and leave them with the fathers.

But how would you want it done. Do people really believe that, for some, money should be free and decisions should have no consequences but, for those who earn above a certain amount, all decisions should be trade offs. It is very similar to people on housing benefit thinking they have the right to live in Central London but those who work moving out when they have families as they can no longer afford Central London prices. Ultimately, those who pay (taxpayers) just will not accept it.

scottishmummy Fri 26-Oct-12 15:07:38

no wearingreen,its saying state will pay benefits to 2 children max.
not state imposing limit on number of children're gettin mixed up
and when choosing family size we considered ability to afford,so why shouldnt others

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