am i being over sensitive?(14 Posts)
my local newspaper ran an article this week telling of how pregnancy outside of marriage was dealt with in the late 1600's and 1700's.
it is titled "when unwed mothers lost more than benefits" (no mention of the unwed fathers!!) and starts with
"this month Iain Duncan Smith, secretary of state for Work and Pensions complained that problem families on benefits have too many children. But the problem of unmarried mothers and absent fathers (implying that families on benefits are all made up of unmarried mothers and absent fathers?) is not a new one as scholars trawling old archives of (my local paper) well know.
Nowadays lone teenage mothers and their children receive state financial support and accommodation, (do they? all of them? really? news to me- i thought you had to apply and qualify for it) although due to recession these provisions are soon to become less generous (generous?) "
it then goes on to say at a later point in reference to pregnancy occuring outside of marriage "these misfortunes happen in the best of families, and it is prudent not to point a finger, or stand in judgement"
i am a lone parent and was a teenage mother. it isn't the main bulk of the article detailing what would happen to the babies and unwed mothers that has pissed me off it's the shit before it and the fucking patronising comment at the end. i want to write in and comment but as usual cannot articlute my thoughts in a way that would have any effect. but first i want to know if i'm being over sensitive or is this sexist/benefit bashing/patronising shite?
btw i would link to the article but it costs to view it online.
It doesn't sound over sensitjve, no.
i will confess that i dont usually buy this paper except i was in it this week and i wanted to show the dcs, then i had a scan through after they went to bed and this article caught my eye. the basic gist of the story was that a town in our local area discovered that people were killing and secretly burying babies born to unwed mothers in newly dug graves during the night. to try and prevent this they would (as soon as pregnancy was detected in an unwed mother) make her come to the church and force her to name the father, both would be forced to confess their sin infront of the whole congregation of the church. refusal to comply would lead to them being barred from church and that meant the whole community aswell.
there is another part i missed out in my OP. it says, "nowadays in the 21st century, the Department of Work and Pensions deals with this problem (children born out of wedlock) in a much more humane fashion"
i'm wording a letter in my head. this has pissed me off so much. there are parts of my town that are classified as deprived areas and lots of council estates ( i used to live in one) and many of the people living there are lone parents. the thought of any of them reading this and being made to feel like they are a 'problem' to be dealt with disgusts me.
Yuk, "the problem", yuk.
Yeah, we deal with "the problems" of varied races, varied sexualities, women wanting the vote etc a bit differently as well , funnily enough.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Oh - the whole Tess of the D'Urbervilles thing! I was most shocked when doing my family tree, that this didn't seem to happen at all. That especially in country areas, the baby was normally baptised and the woman went on to marry the father or someone else entirely later, or not. Sometimes there were numerous children. It seems like this "shame" thing came along much, much later, and in reality, for much of the time it was just dealt with as one of those practical problems. Obviously support would more likely have come from the extended family or the parish than central funds at that time though.
And No, you are not being over sensitive - it is a horrible, snidy piece of writing.
thank you all. i wasn't sure if i was or not. i'm going to get that email written over the weekend. would appreciate any suggestions as to what points to include as no doubt i'll leave loads out.
No you're not being over sensitive (Artex's Alan Partridge comparison is very apt! )
I see quite a lot of very dubious media crap implying that if not all then most single mothers are needy, supported by the state, etc. (and very little about e.g. how women have always brought up and supported children alone). That article is outstanding in its crassness, though.
I'm not sure whether it would be better to complain or to write something better, more accurate, more interesting and well researched and send it to your local rag: politely see if they'll publish that in future?
Misfortune. That is the bit that pissses me off. The assumption that pregnancy out of wedlock is unlucky.
I am not married and consider myself lucky to have given birth and being in the process of bringing up kids.
these days, in the case of rape, we are able to chose whether to abort or not. In times gone by, were mothers in this situation unlucky? Or victims of a society which punished women for men's wrong doing?
There is no such thing as being over sensitive. If someone upsets your sensibilities, they have upset you, and they need to recognize that
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